2021 Shortlist announced


Welcome to The Women’s Prize for Playwriting, the very first playwriting prize open to all UK and Ireland-based women.

EKP, Paines Plough, 45North in association with Sonia Friedman Productions

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2021

Founding sponsor: PER People    |   Principal Partner 45North
Official publishing and licensing partner: Samuel French, a Concord Theatricals company

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is an open invitation to all writers who identify as female in the UK and Ireland to create vivid, exciting, and brave new work for the stage.

The aim of the Prize is to celebrate and support women playwrights and to discover the best new work from writers at all levels of experience. We are interested in plays that rejoice in the depth and range of your imagination, that feast on dramatic possibility and are ambitious on all scales and subjects. We’ve designed the criteria of the Prize to allow you to write exactly the play you want, unhampered by restrictions or limitations.

Whoever you are and however much or little you have written in the past, the team at The Women’s Prize for Playwriting wants to read your work. Good luck! View Dates


Submissions open

Wednesday 7th April 2021

We're ready and waiting in the wings.

Submissions close

5pm on Monday 12th July

Put the date in your diary. Don't miss it!

Longlist announced

Monday 15th November

Be among some incredible talent.

Shortlist announced

Thursday 25th November

On the edge of your seats.

Finalists announced

On or around 14th December

The winners and other awards are announced.

Awards ceremony

Friday 4th February

Join us to celebrate all women playwrights.

More details about the 2022 Women’s Prize for Playwriting, including dates, will be announced in early 2022.

Arifa Akbar

Mel Kenyon

Indhu Rubasingham

Lucy Kirkwood

Winsome Pinnock

Jasmine Lee-Jones

Also incoming Director of LAMDA

Jenny Sealey

Nina Steiger

Nicola Walker

Jodie Whittaker

Celebrating and inspiring

women playwrights,

in the UK and Ireland

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting was founded in 2019 by Ellie Keel in partnership with Paines Plough.

At this juncture in history it is of paramount importance that women support other talented women to excel and I hope this prize will do just that. For everyone's sake we need to level the playing field. And I hope that whomever is the first recipient of this award will be given the confidence and the opportunity to go on to great things. There should be no turning back.

Mel KenyonChair of the Judges
For further information, please contact
Press enquiries: kate@katemorleypr.com 

To discuss support for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting, please email