The entry requirements can also be downloaded as a large print PDF here.
Please read all the submission guidelines below before entering the 2023 Papatango New Writing Prize; any entries in breach of these guidelines will NOT be accepted. Please write to us through the contact form on this website if you have any questions.
For more information about how the Prize is assessed and what we're looking for, please read our answers to these FAQs.
The Prize The winning writer will receive £7000. Their script will be produced by Papatango in a full run in London, in 2024. The writer will receive a royalty of 8% of the net box office and their play will be published by Nick Hern Books.
The four shortlisted writers will each receive £500 and the option to have their play presented as a reading by The Playwright Laboratory (TPL) in association with Papatango. The readings will give each writer the chance to see their play professionally directed and performed. These readings will be filmed and then showcased on TPL’s private, members-only industry platform, reaching producers, programmers and theatres worldwide.
All entrants will be able to opt in to receive feedback if they wish; please indicate your choice by ticking the relevant box when submitting your script. It is not possible to opt out of feedback and then later to request it.
Deadline The 2023 Prize will be open for entries until 9pm (GMT) on Sunday 5 February 2023.
Please make sure you submit with some time to spare in case of any technical problems. No extension will be possible for any reason.
Eligibility The competition is open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland only.
There is no age limit.
There is no minimum or maximum level of experience required to enter. All you need is a story.
The script must be an original, unpublished and unproduced piece of work. It cannot have received a production in any form, anywhere in the world, apart from an absolute maximum of three public readings, showcases or performances. Any scripts that have been published or produced for any more than three performances, whether professionally or with an amateur company, will be automatically disqualified.
Translations, children’s plays, adaptations of classic plays or existing works in other media, musicals, music theatre, television or film scripts are not eligible.
Scripts submitted to the Prize in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted.
You may submit more than one script if you wish.
Length As the Prize offers production and publication, we are looking for complete, full-length scripts.
We recognise that ‘full-length’ is a contested term. We would suggest, as a minimum, that to qualify as full-length, a script should have a running time of at least 60 minutes OR be at least 9000 words OR be at least 40 pages.
We strive to be as flexible as possible in accommodating different formats and different styles in order to empower writers to explore theatrical form however they want, so these parameters are guidelines rather than rigid requirements. Nonetheless, please endeavour to ensure your script is of a substance to justify full production. Any entry deemed too short will be rejected.
Formatting Scripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF formats only.
Entry to the Prize is anonymous. Please ensure that your script, including the file title, contains no mention of your name or email address. The email address you use on the form when submitting is automatically detached from your submission, so doesn't have to be anonymous.
Please list at least one contact telephone number on the front page of the script itself.
Please do not include a synopsis or CV.
All entries should include page numbers on every page.
Rights The entrant must exclusively own and control all copyright and all other related rights to the submitted script. It must be available for production and unattached to any other organisation or individual.
Entrants grant Papatango Theatre Company Ltd the right to produce their script on the professional stage within the UK for a period of 24 months from entering the Prize. Entrants also grant Nick Hern Books the right to publish their script.
The winning script will be under exclusive option to Papatango Theatre Company Ltd for a period of 12 months after the last date of the stage production.
Acknowledgement Entrants will receive an automated acknowledgement via email. If you do not receive such an acknowledgement, please check your spam folder. If you cannot find it, please write to ask us to confirm receipt, stating the name of your script and the date you submitted it, via the contact form on this website.
Please only write to us if you have not received the email acknowledgement; we regret that, due to the volume of entries, no other correspondence can be entered into regarding any matter of the Prize process.
All entrants’ email addresses will be added to a private mailing list to receive updates from Papatango on the Prize throughout the process. We will not use this list to send any information other than about the Prize, it will never be shared with any third parties, and upon completion of the Prize the list will be deleted and no further contact will be made.
Assessment The Prize is assessed completely anonymously. All readers have an equal role in judging entries throughout the process, which will span three reading rounds from February to June 2023.
Only the final shortlist will be made public, in summer 2023, but all writers who opted to receive feedback will be told where their script came in the process.
Feedback All entrants who requested it by ticking the relevant box on the submissions form will receive personal feedback once the reading process is complete and after the winner has been announced. We expect this to take place by autumn 2023.
Acceptance of terms Entry into the Prize constitutes acceptance of these terms.