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Violet Burns Playwright Award

"I wanted to create this award in memory of a woman who never knew how incredibly talented she was. I know that Mum would be proud that it was helping other young women to reach their full creative potential.” 
- Hayley Burns

We are thrilled and honoured to announce the Violet Burns Playwright Award. The Award is committed to discovering, nurturing and producing Welsh or Wales-based, female playwrights.

Following the appointment of Dan Jones as Artistic Director in June this year, The Other Room enters a new chapter; reaffirming its support of emerging artists to be synonymous with high quality work and exceptional production values. The Violet Burns Playwright Award is a steadfast commitment to bringing to the fore unheard voices from across Wales, championing women in theatre to achieve their creative potential.

The Award will run annually for the next three years, and the winners will have the opportunity to have their play professionally produced at The Other Room. The Award has been made possible through the generous support of Violet’s daughter Hayley, also Board Member at The Other Room, who has created it in memory of her mother.

Violet Burns was born into a working-class family in 1946. Raised in a two-bedroom council house in a small fishing village on the east coast of Scotland, there were insufficient finances available to support the family and she had to leave school early to take up a job in the local Spar. Given her background and the limited opportunities she had been given, she never believed herself capable nor creative, and yet was a secret writer and poet. She never returned to her education despite having a keen interest in both medicine and writing. Violet sadly passed away on 10 January 2017 following a battle with lung cancer.

In this, its inaugural year, the Award is being run in association with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, and is looking for writers specifically interested in writing in the Welsh language.




The application deadline has been extended to 19 January 2018. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted in February for interview and the Award Winner will be announced later that month. There will be a process of research and development with the final play to be presented in 2019.

To apply, you must identify as female and be Welsh and/or living in Wales. Please email the following to

  • Up to 20 pages of your writing, either an extract of your work or a short play in the Welsh language. Please bare in mind the scale of our venue and the type of work we produce when considering what to send us. Any writing or creative idea that features a cast larger than 4 people is unlikely to be suitable for our theatre.
  • A covering letter introducing yourself, telling us what you’re interested in writing and why it would fit within our programme at The Other Room
  • Your creative CV