Bill Conall wins 2014 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

bill-book-300.jpgCape Breton-based author Bill Conall has won the 2014 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

Conall's book The Promised Land follows two generations of outsiders trying to fit into their new Cape Breton surroundings. It beat out a strong shortlist that included Red Green's Beginner's Guide to Women by Steve Smith, The Son of a Certain Woman by Wayne Johnston, And Then There Were Nuns by Jane Christmas, and Fifty Shades of Black by Arthur Black.

The Leacock Associates, who oversee the award, made the announcement Thursday during a special luncheon in Orillia, Ont., at the Mariposa Inn.

The Promised Land is Conall's second book. His first one, The Rock in the Water, was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal in 2010.

The annual $15,000 literary award is presented to the author of the "best book of humour written in the previous year by a Canadian." The first winner was Harry Symons for Ojibway Melody in 1947. Since then, many prominent writers have been honoured with the prize, including Pierre Berton (1960), Farley Mowat (1970), Sondra Gotlieb (1979), Paul Quarrington (1988), Mordecai Richler (1998), Terry Fallis (2008), and Patrick deWitt (2012).