The Lancaster Playwriting Prize is a new initiative arising out of the cultural partnership between Lancaster University and The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster; it is supported by Lucy Briers, Tamasha Theatre Company and Arts Council England. 

Lancaster Playwriting Prize - Full Colour

In this inaugural year, the Prize is focused on BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) playwrights. The aim is not just to discover new voices, but to empower playwrights from culturally diverse backgrounds in general by building skills, confidence and networks.

All longlisted scripts will be read in full. Up to five shortlisted finalists will have their script workshopped with professional actors and directors, and see extracts performed at a public showcase event held at The Dukes Lancaster.

The winner will receive £1500 and will be invited to become part of the Tamasha Playwrights group for 2018/19, receiving tailored training and mentoring as they develop their careers. The winner will also receive travel support to attend weekly Tamasha Playwrights workshops in London from October 2018 to July 2019. Two of the other shortlisted writers will receive writer on attachment bursaries at The Dukes of £500 each (with further support to cover travel costs); these postings will entail mentorship opportunities and the chance to observe the development of two shows at the theatre.

What we’re looking for

We are looking for theatre scripts from BAMER writers of any level of experience.

Writers must either live, have lived or work currently in the North West.

We’re eager to read new work which throws light on how we live now, expands our horizons, explores current issues, or reveals a previously untold story.

We’re happy to consider scripts for family and young audiences, as well as scripts for adult audiences; however, it must be an original story, not an adaptation of an existing text, film or novel.

Entry Rules

The competition is open to any BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) writers 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 and Merseyside.

Writers must be over 16.

The play must be an original, unpublished and unproduced piece of work.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 40 minutes long and all pages must be numbered.


To share playwriting skills in the run up to the prize we are offering workshops across Lancashire during May and June.

These are open to anyone interested in applying for the prize and suitable for anyone from absolute beginners to people wanting to hone their craft.

Topics covered include key aspects of dramatic writing: Story, Plot, Narrative, Objectives, Structure and the dramatic unit.

Upcoming Workshop:

Pendle In-Situ, Art in Pendle: Brierfield Library, Colne Road, Brierfield, BB9 5HW. Tuesday 26th June, 4-6pm

More workshops in other parts of the county coming soon. To register interest please email Alex Summers at


The window for scripts opens on 23 April 2018. Scripts must be emailed by noon 5 August 2018.

Entry process

  • Entries must be sent as word documents or PDF files to email. All scripts should include your name, address and contact details.
  • Your email should also include an attached completed monitoring form.


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