He won! He won! Terry Fallis won the 2008 Leacock Medal.

I just returned from lunch to discover this in my inbox:

Terry Fallis Wins 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour

    ORILLIA, ON, April 30 /CNW/ - The suspense felt by five finalists for the
2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour came to an exciting conclusion today for
Terry Fallis and his novel The Best Laid Plans. The announcement was made at a
celebratory luncheon on the grounds of the historical Stephen Leacock Memorial
Museum in Orillia, Ontario. Fallis will receive a $10,000 prize courtesy of
TD Bank Financial Group for his winning entry.
    "It is somehow appropriate that this year's winner be an author with an
interest in the foibles of federal politics as Leacock himself had more than a
passing interest in the subject. He'd be delighted with the comic antics
described by Fallis," said Wayne Scott, President of the Leacock Association.
    The Best Laid Plans, Mr. Fallis's first book, centres on a cranky and
reluctant political candidate who consents to run in a federal election based
on the fact that he is "certain-to-lose." He accepts the task with the proviso
that he won't campaign, give media interviews, canvass door-to-door, attend
all-candidate meetings, use lawn signs, have contact with campaign workers or
even be in the country during the election campaign! As the reader can well
imagine, things do not turn out as anticipated - the key to successful comedy.
    The other books nominated for this year's award were The Gum Thief by
former nominee Douglas Coupland; Spanish Fly by former two-time Leacock
medalist Will Ferguson; And God Created Manyberries by Ron Wood; and King John
of Canada by Scott Gardiner.
    The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded since 1947 as a
means to honour the dean of Canadian humourists and to perpetuate humorous
writing in Canada. Some of Canada's finest authors - Pierre Berton,
W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies - have all been
recipients of the award over the past six decades. Last year's winner was CBC
broadcaster and author Stuart McLean for Secrets of the Vinyl Cafe. The award
is presented each year to the most humourous English-language book written by
a Canadian and in addition to being presented with the silver medal, the
winner also receives a $10,000 prize from TD Bank Financial Group. The Leacock
Association is also grateful to its other generous sponsors: Osprey media,
Lakehead University and Orillia's Thor Motors.
    Both the medal and the cheque will be presented to Mr. Fallis at the
annual Leacock dinner to be held June 7, 2008 at Geneva Park near Orillia,

Terry, all of us at Thornley Fallis and 76design are tremendously proud of you!

And now, will you please select us to be the agency that does your national book tour? 🙂

Previous posts about Terry’s nomination:

Video interview with Terry about the Leacock nomination and what it means to him

Terry Fallis is nominated for the Leacock Award

UPDATE: See Terry’s acceptance speech on the Orillia Packet & Times Website. (Thanks to Michael Seaton for pointing to this.)

Terry Fallis talks about The Best Laid Plans and the Leacock Medal shortlist

Terry Fallis, the Fallis in Thornley Fallis, isn’t content just to be a successful public relations executive. No, he feels the need to scratch his creative itch in others ways. Most notably, by writing, publishing and promoting The Best Laid Plans, a political novel set in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

And clearly he not only writes, but he writes well. The Best Laid Plans has been nominated for the Leacock Medal for humour.

Terry took some time to talk to me about the experience of writing The Best Laid Plans and using social media to promote it and what the Leacock nomination means to him. Some of the things we talked about:

  • How did he manage to write a novel and keep up his very demanding work commitments? Writing at night, Saturday mornings and on airplanes. (Boy, I wish I had his discipline.)
  • For those of us who know Terry, we shouldn’t be surprised to see elements of Terry in the two principal characters of the novel. He drew on his own experience and character traits to construct these two very believable, fully realized characters.
  • How does a first time novelist get his novel published and discovered by an audience? By self publishing and using social media to promote it. Terry podcast the novel – reading it one chapter at a time in 20 episodes. He hosted the podcast on terryfallis.com and discovered that readers talked to him about the novel. And in fact, some created promotional content, including pictures of themselves in front of state capitals in Melbourne, Boston, Austin, Ottawa and elsewhere.
  • What has the shortlist for the Leacock Medal done for him? Well, no movie offers yet. But, one of Canada’s more prominent literary agents, Beverley Slopen, has agreed to represent him. And it looks hopeful that the novel will be picked up by a mainline publishing house.

You can watch the interview with Terry below. It lasts about 10 minutes.