The Mona Schreiber Prize for 
Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction
Writers of comedic essays, articles, short stories, poetry, shopping lists and other forms are invited to submit.

Mona founded the Foster City (CA) Writers Contest, taught creative writing for San Mateo County and published humorous articles and essays in newspapers and magazines. Her son Brad founded the Prize in 2000 and judges the submissions.

Here is a sample of Mona's work, first published in the Foster City Progress newspaper, embarrassing her high school age son with the article Scrape Him Off...He's Mine.


Works up to 750 words in length should be typed, double-spaced, accompanied by a money order or check for $5 to cover administrative costs, payable to "The Mona Schreiber Prize." No limit to entries but each must have a separate fee. Put contact information directly above the title and text on your first page.

No SASEs, please. Include e-mail address for notification of winners. All entries must be postmarked by December 1 for a December 24 announcement of three winners: 1st: $500. 2nd: $250. 3rd: $100. Entries are not returned and must be unpublished. Winners will have their entries posted on All other rights belong to the authors. Humor is subjective. Uniqueness is suggested. Weirdness is encouraged.

The Mona Schreiber Prize for Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction, 3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd. #566, Studio City, California 91604 USA


1st Place, 2012: “Trust Me! I’m Psychic” © Katherine Leisering, Parkersburg, WV

Psychic: “Peter, did your dad ever call you Michelle?”

Peter: “Yeah! The year he went to Paris and climbed Notre Dame in his Nikes.”

Psychic: “And Michelle was the name of the pet avocado he had as a boy.”

Peter: “Wowee! How did you know that?”

Psychic: “He told me. He’s running around under the coffee table. Short, wasn’t he?”

Peter: “Two foot four, without his beret.”

From séances to Vegas lounge shows to reality TV, psychics have long been synonymous with showmanship (except to followers like Monroe and Minerva Quonsett, who really believe Uncle Henley hovered above a small shrub long enough to to warn the family about subprime mortgages and the Kardashians.)

However, the question has forever remained: Are they credible?

Nowadays, psychics ply their skills in ever more extraordinary venues. My cousin Dunwoodie consulted a pet psychic concerning Nels, his Norwegian forest cat, who continually flushed the toilet whenever pizza was delivered. After consulting with Nels, the psychic determined he merely wanted to run up the water bill in retaliation for Dunwoodie’s refusal to add anchovies.

Famous animal psychic Henrietta Forn made history (of a sort) negotiating with an angry group of pill bugs. In exchange for their agreeing to move out of client Erma Twiley’s home, they received free run of a portion of the yard, previously enjoyed by some slugs who’d agreed the year before to move next door to a small condo with patio tomatoes.

However, nowhere have psychics become more ubiquitous than in police investigations. Nowadays, police are willing to use virtually any means to crack a case, including psychics. What might have seemed foreign mere decades ago now seems no more foreign than Arizona, as psychics come forth with detailed information, sometimes even about the crime in question. What follows are their most famous cases:

The Learjet Murder

The body of part time tick remover Minerva Kwontz was found under the wheel of a Learjet owned by push pin millionaire Darby Krupkus. Because the jet had just landed, Coroner Sitmee Sityou estimated the body hadn’t been there for more than two days. He listed the cause of death as “unknown” but possibly homicide, “since tire marks run the length of her eyebrows.”

Days later, Detective Lonnie Marlboro received a call from a psychic, Gwen Doe-Lynn:

“Kwontz’s killer’s in a bronze Camaro. He’s wearing flight attendant wings and demonstrating safety features to a Big Mac.”

Detective Marlboro immediately put out an A.P.B. for flight attendants owning bronze Camaros who liked B.M.’s (police terminology for Big Macs). In six minutes, he arrested person of interest Dwana Thurmoil instead of Morton Minkmire, who was merely an interesting person.

The Missing Hair Dresser

Professional beautician and left ear piercer Madge Twerlinger disappeared suddenly, while doing a particularly difficult rinse. The last person to see her was shop co-owner Mr. Bruce.

“She went to check on her mousse order and never returned. It was sooooooooooo stressful! We didn’t notice she was gone till her rinse complained her hair seemed more orange than usual,” he elucidated, while twirling a rod.

Fortunately, Mr. Bruce had been highlighting psychic Imaclaire Voyant and immediately handed her Madge’s gall bladder, kept at her station to gross everyone out.

Fondling the organ, Imaclaire went into a trance, saying, “2-1-6-8. Pick four Ohio lottery. Spunky Hunk to show in the fourth at Santa Anita. Madge is dead.”

The police later determined no one liked Madge anyway and the case was closed.

The Heavenly Yodeler

Konrad K. Krieshofer, yodeler and watch dial presser, was presumed dead after an avalanche in the Austrian Alps.

“He almost yodeled himself to death before,” daughter Katrina offered, “though on much shorter peaks.”

At Katrina’s insistence, the Austrian Gemeindesicherheitswache (cops) enlisted the help of psychic Kurt Kööööööhler.

“I see him,” he said, touching one of Konrad’s favorite dryer sheets. “He’s somevere very vite. His hands are cupped—I mean, kupped—to his mouth und he’s yodeling ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ in F.”

“He’s alive!” Katrina shouted. “In de shnow!”

“Dat’s not shnow. He’s yodeling on dat big peak in de shky,” Kurt corrected, adjusting a lederhosen wedgie.

“SCHEISSDRECK!!!!” mumbled Katrina, rather politely, under the circumstances.

So there you have it. Question answered. Proof positive of the credibility of psychics. Of course, there are always those few charlatans who give an entire profession a bad name, like Mortimer Vytecki, who predicted Hitler would commit suicide by swallowing a parachute. Nevertheless, I have a feeling these clairvoyants will be around for a few more millennia. Maybe I’m psychic.


2nd Place, 2012: “Wedge O’ Pizza Sponsors 5th Annual Beastly Night at Ed’s Zoo”
© Barbara Pawley, Los Angeles, CA

TINY MOLE, Calif., July 21, 2012

Wedge O’ Pizza proudly continues its commitment to Ed’s Zoo, returning this year to once again sponsor the wildly popular, clothing optional Beastly Night. The fundraiser, to be held 6:00 p.m. to whenever, on August 1, benefits the almost 14 animals at Ed’s Zoo.

With a $100 donation, Beastly Nights features all the pizza and beer you can handle, as long as you’re standing up, along with a rip roaring, vintage band straight from Kazakhstan. It’s one of the few clothing optional events in the state and the most talked about fundraiser in the county, with profits topping $25,000 last year.

Wedge O’ Pizza was the zoo’s first significant corporate partner, coming to the aid of the animals at a time of crisis. Since then, three more cages have been added, along with a specially built ant colony, a motion detector and a handicapped bench. Ed hopes to establish a “City Lizards” exhibit with proceeds from this year’s Beastly Night.

Says Bill Coyote, Wedge O’ Pizza’s president and founder, “Ed’s Zoo has become a treasured part of our city and a leader in the small animal zoological community.”

In recognition of its long-term partnership, Ed’s Zoo has given Wedge O’ Pizza naming rights to one of the zoo’s 105 opossums born this spring. While the remaining 104 opossums will be released into the woods on the edge of town, “Cheesy” will reside in the zoo’s backyard exhibit.

Ed Fox accidentally started the zoo in his backyard. Shortly thereafter, a fire mysteriously swept through the zoo and Ed had to quickly relocate the remaining live animals. Wedge O’ Pizza came to his aid, donating land and an oven. Since then, the zoo has taken off.

Says Fox, “We love pizza here at da zoo.”

About Wedge O’ Pizza

Wedge O’ Pizza, an industry leader and inventor of the sauceless blue cheese pizza, is based in Tiny Mole, Calif., with branches in nearby Crooked Snout and Big Ass. Originally founded by Chet “Wild Man” Coyote as a tax write-off, the company is now a top restaurant in the area, employing seven teenagers who would otherwise have no jobs. Every other year, Wedge O’ Pizza pledges free garlic mozzarella sticks to local schools.


Chet “Wild Man” Coyote
Founder/Owner/Communications Director/Accounts Payable Manager/Security Officer/Chef
Wedge O’ Pizza 269.555.6666


Winners of the 2011 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2010 Mona Schreiber Prize

Winners of the 2009 Mona Schreiber Prize

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.