2023 Leacock Medal Award

Submissions for the 2023 Medal have now been closed.


Winner:  $25,000

Runners-up (two):  $4,000 each

Important Dates

Start Date for submission of entries:  August 1, 2022.  (See the information below)

Entry deadline for the 2023 Leacock Medal for Humour: The package of books may be postmarked no later than December 31, 2022.  (It is not sufficient to simply fill in the on-line submission form by the deadline.)

Long list (10 books) announcement: On or around Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Shortlist (three books) announcement: On or around Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

Leacock Medal winner announcement: Scheduled for Saturday September 16, 2023at the Gala Dinner.  

How to Enter

Authors and publishers must submit their books according to the rules and instructions given below.  Ensure that your entry follows all the rules, fill in the submission form, and mail a copy with the books, together with the entry fee.  Be sure to upload the required bio, synopsis/blurb and photo files.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Entries must be postmarked no later than DECEMBER 31, 2022
Submissions for the 2023 medal will be accepted from August 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

Rules for Entry

  1. The major emphasis of each entry MUST be on humour, but literary merit and insightful comment are also important. Books of cartoons and graphic novels are eligible only if they contain a substantial amount of textual material.
  2. All entries must carry an ISBN.
  3. All entries must have been published in the current year (2022).
  4. The author or authors must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants and living at the time of publication.
  5. The language of the entry must be English. In the case of a translation from another language, the translation must have been published in the current year (2022).
  6. The following are not eligible:
    – Books of which significant or substantial parts have been previously published in book form.
    – Collections of writings compiled by someone other than the original author.
    – Books with more than two authors.
    – Electronic books.
  7. The deadline for submissions is December 31 of the current year (2022), but earlier submissions are appreciated by the judges.
  8. Submitted books are distributed among the judges and/or added to collections of works of Canadian humour held for purposes of literary research in the Orillia Public Library and in libraries of the following universities: McGill, Toronto, McMaster and Alberta. They are, therefore, not returnable.


All three finalists must be available to attend the Gala Award Dinner in September. Failure to attend may result in forfeiture of the Medal and prize money!
Publishers who are submitting books on behalf of their authors MUST check with them that they are available on that date.

Please see submission instructions below.

Submission Instructions

Starting with the award for 2021, we introduced a new way of accepting book submissions.  Instead of providing a fillable PDF submission form, we now ask authors and publishers to enter the submission details on-line.

The steps in this process are as follows:

When entering the data:

Please fill in as much information as you can, beyond those items marked as essential.  This means full addresses.  Self-publishers do not need to fill in all the publisher details.

Your package must include:

  1. Printout of the submission form.
  2. The entry fee of $200 payable by cheque or money order to Stephen Leacock Associates. 
    NEW FACILITY!  You may now eTransfer your entry fee to bookfees@leacock.ca
    Please make sure you include the Submission ID in your message.
  3. Eight (8) copies of the book. ** We cannot return entered books. **

Mail the package to:

Bette Walker
149 Peter St N
Orillia, ON L3V 4Z4

This package must arrive or be postmarked no later than the submission deadline date.

Files to be uploaded:

The author's bio and photo, book jacket synopsis/blurb and a photo of the book cover must also be uploaded using our Electronic File Upload Facility

A comprehensive author's bio must be provided as a PDF file with the extension ".pdf".

The book jacket synopsis/blurb must be provided as a PDF file with the extension “.pdf”.

The two photos must be in high resolution (at least 1MB/300 dpi, but no wider than 2500 pixels) and must be uploaded in jpg (jpeg) format.  The first is a  portrait style coloured head shot of the author on a plain background and the second is a portrait style colour shot of the book cover. These are for print and online use by Stephen Leacock Associates and the Stephen Leacock Museum for display and promotional advertising.

For any further information:

Please contact Bette Walker at awardschair@leacock.ca.

Judging information

The integrity of our judging — how it works:

Five judges from across Canada are appointed for a term of approximately three years. The members of the jury remain anonymous throughout their tenure; as well, they have no contact whatsoever with one another.

Each entry is read by the judges then marked for use of humour, content, and literary writing style with the major emphasis being on humour. Each judge adds up their marks and then submits her/his top ten books, with the first choice receiving a score of twelve, the second nine and so forth. The shortlist consists of the three books with the highest scores and the book with the highest marks is declared the winner.

It is important to note that each judge acts independently in order to ensure fairness.


Important Dates

How to Enter

Rules for Entry

Submission Instructions

Submission Form 
Please see the Submission Instructions (below left) before filling in the form.

Electronic File Upload Facility

Judging Information


2023 Entries


2022 Entries

2022 Long List

2022 Shortlist

2022 Winner

The winner for 2022 is Rick Mercer for his memoir Talking to Canadians, published by Doubleday Canada. 


2021 Entries

2021 Longlist

2021 Shortlist

2021 Winner

The winner for 2021 is Thomas King for his novel Indians on Vacation, published by HarperCollins Publishers. 


2020 Entries

2020 Longlist

2020 Shortlist

2020 Winner

The winner for 2020 was Heidi L.M. Jacobs for her novel Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear, published by NeWest Press. 


2019 Entries

2019 Longlist

2019 Shortlist

2019 Winner

The winner for 2019 was Cathal Kelly for his book Boy Wonders, published by Doubleday Canada.  See the video of an amusing interview about his book with TVO's Nam Kiwanuka.


2018 Entries

2018 Longlist

2018 Shortlist

2018 Winner:

The winner for 2018 was Jennifer Craig for her book Gone to Pot, published by Second City Press


2017 Entries

2017 Long List

2017 Short List

2017 Winner:

The winner for 2017 was Gary Barwin with his book Yiddish for Pirates, published by Penguin Random House Canada.  Read his acceptance speech.