The James Tait Black Prizes
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Drama submissions

Applications for the 2019 James Tait Black Prize for Drama are now open.

The £10,000 award is bestowed to the best original new play produced from 1 January – 31 December from the previous year.  

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

The winner is announced at an award ceremony held at the Traverse Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe, where extracts of the shortlisted plays will be performed. 


Submissions must be made from agents or the original producing company, and the nominator must have permission from the playwright before making a submission. 

If the play is shortlisted, the playwright must agree to cooperate with the organisers of the award ceremony, and consent to give rights to Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland for a rehearsed reading of their work. 

Eligible plays are those over sixty minutes in playing time, originally written in English (including all standard and non-standard varieties) Scots or Gaelic, first produced between 1 January and 31 December and performed by a professional company for more than six performances. 

A typed copy of the script must be sent by post and email with details of the first production, which should include venue, company and date. Where possible, proof of production should be sent such as a flyer, review etc. 

The playwright must have been commissioned formally by a professional organisation using a contract recognised by an industry regulator within the country of production (e.g. in the UK, the Theatrical Management Association (TMA), Equity, Independent Theatre Council (ITC) or Federation of Scottish Theatre). 

The production must have had a full production by a professional company using professionally contracted personnel. 

Submission format and address

Theatre companies and agents are invited to submit scripts by 28 January 2019.

Two copies must be submitted: one digital copy and one hard copy, along with a completed submission form.

Submissions should be sent to the Department of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh.

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama

  • English Literature
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



The James Tait Black Prizes
The University of Edinburgh
50 George Square

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