The 2019 Prize


We were astonished to have received 2,561 entries to this year’s Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting – our biggest number of submissions ever! Over the last six months, through the website, we have hoped to support both new and experienced writers to take the plunge through workshops, toolkits and films. As the deadline loomed, and scripts flooded in, we realised this was probably going to be a popular year but we are truly thrilled and in awe of all those writers who have shared their work with us.  This is a massive 35% increase in entries from 2017.  We all have a deep respect and admiration for every single writer who has taken the time to tell their story and who has been brave enough to share their work with us.  This record number is testament to the unique power of writing for the live and immediate experience of theatre and shows how vital it is that new voices continue to be supported and heard.

On November 4th 2019- in an Award Ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester the winners of the Bruntwood Prize 2019 were announced. They were;

  • SHED: EXPLODED VIEW by Phoebe Eclair Powell won the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2019
  • untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play by Kimber Lee’s wins The Bruntwood Prize International Award
  • Akedah by Michael John O’Neill won the debut writer’s category, the Original New Voice Award
  • Glee & Me  by Stuart Slade was awarded the Judges Award
  • Due to the high calibre of scripts in this year’s record-breaking entries, the judges also awarded Dave Harris and Jody O’Neill £4,000 each as a commendation for their captivating plays, TAMBO & BONES and BALLYBAILE respectively


The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2019 prize is open to anyone aged 16+ in the UK, Ireland and the British Territories with a story to tell. The biennial prize is a partnership between property company Bruntwood, a major supporter of the arts, and world-class producing theatre, the Royal Exchange Theatre, in Manchester.

The Prize can be a springboard to a writing career. Its alumni include some the UK’s most respected playwrights such as Duncan Macmillan and Alistair McDowall. Anna Jordan’s 2013 Bruntwood Prize-winning play, YEN, was recently produced off-Broadway with Oscar-nominated actor Lucas Hedges; Kendall Feaver’s 2015 Judges’ award-winning play THE ALMIGHTY SOMETIMES is now a multi-award-winning play that has gone on to be produced by the Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney. She is now the Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights at the Belvoir, Australia.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is a genuine endeavour to discover new stories and help playwrights develop their craft, providing everybody and anybody with the opportunity to write a play. It offers a fantastic opportunity to hone your writing skills, whether or not you have written for the stage before (35% of the entrants to the 2017 Prize had never written a play before). In addition to a high proportion of winning and shortlisted plays being produced professionally, each of the top 100 plays receives individual feedback from the Royal Exchange Theatre’s creative team.

The anonymity of the submissions is vital to the ethos of the Prize as it ensures that scripts are judged on individual merit with no preconceptions about the identity of the playwright.  Over 100 readers are employed to take the scripts through a rigorous process.  These readers are directors, producers, designers, actors, dramaturgs, literary managers, critics, agents and previous winners.  Once a script has been selected for the shortlist, it will have been read and championed by 16 different and distinct practitioners which we hope makes for a robust selection process.



Key dates
  • 24 Jan 2022
    Open for submissions from 6pm
  • 6 Jun 2022
    6pm - submission close
  • 28 Jun 2022
    Phase One Reading Complete
  • 19 Jul 2022
    Phase Two Reading Complete
  • 16 Aug 2022
    Phase 3 Reading Complete
  • 13 Sep 2022
    Longlist of Top 100 Plays Announced
  • 21 Oct 2019
    Shortlist Announced
  • 14 Nov 2022
    2022 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Ceremony
  • 31 Dec 2022
    Deadline for Feedback sent to Longlist Plays

This year's judges