Vancouver author Douglas Coupland and Calgary writer Will Ferguson are among those competing for this year's Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.
They are among five writers nominated for the $10,000 award in a shortlist issued Thursday by the Leacock Association, which is based in Orillia, Ont., the hometown of the famous humourist.
Coupland has been nominated for The Gum Thief, a peculiar love story between a failed novelist and a young misfit, both of whom work in an office supplies store.
Coupland, best-known for JPod and Generation X, is known for riffing on middle-class North American culture.
Ferguson is nominated for Spanish Fly, about a group of conmen in the 1930s dust-bowl Prairies.
He has won the Leacock Award twice before — for Happiness in 2002 and Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw in 2005.
Other nominees are:
- The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis of Toronto, about a political candidate who consents to run in a federal election based on the fact that he is certain to lose.
- King John of Canada by Scott Gardiner of Toronto, about how through a series of accidents Canada ends up with a king chosen by lottery.
- And God Created Manyberries by Ron Wood of Calgary, a shrewd political satire in the form of banter from the saloon in the Alberta town of Manyberries.
The winner will be chosen on April 30.