News: Joanna Scanlan, Lolly Adefope, Pauline McLynn, Emma Kennedy Named As Book Prize Judges

News: Joanna Scanlan, Lolly Adefope, Pauline McLynn Named As Book Prize Judges
News: Joanna Scanlan, Lolly Adefope, Pauline McLynn Named As Book Prize Judges
News: Joanna Scanlan, Lolly Adefope, Pauline McLynn Named As Book Prize Judges

Joanna Scanlan, Lolly Adefope, Pauline McLynn and Emma Kennedy are among the judges for The Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020 (CWIP), the UK’s only award celebrating witty women writers.

CWIP is the UK and Ireland’s first prize to shine a light on work by funny women writers. It was created by actress, author and stand- up comedian Helen Lederer and launched in 2019 in response to the lack of support and exposure for female comedy writing and as a way of discovering new talent. This year, a new award category will celebrate the unsung genre of humorous graphic novels.

The international bestselling writer Marian Keyes will chair the judges for the CWIP Prize for published novels. Marian is joined by: BAFTA-winning writer and actress Joanna Scanlan (Getting On, The Thick of It); writers and actresses Emma Kennedy (The Kennedys) and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted); comedian and actress Lolly Adefope, recently seen on BBC Three’s Shrill; and Laura Steven, winner of CWIP’s inaugural published prize for The Exact Opposite of Okay.

The judging panel for the CWIP Prize for unpublished novels is chaired by Fanny Blake, a former publisher and author of eight novels, who has judged numerous book prizes including the Costa First Novel Award. Fanny is joined by: Yomi Adegoke, award-winning journalist and co-author of bestseller Slay in Your Lane; Kate Bradley, Editorial Director at HarperFiction; stand-up comedian, writer, director and activist Grace Campbell; winner of the 2019 CWIP Unpublished novel category, Kirsty Eyre; and Dr Jennifer Young, Head of Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University

The inaugural CWIP Prize for humorous graphic novels will be chaired by author and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis. Janet is joined by: Rachael Ball from LDComics, author of The Inflatable Woman (a Guardian Best Graphic Novel of 2015); UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry; stand-up comedian and author Jen Brister; Dr Nicola Streeten, director of LDComics, writer, artist and teacher; and acclaimed actress Paula Wilcox.

Helen Lederer, founder of CWIP, says: ‘The generosity and commitment of the judges including established and witty TV stars such as Jo Scanlan and bestselling writer Marian Keyes has upped our game for the second year. As the suffragettes said, it’s “deeds not words, so this year we’ve added another unsung group of witty cartoonists and artists in the graphic novel category. CWIP remains an irreverent but relevant prize at a time when women write funny books but get published less than men. Apparently, there’s never been a better time to be witty and a woman – we are all set to have a laugh proving it.’

Joanna Scanlan, CWIP Judge and BAFTA-nominated actress and screenwriter, says: Judging for CWIP is my idea of heaven its the ultimate OOO (Out of Office) reply excuse to snuggle up with a funny book without having to fork out for a vacation. Who needs anything more?’

Yomi Adegoke, CWIP Judge, journalist and bestselling author, says: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be asked to do what I love most in a professional capacity: read the work of witty women. The CWIP awards are much needed and I'm delighted to be a part of it."

Entries for the award are now open and the closing date for submissions is Monday 2nd March 2020. Audible is providing support to finance CWIP for 2020.The CWIP published winner will receive a cash prize of £3000 from the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). For the unpublished category, recognising rising comic talent, the winner will receive a publishing contract and a £5000 advance from HarperFiction. The unpublished runner-up receives £2000 from the University of Hertfordshire and mentoring from the MA course in Creative Writing. A second runner-up will receive a place on the online MA in Comedy Writing from Falmouth University the first of its kind in the country. The graphic novel category winner will also receive a cash prize, to be announced. For more details about CWIP and full terms and conditions visit

The Comedy Women in Print Prize winners will be announced at an award ceremony in early July 2020.


Lolly Adefope picture by Idil Sukan.


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