We always knew it and now CWIP proves it: women can be not only funny but also flipping hilarious!

Comedy Women in Print (CWIP), now in its second year, was founded by comedian and novelist Helen Lederer as a way to celebrate and promote witty writing by women. This year there was a wealth of funny fiction to choose from, with the main prize going to Nina Stibbe for her darkly comic, semi-autobiographical novel, Reasons to be Cheerful.

I read this at the beginning of lockdown – chosen I must confess because of the optimism of its title – and can confirm that it is a real rib-tickler; funny and touching by turns, with a unique and genuine voice, and some put-down-the-book-and-let-yourself-go-with-a-darn-good-chuckle moments. Who’d have thought dentistry could be so entertaining?

As well as Nina Stibbe’s novel (which incidentally also scooped the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction), CWIP awarded prizes, among others, to Candice Carty-Williams’ for her debut novel Queenie and to screenwriter, actor and novelist Ruth Jones for Us Three. 

Congratulations to all the winners and runners up. Long may CWIP continue to thrive and shine a light on the wit and talent of women. There’s a lot of it out there!