The 2019 CWIP longlist for
Comedy Fiction by Published Female Writers
The Comedy Women In Print (CWIP) prize aims to bring female comedy writing the exposure and recognition it deserves.
The 12 novels chosen for the longlist were selected from an abundance of submissions. They include beloved and best-selling novelists, with impressive back catalogues, as well as fantastic debut witty writers and rising stars.
• Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce (Picador)
• Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Harper Collins)
• Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal (Harper Collins)
• Faking Friends by Jane Fallon (Penguin Random House)
• Forging On by Catherine Robinson (Orion)
• Hot Mess by Lucy Vine (Orion)
• Killing It by Asia Mackay (Bonnier Zaffre)
• Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga Wojta (Contraband/Saraband)
• One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk (Harper Collins)
• The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (Electric Monkey)
• The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (HarperImpulse)
• Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sims (Harper Collins)
The 12 books on the longlist are all linked by their humour, but are also very different, which demonstrates the sheer volume and diversity of witty writing that is out there. As Lederer says ‘one person’s joke is another person’s groan’ and CWIP recognises the challenge and pleasure in providing a platform for such important and witty reading.
The twelve books embrace a rich and varied backdrop of witty content. We travel between wartime to Britain, to 19th century Russia as well as Yorkshire while discovering the secret lives of Punjabi widows. We also see how mothers cope in the face of modern challenges but in very different ways. We explore the difficulties of finding true love in real life set in a world of online disappointment (or even just a date for the wedding where the ex will be). We see the trials and tribulations of friends and family who let us down and build us up as we attempt to discover who we are while we also explore dating apps, Insta fame, trolls and slut-shaming.
All books, like the women behind them, will not be easily defined. However, they are full of warmth, intelligence and wit.
The team at the University of Hertfordshire, CWIP's fantastic Prize partner and provider of the Creative Writing MA for an unpublished writer, commented on the longlist:
“In spite of the widely differing themes, what emerged most strongly is the reader’s connection with the protagonists and their stories. The readers were engaged, and could recognise and empathise with the protagonist’s struggles, women who were often trying to conform to expected gender norms and to fit in, whilst trying to overcome anxiety, adversity and generally being perplexed by the challenges of the modern world. It was truly heartening to read the works of so many witty women and be part of the fabulous Comedy Women in Print prize.”