For over 35 years we’ve helped launch the careers of some of Britain’s most established writers with our prestigious playwriting competition.

Named after the company’s founding Artistic Director, our playwriting award for the outsider has always sought extraordinary voices and unique styles. Voices which stand out from the crowd and tell inspiring unheard stories.

Dedicated to championing distinctive writing and nurturing new talent, we advocate early commitment to making a vital difference to the long-term career of a writer. In search for the best first time and emerging UK/ROI playwright, the Verity Bargate Award is open to writers with fewer than three professional productions.

In 2017 we received over 1000 submissions. The winner, Dylan Coburn Gray, receiving £7000 in respect of an exclusive option to produce CitySong at Soho Theatre.

Previous Verity Bargate Award winners include: Matt Charman • Vicky Jones • Tony Craze • Insook Chappell • Bonnie Greer • Toby Whithouse • Diane Samuels • Shan Khan • Thomas Eccleshare • Amy Evans • Joy Wilkinson • Sean Buckley • Adrian Pagan • Fraser Grace • Judy Upton • Angela Meredith • David Spencer • Gillian Plowman • Ron Hart • Tony Grounds • Mick Mahoney • Stephen Jackson.

 

Image: Soho Theatre Artistic Director Steve Marmion with the Verity Bargate 2017 shortlisted writers, including winner Dylan Coburn Gray. Photo: Jonathan Birch

‘The life-changing moment came when the Soho called to say I’d won.’

Matt Charman, Verity Bargate Award Winner 2004

In a first for the competition, in conjunction with the Verity Bargate Award, our Award sponsor Character 7 has awarded a writer chosen from the longlist the opportunity to develop their storytelling skills for TV drama.  Behind the award-winning hit The Night Manager, Character 7 work with distinguished names and new creative voices to tell stories that cut across boundaries and raise the bar for television and film.

Winner of the Verity Bargate Award 2017:
CITYSONG by Dylan Coburn Gray

Verity Bargate Award 2017 Shortlist:
DRIP FEED by Karen Cogan
THE LIFE OF STANCLIFFE RILEY by Frazer Flintham
HEGEMON SPEAK by Titas Halder
ES AND FLO by Jennifer Lunn
ANTLERS by Patrick Russell

Winner of the Character 7 Prize:
SUCKER by Nessah Muthy

Character 7 Shortlist
DEEPA THE SAINT by Sonali Bhattacharyya
THE HOES by Ifeyinwa Frederick

Winner of the Tony Craze Award 2017:
ANTLERS by Patrick Russell

Tony Craze Shortlist
WIND BIT BITTER, BIT BIT BIT HER by Sami Ibrahim
THE HOES by Ifeyinwa Frederick
THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR by Iman Qureshi
SOFT ANIMALS by Holly Robinson

Our 2017 Verity Bargate Award judges: Stephen Garrett (Executive Chairman, Character 7), Meera Syal (actress and writer), Graeme Farrow (Artistic Director, Wales Millennium Centre), Emma Rice (Artistic Director, Globe), Matt Trueman (Theatre Critic and Journalist), Jackie Wylie (Artistic Director, National Theatre Scotland), Neil Murray (Artistic Director, Abbey, Dublin) and Ikenna Obiekwe (Literary Agent, Independent Talent).

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