Lancaster playwriting cash prize celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion

A playwriting competition which aims to encourage writing for the stage among under-represented writers in the North West has been launched.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 3:45 pm

The 2022 Lancaster Playwriting Prize is now open to anyone from the North West of England who identifies as LGBTQAI+ ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) aged 16 and up to and including the age of 30.

It will include a cash prize for the winner of £1,500, as well as a rehearsed reading of their play and mentoring.

The Lancaster Playwriting Prize, now in its third year, is run in partnership by the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and The Dukes in Lancaster.

The competition is run in partnership by the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and The Dukes in Lancaster.

Lancaster University alumna and prize funder, Lucy Briers, said: “I am so proud to be one of the sponsors of the Lancaster Playwrighting Prize. It is more vital than ever that we welcome the next generation of artists into the world of theatre. It has never been a more unpredictable profession, but that is why it needs the lifeblood of new writers to shine a light on what it is to be human.”

Director of the Dukes, Karen O’Neill, said: “Discovering new voices and welcoming them to our stages is vital to the Dukes. We are interested in diverse storytelling that engages with our audiences and our community to break down barriers and start conversations. The Lancaster Playwright Prize is an important way to support creativity in the North West.”

Lancaster University Lecturer in Creative Writing, Dr Tajinder Singh Hayer, added: “This is the third time that the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster have worked in partnership with The Dukes and Lucy Briers on the Lancaster Playwriting Prize. The shifting remit makes it unique in comparison to many other writing competitions; the first iteration was focussed on BAMER playwrights and the second on unproduced playwrights over 55. This year’s is aimed at LGBTQAI+ voices. The aim has always been about finding underrepresented talent in the North West and giving them encouragement to tell their stories.”

The genre of play can be anything – the only requirement is that it explores queer themes with an original flair. The final judging panel this year will comprise Lucy Briers, Dr Tajinder Singh Hayer, Karen O’Neill and writer Ben Weatherill.

The deadline for applications is Monday, October 11th, at 12 noon with the winner(s) to be announced in December.