- Associated Press - Monday, August 22, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - A sportswriter, an essayist and a playwright-comedian are this year’s finalists for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.

Mike Birbiglia (buhr-BIG’-lee-ah) was nominated for “Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories.” It was developed from his one-man show.

David Rakoff (RAY’-kof) was cited for the collection “Half Empty.” His essays have appeared everywhere from Vogue to Wired.

Rick Reilly was nominated for “Sports from Hell: My Search for the World’s Dumbest Competition.”

The nominations were announced Monday by Thurber House, based in Columbus, Ohio. First prize is $5,000.

The award was founded in 1997 in honor of humorist James Thurber. Previous winners include Jon Stewart, David Sedaris and Christopher Buckley.