WGGB Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Awards 2019

Published: 8 February 2019
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

WGGB presents the 2019 Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Awards

The Olwen Wymark Awards, organised through The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB), recognise individuals who have encouraged new writing.

David James, a former Chair of the WGGB Theatre Committee and who has organised the award for over a decade, said, “the award was set up to make a statement of how important encouragement is, and is based on the simple premise of saying ‘thank you’. Now in its 14th year, it is a bright spot on the Writers’ Guild’s annual calendar.”

The winners of the 14th annual awards are:

  • Alia Alzougbi – artist, educator and producer: nominated by Hannah Khalil for championing her work, producing the première of her play Scenes from 68* Years and for helping her towards her dream of having her work produced in the Arab world.
  • Kate Budgen (director) and Sarah Dickinson (dramaturg): nominated by Samantha Potter for their support with her play Metcalfe and Sons.
  • Martin Cort – actor, director, writer, teacher: nominated by Mary Rensten for his work in inspiring and encouraging dramatists of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.
  • Selma Dimitrijevic – Artistic Director of Greyscale Theatre company: nominated by Sean Burn for Selma's mentorship on the Write to Play scheme, cultivating and championing deaf and disabled playwrights in the UK.
  • David James, founder and director of Book, Musics & Lyrics: nominated by Evi Stamatiou for the support he has shown her in helping her develop her musical theatre writing.
  • Peter Thompson, former Secretary and current member of the Player Playwrights group: nominated by Karen Bartholomew for his support and encouragement of her writing through the Player Playwrights.

Playwrights Mark Ravenhill and David James are behind The Awards, named in honour of playwright Olwen Wymark, supporter of WGGB and former Chair of the WGGB Theatre Committee, who died in 2013.

The WGGB is a trade union representing writers across a range of media from poetry to videogames. 2019 sees the WGGB celebrate its 60th anniversary.