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Leiren-Young wins Leacock Medal Add to ...

A memoir of his time as a young journalist at Williams Lake in the B.C. interior has won Vancouver's Mark Leiren-Young the 2009 Leacock Medal for Humour.

Leiren-Young, 47, took the $15,000 prize for his first-ever book, Never Shoot a Stampede Queen: A Rookie Reporter in the Cariboo Country.

Better known as a playwright, freelance journalist, filmmaker and live performer, Leiren-Young was one of five finalists for the Leacock, awarded annually, with one exception (in 1959) since 1947.

Thanks to sponsorship by TD Financial Group, each of this year's runners-up receives $1,500, a first in Leacock history. They are William Deverell ( Kill All the Judges ), Sheree Fitch ( Kiss the Joy as It Flies ), Jack MacLeod ( Uproar) and Charles Wilkins ( In the Land of the Long Fingernails ).

Previous Leacock laureates include Mordecai Richler, Eric Nicol, W.O. Mitchell and, in 1979, Sondra Gotlieb, one of only a handful of women to win the prize.

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