for writers and readers….

Monthly Competition for Playwrights

The Painkiller Project is a monthly playwriting competition supported by Arts Council England. Every month two plays are awarded £150.

Photo credit: un-mimo from Pixabay

​The two winning plays are released fortnightly as audio podcasts (available here). So far, the plays have featured Noma Dumezweni, Toby Jones, Miriam Margolyes, Pearl Mackie and Jessica Barden.

​The next Painkiller Project Submission Window will be from Monday 4 Jan (10am) until Thursday 7 Jan (10pm).

Your submission should be:

  • No longer than 1500 words, including directions and character names.
  • Written for one or two actors
  • Complete with a title page, synopsis and a casting suggestion for each character
  • Written after 20 March 2020 – the day most UK theatres closed. 
  • About absolutely anything
Photo Credit: David Mark from Pixabay

Plays with the following words included within them will still be considered, but the people at The Painkiller Project think it might be a good idea to avoid them.

social distancing, coronavirus, COVID, the virus, self-isolation, self-isolate, antibodies, T-cells, quarantine, Dominic Cummings, herd immunity, Wuhan, Stay Alert, vaccine, lockdown, Boris Johnson, furlough, pandemic, Durham, Zoom (the app), Donald Trump, excess deaths, Matt Hancock, symptoms, asymptomatic, a new or continuous cough, PPE clothing, Sweden, Governor Cuomo, face mask, exit strategy, second peak, loss of taste or smell, Jacinda Arden.

Lots more information HERE

Photo credit: klimkin from Pixabay

I found this competition in Sian Meades-Williams‘s FREE weekly newsletter about freelance writing jobs. It’s always interesting and I live in hope of finding my perfect job there (once I work out what that would be…) You can subscribe HERE

2 comments on “Monthly Competition for Playwrights

  1. Claudette Flint
    December 26, 2020

    My play is 1633 words long. Would you accept it? And I am afraid I can’t find the address or the person to send the play to. Was there something I was supposed to do and didn’t see it?

    • bridget whelan
      December 29, 2020

      Hi Claudette – sorry for the delay in responding.
      To submit an entry click the link in the post saying More Information Here. This is not my competition BTW but is run by The Painkiller Project. I’ve only ever had one play performed (a musical western if you’re interested) so I’m not an expert but I do know words = time. Each winning entry is professionally produced for audio (with wonderful actors, again see above) so I’m pretty sure timing is vitally important.
      I also know that in most writing competitions if you break any rule your entry will not be read.
      As a prose writer & teacher of creative writing, I’d say that most passages of writing benefit from pruning and that’s what 133 words amounts to – it’s not slashing the heart out of it. Try it and see. You’ve nothing to lose.
      Hope this helps. Happy New Year.

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This entry was posted on December 19, 2020 by in News and tagged , , , .


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