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The 2020 Phil Fox Award for Playwriting FAQs

We will continue to update this page throughout the submission process as we receive questions from playwrights. Please check the answers below before contacting us, since someone else may have already asked your question!

What do you mean by ‘issues related to addiction’?

This is meant to be a provocation for playwrights to think creatively and outside of the box about what might be related to addictive behaviours. As the eligibility criteria mentions, the subject matter of the plays does not have to be about any particular type of addiction or directly about characters experiencing active addiction. We will accept scripts that explore a range of addictive behaviours, including substance misuse, gambling, social media addiction, etc.

We will also accept scripts that are about the social and structural determinants that lead to addictive behaviours, but the play should clearly articulate how these determinants as they relate to addiction. For example, although poverty is a well-known social determinant for substance misuse, a play that is merely about poverty in and of itself would struggle to meet the competition’s criteria unless some element of the story directly linked to addiction.

How will submitted plays be assessed?

Anonymous scripts undergo a rigorous assessment process. All scripts will be read by at least two readers in a first round that will determine if scripts meet the Award’s eligibility criteria. Scripts that meet the eligibility criteria will then be read by a different two readers and scored based on quality of dialogue, interest of plot, attention to audience experience and uniqueness of voice. The highest scoring scripts will then be read in a third round by five new readers and scored again on the same criteria. Based on the highest average scores, this third round will produce a shortlist of 5 plays that will be read and discussed by the judges panel to determine the winner of the Award.

Is this competition only for professional playwrights?

Absolutely not! Playwrights will all levels of experience are encouraged to apply. There is no limit to how many plays you may have written or have had produced. We expect people with a wide range of experience to submit scripts, from first-time playwrights to established and award-winning playwrights. Everyone is welcome to participate!

Do I need to have lived experience of addiction to submit a script?

No. Although we very much encourage playwrights and people with lived experience of addiction and recovery, or those who have been affected by addiction, to submit scripts, this is by no means a requirement. We are looking for plays and stories about issues related to addiction, therefore the playwright’s own experiences have no bearing on the eligibility of the scripts.

There is a question on the online application form that directly asks about your lived experience of addiction. Playwrights have the option to answer that they ‘prefer not to say’ and this is only for our own internal monitoring and will not be disclosed to either the readers or judges, so therefore will have no bearing whatsoever on the assessment of your script.

What do you mean when you say that eligible scripts must be ‘unproduced and unperformed’?

We are looking for scripts that have not previously been rehearsed and/or performed in a fully or semi-staged production, either in a professional or amateur context.

If an excerpt of your script has been performed (e.g., if your script was developed and expanded from a previously performed original short play) then this would still allow your script to be eligible for submission, as long as more than 50% of the script has yet to be performed in a full or semi-staged production.

If your script has been read in public as part of its development process, then it would still be considered ‘unproduced or unperformed’ and is therefore eligible for submission.

I don’t have a Google Account can I still apply?

To be able to submit your script you will need to be logged into a Google account, this does not need to be your own nor will it be used for any of your contact information. You are able to create an account specifically for the submission, we will not be verifying these accounts so you can use any details you choose.

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