The Walter Swan Playwriting Award

The Walter Swan Playwriting Award is being run in association with the Ilkley Playhouse and the Ilkley Literature Festival and with support from the West Yorkshire Playhouse. We plan for this to be an annual event.


There are two categories:

The Walter Swan Young Playwriting Award

            for those aged 18 and under as at 1 September 2015

The Walter Swan Playwriting Award

            for those aged 19 and over as at 1 September 2015


Each submitted script can be of any genre (including monologues or verse) and must:

  • have a performance time of between 20 and 30 minutes
  • require a maximum of 4 actors and very simple staging
  • be an original piece of writing that has not been performed professionally


The competition is open to all UK residents. We will accept entries from groups but there must be clear authorship. Entry is free but only one entry will be accepted per person/group. 

All plays are to be submitted online through this website (with no handwritten entries) and must be in Word or PDF format. A synopsis of no more than 100 words is required. The entry window will open on 1 February 2015 and close on 30 April 2015


If you would like to help promote this competition (and please do!), the flier can be downloaded here and the poster can be downloaded here.


The winning plays will be performed at both West Yorkshire Playhouse and Ilkley Playhouse in the autumn of 2015. There will also be a cash prize of £250 for each winner. A small number of high quality entries will receive a letter of commendation.


We have been very fortunate with our panel of judges and thank them for their support: 

  • Chris Thorpe, playwright, Unlimited Theatre and Third Angel
  • Yvette Huddleston, Arts Correspondent, Yorkshire Post
  • Nick Ahad, writer and broadcaster
  • Jessica Hill, BBC script reader
  • The Literary Associate from The West Yorkshire Playhouse (to be named shortly)

Any questions on the competition should be sent to


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