G. Xavier Robillard, winner of the 2008 HumorFeed Satire News Awards. His first novel, "Captain Freedom," is available February 3rd. Photo by Justin Ide.

Novelist G. Xavier Robillard Wins 4th Annual HumorFeed Competition

January 15, 2009

The fourth annual HumorFeed Satire News Awards was won by humor writer G. Xavier Robillard, who took first place amid fierce competition with the faux news story "Baristas Claim Obama's Coffee Not Black Enough."

"Robillard's story does what all good news satire does: magnifies one of the story's biggest absurdities for a whole lot of laughs," said Fox TV reporter Dave Kartunen, one of the judges on the evaluation panel. "There were a lot of well-written entries this year... I really enjoyed the competition."

Kartunen was one of five journalists and writers who selected Robillard's entry as the top pick of HumorFeed's finalists. Other judges included Emmy-award winning journalist Robert Zelnick, chair of the Boston University Department of Journalism; NPR correspondent Eric Weiner, author of NY Times bestseller Geography of Bliss; humor columnist Madeleine Begun Kane, winner of the 2008 Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor; and BBC comedy writer Andrew Marlatt, the writer behind the legendary humor website SatireWire.

"Robillard's story was a delightful parody," said Kane. "And the title made me laugh out loud!"

"The John Edwards quote alone was worth the price of admission," added Weiner.

Robillard, a longtime contributor to HumorFeed, has been writing for a diverse range of outlets both online and offline; in addition to his own website (alldaycoffee.net), his work has appeared in places ranging from Comedy Central to McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and he has been a commentator on National Public Radio. Moreover, his first novel, "Captain Freedom - A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves," published by HarperCollins, arrives on bookshelves on February 3.

"Humorfeed has a great pack of funny writers and it's quite an honor," said Robillard upon learning the news of his win. "I'm relieved that my expose had no impact on the election."

HumorFeed is a selective association of independent satire news websites from the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Sweden; admission involves a rigorous peer review process. It lists over 3,000 news satire headlines submitted by its members each year. ""Baristas Claim Obama's Coffee Not Black Enough" bested 45 other entries in a competition replete with stories drawing upon the year's rich repository of social and political humor.

"2008 provided a whole lot of juicy topics for satire," said Kartunen. "In the year of Barack Obama, it is only fitting the winner of the annual HumorFeed competition would reel in the biggest fish in the news world."

The top 10 HumorFeed stories as ranked by the judges are as follows:

  1. Baristas Claim Obama's Coffee Not Black Enough (All Day Coffee)
  2. Atheist Sees Image of Big Bang in Piece of Toast (Specious Report)
  3. In Quest for Conservative Credentials, McCain Burns Witch (Avant News)
  4. Man Dies Living Day Like It Was His Last (Recoil Magazine)
  5. Dyslexic Student Expelled Over Toy Gnu (The Daily Redundancy)
  6. Study: 99.9% of Americans Suffering from Obscurity (News Mutiny)
  7. Lubbock, TX Replaced by Wal-Mart Supercenter (The Giant Napkin)
  8. Oil Prices So Low, Arab Nations Consider Educating Youth (Jewlarious)
  9. Bush Orders Retirement Savings Mattress for Every American (Postcards from the Pug Bus)
  10. Nintendo Develops Wii Community Service (Dotpenn)

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Click here for the complete list of 46 entries

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