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The Theatre503 International Playwriting Award returns for 2024 – 2025!

Submissions will open on Saturday 1st June 2024.

THE 2024/25 THEATRE503 INTERNATIONAL PLAYWRITING AWARD CRITERIA

Please read our Award criteria carefully, as we will be unable to consider any play or writer that does not meet what we have set out below. If you are a translator or collaborating with a translator, there is further information at the bottom of the page to take into account.

Entry condition

  • The 2024/25 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award aims to identify and champion debut/early career playwrights.
  • You are an eligible writer if you have not already had a full-length play of more than 65 minutes produced for 3-4 weeks or more in any theatre, and two weeks or more in a major subsidised theatre/organisation including a national tour.
  • You only have limited international credits where longer runs are not part of a country’s ecology and/or limited screen credits
  • Work must be submitted by the writer or the translator and not through a third party/agent
  • The reading process is anonymous. Please do not include your name or contact details anywhere in the text of your script. Your personal information will be held separately
  • The online portal will be open for submissions from 9am (GMT) June 1st until 12pm (midnight) June 30th 2024. Any entries received after this time will not be eligible
  • Only entries submitted online though theatre503.com/writers/submissions will be accepted.
  • Please do not submit any material by any other means. E.g. on paper, email, CDs, digital media
  • Please do not submit or include any other material, or include images in your script
  • Adaptations or musicals are not eligible
  • Plays must be written/translated into the English Language
  • Plays (including translations) must never have been professionally optioned, produced or published at the point of submission
  • Only one script may be submitted by each writer
  • Co-written scripts can be accepted, provided both writers are eligible under our Award criteria – prize money will be shared in the eventuality of a co-written play
  • Theatre503 must be informed immediately should you wish to withdraw your play at any point

For Translators

  • While we are very keen to encourage first time translators, we are aware that a degree of experience may also help the realisation of the original writers script, so we are open to a wider pool of translation experience.
  • Please ensure permission of the original writer has been secured before submitting the translation (and vice versa)
  • Should a translated play win the award, the prize money and advance shall be split equally between both parties
  • Both parties shall also be credited as winning writer and translator (or as finalists) in all subsequent award information and publicity
  • More than one translation can be submitted but each must have a different original writer

By submitting a script for consideration you agree that:

  • You are over 16 years of age
  • You have not had a play produced for a 3 week run in any theatre, two weeks or more in a major subsidised theatre/organisation including national tours, limited international credits and/or limited screen credits
  • The script does not contain any detail of your identity
  • You are the writer of the play and exclusively own and control all copyright and all other related rights to the play (and the translator owns and controls the rights to the translation)
  • The play is over 65 minutes in length
  • The play is an original, unperformed, unpublished work for the stage and has not been produced anywhere in the world. In the case of a translation, this applies to both the English language translation and the work in its original language.
  • The play is available for production and unattached to any other theatre or company
  • If you are the winner you will receive £3,000 in prize money and £3,000 as an advance against 8% of the gross box office, to grant Theatre503 the exclusive license to produce the play for up to 18 months after the announcement of the award
  • Samuel French Ltd, a Concord Theatricals company, will have the exclusive right to publish the winning play in return for an advance to be negotiated in good faith

A note about access

We have an ongoing commitment to make our space as accessible as possible. We are currently in the process of addressing our venue’s structural challenges, and will always seek solutions to broaden ways of making our work seen more widely. In the interests of welcoming play submissions from writers who may have access issues with our current theatre, it is our intention to have a physically accessible space by 2025 and/or we will seek a production opportunity in an accessible venue should this capital project be delayed.

Award Timeline

There will be 3 rounds of reading and whilst we are unable to give exact dates for each round we are happy to offer the following as a rough guide.

Round 1 – June – Oct 2024

Round 2 – Oct 2024 – Jan 2025

Round 3 – Jan – March 2025

If this process is delayed all writers will be notified by email.

Writers will also be notified at each stage of the proceedings and we will publish long-listed and shortlisted play titles.

If you have any questions, please email literary@theatre503.com.

Previous winners include:

2023: A Woman Walks Into A Bank by Roxy Cook

2020: Moreno by Pravin Wilkins

2018: Out of Sorts by Danusia Samal

2016: In Event of Moone Disaster by Andrew Thompson

2014: And Then Come The Nightjars by Bea Roberts & Valhalla by Paul Murphy (Joint Winners)

The Theatre503 International Playwriting Award is made possible by the generous support of Philip and Chris Carne and Samuel French Ltd., a Concord Theatricals Company.

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