My fabulous year

Dear Judith and Leacock Committee Members,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for my fabulous year. You maybe didn’t hear so much down east but things were happening here in the prairies. I did a ton of festivals (and still have more to come this season), interviews, and activities that I never would have had the opportunity to do without winning the Leacock. It made an incredible difference in my literary life. I still think fondly of my time in Orillia and all the kindness and welcome I felt there. I am so grateful for the work all of you do to make this award possible. I hope to go down in history as the only Co-op grocery store clerk to win the award. If another clerk submits a book, please discard it immediately.

Love and good thoughts to all.

Cassie Stocks
Author of Dance, Gladys, Dance
Winner of the 2013 Leacock Medal for Humour

Sad news

We are sad to learn long-time Leacock Associates board member Linda Crawford passed away this afternoon at Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Orillia, Ontario. Linda was a driving force in the organization for many years and played a huge role in organizing and making our annual gala dinners a success. Many of you may have obtained your tickets from her. Our condolences to all her friends and family.

Roster of Leacock winners to attend

We’ve just confirmed the following Leacock-winning and -shortlisted authors will be in attendance at the 2014 Leacock Medal gala dinner on June 7:

Bill Conall (2014) — The Promised Land
Trevor Cole (2011) — Practical Jean
Terry Fallis (2008) — The Best Laid Plans
Dan Needles (2003) — With Axe and Flask
John Levesque (1993) — Waiting for Aquarius
Joe Kertes (1989) — Winter Tulips
Jane Christmas (shortlisted 2014) — And Then There Were Nuns

Tickets are $65, available through Patti Page (, 705 326-1357) and Manticore Books in Orillia. A cocktail reception, live entertainment, plus many laughs throughout the sumptuous gourmet meal means they will sell out soon — don’t miss out!

2014 Soiree

We kickstart our 2014 Leacock celebrations when we toast the winner of our student writing competition. This evening is our “Soiree” and is a FREE event that will be held at the Leacock home, on the grounds of the Leacock National Historic Museum, on Friday, June 6 at 8 pm. Fingers foods are provided, and there’s a cash bar. All are welcome!

The next day is our Gala Dinner for Bill Conall, the winner of the 2014 Leacock Medal for humour. Tickets are available through Patti Page (, 705 326-1357) and, now, Manticore Books. They sell out quickly, so get yours soon. Saturday, June 7, Geneva Park, $65.

2014 Gala Dinner

The gala dinner celebrating the 2014 Leacock Medal winner Bill Conall and the shortlisted authors is at the Geneva Park Conference Centre Saturday, June 7. Cocktail reception 5:30, dinner 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person, available from Patti Page: email or call 705 326-1357. All are welcome. Please join us! Note that tickets are sold out quickly.

2014 Leacock winner: Bill Conall

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bill Conall wins 2014 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour

Orillia, ON — The Promised Land: A Novel of Cape Breton, Bill Conall’s hilarious tale of hippies journeying to Cape Breton in the 1970s, has earned the East Coast author the 2014 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour and a $15,000 cash prize.

The Stephen Leacock Associates, who award the medal annually, made the announcement today at the Best Western Mariposa Inn and Conference Centre in Orillia, Ontario, in front of an audience of authors, publishing industry representatives and media.

Conall’s sophomore novel was chosen by a panel of national judges as well as a committee of local readers.

Also on the shortlist for this year’s award were, listed alphabetically, Arthur Black’s Fifty Shades of Black, Jane Christmas’s And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life, Wayne Johnston’s The Son of a Certain Woman and Steve Smith’s Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women.

Last year, Saskatchewan author Cassie Stocks won the medal for her first novel, Dance, Gladys, Dance.

The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded since 1947 to honour the dean of Canadian humourists and to perpetuate comedic writing in Canada. Some of our finest writers — Pierre Berton, W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies — have been recipients of the award over the past six decades. In addition to winning the silver medal, the winner receives a $15,000 cash prize, courtesy of TD Bank Financial Group, which will be presented at the annual Leacock Medal gala dinner to be held June 7, 2014, at Geneva Park, just outside of Orillia.


For information, contact:
Mike Hill
President, Stephen Leacock Associates

2014 Leacock Medal shortlist announced

A book by a former three-time winner and another by an author who’s been shortlisted for the Giller award and the Governor General’s award in the past are among the finalists for the 2014 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.

The Orillia-based Stephen Leacock Associates awards the annual literary prize to the book judged to be the most humorous published in Canada, written by a Canadian, in the previous year. This national award carries a $15,000 cash prize courtesy of TD Bank Group, and the winner also receives a silver Leacock memorial medal. The four runners-up will also receive substantial cash prizes for their efforts.

Cassie Stocks won the medal last year for her novel Dance, Gladys, Dance.

This year’s finalists include Arthur Black, who has won the award three times in the past (1997, 2000 and 2006.) Jane Christmas, a self-professed “jaded single mom,” has been shortlisted for her memoir about becoming a nun late in life. The book is called And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life. Cape Breton author Bill Conall’s The Promised Land marks the second time Mr. Conall has been shortlisted for the Leacock award; he also made the shortlist in 2010. Wayne Johnston’s book Son of a Certain Woman is shortlisted this year. Johnston has Giller and Governor General award nominations on his resumé as well. Steve Smith, aka Red Green, earned a shortlist spot this year for his book Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women.

Five national judges from across Canada and a small committee of readers in Orillia will select the winner, who will be announced at a luncheon April 24 at the Best Western Mariposa Inn.

The Leacock Medal for Humour was first awarded in 1947, three years after the death of the author of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Past Leacock winners include W.O. Mitchell, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Will Ferguson, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies.

For more information, contact Michael Hill, President, Stephen Leacock Associates, at or 705-325-9843

Arthur Black, Fifty Shades of Black

Jane Christmas, And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life

Bill Conall, The Promised Land

Wayne Johnston, Son of a Certain Woman

Steve Smith, Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women


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