Liverpool playwriting prize offers £10,000 to winner

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Paul Genty

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Organisers of the fourth Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize are expecting a large increase in entries because of Coronavirus.

Playwrights and hopefuls will be taking advantage of Coronavirus and isolation to put the finishing touches - or maybe quickly get down to work - in the hope of picking up the 2021 Liverpool Hope National Playwriting prize.

The prize is a platform for new comedy plays and writers across the UK, and our second-largest national playwriting competition.

Prize judge and Royal Court executive producer Kevin Fearon said: “There are huge numbers of people who know they have a book, song or play in them – we are already seeing that creativity on social media. Imagine taking this time to get that play down on paper and ending up winning £10,000?”

Scripts must be original and unperformed, but all writers may enter. Last year almost 200 scripts were submitted. Find out more here.

The competition, a collaboration between Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre and Liverpool Hope University, also offers prizes for other scripts commended by the judges.

Since 2015, competition success stories have included winners and highly-commended writers who have gone on to have their plays commissioned at theatres across the UK. Last year’s winner was Colin Dowland (pictured above), whose script Headless is in development with the Royal Court. Set in a primary school on the morning of an Ofsted inspection, chaos reigns as the head is found locked in the toilet with a bottle of whisky.

The winner in 2017 was writer and actor Simon Bradbury with The Last Act of Love of J B Moliere, and in 2015 winner Katie Mulgrew won with Omnibus.

As with many TV talent shows, it can be just as good not to win the top prize: Gerry Linford picked up a highly-commended award for The Miracle of Great Homer Street and has since gone on to write three more plays for the Royal Court, with a fourth, Macca and Beth, due in the summer but now, a victim of theatre closures, put back until February 2021.

Deadline for entries is May 31, 2020. All reviewing and selection will be anonymous. Entrants must be over the age of 18 and reside in either the UK or Republic of Ireland. The winner and runners-up will be revealed at a ceremony in April 2021.

More info here

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