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  • Writer's pictureHelen Lederer

The Comedy Women In Print Actual Awards Event

Updated: Jul 13, 2019

Well we did it … with a few run ins, some shouty bits and then suddenly I was in front of the microphone welcoming people to the first CWIP winners’ event.

A person prepares.....

There we were, with one hour to go - surrounded by masses of cardboard boxes full of items not in their goody bags. I was in no state to position a foot balm onto tissue paper, let alone place a WINNING BOOK rationally adjacent to a pair of tights. Mercifully, an army of people who had the misfortune to be early, saw the chaos, formed a production line and we were in flow.

It was possibly the hottest day of the year and since we were in the basement of the Conduit - a merry sweat united us with a warm glow. King of SOHO tumblers of stunning Variorum Gin (which people liked A LOT) were handed out – and then Georgia and the Vintage Youth belted out her own song ‘The Girl’ and then the CWIP SONG:

What followed was a mash up between morning school assembly (my own school song was ‘to be a pilgrim’) and a kind of Jools Holland jiggy gig where people started to sway a bit from the hips - in spite of themselves.

Thanking people took a while – because the number of people who’ve made CWIP happen are many and special.

Recognition of humour is fleeting and personal and tied up in a glorious mystery of why any of us find anything funny. The judges (luckily, I’m not one, as I like to remind people) reflected that.

Published judging panel (not me) and with Katy Brand on skype bless. Left to right - Shazia Mirza, Allison Pearson, Me (not judge), Kathy Lette, Marian Keyes (Credit: Rii Schroer/Telegraph)

Unpublished judging panel. Left to right - Martha Ashby, Me (not judge), Fanny Blake, Jennifer Young, Jenny Eclair, Karen McPherson, Lara Marshall (Credit: Rii Schroer/Telegraph)

BUT what we are doing is changing and adding focus to the canvas of literary prizes. Increasing visibility is all and we might as well have fun while we do it – hence the gin, music and hip movements that you might not get at the Desmond Elliot prize. Bless.

Our 'Husseys' thanks be to Jake Hussey.

The winners - Laura Steven and Kirsty Eyre wielding the pen.

All the longlisted books were in the room. We salute every one of the entries. We’ve known for a long time there’s a wealth of untapped witty women writing – and at least we are tapping some of it.

A rather animated tableau.

I’m told the sign of an engrossing gig is when one forgets about one’s fringe going lumpy and lack of lipstick for selfies and just cracks on …. So, this is what we are doing – we are cracking on.

Thanks be to ED Public Relations and Helen Wakeman Jones at WKM Productions for not sacking me.



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