The Comedy Women in Print Prize (CWIP) today announced their longlist in the Published Novel category, featuring a range of satire, sharp wit and dark humour from both established names and debut writers. 

CWIP was established to celebrate women’s wit and to enable writing careers where doors had been closed. The act of publishing an unknown writer, by a well-known publisher, plays a significant part in achieving this aim.

This year’s list is very different! Covering a sparkling list of genres, from rom coms to queer fiction, YA to sci-fi, this year’s titles tell us about how we live now: witty fiction has evolved from confessional headline grabbing vulnerability – to tackling love, grief, sex, guilt, class and race with wit, and vigour. These books are smart, funny and life-affirming.

This year’s entries have shown that a truly funny book is also beautifully written. The 2022/23 longlist is not just funny fiction, but a reaction of what is funny right now. This is literature for where we are in 2022 – authentic voices that help us navigate current events.

This is the fourth year of the UK and Ireland’s first and only prize to shine a light on witty novels by women - celebrating diverse female voices and kick-starting comedy writing careers.

We are currently living though a Golden Age of female comedy writing, such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sharon Horgan, Michaela Coel, and Daisy May Cooper. And the 15 writers longlisted in CWIP’s Published Comic Novel category are similarly anarchic and daring.

From a small village in Ireland and the hair salons of Peckham to the scientific community of 1960s America, these books circle the globe, demonstrating the multitude of ways women can express wit and humour, even about the darkest, most urgent topics. 

The Longlist for the CWIP Published Comic Novel 2022/23 is:

Love Marriage by Monica Ali

The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam  

Either/Or by Elif Batuman

The Writing on the Wall by Jenny Éclair 

Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen 

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 

Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes

Impossible by Sarah Lotz 

The Lock In by Phoebe Luckhurst   

Are We Having Fun Yet? by Lucy Mangan 

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason 

Wahala by Nikki May

The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson 

Did You Miss Me? by Sophia Money-Coutts 

One Day I Shall Astonish the World by Nina Stibbe 

Sedating Elaine by debut novelist Dawn Winter

Celebrity Judge Michelle de Swarte says: "I feel absolutely honoured to be one of the first to read these exciting new stories…here’s to a bright start to 2023". Michelle De Swarte is an actress, writer, and comedian having established herself on the New York comedy scene with her own material. Recently starring as a series regular in Katherine Ryan’s Netflix series The Duchess as well as the lead role of Natasha in HBO/Sky dark comedy series The Baby.

Celebrity Judge Susie Blake says: "I am so excited by the current ebullience of witty women writers, and the time is so right to celebrate them!" As well as playing the iconic, deadpan news reader in BBC’s ‘Victoria Wood Show’ Susie Blake has appeared in almost every comedy drama on British television including ‘Sunburn’, ‘Cuckoo’ and ‘The Darling Buds of May’. Her extensive theatre work marks her out as one of Britain’s finest comedy character actresses.

The CWIP Prize was launched by actress, author, and stand- up comedian Helen Lederer in 2019 as a literary platform to increase exposure for diverse female witty voices in comedy fiction, and as a way of celebrating fresh and established talent. Helen Lederer, Founder of the CWIP Prize, says: “I can’t believe how CWIP has grown and evolved in four years! Apart from celebrating a wider reach of topics in witty fiction this year, we can also celebrate a growing list of new ‘career writers’ who may not have been published without this platform. Our USP has to be having a publisher, trusting enough to publish an unknown writer from the start. Not boasting but just saying…”

This year’s judges of CWIP’s published category include comedy actor Susie Blake; comedian Arabella Weir, broadcaster, and head judge Angie Greaves as well as national treasure Anita Dobson, actor, and presenter Michelle de Swarte; Unpublished judges include Ab Fab comedy actress and writer Llewella Gideon, Journalist Liz Hoggard and last year’s unpublished winner Rebecca Rogers.

To celebrate the announcement we're thrilled to be working with CWIP to give one lucky person the chance to win the entire longlist! Click to find out how to enter.