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Tsawwassen-roots writer longlisted for Leacock Medal for Humour award

Christina Myers’ The List of Last Chances is one of 10 authors recognized
Christina Myers
Christina Myers' book The List of Last Chances has made it on the longlist for the Leacock Medal award.

At first, Christina Myers was certain there was a mistake when she saw her book on the longlist for the annual Leacock Medal award, especially because it was snuggled up beside Rick Mercer’s in the announcement’s photo.

It was at 7 a.m. on June 1 when she opened the email announcing which 10 authors had made it onto the list – never expecting to see her own name there for her first-ever fiction book, The List of Last Chances.

“I’m still just baffled. The first few days I was thinking, like, somebody’s going to call you up and say, ‘Oh gosh, there’s been a mix-up. This is really embarrassing. We’re really sorry.’ And I just kept bracing for that to happen because there’s some pretty heavy hitters on that list,” said the former Tsawwassen resident.

The List of Last Chances, which was published last year, is a witty, hilarious read that tells the story of main character Ruthie’s “last-ditch effort to pull herself up from rock bottom,” reads publisher Caitlin Press’ website.

The story revolves around a generation-bridging, unlikely friendship and a sight-seeing, sexual-bucket-list ticking road trip across Canada.

In addition to being longlisted for the Leacock Medal, Myers’ book has also been shortlisted for the 2022 Fred Kerner Book Award.

The List of Last Chances also been a huge hit with book clubs over the past year.

“I’ve done virtual Zoom visits with a bunch of book clubs, and others have reached out to tell me that their club is doing the book and ask if I have any questions specifically for book clubs ... This has been one of the most rewarding things to participate in – hearing people’s first-hand enthusiasm, or their questions or sometimes things that they didn’t like about the book, too, which is helpful to know as a writer,” says Myers.

She now has a list of potential book-club questions available on her website because of all the enthusiasm.

Seeing how much others enjoy her book, in addition to the awards’ recognition, has been incredibly rewarding and encouraging she adds.

“I really feel like I’ve sort of been just spinning my wheels. It feels like there’s constantly other things that need attention other than my writing ... Maintaining the consistent freelance work that I do, and maintaining a family life and keeping everybody sane and healthy in a pandemic has really made me feel like I haven’t accomplished very much,” she says. “So, in a weird way, these awards are a nice boost to kind of remind myself, like, ‘No, you’ve accomplished something and you can accomplish more. It’s just taking you a little bit longer and that’s just the stage that you’re in.’”

In memory of the humourist, author, economist and lecturer himself, the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour annually recognizes excellence in Canadian literary humour while encouraging the growth of Canadian humour writing.

The shortlist will be announced on Aug. 15, and then the medal winner will be announced at the Leacock Medal Award gala dinner on Sept. 17.

The List of Last Chances is available to purchase at both independent bookstores and major retailers, online and in store.