Spanish Fly by Will Ferguson was among the nominees for the Leacock medal for humour. ((Will Ferguson/Penguin Books))

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.