The Comedy Women in Print Prize (CWIP) has today revealed its longlist for its 2020 awards.
The only prize in the UK and Ireland to shine a light on work by funny women, the second annual longlist includes bestsellers, Candice Carty-Williams , Sophie Kinsella and Dawn O’Porter.
The awards are split into three categories: published comic novels, published humorous graphic novels and unpublished comic novels. Each list has 15, 12 and 12 novels longlisted respectively, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on September 14.
The CWIP published winner will receive a cash prize of £3000 from the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), while the winner of the unpublished prize will receive a publishing contract and a £5000 advance from HarperFiction. The unpublished runner-up also receives £2000 from the University of Hertfordshire and mentoring from the MA course in Creative Writing.
The humorous graphic novels is a new award category, and the longlist celebrates the likes of Posy Simmonds MBE, a Cartoonist of the Year prize winner, and Kate Charlesworth for her Observer Graphic Novel of the Year guide to post-war queer British history.
Bestselling author Marian Keyes, is Chair of Judges for this year’s CWIP Prize for Published Novels. The judging panel also includes BAFTA-winning writer and actress Joanna Scanlan; writers and actresses Emma Kennedy and Pauline McLynn; comedian and actress Lolly Adefope, and Laura Steven, winner of CWIP’s inaugural published prize for The Exact Opposite of Okay.
Keyes says: “I am absolutely delighted with our longlist. The range is glorious – everything from lighthearted commercial fiction to literary fiction – it’s a demonstration of all the different ways in which women can be funny in print. It was a pleasure and very exciting to read all 90 submissions, and this is a list that I’m very proud of.”
As well as these three award categories, a surprise ‘Game Changer Award’ will be presented at the September ceremony to echo Jilly Cooper’s Lifetime Achievement prize last year.
The CWIP Prize was launched last year by actress, author and stand-up comedian Helen Lederer in response to the lack of exposure for female comedy writing, and as a way of celebrating fresh and established talent.
Lederer says: “I’m relieved the longlisted titles reflect both anti-snobbery and a huge respect for literary wit. A new but necessary punctuation mark highlighting the visibility of women’s wit on the page.”