louise rennison national funny award
In 2019 Holmlands were contacted by the family of much beloved author Louise Rennison to create a national comedy award in the memory of Louise, who sadly passed away in 2016.
Working closely with the family, we helped to build the award from scratch before launching the inaugural Louise Rennison National Funny Award in April 2020 - as a writing and performing arts competition designed to showcase the creative and comedic talents of 11-18 year olds throughout the UK.
Our work included building the competition infrastructure from copywriting and website creation to logo design and sourcing of award prizes.
We also sourced and secured judges for the award; successfully bringing onboard award-winning stand-up comedian, actor, writer and filmmaker Andi Osho; comedians and CBBC presenters Ben Shires, Jonny Nelson and Lauren Layfield; Director of Hay Children’s Festival Julia Eccleshare; and novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker Mark Heywood.
As part of the campaign, we were appointed to deliver video production and photographic services, in addition to a year long public relations campaign from announcing the award to securing press coverage for the eventual award winners - resulting in press coverage across the UK regional press, comedy media and BBC Radio networks.
Following five months of submissions, a wealth of entries were whittled down to a shortlist presented to the judges.
Six eventual winners were chosen as recipients of the award - receiving prizes from Penguin Books and Harper Collins - as well as the opportunity to attend online comedic writing and performance workshops with comedians Rose Robinson and Kathryn Hanke, Youth Theatre Director at Freedom Studios Natalie Quatermass and head judge and Founder of Ink Jockey, Mark Heywood. An event series arranged and overseen by Holmlands.
The competition was completely free to enter, with entrants able to submit as many entries as they wished, with no commercial partners or sponsorships - in a social initiative that went a long way to inspire and empower secondary school pupils in Britain to explore their funny side and give comedy a go.
The project proved to be a great success despite the challenges of launching an award for school pupils during a pandemic - at a time when schools were largely closed.
With the events of 2020 unfolding in the way they did, the whole campaign brought some much needed light and laughter to everyone involved during a difficult time - and remains an initiative we are very proud to have worked on and help deliver for Louise, her family and all the amazing and hilarious participants throughout the UK.