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“Remarkable unearthers of new talent.” Fiona Mountford, The Evening Standard
What’s on



Papatango discover, produce and publish brilliant playwrights, launching the best new talent with maximum impact. We inspire artists and audiences that theatre is open to anyone, regardless of background. 

Our discoveries have won BAFTAs, Alfred Fagon, Off West End and RNT Foundation Playwright awards, premiering in over 20 countries worldwide. Our free playwriting training reaches over 4000 people a year. Our unique commitment to give feedback on every script we receive – over 1500 a year – and our unprecedented travel bursaries ensure that anyone, anywhere, can access new writing.

Because all you need is a story.

Company Number 07365398
Registered Charity Number 1152789



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The Papatango New Writing Prize

“Every year the Papatango New Writing Prize comes up with a bit of a cracker.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

Opening in 2009, the Papatango New Writing Prize was the first – and remains the only – annual playwriting award in the UK to guarantee an emerging playwright a full production on the professional stage. It provides a royalty of 10% of the gross box office and publication by Nick Hern Books, as well as a full commission to support a follow-up play.

As well as giving one brilliant writer an unrivalled opportunity, the Prize is unique in giving feedback to all entries. No other company makes such an investment in emerging playwrights.

The Prize is assessed completely anonymously. The reading team is at least 50% female, 20% people of colour and 20% over the age of 40, and all readers have an equal role in judging entries throughout the process.

Exactly equal numbers of men & women have won the Prize in its first ten years. 70% have been state educated, with an age range stretching from 20s to 50s. Moreover, Prize directors have been equally divided between men and women, and the creative teams have been 52% male and 48% female.


It is open to all residents of the UK or Ireland, free to enter, and assessed anonymously. Remember: all you need is a story.

The 2019 Prize closed on 17 February, having received a record 1,406 entries. We will announce the winner in summer 2019 and be in touch with all entrants later this year.

“As a playwright, you get used to throwing your work out into an abyss and never hearing back. So when I submitted to the Papatango Prize, which commits to feed back on every entry, that promise alone exceeded my expectations. The call to say I’d been shortlisted, and later that I’d won, was wilder than I ever dared to dream. The process has been extraordinarily wonderful and career-defining. Not only has Papatango enabled me to share my story but as a direct result, I’ve had several commissions. Papatango’s support throughout has been unparalleled, and I feel inordinately lucky not just to have won, but also to be able to write another full-length play under their judicious guidance. I can’t wait to get started all over again.” Iman Qureshi, 2018 Prize winner.

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“A bold and often brilliant stab at something new.”
Dominic Maxwell, The Times



by Samuel Bailey (2019, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse and UK tour

The Funeral Director

by Iman Qureshi (2018, Prize Winner)
UK tour in co-production with English Touring Theatre

The Funeral Director

by Iman Qureshi (2018, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse


by Sam Potter (2018)
Arcola Theatre & UK tour


by Stewart Pringle (2017, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse


by Matt Grinter (2016, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse

After Independence

by May Sumbwanyambe (2016)
Arcola Theatre


by James Rushbrooke (2015, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse


by Fiona Doyle (2014, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre


by Luke Owen (2013, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre


by Louise Monaghan (2012, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre

Everyday Maps for Everyday Use

by Tom Morton-Smith (2012)
Finborough Theatre

Back Home Contemplation

by May Sumbwanyambe (2012)
Finborough Theatre

Photos of You Sleeping

by Jane Wainwright (2012)
Finborough Theatre


by Dawn King (2011, Prize Winner)
Finborough Theatre

Through The Night

by Matt Morrison (2011), Finborough Theatre

Rigor Mortis

by Carol Vine (2011)
Finborough Theatre


by Rob Young (2011)
Finborough Theatre


by Jacqueline McCarrick (2010, Prize Winner)
Tristan Bates Theatre

My Balloon Beats Your Astronaut

By Kerry Hood (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre

The Ducks

by Michael McLean (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre


by John Seymour (2010)
Tristan Bates Theatre

Christmas Reloaded

by Philip Gawthorne (2009)
Old Red Lion


by Dominic Mitchell (2009, Prize Winner)
Tristan Bates Theatre

The Muse

by Matt Roberts (2008)
Pleasance Islington & Tristan Bates Theatre


by Matt Grinter (2008)
Pleasance Islington & Tristan Bates Theatre





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