The Prize is a partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre and property company Bruntwood. It is Europe's biggest playwriting prize and is open to writers of any background and experience.
At the heart of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is the principal that anyone and everyone can enter the Prize – it is entirely anonymous and scripts are judged purely on the basis of the work alone and with no knowledge of the identity of the playwright. Since it began in 2005 over 15,000 scripts have been entered, £304,000 has been awarded to 34 prize winning writers and 26 winning productions have been staged in 38 UK wide venues. In 2015 it celebrated its 10th anniversary and is now recognised as a launch-pad for some of the country’s most respected and produced playwrights.
Prize Winning Productions
Each winner enters into a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre in an endeavour to bring their work to production. It is not guaranteed but we aspire to produce each play and find co-producers to give the plays a longer life and further reach. There have been co-productions with Lyric Hammersmith, Live Theatre, Soho Theatre, Bush Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, Sherman Theatre, High Tide and the Royal Court Theatre. Work has also gone on to be produced internationally from Australia, USA, Germany, France, to Canada and Sweden.
The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is a genuine endeavour to discover new stories and help playwrights develop their craft, providing everybody and anybody with the opportunity to write a play. It offers a fantastic opportunity to hone your writing skills, whether or not you have written for the stage before (35% of the entrants to the 2017 Prize had never written a play before). In addition to a high proportion of winning and shortlisted plays being produced professionally, each of the top 100 plays receives individual feedback from the Royal Exchange Theatre’s creative team.
The anonymity of the submissions is vital to the ethos of the Prize as it ensures that scripts are judged on individual merit with no preconceptions about the identity of the playwright. Over 100 readers are employed to take the scripts through a rigorous process. These readers are directors, producers, designers, actors, dramaturgs, literary managers, critics, agents and previous winners. Once a script has been selected for the shortlist, it will have been read and championed by 16 different and distinct practitioners which we hope makes for a robust selection process.
It also exists to support playwrights to develop their writing and benefit from other opportunities. It contains workshops with some of the country’s leading theatre practitioners, news on other opportunities and prizes as well as information on how to enter the Prize, history of the Prize and a range of other resources.