Established in 2015 by subtlenuance theatre and sponsored by The Buzz from Sydney, The Silver Gull Play Award is an important literary prize for new theatrical writing by a playwright resident in New South Wales. New Theatre became home for the Award in 2020.  A list of previous winners and shortlisted plays is located at the bottom of the page.

This year the total prize money for the award will be $7000. The winning playwright will receive $5000 and the remainder of the prize pool will be split evenly between the shortlisted writers.

The Silver Gull Award will recognise an outstanding play that aligns with New Theatre’s commitment to producing ‘Plays With a Purpose’. We’re looking for plays that support our ethos, provoke thought and discussion about the human condition, reflect on contemporary society, and engage with the challenges that concern us all.

To be eligible for The Silver Gull Play Award, plays must:

  • Be at least 60 minutes in length
  • Be unpublished and unproduced
  • Be unencumbered by agreements for future production or publication
  • Be the original work of the playwright
  • Be written by a playwright who resides in NSW
  • Be written by a playwright over the age of 18 years as of 1 January 2022
  • Not have won, or been shortlisted for, another Australian playwriting competition as of time of entry
  • Not be an adaptation of a work from one format to another (eg novel to play)

In sending us your play you assure us that you have read the eligibility criteria for The Silver Gull Play Award.
You declare your eligibility under the criteria listed.
You guarantee you are the sole copyright holder of all material used.

Entry terms and conditions:

a) Playwrights may submit only one play for consideration. They may not submit a play which they submitted for this award in a previous year.
b) The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The judges reserve the right to decide any questions of eligibility, to publish a shortlist and not to make an Award.
c) New Theatre does not commit to programming or producing the winning play. The playwright retains the rights to their play.
d) The work must be submitted electronically via email.

Submitting your script:

Please do not print your name anywhere on the script or synopsis. All entries are judged anonymously.

Your entry must include the following:

  • A completed entry form as a pdf, attached to your email. Please label this file with ‘[title of your play] – entry form’. Download the entry form below.
  • An electronic copy of the script as a pdf, attached to your email. Please label this file with ‘[title of your play] – script’. Please number the pages.
  • A detailed synopsis (of approximately 350 words) as a pdf, attached to your email. Please ensure the title of your play is at the top of this page. Please label this file with ‘[title of your play] – synopsis’. In the synopsis you must include a section which outlines why you believe your play fulfills the requirements of being in line with New Theatre’s ethos.

Entries that do not fulfill these requirements will be deemed ineligible.

Email your entry to: with the subject line: The Silver Gull Play Award submission – [title of play]

Entries must be received by midnight, 31 July 2022.

All enquiries should be directed to the above email address.

Previous finalists and winners of The Silver Gull Play Award:

Off The Record by Chris Aronsten
Sanctuary by Margaret Davis
Cloudsurfing by John AD Fraser
The Scammer by Wendy Lewis
Fitson and Dan by Mark O’Flynn
The Other End of The Afternoon by Bokkie Robertson – winner

Victim by Jeanette Cronin
God’s Gruesome Shadow on The Wall by Kian Farzam
The Scream by Justin Fleming
Gods and Little Fishes by Jamie Oxenbould and Richard Sydenham – winner
The Park by Simon Thomson

I Damo by Pauline Bleach
The Deal by Kel Vance
Breathless by Deborah Mulhall
Son of Byblos by James Elazzi
Field of Vision by Joanna Erskine – winner

Disinhibition by Christopher Bryant
Alabaster Burning by John AD Fraser
People Inside Me by Katie Pollock
Superheroes by Mark Rogers
Lions and Tigers and Bears by Phillip James Rouse – winner

The Bees Are All Dead by Kit Brookman
Dead Wen by Elias Jamieson Brown
For Unknown Reasons by Zoe Cooper – winner
A Spy in the House of Love by Zoe Hogan
Human Activity by Katie Pollock
The Blackbird and the Whale by Alison Rooke

People Will Think You Don’t Love Me by Joanna Erskine – winner
A Matter of Life and Death by John AD Fraser
The Ink Trail by Louis Klee
This, This Is Mine by Duncan Ragg
I sat and waited but you were gone too long by Olivia Satchell

Between the Streetlight and the Moon by Melita Rowston
Furthest West by Michael Collins
The Block Universe (Or So It Goes) by Sam O’Sullivan
The Last Executioner by Mark Swivel
TickTickBoom by Melissa Lee Speyer – winner



The Silver Gull Play Award is proudly supported by 

Original artwork © Michael Tonkin