Another five leading female comic writers, including Katy Brand and Jenny Eclair, have joined the judging panels for the inaugural Comedy Women in Print (CWIP) prize.
The group – completed by author Kathy Lette, Susan Calman and Shazia Mirza – will sit alongside comedian and author Helen Lederer, bestselling novelist Marian Keyes and Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson.
The CWIP prize, founded by Lederer, offers one unpublished female comic writer a publishing contract and £5,000 advance with HarperFiction, and one of their published peers £2,000 in cash.
The judges’ aim is to redress a gender imbalance in the public profile of comic writing. Keyes, who has been outspoken before about gender bias in comedy awards, said: “Female comic writers don’t get anything like the recognition that male comic writers do… female comic writers [ought] to be given the recognition they so richly deserve.”
“We are forever being told we are not funny,” Mirza added, ”so the only way to eliminate this negative and false stereotype is to put women’s work and voices out there.”