The shortlist for the inaugural Comedy Women In Print (CWIP) Prize has been announced.
In the published category, Gail Honeyman has been recognised for her best-selling novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine while debut author Asia Mackay has been nominated for Killing It.
Gill Sims is up for Why Mummy Swears, Laura Steven for The Exact Opposite Of Okay and Singaporean novelist Balli Kaur Jaswal nominated for the internationally-acclaimed Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows.
The published novels were praised by judges for “celebrating the range of comedic styles, excellence, quality and above all individuality in witty women authors”.
The unpublished category contains screenwriter Kirsty Eyre with Cow Girl, editorial assistant Abigail Mann with The Lonely Fajita and aid agency worker Helen Doyle with The Ladies’ Guide to Finding Love.
Country musician Lotte Mullan is nominated for Love Is Strange while full-time mother Jo Lovett-Turner is recognised for her New Year At The Duck And Grapes.
Judges praised the shortlist for showcasing “original, witty and innovative comedy novel content”.
The CWIP Prize was launched by actress, author and stand-up comedian Helen Lederer in response to what she said was a lack of exposure for female comedy writing and as a way of celebrating fresh and established talent.
The winning author in the published category will be offered a £2,000 cash award, with £250 for each shortlisted author.
The winner of the unpublished category will be offered a publishing contract and £5,000 advance with HarperFiction. The unpublished runner-up will receive a free place on the MA course in creative writing at the University Of Hertfordshire.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony at London’s The Conduit club on July 10.