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The Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize provides the opportunity for Department of English and Creative Arts students to write an original script for stage. The play should be written for four actors and run up to 60 minutes in length.

In lending her name to the prize and choosing the winning script herself from a final shortlist, Dame Janet and the University are offering the winner the chance to develop their writing talent and potentially enhance their playwriting career.

Scholarship details

The Dame Janet Suzman Prize is worth £1,000.

The recipient will have the additional opportunity to develop their work for performance in the Arts Centre, with the support of staff in the Department of English and Creative Arts.

The bespoke support provided could include, for instance, script workshops with professionals, readings with actors, funding for research and development, or other support to be agreed. The support package is subject to mutual agreement between the prizewinner and University and cannot be provided as a cash alternative.


How to apply - A student reads a book while working on her Apple Macbook at a table in the University library in the Catalyst building.

To be eligible to apply for the Dame Janet Suzman Prize you should be an Edge Hill University student who is currently enrolled in:

  • the final year (Level 6) of an undergraduate degree, or
  • studying a taught Masters degree

You must be studying said course within the Department of English and Creative Arts in academic year 2023/24.

Permanent employees of the University, repeat year students and Erasmus students are not eligible to apply. One entry is permitted per person.

About Dame Janet Suzman

Dame Janet remains one of the most respected classical stage actresses of her generation. After her professional stage debut in 1962, Dame Janet built up an impressive classical resumé portraying many of Shakespeare’s illustrious heroines, as well as securing notable roles in productions such as The Three SistersShe Stoops to ConquerThe Good Woman of SetzuanHedda Gabler and The Hollow Crown.

Dame Janet has also graced a number of films including the florid historical piece Nicholas and Ale for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award and Golden Globe Award. Janet is an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute and has been awarded the Pragnell Award for Lifetime Services to Shakespeare.

In recognition of her work as an internationally acclaimed actor, director and writer, Dame Janet was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts by Edge Hill University in 2015.

Headshot of Dame Janet Suzman

“Writing for drama will become even more vital than Shakespeare made it – for today we have ever hungry TV to feed, as well as a flourishing theatre industry. Nothing is more fascinating than the lives of people made into dramatic form. I look forward to your creativity with eager anticipation.”

Dame Janet Suzman

Case studies

Meet some of the students whose scripts for stage have seen awarded the Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize.

How do I apply?

To be considered for the Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize, you need to complete and submit our Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize application form with your script. Your submitted work should be laid out in a recognised script format on single-sided A4 paper. It must be your own original work and not previously published.

Please note, this prize is for theatre/stage plays only. Screenplays or adaptations of screenplays for stage will not be accepted.

Applications for this prize are now open. To enter, please complete the entry form and submit alongside your script. Submissions are accepted electronically only. Please email your completed form and script to by 5pm on Saturday 31 August 2024. Entries received after this time will not be accepted.

A selection panel will shortlist the applications received. The final shortlist of applications will then be judged by Dame Janet Suzman who will provide personal feedback to the winner.

Entrants will retain copyright for their submitted entries. However, by entering this competition, all applicants give Edge Hill University a worldwide royalty-free perpetual licence to edit, publish and use each entry in any and all media (including print and online) for publicity purposes relating to the award.

The winning applicant allows Edge Hill University to perform the play on one occasion with director, performers and staging as arranged by the University and with final creative choices for the one performance made by the University.

Contact us

If you have any queries about the Dame Janet Suzman Playwriting Prize, you can get in touch with Kim Wiltshire, who will be happy to assist you.