New Writing Prize


Opening in 2009, the Papatango New Writing Prize is the biggest playwriting award in the UK, attracting more average annual entries than any other. It was the first – and remains the only annual – playwriting award to guarantee its winner a full world premiere in London followed by a national tour, plus royalties, publication and a £6,500 commission to support a follow-up play.

As well as giving one brilliant writer an unrivalled launch, 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 based across the country.
Winners have been evenly divided between men and women. 70% have been state educated, with an age range stretching from the 20s to 50s.

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 2020 Prize closed for entries on 2 February 2020.

Submissions for the 2021 Prize will open in late 2020.
“Winning the Papatango Prize has been huge. Everything from the script development process to the production to the reception the play has received has been a steep – but intensely exciting – learning curve. And that’s what writers need – to get the plays we create in our heads onto stage. That’s the only way to develop, and it’s one of the most difficult things to achieve. Without Papatango Shook might have been read and entered a ‘process of development’, but Papatango commit to producing the play – and they do a brilliant job of it. I entered only hoping to get feedback, something they give to every writer who wants it, which is an incredible achievement. Instead, I started the most exacting, thrilling, rewarding 6 months of my professional career and now I have the chance to do what I love for my actual job! Apply.”

Samuel Bailey, 2019 Prize winner.