Papatango Prize 2021

In 2021 the Papatango Prize has been reimagined to address the extraordinary circumstances facing early-stage artists. In partnership with English Touring Theatre, it will expand to support three winners, awarding each £2000, an audio production, and digital publication with Nick Hern Books.

These audio productions will then tour the UK in free listening stations, with scripts including braille translations, so that audiences everywhere can enjoy brilliant new writing in their local theatre when such programming is under threat. Venues already confirmed for the tour include Bristol Old Vic, Bush Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Lyric Theatre Belfast, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre Clwyd and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

The 2021 Papatango New Writing Prize is a one-off iteration of this annual playwriting award, remodelled to support even more artists and audiences at this critical time. It will be produced by Papatango in partnership with English Touring Theatre.

With theatres closed and the production of the winner of the 2020 Prize (Old Bridge by Igor Memic) postponed, they cannot run the Prize in 2021 with its traditional commitment to produce, publish and tour a new stage play in the same year. Instead of losing this exceptional opportunity for emerging artists and new work, they have adapted it, aiming to redress the devastating impact of the coronavirus.

All entrants will be able to opt in to receive feedback if they wish; please indicate your choice by ticking the relevant box when submitting your script. It is not possible to opt out of feedback and then later to request it.



Midnight on Sunday 7 February 2021.



  • The competition is open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland only.
  • There is no age limit.
  • There is no minimum or maximum level of experience required to enter. All you need is a story.
  • The script must be an original, unpublished and unproduced piece of work. It cannot have received a production in any form, anywhere in the world, apart from an absolute maximum of three public readings, showcases or performances. Any scripts that have been published or produced for any more than three performances, whether professionally or with an amateur company, will be automatically disqualified.
  • Translations, children’s plays, adaptations of classic plays or existing works in other media, music theatre, television or film scripts are not eligible.
  • Scripts submitted to the Prize in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted.
  • You may submit more than one script if you wish
  • As the Prize offers production and publication, thry are looking for complete scripts which will work in an audio format.
  • Scripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF formats only.
  • Entry to the Prize is anonymous. Please ensure that your script, including the file title, contains no mention of your name or email address.
  • The entrant must exclusively own and control all copyright and all other related rights to the submitted script. It must be available for production and unattached to any other organisation or individual.
  • Entrants grant Papatango and English Touring Theatre the right to produce their script in an audio production which will tour the UK. Entrants also grant Nick Hern Books the right to publish their script in a digital playtext.
  • The winning scripts will be under exclusive option to Papatango and English Touring Theatre for a period of 12 months after the last date of the tour of the audio productions.


Prize FAQS

Published on:
24 Nov 2020
Opportunity deadline:
07 Feb 2021


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  1. No idea how to produce my work in Microsoft word or pdf format but my 2 act play “You can’t come in “ a historical comedy has been produced and bound in A4 form …Help!!

    by John Hakes
    7:09 pm, 26 Dec 2020
    1. Hi John

      I don’t administrate for the Papatango Prize- this blog is to promote other opportunities and events playwrights might find interesting. You can contact the Papatango organizers here-

      Sadly, there are few playwrighting competitions of size that can accept printed copies of plays due to the costs associated with posting scripts to multiple readers around the country.

      Hope you can find a solution


      Chloe Smith
      Bruntwood Co-ordinator

      by Chloe Smith
      3:43 pm, 3 Jan 2021
      1. Hi John- just a quick note. The Winsor Fringe Kenneth Brannagh Award- now open- does take printed manuscripts

        I hope this is helpful

        by Chloe Smith
        1:17 pm, 6 Jan 2021