Funny women everywhere.
Right now, it feels a bit like the world is falling apart. From the way in which climate change is affecting our planet to the restriction of abortion in parts of the US and the mess that is UK politics, it can all be a bit overwhelming.
But it’s precisely because things seem so bad when we switch on the news that we need to make sure we take the time to laugh.
And to help us, the inaugural Comedy Women in Print Prize has just announced its shortlists.
The prize was launched by actress, author and stand-up comedian Helen Lederer in response to the lack of exposure for female comedy writing, and as a way of celebrating fresh and established talent.
There are two shortlists — one for published writers and the other for unpublished writers.
The shortlisted writers in the published category include Gail Honeyman, whose debut novel Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine follows the title character as the walls she’s built around herself are shattered, leaving her to try and find the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Joining Honeyman are Gill Sims, author of Why Mummy Swears, about an exasperated mum, and Asia Mackay, whose book Killing It focuses on a covert government agent who returns to work after maternity leave.
The final two writers on the shortlist are Lauren Steven, whose debut novel The Exact Opposite of Okay is about a girl caught in a sex scandal after sleeping with a politician’s son, and Balli Kaur Jaswal, the author of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, about a woman who takes a writing job at her local temple.
“That’s nonsense — women know that women are very funny but the official line is that women aren’t funny,” she continued.
Shortlisted in the unpublished category are screen writer Kirty Eyre for Cow Girl, editorial assistant Abigail Mann for The Lonely Fajita, International Development Agency worker Helen Doyle for The Ladies’ Guide to Finding Love, country musician Lotte Mullan for Love Is Strange, and full-time mum Jo Lovett-Turner for New Year at The Duck and Grapes.
The winners will be announced on 10 July, which gives us plenty of time to laugh ourselves silly.
Images: Comedy Women in Print Prize