On Monday 08 November, the UK’s female comedy stars descended on the Groucho Club for the Comedy Women in Print awards (CWIP), an annual female-focussed comedy awards ceremony founded by Blackheath High School alumna, comedian, writer and actress Helen Lederer.
The awards, in their third year, focus on recognising, celebrating and encouraging female authors of comic fiction. As a traditionally male-dominated industry, the awards have been created to give women the profile and platform they deserve.
This year’s winners include writers Jesse Sutanto, Published Winner for her novel Dial A For Aunties, and Rebecca Rogers, Unpublished Winner for The Purgatory Poisoning. Also taking away a prize were Meera Syal CBE, winning the Witty Writer Award and Deborah Frances-White with the Game Changer Award.
"there is still a way to go before people realise that witty women deserve their place in the Literary Prize arena"
Founder of the awards, Helen Lederer, attended Blackheath High School from age 4 – 18. The school looks forward to welcoming Helen back to her old stomping ground to run a comedy writing workshop with the students, encouraging them to think freely and find their creativity. The workshop will instil confidence through performance and presentation skills.
Helen Lederer, founder of the CWIP awards and Blackheath High School Alumna said: “I wanted to create the awards to showcase women in comedy writing as we are so often overlooked by the mainstream media. We have come such a long way and it is great to see more representation in the industry, but I believe there is still a way to go before people realise that witty women deserve their place in the Literary Prize arena due to genuine, comedic talent.
“I thank all of the partners, supporters and donators to the awards who help to make them possible and raise the profile of the event and the women that they celebrate. I cannot wait for next year and to see all the incredible new and distinguished talent coming through.”
Carol Chandler-Thompson, Head Teacher at Blackheath High School said “We’re extremely proud to partner with the Comedy Women in Print awards and support our alumna, Helen. It is a privilege to see and support her as she raises awareness and celebrates women in comedy. We hope to welcome her back to the school to work with the girls very soon.”