The 2024 Lancaster Playwriting Prize call out is now LIVE - Calling all young writers from the region!

Are you aged 12-18 and living or learning in Lancashire? 

The Lancaster Playwriting Prize is an annual Playwriting prize for playwriters in the North and this year is looking for short script submissions from young writers, with winners selected from two age brackets 12-15 & 16-18 years old 

To apply :

  • You must have reached their 12th Birthday / must not have reached your 19th birthday by the date of the submission deadline which is Fri 12 Jan 2024
  • You need to be living or learning in Lancashire.
  • Submitted scripts should be between 15 and 30 minutes long and all pages must be numbered
  • It cannot have already been performed anywhere in the world. For the purposes of this prize, development performances (such as rehearsed readings and workshops) do not constitute full productions; amateur productions also do not count as full productions under these criteria.
  • Adaptations of existing works of musical theatre, radio, television or other media are not eligible; translations of said works are also excluded.
  • Musical theatre scripts are not eligible.
  • Advice and guidance available here for those who might not have written plays or scripts before.
  • Entries must be sent as word documents or PDF files to

There will be two Prize winners – one from each age category - who will each receive a combination of Cash (£100) and a Vouchers (£650) for personally tailored items and equipment to encourage their continued scriptwriting endeavours (books, theatre tickets, laptop / tech equipment – whatever is considered most useful to the winner).

As well as this financial support, there will be a staged public reading of the winning plays in April 2024 as part of BLAST! a celebration of new work at the Dukes, and the writers will receive detailed feedback on their work and mentoring. 

The Lancaster Playwriting Prize is run by the Dukes and in partnership with Lancaster University.

The final judging panel this year will include actor Lucy Briers, who is a prize funder, Dr Tajinder Singh Hayer (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Lancaster University), a Youth Board Member from The Dukes and the (yet to be) newly appointed Director of The Dukes. 

Karen O’Neill, previous Director of The Dukes said: “The Lancaster Playwriting Prize is a great opportunity for playwriters in the North. Creating a space for different perspectives and views on the world from under heard communities, the prize is very important for the Dukes as we strive for creativity for all. It is so exciting this year to be opening up this opportunity to young writers and hearing their voices and stories.”

Singh Hayer said: “I'm really looking forward to this year's prize. Each iteration of the Lancaster Playwriting Prize has seen fascinating stories written. I'm intrigued to see what the young people of Lancashire have to say. There is something about childhood's direct connection to the world of 'let's pretend' that makes it a useful parallel to theatre making; I really want to see how these teenagers tap into that spirit, but also speak to the world around them.'

Briers said: “I’m thrilled that the 5th Lancaster Playwriting Prize will be reaching out to the playwrights of tomorrow, as we invite 12 to 15 year olds & 16 to 18 year olds to submit their work. Freedom of artistic expression is a vital part of any healthy society and the Lancaster Playwriting Prize 2024 will endeavour to find the talents of the future and support them at the beginning of their writing journeys. Over the last four years we have found outstanding hidden talents in the North-West, and this year will be no different.”


The deadline for applications is Fri 12 Jan 2024, with the shortlist and winners to be announced in the following month.

To apply, email your script which must be sent as a word document or PDF files to

Your email MUST also include an attached completed monitoring form containing your details.

Download the monitoring form here.