Nelson’s Jennifer Craig wins Leacock award

Craig suffered a stroke before the ceremony and is currently in hospital

Jennifer Craig of Nelson has won the Leacock Medal for Humour, given annually to Canada’s best piece of book-length humour, for her novel, Gone to Pot. The award, given on Saturday in Orillia, Ontario, comes with a $15,000 prize.

But it wasn’t all good news for Craig.

She had a stroke the day before the award ceremony. She and the other two short-listed contenders, Laurie Gelman and Scaachi Koul, were getting ready to meet Orillia’s mayor at a dinner, but Craig ended up in the hands of paramedics and then in the hospital, from where the Star interviewed her on Tuesday.

“I am thrilled to bits. And I’m not in great shape,” she said.

Craig, who is 84, said she is experiencing some balance problems but expects to recover from that. She’s hoping to return to Nelson soon.

She did not get a chance to go on a number of outings for the contenders, or attend the award event.

“But my daughter did,” Craig said. “She’s the one who had all the fun.”

Craig’s daughter Juliet is at her bedside these days and gave the acceptance speech on her mother’s behalf.

“I would not exactly call it fun,” Juliet told the Star. “I was thrilled and so excited and proud of her that she won, but I was a bit of a wreck due to lack of sleep and high stress. It was the most nervous public speaking I have ever done, never mind it had to be funny in a room full of humourists. So there was no pressure there at all.”

Craig says her acceptance speech would have been about all the reasons why it is ridiculous that old age is referred to as the golden years, and about how her publisher took extreme amounts of time to make decisions about whether or not to publish the book.

“So I wrote back asking if they publish posthumously, because in your ‘golden years’ you don’t have months and months to just throw away.”

Craig has some advice for older aspiring writers, spoken in her characteristic feisty style despite her illness.

“I started creative writing in 1994, when I was 60. So when people are old or think they are old, they shouldn’t just say forget it, they should do what they want to do. There is a lot you can do. I would like to encourage that. It’s time we showed those youngsters what life is all about.”

Gone to Pot, set in Nelson, is about a grandmother who has fallen on hard times and takes up growing pot as a livelihood.

Related: Nelson author shortlisted for humour award (May 2018)



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Town Council candidates draw a crowd

More than 200 people filed into Prince Charles Theatre to learn more about Creston Town Council election candidates.

A perfect storm of technical difficulties

The issue was with website server problems outside of our control.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Creston Community Park project progressing

Hillside surveying and sculpting to take place.

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

Most Read