The Comedy Women in Print Prize Launches for 2020

The Comedy Women in Print (CWIP) Prize, the UK and Ireland’s prize to shine a light on witty women, has launched for its second year with a call for submissions for 2020.

Following a successful inaugural year, this year’s Prize will once again be supported by HarperCollins, the University of Hertfordshire and The Writers’ Guild, with additional support from the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society and the University of Falmouth. Bestselling author Marian Keyes will return as Chair of Judges, and a new award celebrating the unsung genre of humorous graphic novels and developed in partnership with LDComics, the largest women-led comics forum in the UK, has also been added to the 2020 Prize line-up.

The CWIP Prize, officially launched at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2018, was created by actress and stand-up comedian Helen Lederer in response to the lack of support and exposure for female comedy writing and as a way of discovering and nurturing new talent. The inaugural 2019 awards were won by Laura Stevens’ The Exact Opposite of Okay (Egmont) in the published novel category, and Kirsty Eyre’s Cow Girl in the unpublished novel category – with international bestseller Jilly Cooper given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Helen Lederer, founder of CWIP says: “The support and interest in CWIP has been overwhelming – and proof that this prize had to happen. Someone had to do it and it might as well be me! The testimonials from the authors lifted my spirits. Witty writers have really progressed because of the prize and in so many different ways – in fact the support for each other via CWIP has been a revelation. For our second year we decided to go large and include a ‘published humorous graphic novel’ category as well – this is in association with LDComics so we can both shine a light on women’s wit in this important arena together. I’m also delighted to welcome back sponsors HarperFiction, The Writers’ Guild and University of Hertfordshire, in addition to brand new supporters the Falmouth University and ALCS – it means we really are nurturing burgeoning wit as well as celebrating established authors.”

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 For the unpublished category recognising rising comic talent, the winner will receive a publishing contract and a £5000 advance from HarperFiction. The unpublished runner-up receives £2000 from the University of Hertfordshire and mentoring from the MA course in Creative Writing. The second runner-up will receive a place on the online MA in Comedy Writing from the Falmouth University – the first of its kind in the country. The graphic novel category winner will also receive a cash prize, to be announced.

The closing date for all awards is Monday 2nd March 2020 with the shortlists announced on Monday 1st June 2020 and the winners announced at a live ceremony in July 2020.   


  • Friday 25th October 2019: Entries open for submission
  • Monday 2nd March 2020: Closing date for submissions
  • Monday 20th April 2020: Longlist announcement
  • Monday 1st June 2020: Shortlist announcement
  • July 2020: CWIP Winners’ event

For more details about CWIP and full terms and conditions visit www.comedywomeninprint.co.uk