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The award has attained an international reputation and is the only one of its kind for Canadian humour writing
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The prestigious Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, accompanied by a $15,000 prize, is awarded annually for the best book of literary humour written by a Canadian and published in the preceding year.

The award has attained an international reputation and is the only one of its kind for Canadian humour writing. It has been awarded since 1947, and, as such, is one of the oldest literary awards in Canada.

The winning author also receives a cash prize of $15,000, and the two runners-up each receive a cash prize of $3,000. 

We are now calling for submissions for the 2019 award, and encourage you to pass this information on to qualifying authors.


Monday, Dec. 31, 2018: The deadline for submissions for the 2018 award and prizes. Rules for entry are given below.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019: A long list announcement will identify the top 10 books being considered for the prize.

Wednesday, May 6, 2019: A short list announcement will identify the top three of the long-listed books (finalists) from which the winner will be chosen.  

Saturday, June 8, 2019: The winner will be announced at a gala dinner to be held in Orillia, Ont. All three finalists are required to attend the gala dinner, which is part of a weekend of celebration of Canadian literary humour.

Stephen Leacock Associates reserves the right to alter these dates, if necessary.

Rules for entry:

1.  The major emphasis of each entry MUST be on humour, but literary merit and insightful content are also important. Books of cartoons and graphic novels are eligible only if they contain a substantial amount of textual material. Self-published books are acceptable if published in physical form and in conformance to all other rules.

2.  All entries must carry an ISBN.

3.  All entries must have been published in 2018.  

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 2018.

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 Dec. 31, 2018, but the judges appreciate earlier submissions.

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 returned.

9.  Your submission package must include:
  • A printout of a completed submission form. 
  • The entry fee of $200 in the form of a cheque payable to: Stephen Leacock Associates.
  • The author’s biography (for publicity)
  • Eight copies of the book.  ** We cannot return entered books. **

NOTE: Publishers are responsible for the expenses connected with the award dinner for their shortlisted author(s). All three finalists must be available to attend the Gala Award Dinner on June 9, 2018. Further details will be announced later.

Submission form:

The submission form and all information about the award may be found on our web site at this link.

The submission form is an editable PDF file. Please save it under a name of your choosing, open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader, fill it in and print a hard copy to send to us with your book copies. (Please note that if you fill it in first using your web browser and then save it, the contents will not be saved)

Please mail the completed package to:

Stephen Leacock Associates
Attn. Bette Walker
149 Peter St. N.
Orillia, ON L3V 4Z4

For further information about the submission process, please contact Bette Walker at