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The Women’s Prize for Playwriting

What is the Women’s Prize for Playwriting?

Paines Plough, Ellie Keel Productions and 45North launched the Women’s Prize for Playwriting in 2020 to support female, UK and Ireland-based writers.

The winning playwright receives £12,000 in respect of an exclusive option for Ellie Keel Productions and Paines Plough to co-produce the winning play.

The mission of the Women’s Prize for Playwriting is to address the inequality in the number of plays written by women and men on major stages in the UK. In 2018, only 26% of new plays on main stages in Britain were by women.

This prize is designed to level the playing field and to honour and celebrate the work of female and non-binary playwrights.

In its inaugural year, the prize was awarded to two writers: Amy Trigg for Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me and Ahlam for You Bury Me. Both received the £12,000 prize.

Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me received its first performances at Kiln Theatre in May-June 2021. The following year, it toured to twenty venues around the country in, before returning for a second run at the Kiln in November 2022.

You Bury Me had a staged reading at Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in 2021, before embarking on a full tour to Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and the Orange Tree Theatre in London in Spring 2023.

The 2021 prize was awarded to Karis Kelly for their play Consumed, and the 2023 prize was awarded to Sarah Grochala for her play Intelligence. Both are now in development.

2023 Finalists

Bellringers by Daisy Hall
LUMIN by Emma Gibson
Intelligence by Sarah Grochala
The Angels Were Worms by Shaan Shahota
King Troll (The Fawn) by Sonali Bhattacharyya

2021 Finalists

Birdie by Alison Carr
A Bouffon Play About Hong Kong by Isabella Leung
FURIES by Isley Lynn
Consumed by Karis Kelly
upright enuf by lydia luke
4 Decades by Paula B Stanic
HOW I LEARNED TO SWIM by Somebody Jones

2020 Finalists

Paradise Street by Chinonyerem Odimba
Red Sky at Night by Eve Leigh
You Bury Me by Ahlam
Colostrum by Liv Hennessy
The Virgins by Miriam Battye
…blackbird hour by babirye bukilwa
Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me by Amy Trigg