WriteForTheStage Prize for New Writing

First prize is a publication with WFTS Books.

About the prize

The WriteForTheStage Prize for New Writing is the annual playwriting award at the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival.

First prize is a non-exclusive publication with WriteForTheStage Books.

What can you enter?

Entry opens at the end of May before the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival. Register your show, get it listed, then use the form at the bottom of the page to enter. NB – form will not be available till May of each year.

WriteForTheStage is a playwriting agency, so your submission for the prize must:

  • Be a play
  • Be performed as part of the official Greater Manchester Fringe Festival programme

What You Can’t Submit

Your performance must have a script. We don’t accept submissions for spoken word, stand-up, performance installations, music shows (unless they’re narratively-driven). 

If your show fits any of these categories, please apply for other awards categories. There are categories for every type of performance at the GMFringe.

How do I submit my script for consideration?

Firstly, we’ll need your script at least two weeks before the date of your GMFringe performance. 

We’ll read your script and/or come to the performance. Please submit your script in time so that we can ascertain eligibility for the prize. We can’t attend your show if we haven’t seen a script first. 

We’ll do our best to let you know when one of our judges will attend your performance. Please make sure that your front of house know that a representative from the prize will attend. 

However, we can’t always guarantee that we’ll have an available judge (that’s why we ask for a script!). Either way, we’ll read at least the first ten pages of your script.

Previous winners


A stage-play for 2 actors.

There are two types of ticket. Everyone gets a Standard ticket. You must earn an Elite ticket.

Standard:Elite is an anarchic mix of live gaming and interactive storytelling that explores class and social mobility in a playful, accessible way.

Standards work to build the story, Elites control which path the story takes.

Featuring a branching narrative which changes based on audience actions, each new audience creates a unique performance.

There are two types of ticket. There aren’t two types of people.

“Standard:Elite is an exciting, bold new piece by Hidden Track – an ambitious and talented group of theatre makers, who explore narrative and audience in intriguing ways.” John McGrath, Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival

“An all-round delightful and enlightening experience, the show touches on the darker nature of class systems and social mobility in a way that anyone can grasp, and more importantly enjoy.” Samantha Williams, The State of the Arts


Chris Whitworth’s life is an uneventful one. He works, he eats, he sleeps.

Until one evening he walks into a bar for an after-work drink and runs into a woman who will turn his world upside-down. Everything he thought he knew about his life is thrown into question and he realises he has a final, dreadful decision to make…

A stage play for 2-3 actors


Bleach, by Dan Ireland-Reeves

(now withdrawn from publication with WFTS on playwright’s request so that they can publish with another company.


Life seems pretty much sorted for Phil and Mark. Phil has a job, a partner, and frequent coach holidays. Mark has a girlfriend, a climbing wall, regular potholing expeditions, and zombie films. A chance meeting at the top of a 4-metre long pole raises some tough questions about their feelings and the choices they’ve made. Perhaps things are set to change. Dare they face their own personal Zombie Apocalypse? Time may be ticking – but it’s a tick easily ignored. A Yorkshire love story. “Everyone who loves the theatre should see a Jonathan Hall Play.” – Yorkshire Post


What would you do if you had three weeks to live?Get drunk? Have sex? Make amends with your estranged family?18 Victoria is the story of three siblings grappling to piece together their broken relationship against a very real deadline: a huge meteor, 18 Victoria, is about to crash into Earth and no one will survive.As they come to terms with family trauma and their impending deaths, the characters confide in the audience, prompting them to question their own values and behaviour.Like many families, this one contains secrets, including one that threatens to tear them apart. Can they trust each other enough to make amends before it’s too late?18 Victoria has been specially adapted by Huddersfield-based Root & Branch from an original script by American playwright Cody Daigle-Orians to be set in the North of England.It received its European premiere at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield in April 2018 before playing as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe in July, where it won the Write For The Stage Award and was nominated for Best Drama.“18 Victoria is an emotionally demanding play but certainly rewards any audience prepared to take the journey.” Manchester Theatre Awards“An astonishing piece of theatre…it deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.” Number 9 Reviews


From the outside, Dawn has it all: nice house, fast car, great friends and family, and a new job out in sunny Dubai. So why has she been hiding in her own attic for the last three months? She’s about to confess all to the world, but not before she confronts some painful home truths, uncovers a heart-breaking infidelity, and learns to poop in a bucket! A Quick Guide to Ruining Your Life won the WriteForTheStage Prize for New Writing 2019 at Greater Manchester Fringe Festival.


Based on the seminal work of Lewis Carroll, Alice is a play that seeks to explore the problems of the gendered lens and the definition of female identity.


The Rules have dictated Charlie and Murphy’s lives since they were born. There’s a rule for everything; how you should dress, how you should go to the toilet, and what the three permissible types of sandwiches are (egg and cress, ham and cheese, and mackerel, if you must know). But when the siblings’ ever-present Mother and Gatekeeper of the rules passes away, the pair have to decide which parts of their reality they choose to accept and which are made to be broken.

Mother There Art Thou is a dark comedy about the relationship between two siblings and the choices they make when their world drastically changes.

A play for three performers.


Wasteman, by Joe Leather. Publication to follow.