Submissions NOW OPEN!
Submit your comedy novels & short stories – published or unpublished:
The Fourth Annual Comedy Women in Print prize (CWIP)celebrates thebest comedy writing by both fresh and established female talent from across the UK and Ireland. It proudly shines a light on accomplished published & unpublished authors, demonstrating a wide breadth of reliably funny voices.
The CWIP charity was launched by actress, author, and stand-up comedian Helen Lederer in 2019 as she discovered that there were no literary prizes for witty female authors. It quickly became a vital platform to increase exposure for female comedy writing, celebrating humourous female voices and helping to launch fledgling comedy writing careers.
This year's glamourous awards ceremony will be held at London's Groucho Club. The event will include a newly created Legacy Recognition Award, joyfully celebrating the clever, witty, satirical work of the late Sue Townsend that both holds us accountable and makes us laugh - like a drain. The 40th-anniversary edition of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ is due out in October with a foreword by Caitlin Moran.
With £10,000 worth of prizes for the winners, the Comedy Women in Print prize is the gold standard for creative and witty writing.The CWIP judges panel 2022/23 includes head judge Angie Greaves,comedy actor Susie Blake, comedian Arabella Weir, broadcaster, actor and presenter Michelle de Swarte, comedian Olga Koch and comedy actress Llewella Gideon, as well as national treasure Anita Dobson and publishing professionals from Farrago and Harper Fiction.
Previous CWIP winners and highlighted writers include Dolly Alderton, Mel Giedroyc, Nina Stibbe, Candice Carty-Williams, Gail Honeyman, Diksha Basu, Andi Osho, Daisy Buchanan & Beth O'Leary.
Helen Lederer, the founder of the CWIP Prize, said:
“Writing can feel like an uphill battle, so I created CWIP to make a difference and amplify women's extraordinary witty voices. Getting industry recognition gives talented writers the exposure and support they need. Writing funny stuff really does change one's mood –I can't wait for all the amazingly hilarious submissions to roll in and to make the winner's dreams come true."
Previous nominee Hannah Dolby praised CWIP:
"The Comedy Women in Print Awards have truly changed my life and made my lifelong dream of being an author come true". Following CWIP, Hannah's first novel, No Life for a Lady, will be published next year and is described as 'the most joyful book of 2023'.
Barbara Hayes, Deputy CEO of the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), said:
"The Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society is delighted to sponsor the very important work of CWIP celebrating underrepresented witty female writers and providing that essential platform for their stories to be told. The awards recognise the amazing talent that provides us with such entertaining books, and we are proud to be involved in an enterprise that helps celebrate writers in such a fiercely competitive arena."
Submissions open on Monday 5th September 2022. All entries should be submitted before the deadline of Friday 14th October 2022.
Long List Announced: Wednesday 14 December 2022
Short List Announced: Wednesday 22 February 2023
CWIP Winners Event: Monday 17 April 2023
Categories & Prizes
Comedy Short Story with Farrago (between 5000 – 15,000 words)
Cash prize of £1,000 for the winner and all shortlisted entries will receive £100 and will be published in an anthology by Farrago in 2023.
Published Comedy Novel
Winner of a comedy novel published between 29th May 2021 and 14th October 2022 will receive a cash prize of £3000 from the ALCS.
Unpublished Comedy Novel
(completed work of at least 80,000 words)
The winner will receive a publishing contract and a £5000 advance from Harper Fiction. The unpublished runner-up receives a place on the University of Hertfordshire MA course in Creative Writing or Writing Mentorship. A second runner-up will receive a place on the online MA in Comedy Writing from Falmouth University – the first of its kind in the country.
About Helen Lederer, Founder of CWIP
Helen Lederer is probably best known as part of London’s Comedy Store comedians, including Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, the late Rik Mayall and Ben Elton, and for her roles in Absolutely Fabulous and the BBC comedy sketch show Naked Video. TV credits include Saturday Night Live, Happy Families, Hollyoaks, Bottom, Miss Marple among others. She starred as Rich Aunt Ruby in Horrid Henry: The Movie. Radio credits include ‘Life with Lederer’, her own comedy series ‘All Change’ and writing and presenting Pick of The Week for BBC Radio 4. Her show at the Edinburgh Festival ‘I Might as Well Say It’ was sold out to rave reviews. She is not only a comedian and actor but also a comedy novelist. Her first novel Losing It (Pan Macmillan) was nominated for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. She is currently working on her comedy memoir and enjoyed a recent TV cameo in BBC Doctors. Helen was a columnist for Woman and Home, is currently guest columnist for the i Newspaper, writes for The Telegraph, and is currently the ‘agony aunt’ for Woman’s Weekly. She has also contributed to Stories to Make You Smile, a co-commission between The Reading Agency and Specsavers for World Book Night 2021.
About the sponsors and partners
The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society is a not-for-profit membership organisation set up in 1977 by writers, for the benefit of writers. Since its inception, it has paid out over £500 million to all types of writers and has over 100,000 members. Find out more about the organization and how to join at alcs.co.uk.
Brownhill Insurance Group
Brownhill Insurance Group cover all personal insurance needs and with their own, their house 'Love Art Team' is pleased to support the prize. brownhillgroup.co.uk
Falmouth University has creativity at its heart with Dawn French as a committed Chancellor. Falmouth’s dynamic and future-focused portfolio offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses that represent the breadth of the creative economy. Falmouth University recently launched the UK’s first MA in Comedy Writing.falmouth.ac.uk
Farrago’s purpose is simply to help readers find fiction that makes them smile. farragobooks.com/
Harper Fiction publishes some of the best commercial writers around, ranging from bestselling crime author Jeffery Deaver to leaders in women’s fiction Cecelia Ahern, Lindsey Kelk and Barbara Taylor Bradford. The imprint also publishes the bestselling historical fiction of Bernard Cornwell, exciting work from Kimberley Chambers, A.J. Finn and Gail Honeyman, and thriller successes Lucy Foley and Karin Slaughter. Harper Fiction
The i is CWIP media partner for the third year, and is the UK’s concise, quality national newspaper. Specialist curation has been a key part of i’s daily briefing for readers since the launch in 2010. Analysis by the industry body PAMCo consistently shows i to be one of the UK’s most trusted newsbrands. inews.co.uk