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UK comedian launches Comedy Women in Print prize

UK comedian, actor and author Helen Lederer is launching the Comedy Women in Print (CWIP) prize, reports the Bookseller.

The award will be presented in two categories: the prize for Comedy Fiction by Published Female Writers, worth £2000 (A$3480), and the prize for Comedy Fiction by Unpublished Female Writers, for which the winner receives a place in the Master of Arts for Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire, plus £1000 (A$1740) in prize money. Prize entry is open to people over 18 years old of any nationality.

According to the Bookseller, Lederer was motivated to create the prize after being disheartened at the lack of recognition of funny women writers. ‘Comedy writing is a powerful tool, yet comedy writing by women is under-acknowledged,’ said Lederer. ‘This prize will celebrate and support female comedy writers and also bring forward the next generation of female talent. It will also shine a light on, and empower, the women who have established a comedy writing career.’

Joining Lederer on the judging panel are University of Hertfordshire creative writing lecturer Jennifer Young, and writers Allison Pearson and Marian Keyes.

Earlier this year, Keyes criticised the only other UK prize for comedic writing, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize, after the judges failed to award a winner out of 62 submissions. Since its launch in 2000, the Wodehouse prize has only been awarded to three women writers, with Keyes labelling it a ‘sexist imbalance’.

Speaking about the new CWIP prize, Keyes said, ‘There are countless hilarious, talented female writers currently producing great work. If existing prizes won’t honour funny women writers fairly, it’s time to set up a new prize.’

The award will be launched at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on 24 August. For more information, click here.



Category: International news