Thurber Prize for American Humor

The Thurber Prize for American Humor is the only recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States. A panel of national judges selects the three finalists from a selection of seven or eight semi-finalists.

Submissions are closed for the 2017 Thurber Prize.

Thurber House is pleased to announce the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor Semi-Finalists:

Negin FarsadHow to Make White People Laugh
Yi Shun LaiNot a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu
Trevor NoahBorn a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Ken PisaniAmp'd
Phoebe RobinsonYou Can't Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain
Adam Ehrlich SachsInherited Disorders: Stories, Parables, & Problems
Iris SmylesDating Tips for the Unemployed
Aaron ThierMr. Eternity

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Carolines Comedy Club in New York City on October 2, 2017. The winner of the Prize receives $5,000, a commemorative plaque, and is invited to Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio as a featured guest at a special event.

The judges for the 2017 Thurber Prize are:

Joe Blundo: Joe Blundo's column, So To Speak, began appearing in the lifestyle section of The Columbus Dispatch in May 1997. It's a mix of humor, human interest and information. In 2002, Joe won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists contest for humor writing in large newspapers. He has been at The Columbus Dispatch since 1978.

Julie Schumacher: Julie Schumacher's first published story, "Reunion," written to fulfill an undergraduate writing assignment ("tell a family tale") was reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 1983. Subsequent stories were published in The Atlantic, MS, Minnesota Monthly, and Prize Stories: The O.Henry Awards 1990 and 1996. Julie is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota. She is the first female winner of the Thurber Prize for her book Dear Committee Members.

Ian Frazier: Ian Frazier is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He has been contributing to the magazine since 1974, when he published his first piece in The Talk of the Town. Since then, he has published numerous short stories and nonfiction, Shouts & Murmurs, and Talk of the Town pieces in the magazine. He is the author of eleven books, and a two-time winner of the Thurber Prize for his books Coyote v. Acme and Lamentations of the Father.


Thanks to an anonymous fund of The Columbus Foundation and to the Greater Columbus Arts Council for support of this program.