2021 Leacock Medal Award

Prizes

Winner:  $15,000

Runners-up (two):  $3,000 each

Important Dates

Start Date for submission of entries:  August 1, 2020.  (See the information below)

Entry deadline for the 2021 Leacock Medal for Humour: Postmarked no later than December 31, 2020.

Long list (10 books) announcement: On or around Sunday, April 17, 2021.

Shortlist (three books) announcement: On or around Monday, May 3, 2021.

Leacock Medal winner announcement: Scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2021, at our Gala Award Dinner.  All short-listed authors must attend.  Full details will be confirmed and updated here and on social media.

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.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Entries must be postmarked no later than DECEMBER 31, 2020
ENTRY FEE: $200
Submissions for the 2021 medal will be accepted from August 1, 2020. They may be entered on-line from July 17 onwards, for the purposes of printing a submission form ahead of time to accompany the books.

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 (2020).
  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 (2020).
  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 (2020), 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.
  9. Your package must include:
    – Printout of the submission form (see below).
    – The entry fee of $200 payable by cheque to Stephen Leacock Associates.
    – Author biography.
    – Eight (8) copies of the book. ** We cannot return entered books. **

NOTE:  All three finalists must be available to attend the Gala Award Dinner in June. Further details to be announced.

Please see submission instructions below.

TIMETABLE: 

A long list of 10 books will be released April 17, 2021.
A short list of three books will be released May 3, 2021.
The winner and runners-up will be announced at our Gala Dinner on June 5, 2021. 

Submission Instructions

Starting with the award for 2021, we are introducing a new way of accepting book submissions.  Instead of providing a fillable PDF submission form, we are asking 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.
  3. Author biography.
  4. Eight (8) copies of the book. ** We cannot return entered books. **

Please mail the completed package to:

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

For 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 by the Leacock Board of Directors 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.

There is a reading committee located in Orillia comprised of approximately twelve members who remain on the committee for varying lengths of time.

Each entry is read by the judges and the members of the reading committee, then given a score from one to ten points. Each judge submits his or her top ten books, with the first choice receiving a score of ten, the second nine and so forth. The reading committee follows the same scoring system, and those results are averaged to give the committee the equivalent of one vote.

Therefore, each judge has one vote, as does the reading committee in whole, for a total of six votes. The book with the highest number of votes is declared the winner; the shortlist consists of the two books with the next highest scores.

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

ON THIS PAGE:

Important Dates

How to Enter

Rules for Entry

Submission Instructions

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

Judging Information


2021:

2021 Entries


2020:

2020 Entries

2020 Longlist

2020 Shortlist

2020 Winner

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


2019:

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:

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

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.