Stephen Leacock Medal, annual literary prize for humour, increases cash prize to $25K

The prize is one of the oldest of its kind, established in 1947 to support the growth of Canadian humour writing.
Canadian humourist and economist Stephen Leacock. ((Picture Post/Getty Images))

The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, an annual literary prize given to the year's funniest Canadian book, is increasing the grand prize amount from $15,000 to $25,000 in 2022.

The prize is one of the oldest of its kind, established in 1947 to support the growth of Canadian humour writing.

One winner is selected each year from a shortlist of three books. Going forward, the two runner-ups will each receive $4,000, an increase from $3,000.

The 2022 longlist of 10 books will be announced on June 1, 2022, followed by the shortlist of three on Aug. 15, 2022 and winner on Sept. 17, 2022.

Past winners include Robertson Davies, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Paul Quarrington, Mordecai Richler, Stuart McLean, Terry Fallis, Susan Juby and Cassie Stocks.

Thomas King is the most recent Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal winner, receiving the 2021 prize for the novel Indians on Vacation.

The prize is named in honour of Ontario writer Stephen Leacock, a humorist and popular author in the first half of the 20th century. His books included Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town published in 1912 and Literary Lapses published in 1910.

The prize has been funded by the Dunkley Charitable Foundation since the fall of 2020. The organization is based in  Orillia, Ont., the town that inspired the fictional community of Mariposa in Sunshine Sketches of a Little TownLeacock had a summer estate there.

Leacock's Sunshine Sketches

10 years ago
Duration 2:50
Orillia, Ont. is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the release of Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, reputedly based on his experiences in the Ontario town.

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