Saskatchewan-based writer Cassie Stocks has won the 2013 Leacock Medal for humour for her debut novel, Dance, Gladys, Dance, published by NeWest Press.
Stocks was named winner of the $15,000 prize for Canadian humour on Thursday, beating four other writers including previous winner Terry Fallis.
Dance, Gladys, Dance is about a 27-year-old woman, a failure at life and love, who is inspired by the elderly Gladys, a ghost who once had a dream to become a dancer.
It also was nominated for the Saskatchewan Book Award for best first novel.
Her competition for this year's Leacock medal:
- Up and Down, by Terry Fallis.
- I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow, by Jonathan Goldstein.
- Born Weird, by Andrew Kaufman.
- Words to Live By, by William Whitehead.
The Leacock Medal has been criticized for having so few female winners in its 76-year history, but Stocks hit the funny bone for this year's jury.
Edmonton-born Stocks was a winner of CBC Alberta Anthology Short Fiction contest and read her story on CBC Radio One. She now lives in Eston, Sask., and completed a writing degree from MacEwan University in 2011.
The Leacock Medal is named for Orillia, Ont., humourist Stephen Leacock, author of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.