Eleventh Annual Papatango New Writing Prize Opens For 2019 Submissions

By: Dec. 06, 2018
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The Papatango New Writing Prize, now in its eleventh year, opens for submissions today, 6 December 2018, until 9pm on 17 February 2019.

The Papatango New Writing Prize was the UK's first - and remains the only annual - opportunity guaranteeing a new writer a full production, publication by Nick Hern Books, a royalty of 10% of the gross box office, and a £6000 commission with full developmental support for a follow-up play.

In addition, every entrant receives feedback on their script - a commitment made by no other company, especially significant as the Prize averages more submissions on a yearly basis than any other playwriting award.

The winner will be announced in June 2019, after which the play will be developed with Papatango, ahead of a production at Southwark Playhouse from 30 October to 23 November 2019. This marks the fifth year the prize-winning play will be showcased at this venue following the world premières of the 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 Papatango New Writing Prize winners: The Funeral Director by Iman Qureshi, Trestle by Stewart Pringle, Orca by Matt Grinter and Tomcat by James Rushbrooke. These productions have received 9 nominations for Off West End Awards including Best New Play and Most Promising Playwright. Papatango's production of Iman Qureshi's The Funeral Director will tour in spring 2019 to Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford in a co-production with English Touring Theatre.

Other writers produced under the Prize include Dawn King, Dominic Mitchell, Tom Morton-Smith, Fiona Doyle, Luke Owen and Louise Monaghan. Collectively, writers launched through the Prize have won BAFTAs, OffWestEnd, and RNT Foundation Awards, been nominated for the James Tait Black Drama Prize and twice nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, premièred in over twenty countries worldwide, and gone on to work with the National Theatre, RSC, Hampstead Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal Bath, Royal and Derngate, Bush Theatre, Headlong, English Touring Theatre and The Old Vic, as well as in the West End and for the BBC and HBO.

Artistic Director of Papatango, George Turvey, said today, "We are delighted to be opening the Prize again, after the success of our tenth year which saw a record number of entries, more playwrights than ever given support, and new box-office records set, proving the need for new voices and new stories on our stages. As literary departments tighten their belts and commissioning of early-stage writers declines, the Prize feels more vital than ever as a pathway for playwrights."

2018 winner Iman Qureshi describes her experience, "As a playwright, you get used to throwing your work out into an abyss and never hearing back. So, when I submitted to the Papatango Prize, which commits to feedback on every entry, that promise alone exceeded my expectations. The call to say I'd been shortlisted, and later that I'd won, was wilder than I ever dared to dream. The process has been extraordinarily wonderful and career-defining. Not only has Papatango enabled me to share my story but as a direct result, I've had several commissions.

"Papatango's support throughout has been unparalleled, and I feel inordinately lucky not just to have won, but also to be able to write another full-length play under their judicious guidance. I can't wait to get started all over again."

All entries must be anonymous, have a running time of at least 60 minutes, be original and previously unproduced, and sent in Microsoft Word or PDF formats with a contact telephone number on the front page. Entries should be made by 9pm, 17th February 2019, via the online submission form on Papatango's website. Full details are available at www.papatango.co.uk.

Further information on the winning show and listings will be announced in summer 2019.