EKP and Paines Plough have launched The Women’s Prize for Playwriting.

The prize celebrates and supports exceptional UK and Ireland-based playwrights who identify as female. The winning playwright will receive £12,000 in respect of an exclusive option for EKP and Paines Plough to co-produce the winning play. The founding sponsor of The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is PER. 

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is designed to celebrate and raise the profile of these playwrights by providing them with a national platform. Any person of 16 years or older who is resident in the UK and Ireland and who identifies as female can enter. The prize is for a full-length play (defined as over 60 minutes in length), written in English. Musicals and pantomimes are not eligible. Submissions will open on Monday 11 November and close on Monday 2 March.

The judging panel for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020 is chaired by senior literary agent Mel Kenyon, and further comprises actress and writer Monica Dolan; Sarah Frankcom, outgoing Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; playwright and screenwriter Tanika Gupta; playwright Ella Hickson; theatre producer and former Executive Director of the Donmar Warehouse, Kate Pakenham; actress and playwright Maxine Peake; and Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham.

Ellie Keel said “I’m thrilled to have founded a new institution to celebrate, inspire, and support exceptional female playwrights, and even more delighted to be working with Paines Plough on the project – a company I’ve admired since starting out as a producer. I cannot wait to see the brilliant new plays that I know will be submitted to The Women’s Prize for Playwriting and to work with our hugely experienced judging panel to identify the winning writers. It has been a joy to produce the work of many talented female playwrights in my career to date.”

Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner, joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough, also said “We are so delighted to be partnering with Ellie Keel Productions to launch the Women’s Prize for Playwriting. We feel passionately about supporting and championing these voices and providing them with great opportunities to develop their craft. Ellie Keel Productions are a company ahead of the curve in producing razor sharp new work and we look forward to working closely with them to discover the very best of female playwriting talent.”


Full details of the Prize, including full eligibility criteria and details of second and third prizes, will be available on Monday 11 November, from which date submissions will also be open. 

Please visit www.womensprizeforplaywriting.co.uk for further details.