Winners of the 2018 International Radio Playwriting Competition
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Winners of the 2018 International Radio Playwriting Competition

BBC World Service and British Council  has announced the winners of the prestigious 2018 international radio playwriting competition.

This year, 1,500 submissions were received from 114 countries. Amazing isn’t it?

1500 entries received from 114 countries.

Who Won The BBC World Service International Playwriting Competition for 2018?

The first two prizes were awarded to:

  1. “Aziz H” from Yemen with his play A Broken Heart in a Warzone

A dark comedy about two audacious thieves in a warzone, who steal from other people’s houses when their owners flee to air-raid shelters during the frequent bombings. But the thieves’ luck is about to change, when they find themselves inextricably involved in a surprising and dramatic domestic drama

2. Colette Victor from Belgium with her script, By God’s Mercy.

In this comedy drama set in an impoverished South African township, Mercy’s new occupation is seen from the point of view of a mattress. And yes we did say mattress.


The aforementioned playwrights will be given:

  • An opportunity to visit the UK to attend a prize-giving ceremony on 17 October 2018.  This ceremony will hold in London.
  • A chance to  hear and see their winning radio scripts being recorded at the BBC, ahead of their broadcast on the BBC World Service in 2019.


Special winner and awards (for the Georgi Markov prize):

Bode Asiyanbi, a Nigerian playwright who was awarded the Georgi Markov prize for his play The Journey to Fortune? 

As the tension mounts on a popular quiz show, a panellist is surprised to find that he is able to answer the questions put to him. How? His unique experiences in trying to leave Nigeria for Europe (via Libya) seem to have unwittingly provided them….

The Georgi Markov prize is awarded to writers whose scripts has the most outstanding potential from the competition’s shortlist. The prize was established in memory of BBC World Service journalist Georgi Markov., a proponent of freedom of creative expression.

Bode will also get a chance to attend the prize-giving ceremony in London. He will also spend two weeks at the BBC, to be mentored by BBC Radio Drama and BBC World Service. Congratulations to Bode Asiyanbi.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2018 International Playwriting Competition.

We  can’t wait to hear your plays and read your books.

According to Neil Webb, Director of Theatre and Dance at the British Council,:

This competition is an important part of the British Council’s programme developing new playwrights around the world — discovering new talent, helping global artists find new opportunities, and connecting with the UK. Sharing stories is a powerful way for us to connect with different cultures, explore difficult issues and be inspired by fresh voices.”


And from Steve Titherington, BBC World Service Senior Commissioning Editor:

These are fascinating and compelling plays, each with a distinct style and exploring important themes. The winning plays are remarkable, inventive and beautifully written. It is a privilege to see the breadth of ideas shown by writers around the world.”

In the past, both budding and professional playwrights have won the competition. The competition has served as a launchpad for the winners.

Interested in applying for the next edition? Great! Start working on your plays. I’ll definitely publish their call for submissions when the prize opens.

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