It’s a curious thing, comedy. What makes one person laugh can make another person stare at you like you’ve just driven over their pet turtle (it was dark and HE wasn’t getting out the way, so I’m still cool with it). Yet despite this, there are some common ingredients that comedy writers can use to unlock the mirth making merriment.
An intrinsically funny concept is an important foundation of any comedy joke, sketch, sitcom, film or play. A strong tone will make it distinctive and help your work stand out. Colourful and compelling characters will generate conflict and comedy, as they career through a plot full of complications, generating snappy dialogue and bags of gags.
What I’ve also found to be true is that, with the right support, encouragement and half pint of shandy (hey man, there’s nothing wrong with a good shandy) anyone can write comedy. Okay so you’re not going to the next Phoebe-Waller-Bridge, Sarah-Suspension-Bridge or indeed any giant of the comedy stroke transport world…but you might begin a journey that leads you to somewhere new and rewarding.
Indeed, many of you have already started down that path. You’ve got an idea for, or maybe even written a sketch show, sitcom, play or one-woman stage show.
Sure it’s not perfect, but when people hear about it or read it they smile and laugh, sometimes in the right places and only occasionally in the really dark bits where you were baring your soul (but a laugh’s a laugh so you’ll take it). And on the whole most people were very nice about it and only one person said they really hated it. And even then your Dad said he’d talk your Mum round later.
But that feeling as a comedy writer, that feeling when someone laughs at your material, that wonderful joyous feeling… is pure gold. Which is a good thing, because it needs to help offset the all-too familiar stomach squelching pain of rejection so familiar to all writers, and those in comedy doubly so.
If you’re still reading this far down then a) thank-you!, b) hopefully the above is meaningful to you and c) here’s the good bit. I’m very proud to announce that in order to help celebrate all the funny female comedy writers out there, script services business Why did the Chicken? have teamed up with Funny Women to run the Funny Women 2017 Comedy Writing Award.
As with in previous years, this award will serve to highlight emerging talent from across the UK with a mastery of words and a comic creative edge.
To make this all happen we’ve worked with the team at Funny Women to assemble a crack panel of industry readers and judges ready and waiting to read YOUR comedy script.
They will score every script for its Concept and Tone, Characters, Plotting and Structure, Dialogue and Humour and Overall Marketability, with the top 25 scripts making the 2017 Funny Women Comedy Writing Award longlist.
Our judges will then go through a second round of scoring to generate a top 10 shortlist, before our head judges pick the winner and two runners-up, to be announced at a gala award ceremony in March 2018!
Not only could you get the honour of being longlisted, shortlisted, runnered-up or winnered (yes these are all real verbs) but we also have some rather shiny prizes!
● Everyone who enters the competition will be eligible for a one-off 10% discount on any of our script services at Why did the Chicken
● All those who longlisted will receive basic feedback on their script plus a tasty one-off 15% discount at Why did the Chicken
● All those who Shortlisted will receive basic feedback on their script plus a whopping one-off 20% discount atWhy did the Chicken!
● The two runners-up will receive a professional script report (worth £69) on their full script (up to 30 pages) PLUS an interview published on the Why did the Chicken? Comedy Secrets blog.
● And the winner will receive a full script development package, an interview on the Comedy Secrets blog AND their script made into professionally produced 10 minute audio pilot published online and broadcast via WRS, the Women’s Radio Station!
So, if you’re a female comedy writer with a script burning a hole in your pocket/laptop/pan-dimensional notepad then we want to hear from you! And if you don’t have a script ready, then we’re accepting submissions up until December 31st 2017, so you still have time to get writing…
Some boring but necessary Ts & Cs…
1. Whilst we will do our best, the timing and nature of all prizes may be subject to change as circumstances dictate.
2. Due to the high number of entries, we are only able to offer feedback to those who make the long-list.
3. No employees or associates of Funny Women or Why did the Chicken? will be eligible to enter this award.