Here is an evolving list of awards and prizes available to Australian playwrights. If you know of others, please let us know.
Max Afford Young Playwrights Award – a $30,000 biennial award and development workshop for a playwright under 40. The Award is managed by APT. A call for entries will be in late 2021 for the 2022 Award. The Award is funded through Perpetual Fund Managers for the Thelma Afford Trust.
Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award – this annual $20,000 award provides financial assistance for playwrights during the writing or development of a play or a project, and might include workshops, dramaturgical support, production costs, publishing or touring.
The Rodney Seaborn Playwriting Support Fund – provides grants for up to $5,000 to assist playwrights and others working in the area to advance knowledge and appreciation of play writing as an art form.
The $30,000 Mona Brand Award is presented every two years to an outstanding Australian woman writing for the stage or screen. An Early Career Writer Award of $10,000 for a female writer who is in the early stages of her career is also offered.
The Patrick White Playwrights Award offers a cash prize of $7,500 for a full-length unproduced play of any genre written by an Australian playwright over 18 years of age. The readers and judges assessing the scripts seek a work that is original and ambitious with strong theatrical potential.
The Patrick White Playwrights Fellowship is a position for an established Australian playwright whose work has been produced professionally in Australia within the last four years. The winning playwright receives a total prize package of $25,000 which includes a year-long Fellowship in recognition of their excellent body of work, and a commission to write a new play.
The Griffin Award recognises an outstanding play or performance text that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice, with the winner receiving a $10,000 prize.
The Philip Parsons Writers Lab for Early-Career Playwrights is offered by Belvoir.
The Balnaves Foundation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship is offered by Belvoir.
The AWGIES – the Australian Writers’ Guild offers numerous awards for produced and unproduced scripts across multiple genres and formats.
The AWG’s David Williamson Prize is comprised of: (i) a $20,000 prize awarded to the playwright of the most outstanding theatre script of the given year; and (ii) an $80,000 grant awarded to the theatre company which staged the winning theatre script, for the purposes of commissioning, developing and staging a new Australian work.
The Martin-Lysicrates Prize – a competition for plays written for adolescents that are modelled on the ancient Greek tradition, but with a modern twist. Australian playwrights submit the first act of a new play and the three finalists’ entries receive a staged reading.
The Noosa Arts Theatre National One-Act Playwriting Competition – offers a total prize pool of $8,000 cash.
The Nick Enright Prize (part of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards) – this annual $30,000 prize is offered for a play or a work of music drama given its first production in Australia during the prize period.
Prize for Drama, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards – this $25,000 annual prize is administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.
Queensland Premier’s Drama Award – an initiative of Queensland Theatre with the support of the Queensland Government, open to all Australian citizens and permanent residents who have an unproduced live-performance text requiring further development towards its production debut. The eventual winner receives a full professional production in Queensland Theatre’s mainstage season.
Queensland Theatre’s Young Playwrights' Award – annual award for high school aged writers (years 9 – 12). The winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to Theatre Residency Week (valued up to $1500), dramaturgy sessions with Queensland Theatre and a professional reading of their work.
Jill Blewett Playwrights Award – $12,500 is awarded for an unproduced play of any genre written by a professional South Australian playwright.
The Flinders University Young Playwrights’ Award – State Theatre Company South Australia’s major award for the encouragement and support of new writing talent.
University of Tasmania Prize (The Premier’s Literary Prizes) – this $5000 prize is for the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer.
The Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship – this $60,000 Fellowship is designed to assist a Western Australian writer, of any style or genre, to develop their writing practice and give them the time to create new work in a one year time period.
The Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer – this $15,000 is for the first published work of prose, poetry or narrative nonfiction, in any genre, by an author or authors residing in Western Australia.
ATYP Foundation Commissions – two Foundation Commissions, one for 10-13-year-old performers and one for 14-17-year-old performers, are awarded each year to playwrights of any age. Both plays are published by Playlab and produced as part of ATYP’s season.
The annual Queer Playwriting Award is a collaboration between Melbourne’s Gasworks Arts Park and Midsumma Festival, is part of the Midsumma Presents Program.
The Silver Gull Play Award is for a playwright resident in New South Wales. The total prize money for the award is $5000.
The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. The UK’s biggest prize for playwriting. An International Award of £8,000 is open to international playwrights invited to anonymously apply via their named international partners, which in Australia include Belvoir Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company.
Susan Smith Blackburn Prize – given annually to recognize women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. The Prize currently awards $70,000 annually to the Finalists. Each year, a specified list of professional theatres throughout the English-speaking world is invited to submit plays for consideration.
Theatre503 International Playwriting Award – the winner receives £6,000 and a world premiere production at Theatre503 after a year’s support and development, with their play published by Samuel French Ltd. For emerging playwrights.
The Yale Drama Series Prize – annually invites submissions of original, full-length, English-language plays by emerging dramatists from across the globe. In addition to the publication of the winner, the play is given a professional staged reading at a prestigious venue, and the playwright receives the David Charles Horn Award of US$10,000.