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£10K playwriting comp opens

THE Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize has re-opened for submissions, with a first prize of £10,000. 

The Prize is the second largest national playwriting competition, jointly-run by Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre. 

To enter, writers must submit an original and unperformed script for a comedy play.  The final award ceremony will now take place in May 2022. 

Since 2015, those recognised by the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize have gone on to have their plays commissioned at theatres and auditoriums across the UK.

Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court and one of the Hope Prize judges, says he’s delighted to reignite the competition – with the Prize having been postponed in the May of 2020.

Describing how the deadline for submissions is now June 31st 2021, he said: “We anticipate that many writers will have used the lockdown to write new scripts or to hone existing ones. We could well be in for the most exciting year yet in terms of the plays we receive.”

Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor & Rector of Liverpool Hope University, said the University was committed to nurturing creative talent, adding: “A great many things were placed on hold because of the Coronavirus pandemic – the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize being just one of them. But as we re-open this unique and wonderful competition, it’s an opportunity to look forward to the coming weeks and months with renewed optimism. 

“Hope truly values its partnership with The Royal Court Theatre and, with the help of a stellar panel of judges, we will once again seek to unearth the next big talent in comedy playwriting.

“As previous Prize winners have shown, the rewards are not just monetary – the competition is also an invaluable opportunity for entrants to really showcase their work to the wider world.”

The Prize was last won in 2019 when primary school headteacher Colin Dowland, whose script ‘Headless’ is still in development with the Royal Court, walked away with the £10,000 cheque. 

His play is set in a primary school on the morning of an Ofsted inspection. As chaos reigns, Dowland’s headteacher is found locked in the toilet, clutching a bottle of whiskey.

The deadline for entries is 31 June 2021. All reviewing and selection will be refereed anonymously. Entrants must be over the age of 18 and reside in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland. The winner and runner/s-up will be revealed at a ceremony, which will take place in May 2022.

For further details on how to apply:


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