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Young Playwrights Award

Queensland Theatre’s Young Playwrights Award is one of Australia’s longest running annual playwriting competitions for young writers.

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About the Young Playwrights Award 2024

Each year, high school-aged writers (Years 9–12) are encouraged to submit an original play, which is read by a panel of industry professionals.

Applicants are invited to submit an original play, written for the stage. The script can be of any length and genre, as long as it’s completed. Applicants must also provide a rationale of up to 150 words describing themselves as a writer, and the inspiration for the work.

In 2024, the Young Playwrights Award will be in its 23rd year!

The 2024 prize winner will receive dramaturgical sessions to further develop their script, leading to a professional, public play reading later in the year. The winner will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Theatre Residency Week in Brisbane during the September school holidays (valued up to $1500).

Submissions to the 2024 Young Playwrights Award are due Friday 31 May


2023 Winner announced

And Salt the Cake Behind You – Abel Taylor

Abel Taylor and Lee Lewis.

Q&A with Abel Taylor

What does winning the 2023 Young Playwrights' Award mean to you?

Oh my, so much. I’m very new to this whole playwriting thing however writing in and of itself runs deep within my veins – I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, so to receive this award is both highly validating and kind of shocking. It means so much to me that a whole panel of judges picked my work out of what I can guess was a great deal of high-level plays – this is absolutely not lost on me, whatsoever.

What are you looking forward to with the dramaturgical sessions and play reading?

I’m looking forward to just simply improving it. I’ve got so many ideas and it’s going to be great to be able to work with somebody to build on the script and make sense of it and turn it into something worth reading. And the reading itself is going to be incredible – I guess I’m just looking forward to the whole out-of-bodyness of it all. It’s going to be so weird (in a good way) to have these words put into the mouths of actors who will absolutely slay it out there.

What did you enjoy most about Theatre Residency Week?

There are two main things that I enjoyed. One being the actual showcase, which proved just how incredible the people who went there are – both the kids and the instructors. It was so gratifying to see the work everyone had laboured over being put on a stage and be received so well. That’s theatre, isn’t it? To put something together for an audience to bask in, and that’s how it felt being in the audience of TRW people – everyone just marvelling at everyone else’s work. The second thing I loved was the people – I’ve remained in contact with many people I’d never even met prior to the Monday of TRW which is something I hadn’t quite suspected would happen. But it’s such a magical group of people, and an electric experience overall.

Why is And Salt the Cake Behind You so special for you?

I laugh every time I see the title of the play being said back to me. I can’t believe I got away with naming it that. Anyway. It’s special for me because it consists of varying shades of myself. The characters are inspired by myself, my family, my friends. The way they speak, their personalities. The play is a bit of a patchwork quilt of everyone in my life and I’m just so glad that I have something physical to exemplify them. But yeah, that’s probably why it’s so special to me. It’s personal to me, but also personal to the people who surround me.

Contact us

For more information about the Young Playwrights Award, please contact our Education and Youth team via youth@queenslandtheatre.com.au

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