Hank Herman is an award-winning author, humorist, and writing instructor. His memoir, Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell, has led to speaking engagements throughout the Northeast. His 15-book series of basketball novels, Super Hoops, is read by grade-schoolers everywhere, and his Westport News column, The Home Team, is in its 19th year. Hank teaches writing courses and workshops throughout Connecticut, and writes a "laugh-out-loud" blog, Beagle Man.
Hank’s most recent book, Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell, is a humorous memoir. He’s also the author of Super Hoops, a 15-books series of basketball novels for kids. In the works: Ricky Is My Co-Pilot, a humorous travel memoir based on his cross-country road trips with his beagle. He has also written for The New York Times, Men’s Health, Outside and other national magazines.
Hank teaches writing courses for adults (Memoir, Personal Essay, Column-Writing) at both Trinity College (Hartford) and Norwalk Community College, leads independent writing workshops, and serves as personal writing coach. He also runs youth writing workshops at Connecticut schools, and tutors students in college essay writing.
Beagle Man is a highly read blog within Hearst Media’s Connecticut Newspapers. Hank began writing it two years ago, and has won over pet lovers with his humor writing about his family life with Ricky the Beagle. Hank plans to use his blog stories, as well as his annual trips across the country with Ricky riding shotgun, as the basis of a humorous travel memoir.
The self-deprecating and outrageously funny story-telling in Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell has made Hank Herman a sought-after speaker at colleges, high schools, book stores, and private groups. He also lectures on the craft of writing — especially humor, memoir, kids fiction, and personal essay.
Skills //Writer, humorist, essayist, writing instructor, personal writing coach, editor, speaker, sports enthusiast, dog lover
Book Fan Mail
Accept My Kid, Please!
“It’s a must-read for every college counselor, teacher, administrator, and parent. It is a riot.”
Sari A., Miami Beach, FL
“Having at long last seen our child pass through commencement, reading your wonderful prose brought back migraines, laughs, and astonishment that somehow we all survived the rigors of the admissions process.”
James J., Hartford, CT
“The book is hilarious and wonderful! With both girls safely ensconced in college I could take in all of the humor and none of the “hives.” Dave Barry, move over!”
Diane F., Westport, CT
Hank teaches a creative writing course for middle-school students every summer at College for Kids, a program at Norwalk (CT) Community College.
He volunteers at New Beginnings Family Academy, a charter school in Bridgeport, where he runs a writing workshop for seventh and eighth graders.
Hank makes frequent appearances at elementary and middle schools throughout Connecticut, doing presentations, seminars, and workshops on writing and what it’s like to be a writer.
He also coaches high school students who benefit from his help in writing their college essays.
Contact Hank to work with students in any of these areas.
The Home Team
Hank’s award-winning Home Team column in The Westport News (Conn.) appears every other Friday. The column is now in its 20th year.
The Home Team / Two Guys and A Jeep
Last week I was talking to my personal trainer — oops, already something a real Jeep guy would never say. Anyway, my trainer — let’s call him “Tim,” which just happens to be his real name — had already been driving a four-door Jeep Wrangler. Since that had become more or less the “family” car, Tim was in the market for a smaller sports car for himself. He considered all the usual suspects and had pretty much decided on a Mini — but a little voice told him he wasn’t really a Mini guy. A bit too trendy? A little too cutesy? He studied the situation a little more, and what did he get? He got a two-door Jeep Wrangler. Read more…
The Home Team / Playing the rankings game
Who doesn’t love “top-whatever” lists? There’s not a film fan alive who can resist reading those year-end “Top 10 Movies” rankings. Whenever SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays come on, every member of the Herman family drops whatever he or she is doing (in the case of a certain member under the age of 20, that’s often not much) to watch. And this past Monday, the same could be said for David Letterman’s Top Ten List, which was the “Top Ten Facts About the All-Star Game” — presented on-screen by 10 different members of this year’s American League All-Star team. (My favorite was No. 10 from Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander: “This year, they’ve added an extra base.”) Read more…
LA/XC 1 and 2
Every fall, Ricky the Beagle and I hit the road every fall for a great adventure: a one-month-long cross-country road trip to Los Angeles!
Hank speaks to schools all over New York and Connecticut to talk about the art (and frustrations) of professional writing. To arrange for a presentation, please send him an email.
On Humor Writing
Hank speaks about humor writing at various locations. To arrange for a presentation, please send him an email.
The Craft of Writing
Hank speaks about the craft of writing at various locations. To arrange for a presentation, please send him an email.
Hank speaks to colleges about his book, Accept My Kid, Please!, and college admissions, at various locations. To arrange for a presentation, please send him an email.
The Roof Rack Report
Come September 6, Hank hit the road with Ricky for a 15-city tour to California and back to sniff out the Election 2012 campaign trail. Always the humorist, Hank and Ricky will give HuffPo readers an irreverent take on American politics with The Roof Rack Report, a playful jab at Mitt Romney’s much-maligned strapping of his dog Seamus to the top of his car.
Hank and Ricky the Beagle will find out what pets, pet lovers, pet parents and pet pundits across America really think about presidential candidates Romney and Barack Obama. The traveling duo will provide much needed comic relief to Election 2012, and talk to voters about pressing economic, fiscal and social issues facing the country:
– Will the price of dog treats rise because of the national corn scarcity?
– What the frick is fracking, and why should your dog care?
– It’s nearly 60 days from Election Day. What does that feel like in dog years?
Beagle Man Blog
Read Hank Herman over the years, and you can trace his obsessions: Raising his three sons (now aged 31, 28, and 19); coaching Little League; rock and roll; and now . . . his beagle. Ricky is the first dog Hank ever owned, and as his bio on Beagle Man indicates, he “considers Ricky the Beagle his fourth son.”
Now that Hank’s an empty nester — finally! — Ricky accompanies him everywhere, including, most notably, on his epic annual cross-country road trips to L.A. to visit youngest son Robby at the University of Southern California.
Hank says that he runs into people, almost daily, who tell him, “I once had a beagle,” or, “My first dog was a beagle” — and then they add that they never got another one. After all these years with his lovable, handsome, but food-obsessed, virtually untrainable, and monumentally stubborn dog, he now understands why.
Read the Beagle Man blog.
“The class was near perfect. Like your columns, it was informative, focused, and exciting, with humor and heart. I can’t think of anything I would do to make it better, except more of the same. You do a fantastic job and more university teaching should be one of your goals. (Allan Schiffer, West Hartford, CT)
“I absolutely love Hank Herman’s Memoir class and want to attend again in the Fall. Please hold a spot for me! (Audrey Carlson, Newington, CT)
“Your editing and comments have been most helpful. You have helped me to develop my own style.” (Walter Borden, Bloomfield, CT)
“I received the evaluations of your course and rejoice over them. My congratulations to you for its fine success. It will definitely be scheduled again.” (Prof. Michael Camp, Founder, Academy of Lifelong Learning, Trinity College, Hartford, CT)
Read more testimonials here.
Personal Writing Coach
Hank Herman has served as a writing coach for a large number of his students as they independently pursue work begun in his classroom in a variety of genres: memoir, novel, personal essay, humor, kids fiction, and more. Several of his writing students have achieved publication.
Individual Writing Help
For writing students who would like Hank to continue helping them with critiquing and editing on an individual basis, and for new students as well, Hank offers the following arrangements:
– A critique/edit of your work at the rate of $50 per 1,000 words. An additional phone consultation is included in this fee.
– Post-critique editing and revisions are offered at Hank’s regular rate of $100/hour (will be pro-rated for fractional hours).
To hear about Hank’s effectiveness as a writing coach from the writers themselves, please visit the testimonials from his students and writers.
To contact Hank to help you with your writing, send him an email.
Courses & Workshops
This is a partial list of where Hank currently teaches writing courses and workshops.
Trinity College Academy of Lifelong Learning (Hartford, CT)
Norwalk Community College (Norwalk, CT)
Independent Workshops (Westport, CT)
To find out what Hank Herman writing course or workshop is being offered in your area, please contact Hank.
Hank teaches writing courses, primarily for adults, at Trinity College’s Academy of Lifelong Learning (Hartford, CT) and at Norwalk Community College Extended Studies program. He also leads independent writing workshops throughout Connecticut. Most of his courses and workshops are limited to 8 students.
Courses he has taught have included Memoir, Column Writing, Personal Essay, Creative Writing, Kids Fiction, and Humor.
Excerpt taken from a Trinity College syllabus:
DON’T WAIT FOR THE M– USE! A WRITING WORKSHOP
How many times have you said to yourself, “I’d really like to get going on that memoir / short story / novel / essay collection (you fill in the blank), but I never seem to find the time. What I need is some discipline.” This workshop is just what the doctor ordered: weekly deadlines, fellow students who will read and respond to your work in an encouraging and supportive environment, and an instructor who will carefully critique your submissions and offer editing and technique suggestions from his 35 years’ experience as a writing professional. Whether you’re a beginner whose goal is to complete a project you can be proud of, or an experienced writer aiming for publication, this workshop will help you achieve it.
Contact Hank to find out what writing course or workshop is being offered in your area.
New York Times, February 13, 2005
Take My Son, Please
Mr. Herman explores the far edge of sanity in a memoir released last month, Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell (Da Capo Press, 2005). The book, an account of the swift onset of his obsession with the college applications process, is an outgrowth of Mr. Herman’s ”Home Team” columns in The Westport News.
Chicago Tribune, Jan. 2, 2005
Father Really Applies Himself
In Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell (Da Capo Press, $13.95), columnist and humor writer Herman documents the steps–extremes, one might say–that he and his wife took to get their son into college.
Spin A Sport
Spin the dial, and you’re off! Join sports-minded young characters in these six fast-action stories as they struggle with tough dilemmas and find new ways to come out on top. Award-winning sportswriter Hank Herman takes you barreling into the endzone, streaking toward the goal, and slam-dunking through the hoops! At the end of each story, game boards allow you to challenge a friend or play by yourself in your own quest for victory.
Read an excerpt or buy the book here.
Ricky Is My Co-Pilot
Ricky Is My Co-Pilot is a work-in-progress, a modern-day Travels With Charley. When completed, it will be a humorous travel memoir of four epic Connecticut-to-California-and-back cross-country road trips Hank is making to visit his youngest son Robby at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
There are no human passengers along for the ride, but one dog will be riding shotgun for every single mile of all four journeys: Ricky the Beagle. Hank has been chronicling his adventures with Ricky on his blog, Beagle Man, since December, 2010. Accounts of the first trip in 2011, dubbed LA/XC-1, can be found in the Beagle Man posts of August 22 through October 7, 2011.
Read Hank’s initial thoughts on the journey, as described in his Westport News‘ column, The Home Team.
Read a preface from the book here, taken from LA/XC-1.
Chris is overjoyed when his soccer team makes it to the state championships. But when Chris and his teammates start hearing strange and frightening rumors about their opponents, they wish they hadn’t gotten so far!
Soccer has always come easily to Abby — that is, until her rival, Rebecca, turns Abby’s teammates against her. Her confidence fading, Abby has trouble making the big plays and leading the team to victory. But Abby hatches a surprising plan to turn the tables on Rebecca — and still unite the team.
From the heart-pounding action of a big soccer match to the agony of an on-field injury, Marked Man and Other Soccer Stories will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re a soccer fan, you’ll love the non-stop excitement, humor, frights, and thrills found in this blowout collection of stories.
Buy the book here.
Super Hoops Series
Meet the stars of the Branford Bulls. They all have one thing in common — they live and breathe basketball. And they can really play! There’s Will “Too Tall” Hopwood, Brian Simmons, and David Danzig. They own the playground, and they’re ready to own the championship too!
But then their coach and his sons, two of the Bulls’ best players, move away. Do the Bulls still have what it takes to be champions?
Read an excerpt or buy the book here.
Accept My Kid, Please!
Hilarious, self-deprecating, and right on target, Accept My Kid, Please! details one good father’s battle with his own worst side during that time most parents of college-age teens will all too easily recognize. If you’re a parent looking ahead to the experience or (congratulations!) looking back at it, Herman’s story will have you laughing out loud — and maybe even picking up a pointer or two.
“The line between sanity and madness can be surprisingly thin…Herman explores the far edge of sanity in [this] memoir.” — New York Times
“Enumerates the roller-coaster ride that getting a kid into school has become…Non-stop laughs.” — Chicago Tribune
“An eye-opening, often funny odyssey.” — Teacher Magazine
“With humor [Herman] describes the lengths [he] went to to market his child as a scholar and athlete.” — Westport News
Read an excerpt or buy the book here.
About Beagle Man // Hank's Hearst Newspapers blog, "Beagle Man" depicts the daily give-and-take -- okay, mostly give -- with his very stubborn sidekick, Ricky the Beagle. The blog doubles as a hilarious travelogue when Hank and Ricky hit the road every fall for their great adventure: a one-month-long cross-country road trip! With no offense intended to his own three sons, Hank considers Ricky his fourth.