2023 Papatango Prize Winner


We are thrilled to announce that Laura Waldren has won the 15th annual Papatango New Writing Prize for her first full-length play Some Demon, from 1,468 entries.
Some Demon explores life inside an eating disorder unit. It will have its world première at the Arcola Theatre in summer 2024 – with full information to be announced at a later date – and will be published by Nick Hern Books.

LAURA WALDREN is a writer and actor from Hull, and a current writer in residence for Pentabus Theatre. Some Demon is her first full-length play. Her debut screen work, This Is Hell, which she co- wrote and starred in, won the Pilot Light TV Festival and screened at the BAFTA and BIFA-qualifying Bolton International Film Festival. As an actor she recently appeared in the critically acclaimed second series of I Hate Suzie.

The four shortlisted writers are: Piers Black for My Dad Hunts Bears; Georgia Green for Private Adult Things; Yolanda Mercy for Handsworth Boys; and Hannah Shury -Smith for Go Back Home!.
They will each receive £500 and their plays will be filmed as staged readings, digitally broadcast for a global network on The Playwright’s Laboratory.
In addition, to celebrate the 15th year of the Prize, Papatango have partnered with Phil Temple at Birdie Pictures to launch an extra commission for one promising entrant, whose script missed out on the shortlist but whose talent and voice demand recognition. This commission has been awarded to Josh Barrow, whose entry Sweet Heathens impressed the entire reading team. He will now receive £2,500 to write a 10 minute short film, which the company will co-produce with Birdie Pictures and release in 2024. The short film commission was made possible with support from the Genesis Foundation Prize.

Josh Barrow is a Geordie actor/writer based in London. He is the co-founder and Head of Literary Development for Gutter Street and has produced and edited four short fiction anthologies working with sixteen different writers. His own writing credits include High Riser (2021) and Nowhere Orange (2018) for Gutter Street, Festers Away (2016) for Alphabetti Theatre and Hangers (2015) at Newcastle Central Library. In 2017, he won TriForce's Monologue Slam National Final with a self- penned piece. He also worked with the Royal Court on the 'Writers of the Unexplored'; project developing work by writers on the autistic spectrum. More recently, his play Sweet Heathens was longlisted for the BOLD Playwrights Award and the Bruntwood Prize 2022.