Judging Process

Round 1

Each script will be allocated to a reader, who will read the first act or the first 40 pages (whichever is shorter) of the script. They will then recommend one of two actions:


Round 2

Each script will be allocated to a reader (a different reader to Round 1 if possible). The reader will read the full script then recommend one of two actions:


Round 3

The reading team will meet to consider the scripts and select a maximum of 20 to progress to the Long List.


Long List

Each Long List script will be read by three members of the reading team (one representative each from Liverpool Hope University and the Royal Court, and an independent reader), who will then confer.

Together they will select a maximum of 10 scripts to advance to the Short List.


Short List

The Final Judging Panel will read all shortlisted scripts in full. The identities of the playwrights will remain anonymous at this point. 

The judges will aim to reach a consensus on the winning script. The winner will be awarded the £10,000 first prize and be considered for production by Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.

In the event of a split decision, Head Judge, Dr John Bennett, will hold the deciding vote.

The judges will also decide if any Highly Commended awards will be made. The fund for Highly Commended awards is £3,000 and the judges have the opportunity to nominate prize values for individual plays.


What happens next?

Once the final judging panel has taken place, we will notify the successful shortlisted playwrights.

The titles of the final shortlisted plays will be announced in The Stage and on the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize website. 

All prize-winning scripts will be considered to be under option by Liverpool’s Royal Court for a period of two months following the announcement of the winners, unless otherwise notified by the theatre.


Can I request feedback?

Unfortunately, due to the volume of entries received and limited resources, we’re unable to provide feedback on individual scripts that did not make the Short List.  


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The Liverpool Playwriting Prize reserves the right to make changes to the reading process at any point and without notice, in terms of the number of rounds and number of readings each script receives. This will not affect the anonymity of the process.