Submissions for the 40th anniversary of Soho Theatre’s playwriting award, the Verity Bargate Award, are now open

#VBA40

Following the critically-acclaimed sold-out run of its 2020 winner, Amanda Wilkin’s Shedding a Skin, earlier this year, Soho Theatre is thrilled to announce the return of its Verity Bargate Award. Submissions now open until 21 January 2022. The 40th anniversary winner will be announced in July 2022 and will receive £7,500 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce their play.

Sponsored by Character 7, 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. The Award honours Verity Bargate, Soho’s co-founder who passionately championed new writing during her time at the small but hugely influential fringe theatre company, Soho Poly.

The 2020 award was judged by a panel of industry experts including former Soho writers Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Laura Wade, screenwriter Russell T Davies, actress and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti and Character 7’s Stephen Garrett. From a record number of 1493 entries, a longlist of 20 inspiring and fabulously imagined emerging voices, and a shortlist of seven incredibly eclectic new plays, Amanda Wilkin was announced as the winner of the Verity Bargate Award 2020 with her captivating play Shedding A Skin.

 

 

JUDGES?

We’re so excited to announce this year’s award will be judged by a panel of industry experts including past Soho playwrights Theresa Ikoko (Girls, 2015, Soho Theatre), James Graham (Tory Boyz, 2008, and Monster Raving Loony, 2016, Soho Theatre) and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Mum, 2021, Soho Theatre), as well as April De Angelis (Jumpy, Royal Court and West End). The award is chaired by film and television producer, Character 7’s Stephen Garrett.

 

 

WHAT’S ON OFFER?

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

 

AM I ELIGIBLE?

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.

 

HOW DO I APPLY?

  • Applicants must submit one unproduced, unpublished full-length play (no shorter than 60 minutes).
  • Please submit by completing the following Verity Bargate Award submission form:


 
WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Tickets for a series of Verity Bargate Award 2022 workshops in preparation for the Verity Bargate Award are now available. These in-person, three-hour workshops will provide writers with the tools and inspiration to begin writing their next play and provide some information about how they can submit to the Verity Bargate Award.

Free tickets for Verity Bargate Award 2022 online information sessions are also available for those unable to attend in person.

 

SUBMISSION CRITERIA?

Our submission window will be open from 10am on October 20th 2021 until 12noon January 21st 2022. Any entries received after this time will not be accepted.

All submissions must be written for the stage. Screenplays, prose or poetry is not eligible.

All submissions to the Verity Bargate Award are final and redrafts will not be accepted. Please make sure you are happy with your play before you submit.

Submissions are limited to one play per writer.

Submissions should be at least one hour of performance time. This usually means a minimum of 40 pages, though monologues may be shorter.

Submissions should have one sole author. Co-writers and devised pieces are not eligible.

Musicals and plays with songs are accepted, but will be judged on text alone.

Adaptations are not accepted.

Submissions must be unproduced, with a maximum of three rehearsed readings or equivalent development allowed prior to submission.

Previous Verity Bargate Award submissions are not accepted.

The Verity Bargate Award is not read anonymously. If you would like your submission to remain anonymous, please ensure your name and contact details do not appear anywhere on your script.

The Verity Bargate Award is open to emerging playwrights who have had less than three professional productions to their name. A ‘professional production’ is usually defined as a run of 3 weeks or more where the writer is paid Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) rates.

‘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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