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Lancaster Playwriting Prize 2019


The Lancaster Playwriting Prize aims to discover new voices from a diverse range of backgrounds; each year, it has different entry criteria in order to reach underserved playwrights. For 2019, the Prize is focused on unproduced writers aged over 55 who are based in North West England. The winner will receive £1500. The Prize shortlist and winner will be announced in Autumn 2019.  

What we’re looking for:

  • We are looking for theatre scripts from writers over the age of 55 who live or work in North West England.
  • All writers submitting must have no prior full-length professional theatre work produced.


  • The window for scripts opens on 19th August 2019. The date for last entries is noon on 27th September 2019.

Entry rules

  • The competition is open to writers over 55 years old who are resident or work in the North West of England. For the purposes of this prize, the North West consists of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. Writers must be 55 or over on 19th August 2019.
  • All writers submitting must have no prior full-length professional theatre work produced. For the purposes of this competition, a professional production refers to a play that has had more than five performances in front of a paying audience; it also features paid performers, directors and production teams. Rehearsed readings or development workshops are not counted as prior professional productions; nor are works written for youth or non-professional performers. Works under forty minutes are also discounted as prior professional productions.
  • The play must be an original, unpublished and unproduced piece of work. It cannot have had a professional production anywhere in the world (see the above criteria for clarification).
  • Adaptations of existing works of musical theatre, radio, television or other media are not eligible; translations of said works are also excluded.
  • Musical theatre scripts are not eligible.
  •  Scripts must be a minimum of 40 minutes long and all pages must be numbered
  • For more details on how to enter and our criteria, please go to or email

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Photo, Crowds enjoying Garden of Light, by TILT. Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by Mayor of London. Credit Matthew Andrews 2016.

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Photo, Jennie Gill, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield. Photo Our Favourite Places / Nigel Barker for Yorkshire Artspace.