Women’s Prize For Playwriting Submissions Open

Women's Prize for Playwriting

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting, which aims to support and uplift new female talent in theatre, is open for submissions until 12 July 2021.

The £12,000 prize is open to any female-identifying writers who currently reside in the UK or Ireland.

The finalists will be announced on 9 December, with the awards ceremony taking place on 27 January 2022.

Founded in 2019 by producer Ellie Keel, the award is supported by Paines Plough theatre company.

The judging panel for 2021 consists of 10 female creatives, including literary editor Arifa Akbar, playwright Winsome Pinnock, and Doctor Who actor Jodie Whittaker.

Last year’s inaugural prize received over 1,000 applicants, and was awarded to two writers: Ahlam for her play You Bury Me, following six Egyptian characters living in post-Arab-spring Cairo, and Amy Trigg for Reasons Why You Should(n’t) Love Me, about a woman living with spina bifida. Their plays were optioned to be co-produced by Paines Plough, Ellie Keel Productions, and 45North.

Charlotte Bennett, joint artistic director of Paines Plough, spoke of a “misconception that women write domestic dramas,” when in reality the plays the panel read for last year’s prize were “big, epic, political, ambitious, not about someone washing up. They are just as exciting – if not more so, arguably – as the big plays we are seeing out there by men.”

More information, including further eligibility requirements and an application timeline, is available on the award’s website.

Words by Caitlin Barr.

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Image: Women’s Prize for Playwriting


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