News: Long List Announced for Comedy Women In Print Prizes

News: Long List Announced for Comedy Women In Print Prizes

The Comedy Women in Print Prize (CWIP) has unveiled the longlists for the second year of the UK and Ireland’s only prize to shine a light on work by funny women. With crime fiction, retellings of classics, coming-of-age and contemporary narratives, the list proves there's no single formula for funny fiction. 

Writers longlisted in the Published Comic Novel category are: Sunday Times bestsellers CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS, SOPHIE KINSELLA, BETH O’LEARY and DAWN O’PORTER; exciting new voice in Irish literature MICHELLE GALLEN; ANGELA MAKHOLWA, author of South Africa’s first thriller to feature an African female protagonist; NINA STIBBE, whose work has been adapted for BBC One; columnist and grand-daughter of Evelyn Waugh, DAISY WAUGH; LA-based ghost-writer ABBI WAXMAN; Young Adult novelist KATE WESTON; Booker Prize longlisted JEANETTE WINTERSON CBE; with ASIA MACKAY, LUCY VINE and OLGA WOJTAS longlisted for a second time.

A new award category celebrates Published Humorous Graphic Novels by women for the first time. The longlist includes 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. Twelve aspiring novelists are also longlisted in the Unpublished Comic Novel category. A surprise Game Changer Award will be presented to echo Jilly Cooper’s Lifetime Achievement prize last year.

The CWIP Prize was launched by actress, author and stand-up HELEN LEDERER (pictured) in 2019 in response to the lack of exposure for female comedy writing, and as a way of celebrating fresh and established talent. 

Marian Keyes, Chair of Judges for the CWIP Published Novels Prize, 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 ninety submissions, and this is a list that I’m very proud of."

Helen Lederer, Founder of the CWIP Prize, 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.”


The Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020 longlist for Published Comic Novels is:


  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams(Hachette UK / Trapeze)
  • Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen (John Murray Publishers)
  • Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Transworld Publishers / Bantam Press)
  • The Nursery by Asia Mackay (Bonnier Books UK/ Zaffre)
  • The Blessed Girl by Angela Makholwa (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary (Quercus)
  • So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter (HarperCollins UK)
  • Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe(Penguin Random House
  • Are We Nearly There Yet? by Lucy Vine(Orion)
  • In the Crypt with a Candlestick by Daisy Waugh(Little, Brown Book Group)
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman(Headline Publishing Group)
  • Diary of a Confused Feminist by Kate Weston (Hachette Children's Group)
  • Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson(Jonathan Cape)
  • Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Vampire Menace by Olga Wojtas (Saraband)


The Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020 longlist for Published Humorous Graphic Novels is:


  • Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide: A graphic guide to lesbian and queer history 1950-2020 by Kate Charlesworth (Myriad Editions)
  • The Trials & Tribulations of Mr. T. Deeyum by Susannah Felstead (Self-published)
  • Passing for Human by Liana Finck (Jonathan Cape)
  • The “C” Word by Vanessa Lawrence (Self-published)
  • A Pocketful of Clouds Volume 6: Practical Mythology by Morag Lewis (Sweatdrop Studios)
  • My Husband is a Cultist by Mei Lian Hoe (Self-published)
  • Life Drawing. A Life Under Lightsby Jessica Martin (Unbound)
  • Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern (Simon & Schuster)
  • Was it... Too Much for You? by Danny Noble (Self-published)
  • Cassandra Darke by Posy Simmonds (Jonathan Cape)
  • Stand in Your Power by Rachael Smith (Self-published)


The Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020 longlist for Unpublished Comic Novels is:


  • Nigel by Tierney Acott
  • The Bird in the River by Zahra Barri
  • Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy by Faye Brann
  • Everything Is Under Control by Annette Gordon
  • Sandwich by Nancy Peach
  • The Lady's Companion by Janey Preger
  • New Members Welcome by Sarah Scally
  • The Club for Mature Indulgence by Elaine Simmonds
  • Plan C by Lindsey Symonds
  • Kassie McKinnon Is Starving by Karen Vivers
  • You Can Drop Me Here by Julia Walter
  • Second Wife Syndrome by Kathleen Whyman

The international bestselling writer Marian Keyes is Chair of Judges for the CWIP Prize for Published Novels. Marian is joined by: BAFTA-winning writer and actress Joanna Scanlan (Getting On, The Thick of It); writers and actresses Emma Kennedy (The Kennedys) and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted); comedian and actress Lolly Adefope, recently seen on BBC Three’s Shrill; and Laura Steven, winner of CWIP’s inaugural published prize for The Exact Opposite of Okay.  

The judging panel for the CWIP Prize for Unpublished Novels is chaired by Fanny Blake, a former publisher and author of eight novels, who has judged numerous book prizes including the Costa First Novel Award. Fanny is joined by: Yomi Adegoke, award-winning journalist and co-author of bestseller Slay in Your Lane; Kate Bradley, Editorial Director at HarperFiction; stand-up comedian, writer, director and activist Grace Campbell;winner of the 2019 CWIP Unpublished novel category, Kirsty Eyre; and Dr Jennifer Young, Head of Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University.

The inaugural CWIP Prize for Published Humorous Graphic Novels is chaired by author and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis. Janet is joined by: Rachael Ball from LDComics, author of The Inflatable Woman (a Guardian Best Graphic Novel of 2015); UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry; stand-up comedian and author Jen Brister; Dr Nicola Streeten, director of LDComics, writer, artist and teacher; and acclaimed actress Paula Wilcox. 

The CWIP published winner will receive a cash prize of £3000 from the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). For the unpublished category, recognising rising comic talent, the winner will receive a publishing contract and a £5000 advance from HarperFiction. An unpublished runner-up receives £2000 from the University of Hertfordshire and mentoring from the MA course in Creative Writing. An additional runner-up will receive a place on the online MA in Comedy Writing from Falmouth University – the first of its kind in the country. The graphic novel category winner will also receive a cash prize, to be announced. For more details about CWIP and full terms and conditions visit  

The Comedy Women in Print Prize winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Groucho Club, rescheduled from July to Monday 14th September 2020.


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