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Alice Birch wins $25k Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

Alice Birch has won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Anatomy of a Suicide
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Alice Birch has won the 2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play Anatomy of a Suicide.

It was the third time the British playwright had been nominated for the $25,000 (£17,988) annual award, and follows nods for Many Moons and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

Birch’s winning play, Anatomy of a Suicide, premiered last year at London’s Royal Court, directed by Katie Mitchell.

Anatomy of a Suicide review at Royal Court, London – ‘full of pain and strange beauty’

She was one of nine finalists for the prize, which celebrates female playwrights writing in the English language.

Fellow British nominees included Elinor Cooke for Out of Love and Nina Raine for Consent. Other shortlisted writers included the Irish playwright Fiona Doyle for The Strange Death of John Doe, Antoinette Nwandu for Pass Over and Tori Sampson for If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka.

All shortlisted writers receive an award of $5,000 (£3,597)

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize is now in its 14th year and was founded in memory of the American actor and writer Susan Smith Blackburn, who died in 1977.

Previous winners include Clare Barron for Dance Nation, which runs at the Almeida later this year, Annie Baker for The Flick and Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, which also won the Pulitzer prize for drama last year. In total, 10 finalists of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize have gone on to win the same accolade.