On Anonymity

On its launch in 2005 the Bruntwood Prize was one of the first writing competitions to ensure complete anonymity during the judging process by asking for all plays to be submitted under a pseudonym.

At a panel event discussing the competition, Royal Exchange Theatre’s Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom stated “The anonymity clause is important. It reiterates that the prize is genuinely open to anybody: people who have no prior connections with a theatre or the wider industry are given equal standing to those who do.”

Each submitted script will go through the hands of numerous readers. ONLY your script is provided to the readers, all other information requested on submission is only accessible to the Bruntwood Prize Co-ordinator, who does not read or take part in the Judging process.

In this way we aim to guard against unconscious bias in the reading and judging process- only your words and storytelling are under consideration. This year, for the first time we have also been asking for scripts to be submitted under TITLE ONLY, including no other info of any kind on the cover page.

At a time when the arts are under scrutiny for their evident lack of diversity, Frankcom also highlighted the benefits of anonymity for theatre’s minorities: “Hopefully the Bruntwood will encourage a diverse range of writers to apply, safe in the knowledge that they will be judged solely on their work and not by any preconceptions of their gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background.”

Writer Anna Jordan won the Bruntwood Prize in 2013 with her play YEN, now being produced around the world. She says ‘I didn’t start properly writing till my mid twenties so by the time I was ready to enter competition or initiatives many of them weren’t open to me because I was over 26. Bruntwood’s anonymity clause meant I knew they genuinely didn’t care how old I was which was refreshing. It’s great to know the reader is influenced by nothing but your words.’

The anonymity of the Bruntwood Prize is central to its aims. We need you to help us in ensuring total anonymity. All entries should be entered under a pseudonym or name that is not your own and no information other than a TITLE should be included on the script itself. Any inclusion of additional identifying information such as addresses, phone numbers or agents or other professional contact details on your script will lead to your entry being disqualified.

 

Please see the full competition rules before making a submission and email bruntwood.prize@royalexchange.co.uk if you have any questions

7 May 2019

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