Start prepping for the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting!

In 2015 the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting will reopen for entries. The prize is the UK’s biggest national competition for playwriting. It is the search for great new plays and great writers. We look for scripts that are original and unperformed, by writers of any experience.

Not only do winners of the prize get the chance for their play to go into full development they also get the chance to have their script published by Nick Hern Books.

Find out what makes a Bruntwood Prize-winning play… Get 25% off and free UK postage and packing on all past Bruntwood Prize-winning plays published by Nick Hern Books:

To buy copies of any of these plays at the discount price, go to (or use the links above) and enter BRUNTWOOD15 in the box for promotional codes at checkout. Offer available until 30 June 2015.

Now is the time to start preparing for your 2015 submission!

Winners of the prize have included the following

Gareth Farr‘s play, the most recently performed Bruntwood winner, Britannia Waves The Rules tells the tale of Carl who doesn’t fit in at home. He doesn’t fit in anywhere. When he signs up for the army, he sees it as a chance to escape the grim reality of life in his hometown. But the army takes him to Afghanistan. And when he comes home, it’s not as a war hero but as a changed man.

* * * * *
“Dan Parr explodes across the stage as Carl in a performance of considerable subtlety…a transfixing performance, with a strong supporting cast, which is en route to the Edinburgh Festival.”
The Independent



Written by Ben Musgrave the 2005 winner Pretend You Have Big Buildings is set in Romford, an industrial town in the south east of England that London has gradually and controversially expanded into. A poetic and passionate play that explores growing up, identity and loss.

“Touching, funny and immensely assured.. Musgrave’s fresh take on forbidden desire in unforgiving surroundings races with a vitality all of its own…”

65-Miles-PP-337Sixty Five Miles, written by Matt Hartley was the 2005 under-26 winner . A devastating drama about family and the ties that bind us together, A story about family, redemption and learning how to say sorry.


The debut play from ex-school teacher Vivienne Franzmann, 2008 joint winner, Mogadishu draws on Franzmann’s life as a teacher. When a black pupil pushes a white teacher to the ground he faces expulsion from school.  In order to protect himself, the student lies and drags her into a vortex of lies in which victim becomes perpetrator.

* * * * *
“its grisly truth rings louder than a playtime bell…Risking accusations of racial stereotyping herself, Franzmann manages to make all the characters credible and well-rounded, even the damaged perpetrator.”

Another debut play, this time from Andrew Sheridan, the second 2008 winner that went on to be performed in the Royal Exchange Studio and Soho Theatre. Set in Manchester Winterlong explores what happens when a baby is discarded a few nights before Christmas.

“brutal, uncompromising portrait of broken lives… unforgettable; strange yet completely recognisable.”



The 2010 winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting came from Fiona Peek with her play Salt that surrounds two couples as they join together for different courses of different meals over nine months where the heat rises, they soon find themselves approaching boiling point.

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‘a disturbing look at pride, self-pity, friendship and love that nearly everyone who watches it can leave the theatre learning a thing or two.’
The Public Reviews

Michaela Coel as Tiana (left) and Susan Wokoma as Tanika in THREE BIRDS by Janice Okoh (The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre until 16 March). Photo - Jonathan KeenanTHREE BIRDS
2011 winner Three Birds by Janice Okoh went on to be performed at the Bush Theatre and Royal Exchange Studio. When their mother appears to go awol, siblings Tiana , Tionne and Tanika are left to fend for themselves in the family’s south London council flat.

“hovers, brilliantly suspended, between dark comedy, thriller and an expressive human sympathy worthy of Tennessee Williams…beautiful and funny”

Published on:
28 Jan 2015


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