Australian Plays Transform

Martin-Lysicrates Prize Submissions Now Open

Supported by the Australian Writers’ Guild & Australian Plays Transform


The annual Martin-Lysicrates Prize, first award in 2017, celebrates the best new Australian writing in theatre for young people. At the heart of the Martin Lysicrates Prize are young people and their worldview. Young people are the inspiration and intended audience of this unique commission; as well as key participants in the process of awarding the annual Prize.

The inspiration for the Martin Lysicrates Prize is the Great Dionysia Ancient Greek theatre festivals where the city of Athens stopped, spirited audiences converged, new plays were watched, and the people effectively chose their annual award-winning playwright. The Martin Lysicrates Prize honours past tradition and today’s young people by weaving democratic ideals and new cultural experiences together. 

The Martin Lysicrates Award is a genuine endeavour to inspire new stories and support playwrights to develop original scripts ready for production consideration. Along with a full commission, the winner enters a dramaturgical process, providing a fantastic opportunity for a playwright to work with a dramaturge from Australia’s leading producer of new works for young people. 


You are invited to submit the first 10-12 minutes of a new play for young people aged 12 – 15 years. The play must be able to be performed by no more than 4 actors (actors can perform multiple roles). Actors can include adults and young people.

Following a short-listing process, three scripts are presented to a live and online audience of school students of the relevant age. It is the audience of young people who judge which play is awarded a full commission.

Prizes are awarded as follows:

  • On the day, the most votes from audience in the theatre plus votes of thosewatching via live streaming – $3,000 for the winner and $1,000 each for therunners-up.
  • Some weeks later votes are counted from audiences who have watched therecorded performances on website from all over the world.
  • The combined votes from both 1) and 2) are counted and the overall winner receives a commission worth $12,000 and dramaturgical support to complete the play.


Applications are now open and will close on Friday 18th August 2023 at 5pm.

To submit, please email with the following information:

1. Cover page with play title and contact details (name, email, phone number,address).

2. A synopsis (max. 300 words);

3. Proposed cast size and character information;

4. The first 10-12 minutes of your play for young people aged 12 – 15 years(approx. 10-12 pages).

Please note that there should be no identifiable contact details on the actual script itself as the assessment process will be anonymous.

The shortlisted finalists will be announced by the end of September.

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024