The Mona Schreiber Prize for 
Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction

Winners of the 2009 Mona Schreiber Prize for 
Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction:

1st Place, 2009: “A Nice, Wholesome Family Show” © Moira Williams, Dana Point, CA

 Welcome to my reality show! My husband Rob and I are adopting a baby and the kind producers at All About Babies network, where the programs range from showing complicated births, babies who try to tap dance their way out, babies with three arms (What do they do with the third arm? Tuck it to the side like they’re cannoning down a water slide? Watch to find out!), etc., to babies toilet training (They poo themselves in the cutest of places!), have contracted with us for a two-man camera crew to track our journey. And pay us $10,000 per episode aired. I read that the Octomom had four camera guys and $20,000 per episode, but who’s complaining? On with the show!

 Did I say my husband’s name is Rob? Freudian slip. Rob is our Schnauzer. I adore Rob. He gives me sticky, wet kisses. When my husband Roy gives me sticky, wet kisses, it’s because he has raspberry jelly on his face. I told him the camera adds ten pounds. Does he want to look like John Gosselin? Like he’s smuggling bags of mini-marshmallows under his clothing? When we were married, he had sultry, greasy, long locks of hair, like a pirate, a sexy Viking pirate. Later, we found out he was infertile. Our religions dictates I cannot sleep with his hot brother to get pregnant, so we’re trying this.

 There is a twist to the show. Roy, Rob and I are dropped onto an island, and we must compete in a number of challenges to win the African baby Jeff Probst has hidden somewhere on the island. You will love the first episode. Heidi Klum challenges us to make baby booties, diapers and “onesies” out of leaves and branches. Then, an evil adoption officer named Simon Cowell makes us perform Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” Can dyslexic Roy learn the words in time? Can Rob the Schnauzer do up tempo modern? Is Simon Cowell allergic to monkeys? Tune in to find out.

 Have I been saying Roy? My husband’s name is Ray. Roy is his hot brother. With short hair, Ray looks like a eunuch.

 Reality TV isn’t all margaritas and flirting with the camera guy, who looks like your husband’s hot brother. Life on reality TV can be hard, because it’s even more real than real life, because it’s on TV. Sometimes, I was hungry, lonely and bored. When this happened, I would convince Rob the Schnauzer and a few members of the production crew to hike the quarter mile to the nearest village, where we bartered Power Bars and Gatorade for cornmeal and oranges. Once, I traded my only shirt for a nice, hot plate of spinach. The crew would get ground Boo Brim leaf. When I first heard of it, I thought Heidi Klum was trying to speak English, but then they told me that Boo Brim is a natural stimulant, aphrodisiac, drain cleaner, teeth whitener and deodorant. Rob the Schnauzer ate some and started singing like Rosemary Clooney.

 I did not try any but if I had, I would have described it as tasting like Cocoa Puffs, if Cocoa Puffs were made by the sexy Nordic Viking pirates I dream about. That night, I climbed all over Ray like a mermaid, a hot mermaid princess fleeing her father who is forcing her into joining the family chorus. I might have had a little trouble finding Ray in the dark, though.

 I will just tell you about the last episode, since there was a completely accidental, unfortunate incident, where I tripped over a Baobab root and landed with my hands on a cameraman’s bare, er, trunk, and with pending litigation, the footage can’t be aired on national TV. But have you seen a Baobab root? Totally an occupational hazard.

 Ray, Rob and I ballroom dance our way through an obstacle course, partnered with Hamid Karzai, Kim Jong Il of North Korea and Bo, the Portuguese water dog. Our prize is not one but 37 ½ babies. My maternal muscle spasms and I crouch over until I can stand straight again. Rob the Schnauzer howls, “Fly Me to the Moon.”

 Now, our extended reality show, Lisa, Ray, Rob the Schnauzer, Ray’s Hot Brother and Millions of Babies is coming into your house. Welcome to the family. You’ll fall in love with Ray. He grew his hair out and looks just like a sexy Viking pirate.

2nd Place, 2009: “Meet for Coffee?” © Scott Erickson, Portland, OR

Chance Meetings


Silver Porsche Carrera

You: 30s, Armani suit, aviators, killer smile, behind the wheel of that awesome car. Me: Brunette, possessions in shopping cart, offered to clean your windshield for five dollars. I can think of lots of things to do that are more fun than dumpster diving. Meet for coffee? #806781


 Brad’s Party

 Me: Petite, green dress, a little wasted. We talked about our shared interest in old, silent movies. You: Tall, green “Jameson” t-shirt, told me I was cute, got me pregnant. Would love to meet again to discuss favorite movies and wedding arrangements. Meet for coffee? We can also discuss cloth diapers versus disposables. #806781


 Jana’s B’day Party

 You: Maroon sweater, sassy. Me: Cowboy boots, Buddy Holly style glasses. I showed you my rash, explained how my liver works. Where’d you go? That number you gave me was for Taco Bell. Meet for coffee? P.S.—I can whistle through my nose. #806781


 Saturday, Safeway Parking Lot

 Me: Redheaded guy riding blue, Fuji bicycle. You: Brunette, driving blue SUV who ran me over. Before losing consciousness, I noticed your nice smile and your license number. I’ve retained a lawyer. Meet for coffee? Bring your checkbook. #806781


 Pizza Guy

 Late night delivery. I was lounging around in skimpy, red underwear when you showed up at the door. I asked, “Do you have something big and hot and delicious for me?” You answered, “Large veggie. That’s be $35.” I don’t think you understand how this is supposed to work. Meet for coffee? I’ll bring some videos. #806781


 Cute Blonde on Red Bicycle

 I saw you biking along the esplanade Saturday morning. We exchanged smiles. I spent the rest of the day kicking myself for not asking you out. Then, I spent the evening throwing myself against a concrete wall. Next day, I put my car into gear and threw myself under the wheels. Let’s get together soon before I do some serious damage. Meet for coffee? #806781


 Thanks for Saving Me!

 I was on a horrible first date at the sushi restaurant. You came over and saved me from the creep. Said you would take care of everything—and you did! The body was never found. If you don’t get arrested, meet for coffee? #806781


Theater Lobby

Me: Teal sweater. You: Low-cut black dress. We were standing in line for popcorn. Then you caught my eye. Thanks for returning it. The glass one falls out easily. Meet for coffee? #806781



New Mom

Your first child is a beautiful baby boy with wisps of blonde hair. I was dressed in white, delivering your baby. Thought it was not the best time to ask for your number. Couldn’t help noticing there was no “Dad” present. Meet for coffee? #806781



B & N’s Wedding Reception

You had thick red hair. I was the guy who told you the joke about penguins. I was lighting your cigarette but got distracted. Wanted to ask for your number but your head was on fire. Meet for coffee? I’ll bring burn ointment. #806781




That’s what you said when your friend Michael introduced us at the housewarming party. That’s also what you said when I commented on your tattoo. That’s also what you said when I mentioned that I like Golden Retrievers. You don’t have much of a vocabulary but you’re pretty damn hot. Let’s skip the coffee and get down to it. Just don’t use that word when we’re finished, okay? #806781



I Like Your Financials

We work at the same Fortune 100 corporation. You gave the end-of-quarter PowerPoint presentation, and when you stressed the importance of a hard response to a soft market, I thought I was going to climax right there. Let’s get together. I’ll give you a good return on your investment, guaranteed to make your market share rise. Or we could just have sex. Meet for coffee? Bring your PowerPoint. #806781



Crowded #14 Bus

I said you were the loveliest woman I’d ever seen. You gave me the most incredible smile, which took my breath away. Then, my breath never came back and I died. Since you killed me, I figure you at least owe me a date. Meet at Hillcrest Cemetary for coffee? I’m flexible regarding beverage, but we pretty much have to meet at my place.



Winners of the 2008 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2007 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2006 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2005 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2004 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2003 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2002 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2001 Mona Schreiber Prize

Mona with the winners of the first
Foster City Writers Contest, which she founded in 1974.
Left to right: Mayor Jim Dufflemeyer, Stephanie Chang, Wolfgang Molke, Mary Ann Benoit, Mona and Carole Di Camillo.