Falmouth Lecturer leads the Comedy Women in Print judging panel
18 January 2023
Now in its fourth successful year, the Comedy Women in Print prize (CWIP) has announced its longlist which celebrates the very best of funny female voices. Falmouth University’s Head of Writing and Journalism, Dr Jennifer Young leads the panel as Head Judge for the unpublished novel category, with this year’s prize including a funded place on our Comedy Writing MA.
The Comedy Women in Print prize was founded in 2019 by the comedian, author and actress Helen Lederer to increase exposure of comedic fiction by women writers. Previous winners have included Jesse Sutanto, Nina Stibbe and Faye Brann. There are three categories that make up the prize; the published novel, the unpublished novel and the short story winner. There’s a range of prizes up for grabs, including a £3000 cash prize from the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society and a publishing deal with HarperColins.
Reflecting on the unpublished novel category, Jennifer said: “It is extraordinary to see the impact of the unpublished prize on people’s lives—obviously the winners, but we’ve seen people from the longest and shortlist get agents and publishing deals. CWIP opens doors for such diverse voices.” This year’s longlist includes titles by Gemma Tizzard, Christina Carty and Niloufar Lamakan.
In the last few years, we have been spoilt by some of the very best female comedy writing, from the likes of Sharon Horgan, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Michaela Coel. However, for decades the industry was dominated by male writers and women had to battle with glass ceilings and systemic bias.
The CWIP prize was set up to help open doors and kick-start the careers of gifted comedy writers. In a recent interview, Helen Lederer said: “I wanted to put something out there that acknowledged that witty women's content has had less visibility and celebration across the board. It's about reflecting the times, and what can be done to shine a light.”
The Comedy Women in Print longlist celebrates the diverse talent of female writers. Genres range from queer fictions, young adult and science fiction; tackling everything from class, sex, race, love and grief. The list encompasses the very best of modern writing that can express humour and wit, even about the most difficult topics of our time.
The CWIP shortlist will be released on Wednesday 22 February 2023 and the prize winners will be announced on Monday 17 April.