We are pleased to finally announce this year’s judges for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting who will be chaired by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of the Young Vic. The biennial prize is a partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and property company Bruntwood, a major supporter of the arts, with the aim to search for new stories to develop for the stage. 

With its £40,000 fund split across four categories, the 2019 prize is now open for entries via writeaplay.co.uk. All submissions will go through an anonymous judging process which means each entry is judged on its own merit. We aspire to develop all the successful scripts for the stage; in recent years, Bruntwood Prize-winning plays such as WISH LIST, PARLIAMENT SQUARE and THE ALMIGHTY SOMETIMES have all gone through this process. 

Kwame Kwei-Armah, whose first performance as an actor took place at the Royal Exchange Theatre, comments: “It’s my absolute pleasure to return to The Bruntwood Prize, particularly having been part of the very first round in 2005, and to chair a panel of brilliant judges who have such a variety of experience, from performers to writers, directors, poets and journalists. 

“In my eyes, the Prize has become such a profound and essential part of our cultural ecology for playwrights. It represents a most invigorating opportunity to undertake a leap of faith by virtue of a chosen pseudonym. So, send the thing that is brewing in you... the thing that says, ‘I must tell this story in a theatrical form’. It doesn't matter whether it's a first draft, or a final draft. Just send it!” 

Joining Kwame on the judging panel are co-founders of The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director, Royal Exchange Theatre and Michael Oglesby CBE DL, founder of the Bruntwood Group and chairman of The Oglesby Charitable Trust. The rest of the nine-strong panel comprises: Bruntwood Prize-winning playwright Anna Jordan (YEN); journalist, poet and critic Bridget Minamore; Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company Jenny Sealey MBE; Director of Culture, Bruntwood Kate Vokes and; actor Shane Zaza (FRANKENSTEIN, Royal Exchange Theatre). A brand-new addition to the panel this year is ‘The People’s Judge’, Faith Yianni, who was selected following a search by the Prize and leading theatre critic Lyn Gardner for a member of the public to bring a fresh, new perspective to the judging process.

To find out more information about the prizes, how to enter and the free learning resources available to support emerging or established playwrights out there, head on over writeaplay.co.uk.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 5 June 2019 so get writing!