Liverpool Hope National Playwriting Prize postponed until 2021

Published: 5 June 2020
Reporter: David Chadderton

Colin Dowland, last year's Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize winner

Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre have postponed the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize, which gives writers a chance to win £10,000 for comedy scripts, by twelve months.

The original deadline for submissions was 31 May 2020, but, with the ongoing uncertainty about social distancing rules, this has now be moved to 31 May 2021.

Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court and one of the Hope Prize judges, said, “we’ve already received a great many submissions and we’re grateful to everyone who has entered so far. However, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to create real uncertainty and until the national picture becomes clearer as to what lockdown measures will mean for us and other theatres in the coming months, we feel this is the correct decision to make.

“The Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize isn’t just a one-off event, it’s a year long celebration that includes student workshops, artistic masterclasses, judging panels and live performances and it’s prudent to wait until a time where those intimate, face-to-face elements can be enjoyed safely.”

The winner and runner/s-up were to be revealed at a ceremony in April 2021, which will now be moved to April 2022. Anyone who has already submitted an entry will be eligible for a refund, or submissions can simply be held until 2021. For more information, contact [email protected]. The submissions process will be re-started once more in March 2021.

Since 2015, winners of the competition and highly commended writers have gone on to have their plays commissioned at theatres and auditoriums across the UK. Last year’s winner was Colin Dowland, whose script Headless is still in development with the Royal Court.