Submissions now open for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2021


The Women’s Prize for Playwriting has opened for submissions for the 2021 Prize, closing on 12 July at 5pm. The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is designed to celebrate and support exceptional playwrights who identify as female by providing them with a national platform. Any person of 16 years or older who is resident in the UK and Ireland and identifies as female can enter. The Prize is for a full-length play (defined as over 60 minutes in length), written in English, and the winning playwright wins £12,000. For further details, please visit

The mission of The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is to address the inequality in the number of plays written by women and men on major stages in the UK. In 2018, only 26% of new plays on main stages in Britain were by women. This prize is designed to level the playing field and to honour and raise the profile of work by playwrights who identify as female.

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting has been created by Ellie Keel Productions (EKP) and Paines Plough, with principal partner 45North and in association with Sonia Friedman Productions. Sponsored by Samuel French Ltd, a Concord Theatricals company, who are the official publishing partner of the prize. The founding sponsor of the Prize was PER People.

The judges for this year’s Prize are Arifa Akbar, Mel Kenyon (Chair), Lucy Kirkwood, Winsome Pinnock, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Indhu Rubasingham, Jenny Sealey, Nina Steiger, Nicola Walker and

Jodie Whittaker.

In its inaugural year two First Prizes of £12,000 were awarded to Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me by Amy Trigg and You Bury Me by Ahlam. The world première of Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me is the first production in Kiln Theatre’s reopening season, running from 21 May – 12 June, with press night on 26 May; and also announced today, Audible will produce the audio production of the play.

Ellie Keel: “I’m delighted to be propelled into Year 2 of The Women’s Prize for Playwriting by such positive news for our First Prize winner from last year, Amy Trigg. Amy’s play Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me will have a full run at Kiln Theatre and will be produced for audio by Audible. With the help of our excellent partner organisations, this year we’ll be equally ambitious for our winners, as we strive for proper gender equality in the writers of plays for national stages. We can’t wait to read the brilliant plays by women that we know are out there.”

Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner, Joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough: “We are thrilled to be returning to run The Women’s Prize for Playwriting this year as a co-founding partner. This prize is an active call to arms for greater gender equality on our national stages and last year’s prize demonstrated the incredible amount of female writers creating big, bold and beautiful stories all deserving of a theatre home and audience. We are excited to now build on our learnings from the first year as we continue to grow our mission in 2021 to discover, develop and champion female voices by giving them the support and platform they demand. Writers – send us your stories, they don’t need to be finished or perfect and you don’t need to have written a play before; one of our 2020 winners won with her first ever play so if you are even just a little bit tempted, go for it as we want to hear from you!”

Jessica Rose McVay, Creative Director and CEO, 45North: “I am thrilled that 45North is partnering with Ellie Keel and Paines Plough again this year for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting. We saw great breadth and depth of work throughout the competition last year, and I am so pleased that after an difficult and exhausting year, WPP submissions are open for the incredible female playwrights of the UK!”

Sonia Friedman: “SFP is delighted to be part of the second year of the Women’s Prize for Playwriting. In these difficult and complex times, it feels more important than ever to champion underrepresented voices and find vital, new stories for our stages. This brilliant initiative has already discovered some extraordinary work, and we are very excited to see what the prize brings to light in 2021.”

Abigail Gonda, Commissioning Producer for Theatre, Audible UK: “Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me marks the entrance of Amy Trigg – a brilliant writer and performer whose deft and wit will no doubt entertain audiences for many years to come. Audible is delighted to bring this award-winning play to listeners across the world so they can share in the fantastic theatrical premiere.”


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