Papatango New Writing Prize announces details of 2022 edition

Papatango have announced that the fourteenth annual Papatango New Writing Prize will be open for submissions from Monday 13 December 2022 until 9pm on 30 January 2022.

The Papatango New Writing Prize was the UK’s first - and remains the only annual - opportunity guaranteeing a new writer a full production, publication by Nick Hern Books, a royalty of 8% of the net box office, and £7000. Every entrant receives feedback on their script – a commitment made by no other company, especially significant as the Prize averages more submissions on a yearly basis than any other playwriting award.

Following 5 years premièring the winning play at Southwark Playhouse in The Little (2015 – 2019), the Papatango New Writing Prize will return to Southwark Playhouse with the 2022 Prize-winning play, which will open in the venue’s main space, The Large. This marks the Prize’s biggest space yet and offers main house billing for an emerging playwright.

In addition, Papatango, in a new partnership with The Playwright’s Laboratory, will give four shortlisted writers £500 each with their scripts produced in filmed readings and showcased on The Playwright’s Laboratory’s international private network of industry professionals, with the aim of securing full productions and new opportunities.

This expansion of the company’s support for early-career playwrights follows the 2020 Prize-winning Old Bridge by Igor Memic, which premièred at Bush Theatre, before a filmed digital release and the forthcoming transfer to the Netherlands in January 2022; and the reimagined 2021 Prize, which responded to the closure of theatres by expanding to support three winners with audio production, digital publication and a nationwide tour, free to audiences. The 2022 Prize returns to a stage format with increased opportunities following a survey of writers.

Chris Foxon, Executive Director of Papatango, said today "Every year we ask ourselves - and playwrights - what the Papatango Prize should offer. Every year we try to add to or reimagine it, to give writers an opportunity that speaks to present needs. To be taking the 2022 Prize to its biggest ever stage, and for the first time providing the shortlist with an international showcase, reflects that mission. We can't wait to champion brilliant new playwrights and their plays more visibly and ambitiously than ever before."

Applications for the Papatango New Writing Prize 2022 will open on Monday 13 December 2021 until 30 January 2022. To apply visit

The shortlisted plays and winner will be announced in summer 2022, with the production running in November 2022. 

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