Winners of the 2020 International Radio Playwriting Competition are announced
BBC World Service and the British Council have today announced the winning entries for the 2020 International Radio Playwriting Competition
"We are delighted that the award is continuing to inspire participants to write scripts of real humanity and such high quality. We are thrilled about the role the BBC World Service has in supporting playwrights across the world” — Steve Titherington, judge
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This global competition offers a unique opportunity for playwrights to use the medium of radio drama to reach an international audience. This year there were 854 entries from 104 countries, with 514 in the English as a First Language category and 340 in the English as a Second Language category.
Topping the list of entries by global region were Africa (319) and the Americas (180). The other regions were: Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and the Pacific. The judges were delighted to make their final selection from entries spread across 15 different countries and all 7 regions.
The 2020 winners are:
English as a First Language
The Snowman, by Neil Flynn (Ireland)
English as a Second Language
The Passport, by Ainur Karim (Kazakhstan)
Special Commendation (Georgi Markov Award)
Birthday Cake by Ross Mueller (Australia)
As with the 2018 competition, the winners of the 2020 competition came one each from the English As A First Language and the English As A Second Language categories. Both winners will come to London next year to see their plays recorded for broadcast on the BBC World Service, and to attend a prize-giving ceremony.
Neil Flynn, winner in the English As A First Language category, says: “That's really wonderful. Writing The Snowman was a real joy. The prospect of realising the world of it at full pitch in London with the BBC exhilarates.”
Ainur Karim, winner in the English As A Second Language category, says: “I am thrilled, happy, and proud of myself. I wrote The Passport specifically for the International Playwriting competition, based on political protests in my country in June 2019.”
The scripts were judged by an esteemed judging panel, which this year included award-winning audio drama writer and producer, Patricia Cumper MBE, FRSA, renowned stage and television actor, Nina Sosanya, and development producer, script editor and actor Nigel Hastings.
Nigel Hastings, chair of the panel, said of the judging process: “It was a pleasure and a privilege to read so many compelling stories, hear so many different voices and see so many different worlds. The submissions were truly international and making decisions was incredibly hard.”
Steve Titherington, judge and Senior Commissioning Editor of BBC World Service English, says: “The overall standard was higher than I’ve ever experienced. It’s been wonderful to see so many countries represented in this year’s competition, offering fresh voices and perspectives from across the world.
"We are delighted that the award is continuing to inspire participants to write scripts of real humanity and such high quality. We are thrilled about the role the BBC World Service has in supporting playwrights across the world.”
Neil Webb, Director Theatre and Dance at the British Council, says: “This year’s competition produced fresh and inventive scripts from both established and emerging writers from all corners of the globe. It was a pleasure to read so many exciting stories - including a wave of interesting LGBTQI+ writing from Africa and the Americas.
"Sharing stories is a powerful way to connect with each other, especially at times when physical travel is restricted. The British Council is proud to support this competition as part of our programme to develop new playwrights around the world and to help global artists find new opportunities.”
Find further details on the competition, including this year’s regional winners and all the commended scripts, here
Source BBC World Service
November 27, 2020 7:30am ET by BBC World Service