Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest 2016 Judges

Know the fabulous folk who are judging this year's contest.

Moira Allen has been writing professionally for more than 40 years, and is the founder and editor of the world-famous website. She is the author of several books on writing, including "Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer," from Allworth Press. Allen can usually be found managing one of her many websites, which range from a site on pet loss bereavement to a site on Victorian history. In her "spare" time she is working hard on thinking seriously about working hard on a young adult novel. Allen has served as a judge for several writing competitions, including the prestigious annual contests of the Dog Writers of America and the Cat Writers' Association. She lives in Maryland with hubby and the obligatory writer's cat. Find out more at

Leigh Anne Jasheway is the author of 22 humour books, the most recent being Don't Laugh You'll Wake the Dog. She writes a humour column for The Register Guard's Weekend section and, and appears regularly in Funny Times. She won the 2003 Erma Bombeck Humour Writing Award for her true story on how her first mammogram caught on fire. She teaches comedy writing and grammar at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College and is the former host of The Giggle Spot and Women Under the Influence of Laughter. She is also a humorous motivational speaker and stand-up comic. She is the founder and organizer of two long-running comedy shows, The Eugene Laff Off and The NW Women's Comedy Festival. In her spare time she tries to tries to remember where she parked.

Geoff Tristram has been a professional artist and cartoonist for forty years, working for a diverse range of clients including Penguin Books, Embassy World Snooker, Ravensburger Puzzles (Geoff creates all their cartoon jigsaws!),The BBC, Tarmac, Carillion, Past Times, Winsor & Newton and Reeves Paints.
   He has created artwork featuring celebrities such as Jonathan Ross, Jeremy Clarkson, Sir Ian Botham, David Vine, Alan Shearer, Ian Hislop and Gary Lineker, not to mention virtually every famous snooker player that ever lifted a cue. You may have even noticed him at the World Championships on TV back in 2007, interviewing them as he drew their caricatures.
   He has also designed many book covers, album sleeves for charts bands such as UB40, The Maisonettes and City Boy, and postage stamps; notably ‘Charles and Diana - The Royal Wedding’, ‘Miss World’, ‘Lake Placid Winter Olympics’ and ‘Spain 1982 World Cup Football’ editions.
   His series of incredibly detailed ‘Cat Conundrum’ puzzle paintings have enthralled and exasperated thousands of dedicated puzzle-solvers, and in April 2016, Stratford-upon-Avon will unveil his 400th Anniversary portrait of Shakespeare to the thousands of visitors attending the celebrations from all over the world.
   Geoff’s younger brother, David, is a well-known and extremely successful comedy playwright and filmmaker, and was named as Samuel French's UK comedy playwright of the year in 2015, so it was no real surprise when Geoff eventually turned his hand to comedy writing too. He has now written 13 humorous novels featuring his scatterbrained but quietly determined central characters, David Day (artist) and Adam Eve (struggling writer). We can only speculate as to where he found the inspiration for those two. Geoff’s only unfulfilled dream is to see one of his books made into a comedy film while he’s still just about young enough to enjoy the proceeds, so he would greatly appreciate it if you could bombard the BBC with letters on his behalf.

Interested in judging next year's contest? Please get in touch with us at v3rbolatry(at)gmail(dot)com. We'd love to chat!

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  1. Define irony; could it possibly be the submitting of a tongue-in-cheek humor piece about the horrible things I'd do to my wife's cat to a contest that has three judges, one of which facilitates a pet loss and bereavement website, as well as a second judge who is the creator of some rather noteworthy puzzle paintings aptly named "Cat Conundrum?" If the two judges in question would be kind enough to send me their personal contact information I'm quite sure I can save us all a bit of time by just calling and offend them personally instead of making them wait to be offended at such time as they trudge through the reading of my piece...Happy to help:0)

    1. Dear Anthony Wobbe,
      Ironic indeed. Your piece did make the shortlist though. Wonder what your wife's cat would have to say about that.
      Thanks for participating. We hope to read another from you next year!
      Best wishes,