Candice Carty-Williams, Nina Stibbe and Beth O'Leary are among the authors longlisted for this year's Comedy Women in Print Prize (full longlists below).
Now in its second year, the annual award was originally set up by Helen Lederer in response to the lack of recognition for female comedy writers.
The longlist features Carty-Williams' debut, Queenie (Trapeze), Stibbe's Reasons to be Cheerful (Viking) and O'Leary's The Flatshare (Quercus). There are also nods for Sophie Kinsella, Dawn O'Porter and Jeanette Winterson among others.
This year, the prize includes a new category for published humorous graphic novels, alongside an award for unpublished books. There will also be a surprise Game Changer Award will be presented to echo Jilly Cooper’s Lifetime Achievement prize last year.
Marian Keyes, chair of judges for the Published Novels Prize, said: "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 90 submissions, and this is a list that I’m very proud of."
Keyes will be joined on the panel for the published novel prize by writers and actresses Joanna Scanlan, Emma Kennedy and Pauline McLynn, alongside comedian Lolly Adefope and Laura Steven, winner of the inaugural prize for The Exact Opposite of Okay (Electric Monkey).
Lederer said: “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 published winner will receive a cash prize of £3,000 from the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society.
For the unpublished category, recognising rising comic talent, the winner will receive a publishing contract and a £5,000 advance from HarperFiction. An unpublished runner-up receives £2,000 from the University of Hertfordshire and mentoring from the MA course in Creative Writing.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 graphic novel category winner will also receive a cash prize, to be announced.
The Comedy Women in Print Prize winners will be announced at an award ceremony at the Groucho Club, rescheduled from July to 14th September 2020.
The full longlists are:
Published Comic Novel
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (Trapeze)
Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen (John Murray )
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Bantam Press)
The Nursery by Asia Mackay (Zaffre)
The Blessed Girl by Angela Makholwa (Bloomsbury)
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary (Quercus)
So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter (HarperCollins)
Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe (Viking)
Are We Nearly There Yet? by Lucy Vine (Orion)
In the Crypt with a Candlestick by Daisy Waugh (Little, Brown)
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (Headline)
Diary of a Confused Feminist by Kate Weston (Hachette Children's Books)
Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson (Jonathan Cape)
Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Vampire Menace by Olga Wojtas (Saraband)
Published Humorous Graphic Novel
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 Lights by 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)
Unpublished Comic Novel
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
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- Quick Reads returns with Adam Kay and Candice Carty-Williams
- Carty-Williams' debut Queenie lands six-figure deal