HarperFiction is joining forces with the Comedy Women in Print (CWIP) Prize, a new award for women, with the publisher offering the winner a publishing contract and £5,000 advance.
The CWIP Prize for unpublished writers was launched last year by actress and stand-up comedian Helen Lederer in response to the lack of support and exposure for female comedy writing and as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.
Judges for the first award include bestselling writers Marian Keyes and Allison Pearson and Dr Jennifer Young, English and creative writing lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire. HarperFiction editorial director Martha Ashby will also join the judging panel.
Ashby said: “I’m absolutely delighted to support CWIP’s prize for unpublished writers in 2019. There are so many hilarious female writers in the UK and this prize is the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on an area of fiction that is often overlooked.”
CWIP founder Lederer said: “I thought it was Christmas when Marian and Allison came on board (people tend to swoon at the mention of their names and rightly so) but when HarperFiction came through with this unique and serious offer to publish new work...Well, I had to sit down. It proves that witty female fiction is being taken seriously from the top down. I love HarperFiction for doing this. They will not be sorry...and they will definitely laugh more.”
Entrants to the unpublished category are asked to submit a one-page synopsis and the first 5,000 words of their comedy novel, which, when completed must be at least 85,000 words in length. Entrants can be of any nationality but must be over 18-years-old. For more details about CWIP and full terms and conditions visit www.comedywomeninprint.co.uk. The runner up will receive a place on the Creative Writing MA course at the University of Hertfordshire.
Alongside the award for an unpublished writer, the CWIP Prize will also offer an award for Comedy Writing by a published author with a prize fund of £2,000. Entrants can be of any nationality but must be over the age of 18 and have written a novel of at least 50,000 words.
The closing date to enter both awards is 28th February 2019.