The Women’s Prize for Playwriting, which will support exceptional UK and Ireland-based playwrights. The winning playwright will receive £12,000 in respect of an exclusive option for EKP and Paines Plough to co-produce the winning play. The founding sponsor of The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is PER.

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is designed to celebrate and raise the profile of these playwrights by providing them with a national platform. Any person of 16 years or older who is resident in the UK or Ireland and who identifies as female can enter. The prize is for a full-length play (defined as over 60 minutes in length), written in English.



Monday 2nd March.

Your play will be read by an expert team of readers working across the theatre industry. There will be 8-9 rounds of reading, with each script being read by different readers within and across each round. You will also be asked for a supporting letter to be read each time ahead of the readers reaching your script to understand you and your process.

They aim to announce a longlist of around 25 scripts in April 2020, followed by a shortlist of around 6 scripts in May 2020. These scripts will be read and discussed by the judging panel.

The judging panel for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020 is chaired by senior literary agent Mel Kenyon, and further comprises:

  • Playwright Tanika Gupta
  • Sarah Frankcom
  • Playwright Ella Hickson
  • theatre producer and former Executive Director of the Donmar Warehouse, Kate Pakenham.
  • Actress and writer Monica Dolan
  • Actress Maxine Peake
  • Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham.


  • The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is open to all writers who identify as female.
  • You must be resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland to enter the Prize.
  • You must be sixteen years of age or older to enter the Prize. There is no upper age limit.
  • Scripts should be an hour or more in playing time. This usually equates to about 60 pages, but if your play takes a different form then this might be much shorter. There is no upper limit on length.
  • Scripts may be written for any cast size.
  • Scripts written by more than one author are eligible.
  • Musicals and pantomimes are not eligible, but there is otherwise no restriction on genre. Plays which contain some music or songs as part of the script are eligible.
  • Your play must be unproduced and unperformed. ‘Unproduced’ is defined as having both (a) had no more than 6 performances for which people could buy tickets and (b) not having received a professional review.
  • You must own all copyright relating to your script.
  • Scripts which have been submitted for other competitions are eligible. However, scripts which have won other competitions are not eligible. Scripts which have reached the shortlist in other competitions are eligible.
  • The writer of the script which is awarded the First Prize by the judging panel will receive £12,000 on or around the day of the awards ceremony in July 2020. The prize money comprises £12,000 as a fee in respect of an exclusive option for Paines Plough and EKP to co-produce the winning script. Pursuant to the option, a decision will be taken whether to produce the script within 12 months of the awards ceremony. In the absence of a decision being taken to produce the play within the 12 months, all professional rights will revert to the writer. If the winning play is produced by Paines Plough and EKP then royalties and other arrangements will be negotiated separately.
  • Two further prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the judges.


Please visit for further details.


Published on:
16 Jan 2020


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