Welcome, Students!

Here's your chance to win some money to help with your university or college education, or some other purpose of your choosing (we don't ask what!).  We offer cash prizes as indicated below for your humorous short story or essay.  Please see the details below.

2024 Student Competition


FIRST PRIZE – $1,500

Important Dates:

April 15, 2024:  Deadline for submissions.

May 15, 2024:  Announcement of winners

June 21, 2024: Winners will read their works at the Meet the Authors evening, and will receive their awards.

Criteria for the 2024 Competition:

Entering your essay on-line:

Sending entries by mail:

The three winners will be honoured at the Meet the Authors Night, the Friday of the Leacock Gala Weekend, June 21, 2024, and will read their stories that evening, as part of the program.
Each will receive a Gift Certificate towards a humour book of their choice from Manticore Books who will be onsite that evening.  As well, they will hear excerpts from the books of the finalists for The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and get to meet these and other professional authors.

The first-place winner will also receive two tickets for the Gala Dinner on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at which the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour will be announced.

Inquiries may be made by email to Christine Spear, Registrar - Student Awards, at studentawards@leacock.ca.

How the Student Competition is judged

To make judging as fair as possible, all entries are judged blind. Entries are opened on arrival in Orillia by a disinterested party who removes the cover page and assigns a number to the entry. The number is placed in a register, along with the student’s name and school, and the numbered entry is then passed to the committee. The register is not returned to the committee until the judging is complete.

We have three judges (they change every two years or so), who are all published authors. Many over the years have been winners of, or short-listed for, the Leacock Medal for Humour.

The judges rank and assess each work according to merit criteria, and the highest ranked three are considered winners.

Teaching Resources:

An excellent module for the post-secondary teaching of humour is available FREE from Stephen Leacock Associates.  

Download here.

(You will need Adobe Reader to display the contents)

Types of Humour in Literature (a mini-guide to humour in literature)


Previous Student Competitions:

2024 Student Award Winners

2023 Student Award Winners

2022 Student Award Winners

2021 Student Award Winners

2018 Student Award Winners

2017 Student Award Winners

There were no competitions in 2019 and 2020.

Winning Essays, 2024:

Port and Starbucks by Sylvie Potje, Winner, 2024

War, Sports, and Massage Parlours, Marcus DiCerbo, Runner-up, 2024

Twintuition, Iris Matthews, Runner-up, 2024

Winning Essays, 2023:

The Elephant in the Room(ba), by Sylvie PotjeWinner, 2023

As An Immigrant, Do I Have The Right To Write The Title?, by Chiara Alfinito, Second Place, 2023

The Eighth Wonder of the World, by Lillian Guo, Third Place Tie, 2023

Adventures on the DraftKings™ Trans-Canada Highway by Cyrus Sarfaty, Third Place Tie, 2023

Winning Essays, 2022:

Any Title Will Do, It’s Simply Rubbish, by Amy GhobrialWinner, 2022

Nothing Ever Changes in Fairytale Forest, by George Vanderlaan, Second Place, 2022

DisORDERly Conduct, by Bethany Robert, Third Place, 2022

Winning Essays, 2021:

A Regrettable Afternoon, as told by Gordon R. Ibitt, by Vincenzo Fracassi, Winner, 2021

A Samosa By Any Other Name, by Bethany Robert, Second Place, 2021

Froyo Fables of Forestville, by Caius Harbridge, Third Place, 2021

Winning Essays, 2018:

G.R.A.M.M.A.R., by Atara Juroviesky, Winner, 2018

McMission Impossible, by Sydney Force, Second Place, 2018

The Zoo, by Naama Weingarten, Third Place, 2018

Winning Essays, 2017:

The Name Game, by Ben Wrixon, Winner, 2017

Shocking Discovery: The Elusive Elderly Teenager by Lauren Radigan, Second Place, 2017

The Hair King Experience, by Narayan Subramoniam, Third Place, 2017

Winning Essays, 2016:

Orange to the Thigh, by Ben Wrixon, Second Place, 2016