A new £10,000 writers prize launched by the BBC and National Theatre Wales earlier this year has been presented to playwright Katherine Chandler.
The Wales Drama Award has been described as the first of its kind for Welsh writers and is aimed at supporting up and coming talent.
It was developed by BBC Wales with NTW in partnership with the BBC Writersroom.
As well as receiving £10,000, Chandler now has the opportunity to develop projects with BBC Wales and NTW.
Chandler beat around 250 other entrants to win the prize, presented today at the BBC’s Roath Lock studios in Cardiff.
Her script was chosen by a panel including writers Russell T Davies and Abi Morgan.
She told The Stage: “I think it’s a brilliant award, and a way for someone like me with a theatre background to cross form. I also like competitions that are judged just on your work – it was judged anonymously – which is great as it gives everyone an equal footing and it means you are judged on the work and nothing else.”
Chandler submitted a theatre script called Parallel Lines, which she said is about class and a girl who does not feel like she fits in.
Having won the award she said she would now like to “experience what it is like to work in TV”.
Speaking about the award, BBC Wales head of drama Faith Penhale said it had been set up to celebrate writing in Wales.
“It was always intended that it should be a partnership between BBC Wales drama and National Theatre Wales because of the fact both companies – NTW over the last four years and BBC Wales drama over the last even to eight years – have exploded in terms of their output and their creative endeavour. We wanted to bring together the two companies and collaborate and share our experience and love of Welsh talent,” she said.
Penhale said both companies would work with Chandler, who she called a “worthy winner” with an interest in both TV and theatre.
The drama head added: “We are lucky enough to have some wonderful celebrated established writers in Wales but we are always looking for the new talent who are going to come up behind them. It’s about growing the talent pool here, and as more and more shows are produced here, making sure we have the talent on the ground to work on those shows.”
The runners-up, Paul Jenkins and Ralph Bolland, will also be supported with a script development opportunity and £1,000.
John McGrath, artistic director of National Theatre Wales, added that he was “very pleased indeed with the number and quality of scripts submitted for the award”.
“This is a really exciting time for writing and for writers in Wales. I hope the award will focus the widest possible attention on the great things writers are doing here,” he said.