Michelle Gallen wins top prize at Comedy Women in Print Awards 2022/23

The author wins the Published Novel category for her book, Factory Girls.

The ALCS-sponsored Comedy Women in Print Awards was founded in 2019 and aims to recognise, celebrate and encourage witty women authors. Winners were announced on 17 April at the Gaucho Club in London.

Michelle Gallen won in the Published Novel category for her “funny, politically rich and relevant coming-of-age novel”, Factory Girls.

Factory Girls follows the story of Northern Irish schoolgirl who takes a holiday job in a shirt factory in 1994. As tensions rise among the Catholic and Protestant workforce, Maeve realises something is going on behind the scenes at the factory.

Bonnie Garmus won the runner-up prize for her “beautifully written, utterly original” fiction debut, Lessons In Chemistry, where scientist-turned-TV chef, Elizabeth Zott takes on workplace sexism in 1960s America. The New Voice runner-up was won by Nikki May for her comedic and joyously relatable friendship thriller, Wahala.

Gallen, Garmus and May were awarded respective prizes of £3,000, £1,000 and £500. The judging panel included broadcaster Angie Greaves; comedian and author Arabella Weir; Anita Dobson; comedy actor Susie Blake; and last year’s winning author Jess Sutanto.

The Unpublished Novel prize was won by school librarian, Silvia Saunders, for her novel, Happy Above Us, where a twenty-something librarian juggles friendship, grief, and the housing crisis, as her boyfriend unravels. The judges declared it a clear winner, articulating the messiness of millennial life while injecting the perfect amount of warmth. Saunders won a publishing contract and £5,000 advance from HarperFiction.

The Witty Impact Award was given to actor, writer, and producer Sharon Horgan for her contribution to wit on the page and screen as well as changing the literary canvas with women led comedy. This award was presented by Meera Syal who was last year’s recipient of the same award.

Stand-up comedian, actor and author Jo Brand was named Witty Game-Changer for her role in transforming the perception of witty women in comedy as well as pushing boundaries across all media.


Read more about Comedy Women in Print.