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Posts Tagged ‘Rhoda Janzen’

Steve Hely Wins the 2010 Thurber Prize

Last night, Steve Hely (pictured with Keith Olbermann) was pronounced this year’s winner of the Thurber Prize. His win includes $5,000 and a crystal plaque. Magazine journalist Jancee Dunn and memoir writer Rhoda Janzen were the other finalists; they each received a Thurber print.

Hely’s resume boasts an extensive career in comedy television writing. He has writing credits from his work on 30 Rock, The Office, The Late Show With David Letterman, and American Dad. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University where he served as president of The Harvard Lampoon. The Thurber Prize honored his debut novel, How I Became a Famous Novelist.

The event was held in New York City’s Algonquin Hotel. MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann made a quick appearance to read from a Thurber volume of fables. Judges for this year’s Thurber Prize include two 2009 finalists, Laurie Notaro and Sloane Crosley. Joining the finalists as a judge is writer-editor Bruce Tracy, who in the past served as editorial director for at Doubleday and Random House. Past winners of the Thurber Prize include David Sedaris, Christopher Buckley, Jon Stewart, and 2-time honoree Ian Frazier.

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Thurber Prize Finalists Announced for the 2010

thurber23.jpgThis year’s $5,000 Thurber Prize is down to three contenders. They are: Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask by Jancee Dunn, How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely, and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (a Memoir of Going Home) by Rhoda Janzen.

This group of authors is a diverse bunch. While in college Hely served as president of the Harvard Lampoon, the university’s famous humor magazine. He currently writes alongside SNL veteran Tina Fey on her series, 30 Rock. Dunn has had an extensive career in magazine journalism having worked on Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Jane. For five years, she wrote under the pseudonym Dr. Sooth as a sex columnist for GQ. Janzen holds a PhD from UCLA and is currently an English professor at Hope College.

The Thurber Prize is now in its 26th year, named after the humorist James Thurber (pictured). The winner will receive $5,000 and a crystal plaque. GalleyCat reported when the 2009 Thurber Prize was awarded to Ian Frazier for his work, Lamentations of the Father. He is a two-time winner of the prize; in 1997 he won for the title, Coyote vs. Acme.