Submissions for the Verity Bargate Award are now closed. 

Our deadline of 12PM on 10 January 2020 has now passed. We have had unprecedented interest in the Award this year, and unfortunately we can no longer accept submissions now that the deadline has passed. Thank you so much to all the writers who shared their plays. If you have been experiencing a technical difficulty or have a question about your submission, please contact

We look forward to reading your work.



  • Soho Theatre’s search for extraordinary new stories
  • Winner announced in late Spring 2020 
  • Judges include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Russell T Davies, Arinzé Kene, Lolita Chakrabarti and Laura Wade

The search is on. Soho Theatre and Character 7, producer of The Night Manager, are looking for extraordinary plays from extraordinary new voices. The Verity Bargate Award is Soho Theatre’s flagship new writing award with the winning play produced in a full production on our stages.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from or what you do. If you’ve never written before, that’s fine by us. What matters is that great stories are told – human, inspiring and urgent stories which can only exist in this moment.

For almost 50 years, Soho Theatre has championed new writing. Since 1982, the Verity Bargate Award, Soho Theatre’s playwriting award, has uncovered the best new and emerging writers. It has launched the careers of some of Britain’s most established playwrights and screenwriters including Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies), Vicky Jones (Touch at Soho Theatre), Toby Whithouse (Doctor Who) and many, many more.

This year’s award is judged by a panel of industry experts including former Soho writers Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Arinzé Kene and Laura Wade, screenwriter Russell T Davies, actress and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti and Character 7’s Stephen Garrett. 


The winner receives £7,500 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce the play.


The Verity Bargate Award is open to any playwright who has had fewer than three professional productions and who lives in the UK or Ireland. There are no restrictions on subject matter. Musicals and other forms of theatre are welcome but will only be judged on the text that is submitted.


  • Applicants must submit one unproduced, unpublished full-length play (no shorter than 60 minutes).
  • The window for submissions opens on Wednesday 20 November 2019 with a deadline for submissions at 12 noon on Friday 10 January 2020.
  • Please check back for information on how to submit your play.


Soho Theatre is presenting a series of workshops and information sessions at Soho Theatre and around the UK and Ireland for emerging writers interested in entering the competition.

London dates:

Sat 16 Nov – Workshop with Gillian Greer
Soho Theatre, 2pm – 4pm

Sat 23 Nov – Writing a play inspired by lived experience, with Yolanda Mercy
Soho Theatre, 2pm – 4pm

Sat 30 Nov – Workshop with Gillian Greer
Soho Theatre, 2pm – 4pm

Thu 12 Dec – Workshop for LGBTQ+ artists
Soho Upstairs, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Sat 14 Dec – Workshop with Eve Leigh
Soho Theatre, 2pm – 4pm


Sat 19 Oct
Wales Millennium Centre, 3-6pm 3-6pm

Mon 21 Oct
Liverpool Everyman, 6-9pm

Tue 22 Oct
Bristol Old Vic, 6.30-9.30pm

Thu 24 Oct
Manchester Royal Exchange, 6-7pm

Sat 26 Oct
Oxford Playhouse, 12PM-1pm

Sat 26 Oct
Plymouth Theatre Royal and Oxford Playhouse, 2-3pm

Mon 28 Oct
Live Theatre Newcastle, 6-7pm

Tue 29 Oct
Traverse Theatre, 3-6pm

Wed 30 Oct
Sheffield Crucible, 4pm – 5pm





Supported by

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

Matt Charman, Verity Bargate Award Winner 2004

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