The UK’s Comedy Women in Print Prize Announces 2021 Longlists

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Longlists of both published and unpublished comedic writing from women have been announced in the Comedy Women in Print Prize’s third year.

Image: Comedy Women in Print Prize

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘The Wit and Wisdom of These Amazing Women’
The United Kingdom’s Comedy Women in Print Prize today (July 21) has issued longlists. An unusual contest among so many in British publishing, this is the program that looks for “funny novels by women.”

It’s also a bifurcated program, in that it produces two longlists—one featuring published content and the other unpublished.

A shortlist is expected on September 22, and winners are to be named on November 8 in a program at London’s Groucho Club. The published winner receives £3,000 (US$4,114) and in the unpublished category, the winner will have a publishing contract and a £5,000 advance (US$6,857) from HarperFiction.

The program reports that it has received an increase of 26 percent in terms of submitted works for this year’s competition.

This year’s jury for the published novel is chaired by Joanne Harris, and she’s joined by:

  • Maureen Lipman
  • Steph McGovern
  • Cathy Rentzenbrink
  • Nina Stibbe
  • Susan Wokoma

“Humor is the thing,” Harris says in a statement on the release of the longlists today, “that connects and reflects all of humanity. I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in the wit and wisdom of these amazing women, and bringing their voices to the attention of a wider public.”

The jurors handling the unpublished novel selection is led by Sarah Shaffi and includes:

  • Martha Ashby
  • Faye Brann
  • Gloria Hunniford
  • Thanyia Moore
  • Jennifer Young
Published Comic Novel Longlist 2021
  • The Shelf  by Helly Acton (Bonnier Books)
  • Ghosts by Dolly Alderton (Penguin)
  • Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu (Bloomsbury)
  • Pretending by Holly Bourne (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan (Little, Brown)
  • Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (Orion)
  • V for Victory by Lissa Evans (Doubleday/Transworld)
  • The Best Things by Mel Giedroyc (Headline)
  • The Wild Laughter by Caoilinn Hughes (Oneworld Publications)
  • Domestic Bliss and Other Disasters by Jane Ions (Bluemoose Books)
  • The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Asking for a Friend by Andi Osho (HQ, HarperCollins)
  • Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto (HQ, HarperCollins)
  • Murder by Milk Bottle by Lynne Truss (Raven Books)
Unpublished Comic Novel Longlist 2021
  • The World is Your Lobster by Jane Ayres
  • The Lady Detective by Hannah Dolby
  • The Lake House by Jen Fraser
  • Fools Rush In by Jo Lyons
  • Six Months to Find a Husband by Jo McGrath
  • What Would Joan Jett Do? by Alyssa Osiecki
  • The Purgatory Poisoning by Rebecca Rogers
  • The NCT Murders by Katherine Sumner-Ailes
  • Life Lessons by Hannah Sutherland
  • This is 27 by Gemma Tizzard
  • Labour Law by Clare Ward-Smith
  • The Death and Life of Agnes Grace by Emma Williams

For an unpublished runner-up, there’s a creative writing course or a writing mentorship offered the unpublished winner through the University of Hertfordshire’s master’s degree program. And for a second runner-up, the program offers a place in Falmouth University’s digital master’s degree program in comedy writing.

Author Marian Keyes, a juror of the prize for two years, has become the award’s patron, and additional support comes from Scrivener and the Writers’ Guild.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the world industry’s many publishing and literature awards is here and more from us on women in publishing is here

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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