The James Tait Black Prizes
The James Tait Black Prizes logo

Drama prize

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama celebrates innovative drama produced worldwide.

The prize is presented annually for the best original play written in English, Scots or Gaelic and first performed by a professional company in the previous year. 

The £10,000 prize is open to any new work by playwrights from any country, and at any stage in their career. 

Celebrating talent

Ricky Champ as Josef the Fool (left) and Ony Uhiara as Lizaveta in Cannibals.

The accolade was launched in 2012, when Britain’s longest-running literary awards – the James Tait Black Prizes – were extended to include a category for drama. 

Judges award the prize to a play that makes a significant and unique contribution to the art form and displays an original voice in theatre.  

Judging panel

The panel includes students and academics from the University, representatives from the Traverse Theatre, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Schaubuhne Theatre, Berlin, and a freelance theatre director. 

Distinguished winners

Previous winners include Gordon Dahlquist for the sci-fi thriller Tomorrow Come Today, Rory Mullarkey’s first full-length play, Cannibals and acclaimed drama The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price. 

Prize winners

Traverse Theatre logo

Attend the awards ceremony

The winner is announced at The Traverse Theatre, during the Edinburgh Fringe in August. 

The event includes extracts of the shortlisted plays performed as rehearsed readings. 

Playwrights' Studio Scotland

Attend the awards ceremony

Our partners

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama is presented in association with Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and the Traverse Theatre.  

Make a submission

Submissions are open for the 2018 James Tait Black Prize for Drama Award. Visit Drama submissions page to submit a play and find out about eligibility.

Drama submissions