Fire up your funny bones, young writers of the Rainy River district. The Steven Leacock Associates would like to hear from you.
The Associates, which are best known for the prestigious Leacock Medal for Humour, are seeking submissions for the Leacock Student Humorous Essay Competition of 2024.
This annual competition is open to Ontario students between 14 and 19 for humorous stories or personal memoirs. All forms of humour are welcome – satire has always been popular in the contest, but one-line zingers, slapstick, whimsy and comedy noir are all fair game. Entrants may be attending public, separate, private or home school systems in Ontario. Winners have come from across the province, but only two from northwestern Ontario have made it onto the shortlist in recent years – Liam Beaulne for “In Search of the Elusive Hotdog” and Charlotte Johnson for “In the Land of Mushroom Clouds”, both of Hammarsjold High School, Thunder Bay, were on the short-list for the 2018 awards.
Steven Leacock was a Canadian humour writer, who lived from 1869 to 1944. He actively published his tales of follies from 1910 until his death, with several collections published posthumously. One of his best-known books is Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, published in 1912, and adapted into animated shorts by the National Film Board, and live-action performances by the CBC.
Prizes for the student award are sponsored by Dunkley Charitable Foundation. The first place essay will win a $1,500 prize, with two runner-up prizes of $750.
The pieces are judged blind by a three-person panel of published authors. Many of the judges have been winners of, or short-listed for, the Leacock Medal for Humour.
The contest closes on April 15, 2024, and can be submitted online or as a mail-in entry.Winners will be announced on May 15, 2024, and will be honoured at a “Meet the Authors” and Student Showcase event on June 21, 2024 in Orillia.
To view the Student Awards web page, including entry details and writing samples from past winners, visit https://leacock.ca/studentaward.php.