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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.

The submissions window for the 2023 Prize opens on Monday 16 January 2023 and closes on Monday 17 April.

Click here to find out more about The Women’s Prize for Playwriting and how to submit your play. 

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

The 2021 prize was awarded to Consumed by Karis Kelly, and the play is currently in development.


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. It toured to twenty venues around the country in the following year, before return for a second run at the Kiln in November 2022.

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