Latest News!

AGM set for November 21, 2021

The Board of Stephen Leacock Associates will hold its annual general meeting on Sunday, November 21, 2021 using the Zoom online meeting software.  Members of Stephen Leacock Associates and members of the public are welcome to attend the AGM, the public session of which will commence at 3 p.m.  Anyone wishing to attend the meeting should contact the Associates at to register no later than noon on Friday, November 19, 2021.  Registrants will be emailed the link to the meeting and instructions on how to use Zoom.

October 18, 2021

Medal prize money to be increased to $25,000!

Starting with the 2022 Medal, the accompanying prize money will be increased from $15,000 to $25,000.  The awards to the two runners-up will also be increased from $3,000 to $4,000.  These awards were made possible by the generosity of the Dunkley Charitable Foundation's five-year committment to supporting the Leacock Medal.

At the same time, some significant dates will change.  Book submissions will continue to be accepted from August 1 to December 31.  However, the long list of ten books will be announced on June 1, 2022, and will constitute, in effect, our recommended summer reading list.  The short list of three books will be announced on August 15, 2022, and the winner will be revealed at the Gala Dinner on Saturday, September 17, 2022 during our Gala Weekend, which is planned for September 16 to 18.

In addition, each book submission must include three digital files; the author's photo, his/her biography, and a book cover photo.  These files must be uploaded online through our web site.  The submission will not be accepted until all required items have been provided.  Authors whose books are selected for the long list must demonstrate that their books are available for purchase in book stores and/or online, and must have copies available for the Gala Weekend. 

July 15, 2021

Listen to the award announcement on CBC

We are so excited to have the award announcement broadcast right across Canada.  You can listen to it by clicking on the graphic on the right, then clicking on the play button.

June 5, 2021





Thomas King Wins Leacock Medal!

The board of Stephen Leacock Associates is pleased to announce that Thomas King is the winner of the 2020 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for his autobiographical novel Indians on Vacation, published by HarperCollins Publishers.  The award of the medal is accompanied by a prize of $15,000. 

Thomas King is an award winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer. His critically acclaimed, bestselling books include Medicine River; Green Grass, Running Water; One Good Story, That One; Truth and Bright Water; A Short History of Indians in Canada; The Back of the Turtle (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction); Sufferance; The Inconvenient Indian (winner of the RBC Taylor Prize); the DreadfulWater mystery series, including most recently Obsidian; and the poetry collection 77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin (shortlisted for the Nelson Ball Prize)

The two runners-up, Joseph Kertes (for his novel Last Impressions, published by Penguin Random House) and Murray Morgan (for his novel Dirty Birds, published by Breakwater Books) will each receive a prize of $3,000.

The board congratulates all the winners for their splendid efforts.  It also acknowledges and appreciates the efforts of all the authors of the books submitted for this year's medal.

A Canada-wide panel of judges had narrowed 77 initial submissions to form a longlist of 10 highly recommended works, with only three books eventually being selected for the shortlist. 

Once again, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the medal and cash prizes will not be awarded at the usual Gala Dinner but will be mailed to the winners.  The authors' achievements will be celebrated instead at next year's Gala Dinner, in 2022, together with the winners of the 2020 and 2022 medals.

June 4, 2021

Leacock Medal winner to be announced on CBC's Q

We are excited to reveal that the winner of this year's Leacock Medal for Humour will be announced on the air on the CBC's Q program this Friday, June 4, 2021.  The coverage will be broadcast shortly after 11 a.m. in each time zone across Canada.  All three shortlisted authors will be available for the announcement by our president, Michael Hill, and the winner will be interviewed by Q host Tom Power immediately afterwards.

Be sure to tune in to your local CBC station on Friday!

June 1, 2021

Winners announced in Leacock student competition

The Stephen Leacock Associates are pleased to announce the winners of their 2021 Student Humorous Short Story Competition.

First Place:
A Regrettable Afternoon, as told by Gordon R. Ibitt"
Written by Vincenzo Fracassi,
who is home schooled in Everett, Ontario.
Second Place:
"A Samosa By Any Other Name"
Written by Bethany Robert,
St. Francis Xavier High School, Ottawa.

Third Place:
Froyo Fables of Forestville
Written by Caius Harbridge,
Bear Creek Secondary School, Barrie.

The winners will receive $1,000 (first place), $700 (second place) and $300 (third place).

Other finalists, in alphabetical order, were:

The Postman’s Gutter“ by Lena Brubacher, Huntsville High School.
My Cat is the Spitting Image of My Grandfather” by Emily Cao, Glen Forest Secondary School, Mississauga.
Adulthood (Terms and Conditions Might Apply)” by Noor Grewal, Burlington Central High School.
A Slightly Boring Tale“ by Ireland Moore, O’Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Whitby.
Not Interested (A Polemic)” by Jonathan Sacher, Newtonbrook Secondary School, North York.

Congratulations to all of our participants. We encourage them to keep writing and to enter the competition again next year. Thanks also to our judges who (owing to the excellent quality of the entries) had a difficult task in choosing the winners.
Special thanks to Brad and Sara Dunkley and the Dunkley Charitable Foundation for sponsoring this wonderfully worthwhile competition. Brad was the winner in this very contest in 1993.

May 15, 2021

Kertes, King and Murray named on Leacock Medal shortlist

ORILLIA, Ont. — The president and board of directors of Stephen Leacock Associates are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2021 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. In the running for the medal and $15,000 prize are, in alphabetical order by author surname:

“The panel of judges from across the country has selected three finalists from the 77 books that were submitted this year for the Leacock Medal for Humour,” said Leacock Associates president Michael Hill. “After evaluating all the books submitted, these three were deemed to be of high literary quality and the most humorous to be submitted. These books - from a former Leacock medal winner, an RBC Taylor prize winner and a first-time novelist - are worthy of national pride!”

The winner will be announced on Friday, June 4, 2021, by press release and social media. The usual Gala Dinner has had to be cancelled yet again owing to the COVID19 pandemic. The shortlisted authors will be invited to the Gala Weekend festivities in 2022, where they will join the shortlisted authors from 2020 and 2022.

May 3, 2021

Leacock Medal Longlist Revealed!

2021 Long List

The Stephen Leacock Associates are pleased to announce the 2021 long list for the annual Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Handed-out for the past 74 years, this annual award recognizes excellence in Canadian literary humour. Past winners have included Terry Fallis, Will Ferguson, W.O.Mitchell, Stuart McLean and Mordecai Richler. Board President Michael Hill thanks the national panel of judges and a committee of local readers for their thoughtful recommendations with this “long list.” The three finalists for the award will be named on Monday, May 3, 2021, with the medal winner being announced on Friday, June 4, 2021.

The list of the 10 long-listed books can be found here.

April 19, 2021

Please renew your membership for the coming year!

Our membership year runs from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.   When you renew now, your membership will be paid up until March 31, 2022.

Renewing your membership is a simple process that can be accomplished on-line on our web site by clicking on the following link:

You may pay using a credit or debit card, or by sending us a cheque.  Membership costs a mere $10 per person per year.  Last year, we introduced Life Memberships for $100 (single person) or $200 (dual membership).

There are many people who have honorary, lifetime or free term memberships.  During the renewal process, the system will tell you if you already have one of these memberships, and, where applicable, will tell you the expiry date.

When renewing on-line, please update your profile to let us know of any way in which you can participate in the running of our organization.  We welcome your skills and any help we can get. We also welcome any additional donations you may include, and (as we are a charity) will issue tax receipts for any donations $25 and over.

Anyone who is not yet a member and wishes to join us can fill in our on-line membership application form at this link:

March 9, 2021

Gala Weekend Festivities Cancelled Again!

The following press announcement was released today:

Cancellation of Gala WeekendGala Weekend Cancellation

ORILLIA, Ont. — The President and Board of Directors of Stephen Leacock Associates regret to announce that the Gala Weekend activities at which the winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour is named have had to be cancelled for the second year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, judging of the 77 submitted books will continue, and a long list of 10 and a short list of 3 will be published on the planned dates of Monday, April 19, 2021 and Monday, May 3, 2021 respectively. The winner will be announced on Friday, June 4, 2021.

The medal and prize money will be awarded as usual, and the winner and other shortlisted authors will be invited to attend the Gala Weekend in June, 2022 when their achievements will be belatedly recognized.

75th Anniversary of the Leacock Medal

As 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the Leacock Medal, the festivities on the Gala Weekend will celebrate not only the finalists and winners for 2020, 2021 and 2022, but also the role that the medal award has played in the careers of many Canadian authors over the past 75 years.  The Gala Weekend promises to be a celebration like no other in our history.

Student Award Competition

The Student Humorous Essay Award for this year will proceed as planned.  The deadline for submissions is April 15, with winners to be announced on May 15, 2021.  For more information, please see the Student Awards page on our web site.

February 15, 2021

Snapchat campaign launched to promote student award

We have launched a Snapchat advertising campaign to run from January 18th to February 15th to advertise the Student Humorous Essay competition for Ontario students from the ages of 14 to 19.  The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2021, and winners will be announced on May 15th.  More details are given on our student awards page.  At the same time, we emailed as many Ontario high schools as possible, and released a press announcement to Ontario local newspapers.  Results from the campaign so far have been encouraging, as visits to the student awards page quadrupled in January compared to the same month last year.  Final results will be measured by the number of essays we receive.

The ad is shown on the right.  Note the smile on Leacock's face!

February 5, 2021

Submissions for the 2021 medal have now been closed

As of the deadline date of December 31, 2020, 77 submissions have been received on-line.  However, we have still to receive and/or process the packages of books for 9 submissions, so the final entry list is not yet complete.  Packages must be postmarked no later than the deadline date.

January 1, 2021

70 books submitted for the 2021 medal so far

As of December 14, 2020, 70 books have been submitted on-line for the 2021 Leacock Medal for Humour.  The deadline for submissions is Thursday, December 31, 2020, by which time the actual books, submission fee and author's bio must be mailed to us, postmarked no later than the deadline date.  So far, 47 packages of books have been received, verified and confirmed.

Don't delay, authors and publishers, get your submissions in as soon as possible!

Keep track of the books received so far by clicking here.  Interested in submitting a book?  Then see the rules for entry and submission instructions.

December 15, 2020

Glasswaters Foundation confirms grants to endowment fund

glasswaters foundationThe Glasswaters Foundation, based in Campbell River, BC, has generously committed to an annual grant of $20,000 a year for five years to the Stephen Leacock Associates endowment fund that is administered by the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area (CFOA).

As a result of the publicity surrounding the recent Leacock Medal fundraising campaign, the arts committee of the Glasswaters Foundation invited Leacock Associates to submit a proposal for funding, which has now been approved.

Kathy Smail, Executive Director of the Glasswaters Foundation, said "We at glasswaters value the arts and recognize the necessity of humour in these difficult times.  We’re pleased to contribute to securing the future of the Leacock Award."

Michael Hill, President of Stephen Leacock Associates, commented "Our organization is so grateful to the Glasswaters Foundation. After several years of financial insecurity - that frankly threatened the continuation of the Leacock Medal for Humour - having such a group generously donate to our endowment fund helps to keep the award not only afloat but flourishing".

We thank the Glasswaters Foundation for its very generous support.  The Leacock endowment fund was set up last year by two local benefactors, Jim Dykes and Chris Hazel, with the aim of building it up eventually to the point of generating sufficient income to support the Leacock Medal awards in their entirety.

November 4, 2020

Students - You can win a cash prize!

We are reinstating the students’ humour competition in 2021 for humorous stories or humorous personal memoirs for those between 14 and 19 years. They may be students in public, separate, private or home school situations in Ontario. Because the competition was cancelled in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are honouring entries from students who missed out, even if they have gone on to post-secondary education.

There will be cash prizes for the authors of the three winning student essays. First prize is $1,000, second prize is $700, and third prize is $300.

The student award prizes are sponsored by the Dunkley Charitable Foundation.

See our Student Award page for the Entry Conditions and examples of essays by previous winners.

The three winners will be honoured at the Meet the Authors Night, the Friday of The Leacock Gala Weekend, June 4, 2021. There they will read their pieces and receive their cash awards. Two commemorative certificates will be given each student, noting their accomplishment - one for themselves and one for their school.  In addition, each will receive a Gift Certificate towards a humour book of their choice from Manticore Books who will be onsite that evening. They will also hear excerpts from the books of the three finalists for The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and get to meet these and other professional authors.

Please spread the word about this more-than-worthwhile competition!  FYI: There is a module on Humour writing on our website here.

Inquiries may be made to

October 24, 2019

Dunkley Foundation to sponsor Leacock Medal

The Stephen Leacock Associates Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Dunkley Charitable Foundation has generously stepped forward to sponsor the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour award and its associated student essay competition for the next five years.

 Brad and Sara Dunkley, trustees of the Foundation, said that as native Orillians they were keen to ensure that the award receives the financial backing that it deserves.  Brad won the student essay competition in 1993, and fondly remembers attending the Gala Award Dinner where John Levesque received that year's Medal, and Harry Boyle entertained guests with his speech as the Mayor of Mariposa.

Brad and Sara Dunkley

 Michael Hill, President of Stephen Leacock Associates, said that the Stephen Leacock Associates has always been a non-profit group funded by outside sources. Thanks to those generous funders, we have been able to award monetary prizes to our great humour writers over the past 73 years.  After three years without a sponsor, the Dunkley Foundation's generous support of the award is very welcome, and the consistent funding will enable the Associates to further develop the Leacock Medal award and student competition.

 The sponsorship agreement came about as a result of the publicity surrounding the recent fundraising campaign, and will be reviewed by both parties in 2025 with a view to renewing it for another five years.

 Stephen Leacock Associates thanks all those generous donors who have contributed to the fundraising campaign over the last two months.  The proceeds of the campaign will now be used to shore up our financial reserves, and will enable us to explore other potential initiatives such as funding a writer-in-residence program and regular humour nights to maintain awareness of the award.

October 15, 2020


Archive:  We archive out-of-date news items from this page.

Follow us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

2020 Fundraising Campaign Donors

The donors listed below each contributed $100 or more to our August/September/October on-line fundraising campaign in 2020. We are very grateful to all of you (including people who donated lesser amounts) for your support of the Leacock medal.

Anonymous Ramara, ON
Richard Eedy St. Mary's, ON
Jonathon Tait Barrie, ON
Lesley Holland Toronto, ON
Christina Perry Conception Bay South, NL
Valerie McDonald Toronto, ON
Kit Dobson Calgary, AB
Anonymous Bracebridge, ON
Margaret Atwood Toronto, ON
Leslie Dobson Orillia, ON
John Frankel Toronto, ON
Derek Ford Orillia, ON
David Wimsett Kentville, NS
Sheila Burvill Ottawa, ON
Anonymous Dunrobin, ON
Anonymous London, ON
David Eastaugh Toronto, ON
Karla Tremblay Toronto, ON
Verla Hall Orillia, ON
Peter Babiak Vancouver, BC
Anonymous Toronto, ON
Nickle Family Foundation Calgary, AB
Dick and Wendy Johnston Orillia, ON
William Greenizan Toronto, ON
Ted Tiffany Midland, ON
Steve Skurka Toronto, ON
Mary Lou Fallis Port Hope, ON
Michael Mallinson Toronto, ON
June Maresca Markham, ON
Gilbert Storey Richmond Hill, ON
Joan Dejesus Georgetown, ON
R Bruce MacKeen Guysborough, NS
Mauer Chiarello Toronto, ON
Melanie Hazell Toronto, ON
Peter Nosalik Waterloo, ON
Anonymous Toronto, ON
Graham Yeates Kitchener, ON
Edwin and Margaret Johnson London, ON
Susan Grant Orillia, ON
Anonymous Hafford, SK
Grant Dickson Toronto,ON
Donnajean Jefferies Orillia, ON
Anonymous Calgary, AB
Barbara Bissonette Washago, ON
Richard (Dick) Bourgeois-Doyle OTTAWA, ON
Drew Taylor Curve Lake, ON
Douglas Gibson Toronto, ON
Lynn Murray and Bob Gauldie Orillia, ON
Anonymous Windsor, ON
Marion Reidel Guelph, ON
Andrew Lam Toronto, ON
Daniel Byers Orillia, ON
Anne Kallin Orillia, ON
Joe and Pat Dell'Aquila Cambridge, ON
Judy Millar Calgary, AB
Derek Ford Orillia, ON
William Tweed Toronto, ON
Anonymous Vancouver, BC
Terry Toews Swift Current, SK
Marian Robinson North Bay, ON
Anonymous Eston, SK
Beverley Slopen Toronto, ON
Caged Element Inc. Etobicoke, ON
Karleen Bradford Orillia, ON
Anonymous Bristol, UK
Janie Chang Vancouver, BC
Sandra Thomson Nanaimo, BC
Lynda Simmons Burlington, ON
Christopher Cameron Campbellford, ON
Christine Barbetta Toronto, ON
Peggy Bereza Victoria, BC
Vivian Carter Unionville, ON
Kenneth Drope Keswick, ON
Wendy and Fred Fallis Coldwater, ON
Elsa Lam Toronto, ON
Susan Juby Nanaimo, BC
Anonymous Orillia, ON
Doris McLean Orillia, ON
William Deverell Pender Island, BC
Jodie Schaefer Barrie, ON
Mark Lefebvre Waterloo, ON
Jay Fallis Orillia, ON
Terry Fallis Toronto, ON
Words Indeed Publishing Toronto, ON
Sue Mallinson Orillia, ON
David Mallinson Orillia, ON