2009 Shortlist of Leacock Medal Finalists Announced

    - National award recognizes the most humorous book written by a Canadian
    and published in Canada -

    ORILLIA, ON, April 1 /CNW/ - Award-winning children's author Sheree
Fitch, renowned crime writer William Deverell and former University of Toronto
political science professor Jack MacLeod are among the 2009 finalists who were
announced today for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.
    The Orillia-based Stephen Leacock Association awards the annual literary
prize to the English-language book judged to be the most humorous one
published in Canada, by a Canadian, in the previous year. This national award
includes a $15,000 cash prize courtesy of TD Bank Financial Group and the
silver Leacock Memorial Medal. This year, for the first time ever, each of the
four runners-up will also receive a cheque for $1500 for their efforts thanks
also to TD.
    Terry Fallis won the medal in 2008 for his book The Best Laid Plans,
marking the first time a self-published novel had ever won this prestigious
    "The Leacock Memorial Award has recognized Canadian literary talent for
more than 50 years. Given the steady stream of hilarious, homegrown work being
written, we think it's here to stay and we're proud to support it," said Jamie
Collins, District Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "Our community giving
efforts include several reading programs however one of the most effective
ways to increase literacy levels is by simply enjoying a good book. We share
in the excitement of this award with the finalists."
    This year's finalists include William Deverell for his book Kill All the
Judges. No newcomer to award recognition, Mr. Deverell won the 2006 Arthur
Ellis Award, the 1997 Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writing
and the $50,000 Seal Award for his first novel back in 1979. Poet and
children's author Sheree Fitch also made the Leacock Award shortlist with her
book titled Kiss the Joy As It Flies, a bittersweet and irreverent look at
dying. Mark Leiren-Young's portrait of small-town British Columbia, as seen
through the eyes of a rookie newspaper reporter, is chronicled in Never Shoot
A Stampede Queen. Jack MacLeod's novel Uproar offers a humorous story which
touches on serious issues at the same time that it makes you laugh. In the
Land of the Long Fingernails is the unusual title of Charles Wilkins' memoir
about his summer job as a gravedigger back in 1969.
    Six judges from across Canada and a group of 11 readers from the local
community will select the winner, to be announced April 30, 2009 at the
Stephen Leacock Museum in Orillia, Ontario.

    The Leacock Medal for Humour was first awarded in 1947, three years after
the death of the author of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Past Leacock
winners include W.O. Mitchell, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Roch Carrier,
Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Hill, Director, Stephen Leacock
Association, (705) 325-9843, mghill@rogers.com; Gregory Harrison, TD Bank
Financial Group, (416) 308-8597, gregory.harrison@td.com

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