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Winner of Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize receives glowing praise for her timely play

Publish date: May 17, 2022

Edge Hill University has announced this year’s incredible winner of the Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize and is launching next year’s competition for budding writers and playwrights.

Paolo Chiabrando theartre

Edge Hill University has announced this year’s incredible winner of the Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize and is launching next year’s competition for budding writers and playwrights.

The winner is MRes Creative Writing student Kate Wilson who’s timely play, The Forest Brothers, tells the story of two men imprisoned for fighting against Soviet Russia in 1953.

The play explores very resonant themes of physical and mental struggle, searching for strength in a place where all seems hopeless and the importance of brotherhood. Judge Dame Suzman DBE said the play “sings to the time we are all living through”.

Kate Wilson said: “Winning the Dame Janet Suzman prize has changed everything for me. I am still in shock that such a talented actress and professional in the field read one of my plays. I finally feel like a writer, a playwright even, and the feedback and validation I have received not only from Dame Janet, but from all the team here at Edge Hill University has given me the confidence and drive needed to push ahead my writing career.”

Dame Suzman was blown away by Kate’s work, giving glowing feedback to the budding writer and suggesting her play should be put on the stage straight away.

She said: “I have seldom read a play so spare, so threatening, so apt for the times we live in. Frankly, I didn’t want to change a thing. It ought to be sent to The Royal Court before too long as it’s so timely.”

Kate added: “Her kind words about my play have been ringing in my head ever since I read them. I think many writers will agree that some of us suffer from imposter syndrome and have moments of doubt about our own writings, well Dame Janet’s lovely feedback was just what I needed to hear. I don’t think I will ever be able to explain what her comments mean to me.”

The 2022/23 Dame Janet Suzman Student Playwriting Prize is now open for entries. The prize recognises, nurtures and develops students’ ability to write for the stage.

The Prize is open to third year and MA level students in the English and Creative Arts Department.

The winner receives £1,000 and support in developing the script further, including a public performance of the work in progress. 

Programme Leader for Creative Writing Dr Kim Wiltshire said: “I’d encourage all our students to submit entries for this year’s competition. You never know what talents you may discover and winning can be life changing, opening up a whole new career as a playwright.”

To discover more about our courses at Edge Hill, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.   

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