We are excited to share the shortlist for the SmokeLong Quarterly Comedy Prize 2021. Four of the entries listed below will win $400 each. Judging this competition has been a masterclass in writing humo(u)r. The process has made us rethink what makes a reader laugh. It’s safe to say that very few of the entries in this competition made every judge laugh–not even all the entries on this list. Making us laugh was a pretty big plus (it’s a comedy competition). We also gave points for making us smile, smirk, and cringe (in a good way). Takeaways from running our first comedy competition: 1) penises must be considered to be innately funny. OK, so there was only one takeaway.
But seriously. Thank you to the entrants of this competition for making it such a challenge and such a needed respite from the gloom. Congratulations to the writers of the 14 entries that made it to our shortlist below.
Dear entrants, we argued vehemently over your work. For this we thank you. PS: we continue to argue blindly, so while we encourage social media bliss please refrain from identifying your entry. We will be announcing the winners a week before the publication of the December issue of SmokeLong.
1973 by Frances Gapper
Bienvenue à La Petite Bespoke Bibliothèque! by Elizabeth Turner
Dear Mum by Alex Ho
Flight 782 by Tanner Armatis
I’m the Henchman from Witness Who Was Buried in Grain, Here to Warn You About the Dangers of Silos by Dorian Fox
New Study Suggests “Celtic Punk” Not a Thing: Implications Could Affect as Many as 32 People Globally by Kathleen Flann
Pet Names by David Cook
Re: Your Short-Story Collection by Camille Verzal
Send Us Your Stories by Paul Riker
So Emotional by Genevieve Abravanel
The Genesis of Coffee by Audrey Burges
The Reason Wolverine and Deadpool Are Flambéing on the Barbecue by Jo Withers
There’s Only Room For One on a High Horse by EL Appleby
WELCOME BACK TO NEW YORK CITY POST-COVID WHERE YOU’LL FIND YOUR APARTMENT EXACTLY AS YOU LEFT IT, ONLY A LOT WORSE, LIKE ATROCIOUS by Jessica Bern
Congratulations from Team SmokeLong!