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.

Click here to download an application for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor (PDF)

Click here to download the guidelines for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor (PDF)

Books and e-books published January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 are eligible for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, March 31, 2017.

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.

Click here for a list of past Thurber Prize winners and finalists.

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