Sue Granzella Humor Prize Category
First Prize: $100
Second Prize: $50
Third Prize: $25
One piece per entry, up to 3,000 words. Make me laugh out loud! Any form is fine—prose, poetry, a scene from a play, a list—as long as what you send feels complete in itself. For example, choose that funny short story with a satisfying arc over the excerpt that would leave me hanging.
Notes on my thinking about humor:
- Humor is subjective.
- That said: “Heartwarming,” to me, is not synonymous with “funny.”
- “Cute” can be funny, but just because something is cute, it’s not necessarily funny to me.
- One mildly funny punchline at the end of a serious piece doesn’t, to my mind, change it into a humor piece.
- Ranting with an intolerant tone is definitely not funny to me.
Choose the well-written piece that will make me surrender to glorious laughter, and your work will be done!
Sue Granzella (San Leandro, CA) taught elementary school in Bay Area public schools for thirty-two years. A classic example of “It’s never too late,” Sue started writing in 2010 after a chance conversation with a New England artist. Since then, her creative nonfiction has been recognized as Notable in Best American Essays. She has won a Memoirs Ink contest, the Naomi Rodden Essay Award, was runner-up in the Teachers and Writers Magazine competition, and won numerous awards in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition before she began judging the contest. Sue’s work has been extensively published, including in McSweeney’s, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Masters Review, Full Grown People, Gravel, Ascent, Citron Review, Hippocampus, Night Shift Radio, and many others.
Most of Sue’s writing has centered on teaching young students in low-income-area public schools. These days, she finds herself inspired by children’s capacity to embrace diversity, and to forgive. Sue was very active in the leadership of her teachers’ union, and takes pride in being labeled a “union ninja.” She has completed a collection of essays about teaching, and is searching for a publisher. Interested parties may contact her directly.
- Author Website
- Sue’s Humor piece in McSweeney’s
- Sue’s Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle
- Sue’s essay in Ascent
- First Prize: Joshua Ritter of Boynton Beach, FL
You Must Let Go of the Trapeze
- Second Prize: Robert Lombardi of Denville, NJ
Bickering with Kevin
- Third Prize: Steve Holland of Greensburg, IN
Operation Spoiled Peaches
2022 Honorable Mentions
Robert Robeson of Lincoln, NE for A Preacher’s Kid Expose
Debbie Wolinsky of Highlands, NJ for The First Granddog
Debbie Wolinsky of Highlands, NJ Sharing My Wisdom with the Next Generation
Tobey Hiller of San Rafael, CA for Fishbone
Ilona Duncan of Heathsville, VA for An Uninvited Guest