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Shelagh Delaney, born 25 November 1938, brought a fresh and spirited voice to the 1950's theatre scene; female, teenager, northern and working class she defied those attempted to pigeon hole her.  Her first play A Taste Of Honey was directed by the renowned Joan Littlewood which was performed at the Theatre, Stratford it later transferred to the West End and then into a film.

The 1950's was the start of theatre changing bring us the cultural revolution that was 'Kithchen sink drama' theatre that was much more accessible to the working class.


Since 2014, we have been celebrating the life and work of Salford born writer Shelagh Delaney every year on her birthday the 25th of November.

We have done this in a variety of ways; we have produced Shelagh’s work, read her short stories and shown her screen plays as well as worked with several writers to support and showcase new writing.

Going forward, we think supporting new writing should be the legacy of Shelagh Delaney and therefore we would like to announce for 2021 the Shelagh Delaney New Writing Award.

It will support new writing by giving mentorship from professional writers, in kind rehearsal and performance space at Salford Arts Theatre and a cash award. The criteria such as age and gender will differ each year to it enable us to give opporttunity to a wider network of creatives.  As this is the first year we wanted to support younger creatives as this was the age Shelagh Delaney began her writing career.



The winning writer will receive a cash award of £3000.00

The winning play will be fully produced and performed at Salford Arts Theatre alongside the professional mentorship.



The  award is open to those who identify as female are aged between 16 – 25 and are living in or from Greater Manchester

We are looking for new writing that is not connected, contracted, or committed to any other venue, creative team or producer.  The new work should not have had any previous professional productions

The finished play must be an hour long or more playing time however for submissions we will allow unfinished scripts.

We are only accepting scripts for stage plays and are not looking for adaptations or translations of established works.  Original and new pieces of writing only.

The writers must hold all copyright and other related rights to the piece



Submit upto 15 pages of an idea or full script by email to

Please note we are not looking for finished plays at this stage


Your name and where you are based

Upto 500 words about yourself which can include any previous experience

Brief synopsis of the idea or play

Please make sure all the above details are in one PDF attachment along with your full contact details 

DATES for the diary

25th November 2021 – Submissions Open
21st March 2022 – Deadline Extended 

11th April  2022 – Shortlist announcement
End April 2022 – Finalists announced
May 2022 – Chosen Writer Announced

November 2021 – The chosen writer and her play will be performed at Salford Arts Theatre


Salford Arts Theatre