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National Theatre Wales and BBC join forces for new £12k writing residency

Kully Thiarai, artistic director of National Theatre Wales. Photo: Dan Green
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National Theatre Wales has teamed up with the BBC to create a new playwriting award to develop Welsh talent.

The Wales Writer in Residence award will be worth more than £12,000 to the winner and is aimed at writers who can “represent the culture of Wales with authenticity”.

The winning script will be commissioned and produced by BBC Radio 4 or BBC Sounds, and the winning writer will receive an advance on a commission from NTW.

They will also receive consecutive residencies with NTW and BBC Cymru Wales, as well as the opportunity to work with independent producers and the BBC’s commercial arm.

The award will be given annually and replaces the biennial Wales Drama Award, which has run since 2012.

The competition, for English-language work, is open to writers who are from, have lived or have worked in Wales, and it will be run by the BBC Writersroom Wales.

Kully Thiarai, NTW artistic director, said: “This is a very significant development for both National Theatre Wales and BBC Cymru Wales; an annual award that will promote and support the great writing talent here in Wales.

“The winning writer will embed themselves firmly with both organisations, be offered a broadcast opportunity for their writing and a space to develop an original, new work for theatre. It’s a fantastic opportunity.”

The move follows a period of criticism for NTW, in which Welsh actors and writers claimed it is not doing enough to support native talent.