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Funny Women is an online and workshop community dedicated to the support of female comedians. It was founded by Lynne Parker in 2000 as a reaction to a misogynistic comments from a comedy promoter. Funny Women helps women find their voice, promote them, and assists charities.
Funny Women runs "Stand Up to Stand Out" comedy workshops hosted by Parker.
In 2013, Funny Women hosted the first Workshop Weekend at the women-only business club B.Hive in Covent Garden. This comprised two days of intensive comedy and confidence training, including a Stand-Up to Stand Out comedy workshop run by Lynne Parker, an improvisation workshop facilitated by Courtney Cornfield, writing for radio hosted by Paul Dodgson and character creation with Hattie Naylor.
Funny Women also hosts regular comedy showcases in London and Brighton; residencies include comedy venues at the Leicester Square Theatre and Komedia. Following a successful trial at the Richmond Literature Festival, Funny Women is now also branching out into literary festivals with a new format discussing writing female comedy with a panel of writers and performers.
Funny Women’s website actively encourages submissions from budding writers wanting to sharpen their comedy writing skills and get online presence for their work. They actively offer feedback and help develop the writers of the future.
The Funny Women Awards
The Funny Women Awards were launched in 2003. Contestants include female talents such as Bridget Christie, Susan Calman, Katherine Ryan, Andi Osho, Kerry Godliman, Sara Pascoe, Zoe Lyons, Holly Walsh and Sarah Millican. The Awards are continuously diversifying with sub-categories for best Comedy Writing, Stage Award, and, new for 2014, best Comedy Short. They offer agency introductions, script options, and mentoring as part of the prizes.
The Awards have attracted national television and radio coverage (Richard & Judy, This Morning, The Culture Show), and national press (The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph). The Awards have also been featured as a series of podcasts with The Sun (semi final, final), and footage from the 2007 final at the Comedy Store, London is featured on the Paramount Comedy website.
Due to the numbers entering, this competition has three stages. Heats take place over April, May and June and from these heats, 20 acts are selected. Four semi-finals are held in Brighton, Manchester, London and Edinburgh and from these, ten acts are selected to go through to the final. Previous venues include Leicester Square Theatre and Kings Place in London.
- Desiree Burch  (Winner)
- Helen Monks (Runner-Up)
- Sarah Keyworth (Runner-Up)
- Christine Entwisle (Comedy Writing Award)
- Rachel Marwood (Comedy Shorts Award)
- Jayde Adams  (Winner)
- Aine Gallagher (Runner-Up)
- Lauren Pattison (Runner-Up)
- Heffernan & Fletcher (Comedy Writing Award)
- Sally Cancello (Comedy Shorts Award)
- Massive Dad (Finalist)
- Samantha Baines (Finalist)
- Robyn Perkins (Finalist)
- Hawkeye & Windy (Finalist)
- Faye Daniels (Finalist)
- Pauline Shanahan (Finalist)
- Hannah Banana (Finalist)
- Twisted Loaf (Winner)
- Katie Lane (Runner-Up)
- Elf Lyons (Runner-Up)
- Reven & Fennell (Variety Award)
- Cassie Pope (Comedy Writing Award)
- Alex Maher for 'Hope And Gloria' (Best Show Award)
- Rachel Gleaves (Finalist)
- Bisha Ali (Finalist)
- Tevashnee (Finalist)
- Rachel Slater (Finalist)
- Bethan Roberts (Finalist)
- Becky Brunning (Finalist)
- Sindhu V (Finalist)
- Saskia Preston (Finalist)
- Dotty Winters (Finalist)
- Gabby Best (Winner)
- Niamh Marron (Runner-Up)
- Katie Tracey (Runner-Up)
- Suzanna Kempner (Variety Award)
- Sarah Courtauld (Comedy Writing Award)
- Abi Tedder (Finalist)
- Alice Frick (Finalist)
- Amy Gledhill (Finalist)
- Cerys Nelmes (Finalist)
- General Advice Bureau (Finalist)
- Lucy Frederick (Finalist)
- Lucy Montague-Moffatt (Finalist)
- Sofie Hagen (Finalist)
- The Silky Pair (Finalist)
- Viv Groskop (Finalist)
- Lara A King (Winner)
- Katherine Bennett (Second)
- Bekka Bowling (Third)
- Ladies Live Longer - Louise Fitzgerald and Victoria Temple-Morris (Variety Award)
- Thankless Child - Liz Black and Freya Slipper (Winner)
- Julia Clark (Second)
- Rachel Parris (Third)
- Gemma Whelan (Variety Award)
- London Hughes as "Miss London" (Winner)
- Eve Webster (Second)
- Jo Selby (Third)
- Katherine Ryan (Winner)
- Sara Pascoe (Runner-Up)
- Rachel Stubbings (Runner-Up)
- Andi Osho (Winner)
- Joanne Lau (2nd place)
- Sharon Mannion (3rd place)
- Suzy Bennett (Winner)
- Diane Morgan (2nd)
- Christina Martin (3rd)
- Debra Jane Appleby (Winner)
- Sarah Millican (Runner-Up)
- Ruth Bratt (Runner-Up)
- Zoe Lyons (Winner)
- Anna Crilly (Runner-Up)
- Janice Phayre (Runner-Up)
- Sarah Adams as Jade the Folk Singer (Winner)
- Anna Keirle (Runner-Up)
- Ria Lina (Runner-Up)
- Kerry Godliman (Highly Commended)
Funny Women works with organisations that represent aspects of women’s wellbeing. It Women has raised awareness and over £70,000 for Refuge, Womankind Worldwide, Rise UK, The Victoria Foundation, Women's Aid, V-Day, ActionAid, Ovarian Cancer Action, the YWCA, Jo's Trust and the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.
- Gompertz, Will (6 August 2010). "Serious funny business". BBC News. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- Funny Women bintmagazine.com
- Parker, Lynne. "Why I set up Funny Women". Funnywomen.com. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Pool, Hannah (15 August 2010). "My bid to become a standup comic". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Funny Women Awards - Funny Women". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- Hastings, Rob (22 April 2011). "Heard the one about the 'bitchy' female comics?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "This is Desiree Burch, the funniest woman of the year". 2 October 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Funny Women Alumni Picks". Funny Women. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- "Not just a funny face: Funny Women Awards winner Jayde Adams interview". 2 October 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- Pelling, Rowan (25 September 2012). "Less a nation of shopkeepers, more a land of stand-ups". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 September 2015.