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Lancaster Playwriting Prize Encourages LGBTQAI+ Voices to be Heard

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It will include a cash prize for the winner of £1,500, as well as a rehearsed reading of their play and mentoring.

Lancaster Playwriting Prize Encourages LGBTQAI+ Voices to be Heard

A playwriting competition which aims to encourage writing for the stage among underrepresented writers in the North West gets underway today (August 3).

The 2022 Lancaster Playwriting Prize is now open to anyone from the North West of England who identifies as LGBTQAI+ aged 16 and up to and including the age of 30.

It will include a cash prize for the winner of £1,500, as well as a rehearsed reading of their play and mentoring.

The Lancaster Playwriting Prize, now in its third year, is run in partnership by the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and The Dukes in Lancaster.

Lancaster University alumna and prize funder Lucy Briers said: "I am so proud to be one of the sponsors of the Lancaster Playwrighting Prize.

It is more vital than ever that we welcome the next generation of artists into the world of theatre. It has never been a more unpredictable profession, but that is why it needs the lifeblood of new writers to shine a light on what it is to be human."

Director of the Dukes Karen O'Neill said: "Discovering new voices and welcoming them to our stages is vital to the Dukes. We are interested in diverse storytelling that engages with our audiences and our community to break down barriers and start conversations. The Lancaster Playwright Prize is an important way to support creativity in the North West."

Lancaster University Lecturer in Creative Writing Dr Tajinder Singh Hayer said: "This is the third time that the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster have worked in partnership with The Dukes and Lucy Briers on the Lancaster Playwriting Prize.

"The shifting remit makes it unique in comparison to many other writing competitions; the first iteration was focussed on BAMER playwrights and the second on unproduced playwrights over 55. This year's is aimed at LGBTQAI+ voices. The aim has always been about finding underrepresented talent in the North West and giving them encouragement to tell their stories."

The genre of play can be anything - the only requirement is that it explores queer themes with an original flair.

The final judging panel this year will comprise Lucy Briers, Dr Tajinder Singh Hayer Karen O'Neill and writer Ben Weatherill.

The deadline for applications is Monday, October 11, at 12 noon with the winner(s) to be announced in December.

Submission guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writers who identify as LGBTQAI+ who are originally from, 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, the Isle of Man and Merseyside.

  • Writers must be over 16 and no older than 30.

  • The play must be an original, unpublished and unproduced piece of work. It cannot have had a professional production anywhere in the world. For the purposes of this prize, development performances (such as rehearsed readings and workshops) do not constitute full productions; amateur productions also do not count as full productions under these criteria.

  • 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 30 minutes long and all pages must be numbered.

  • Entries must be sent as word documents or PDF files to creativecommunities@dukeslancaster.org

  • Your email should also include an attached completed monitoring form.


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