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Anna Jordan named as 2013 Bruntwood prize winner

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Anna Jordan has been named as the winner of the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.

Jordan – whose writing credits include Stay Happy Keep Smiling at the Soho Theatre and Coming Home at the Bush Theatre – won the award for her play Yen and receives £16,000.

Yen is described as a play about “lost childhood, lost innocence, love and violence”. It was inspired by a story in a local newspaper about two boys who committed a crime.

The Bruntwood award is a joint venture between the Royal Exchange in Manchester and property company Bruntwood and aims to discover and promote the best writing for theatre.

Alongside Jordan, three other writers have each received £8,000. These are Katherine Chandler, whose entry was the play Bird, Chris Urch, who wrote Rolling Stone, and Luke Norris, who submitted the play So Here We Are.

Jenni Murray, chair of the judges, said: “It’s been an extraordinary shortlist this year and very difficult to decide on a winner. Yen is a play of great depth and relevance. In an incredibly dark world each of the characters are drawn with beautiful empathy, and a humanity which stood out to all the judges.”

All four winners will have their work developed with the Royal Exchange, and Nick Hern Books will publish the plays that receive a production at the theatre.

Each of the four playwrights were selected from a shortlist of 10, who remained anonymous until today’s ceremony.

Other judges on the panel were playwright Tanika Gupta, director Marianne Elliott and actor Suranne Jones.