Tinniswood Award, 2013

for plays broadcast from July 2012 - 31 Oct 2013


..2012.. ..2011.. ..2010.. ..2009.. ..2008.. ..2007.. ..2006.. ..2005.. ..2004..

Newsflash, 25 Jan: - Winner of the 2013 Tinniswood Award:
Marathon Tales by Colin Teevan and Hannah Silva

The Tinniswood Award - £1,500

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2013 Tinniswood Award:

  • Dusty Won't Play by Annie Caulfield
  • Once Upon a Time There Was a Beatrix by Lavinia Murray
  • Imo & Ben by Mark Ravenhill
  • Marathon Tales by Colin Teevan and Hannah Silva

    The Tinniswood Award 2013 is presented to the best original radio drama script by any writer broadcast in the UK over 1 July 2012-31 October 2013. The Award is jointly administered by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Society of Authors with the prize of £1,500 generously sponsored by the Authors’ Licencing and Collecting Society.

    The judges this year are Louise Doughty, Marcy Kahan and David Pownall.


    By Annie Caulfield; produced by Gordon Kennedy, Absolutely Productions, 43’, BBC R4. In 1964, at the height of her fame, Dusty Springfield was arrested in South Africa for refusing to play to segregated audiences. Detained, deported and accused of publicity seeking by some fellow celebrities back home, she inspired others to cancel segregated tours. She didn’t change the world, but she did do something.

    The judges said: The horrors of Apartheid South Africa have faded from recent memory but Annie Caulfield's play reminds us of the Kafkaesque difficulties all artists faced in deciding whether or not to play or appear there. Dusty Springfield's decision to refuse to play to segregated audiences is shown to be an impulsive yet brave decision from a young singer still worrying about how her hair looked and yet with a passionate sense of right and wrong. Its cast of characters shows us band members, South African security forces and black South Africans proud of her decision: reminding us that what was a personal dilemma for one musician had global consequences.

    Annie Caulfield has won a Race in Media award for her radio play After You Have Gone and is a past winner of The Writer’s award from The Peggy Ramsay Foundation. This is her third collaboration with Absolutely Productions. The other two plays were the R3 plays, Your Only Man (Flann O'Brien) and Glass Chair Chair Glass.

    Once Upon a Time There Was a Beatrix, by Lavinia Murray. Produced by Pauline Harris, BBC Drama, 45m, R4. Combining fact with fantasy, we imagine a day in the life of the young Beatrix Potter as a child, and glimpse at the roots of her creativity. 19th century London: Beatrix Potter is 14 years old and lives in Kensington with her parents. Her younger brother has just gone off to boarding school. Life has changed and Beatrix realises that she faces years of isolation and parental indifference. She is on the verge of vanishing within the social mores around her. Today, Beatrix has to find her own life. When she visits the local cemetery, she finds herself at the centre of a rather frightening hunt for a young rabbit, and discovers a way to excel.

    The judges said: Lavinia Murray creates an imaginative, surreal and ultimately moving portrait of the young Beatrix Potter, framed within a dreamlike radio soundscape. We are presented with one increasingly bizarre day in the life of lonely young Beatrix. The drama begins in patriarchal Victorian London but quickly enters a world where boiled foxes and cats speak and our young heroine has a nightmarish encounter in a cemetery.

    Lavinina Murray’s radio plays and adaptations include: Ballad of the Burning Boy( R3), The Beautiful Ugly (R4), Gargantua & Pantagruel (R4) and Silver award winner of Prix Marulic; Confessions of an English Opium Eater (R4), The Tiger Hunt (R4), and The Anatomy of Melancholy (R4).

    IMO & BEN
    By Mark Ravenhill, produced by Jeremy Mortimer, BBC Radio Drama, 90m, R3. Benjamin Britten's Gloriana, commissioned for the Queen's Coronation Gala in 1953, was, according to Lord Harewood 'one of the greatest disasters of operatic history'. This play tells how Imogen Holst moved to be near Britten in Aldeburgh to support him as he worked on the score in the months leading up to the premiere.

    The judges said: What is so admirable about Mark Ravenhill's text is that he manages to portray the complexity of the relationship between Britten and Imogen Holst in a way that is both a serious investigation of the nature of creative genius and yet completely believable on a human level. They work together, joke and tease each other - and at one point, Britten explodes monstrously. They are simultaneously artists at work and two ordinary people with jealousies and short tempers, two utterly convincing characters.

    Mark Ravenhill has written many plays; his more recent works include Mother Clap's Molly House (National Theatre); Product (Traverse Theatre) and The Cut (Donmar Warehouse).

    By Colin Teevan and Hannah Silva. Produced by David Hunter, BBC Drama (London), 90m, R3. This play combines the stories of a number of Marathon runners ancient and modern; the original Pheidippides, Atalanta, Hippomenes, Abebe Bikila, John Tarrant the “Ghost Runner”, Dorando Petri the “People’s Champion”; pioneer of women's running Kathy Switzer, and contemporary amateur and professional runners preparing for the London Marathon.

    The judges said: High-spiritedly ambitious from the start, joint authors Colin Teevan and Hannah Silva pick up radio drama’s potential and run with it in this ninety minute, fifty-character extravaganza.

    Even the structure is witty – a stadium of the mind made of landscapes and cities, runners everywhere, clockwise, anti-clockwise, criss-crossing in time, flinging out questions, quarrelling, yearning. The listener is always in danger of being left behind by the rampant gods, footsore messengers, sports maladministrators, feminists, and shamateurs. The action is comic one second, tragic the next, making the listener swallow moral and political issues like a marathon runner snatching a drink on the hoof. This is a stimulating, pleasing, lively mix of ideas and emotions to stir the imagination of even the most sedentary.

    Colin Teevan has translated works from Ancient Greek, Italian and French. His radio plays include IPH... (R3), Tricycles (The Wire, R3), How Many Miles to Basra (R3), Glass Houses (Friday Play) and Massistonia (R3).

    Hannah Silva has shown her work at the Tokyo Design Centre, Krikri International Festival of Polyphony in Belgium and Poetry Hearings in Berlin. She has performed her poetry throughout the UK. Her latest play Gagged was a runner up in the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Playwrights. Marathon Tales is Hannah’s first radio drama.

    The winner will be announced at the BBC Audio Drama Awards on Sunday 26 January 2014.

    The Tinniswood Award is jointly administered by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Society of Authors with the prize of £1,500 sponsored by the Authors’ Licencing and Collecting Society. See: www.writersguild.org.uk and www.alcs.co.uk

    For further information please contact Jo McCrum at the Society of Authors

    Email: jmccrum@societyofauthors.org | Tel 020 7373 6642

    2012 Kafka the Musical by Murray Gold
    2011 Gerontius by Stephen Wyatt
    2010 Ivan and the Dogs by Hattie Naylor
    2009 Goldfish Girl by Peter Souter
    2008 Memorials to the Missing by Stephen Wyatt
    2007 Not Talking by Mike Bartlett and To Be A Pilgrim by Rachel Joyce
    2006 Beast by Nick Warburton
    2005 Norman by Mike Stott
    2004 Killing Maestros by Christopher William Hill


    The Tinniswood Award for best original radio drama

    The Tiniswood Award honours the best original radio drama script broadcast in the UK over 2011 and until 30 June 2012. The work must be an original piece for radio, and may also include the first episode from an original series or serial. When submitting 15-minute episodes from a series or serial we will require consecutive episodes (including the first episode) to make up at least 45 minutes. The judges reserve the right to call in the subsequent episodes if required. We welcome 30-minute plays provided they were stand-alone and that characters and situations are original to the writer. An adaptation for radio of a piece originally written for any other medium will not be eligible.

    Submissions will be accepted from producers only and are restricted to a maximum of two entries per producer. Submissions must consist of:

    • a complete nomination form from the producer;

    • four copies of the writer’s script (as broadcast);

    • a non-refundable entry fee of £50 (cheques should be made out to ‘The Writers’ Guild’ or by BACs to Unity Trust Bank, Account Name: Writers' Guild of Great Britain Tinniswood Award, Account No. 2013995, Sort Code: 08-60-01. Raising an invoice can be arranged.

    • a supporting statement, 250 word synopsis 250 words author biography (which should be emailed to anne@writersguild.org.uk

    Entries will not be returned and should be sent to Anne Hogben, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, 40 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4RX.

    Judges for the 2012 award are yet to be confirmed. We are grateful to the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society Ltd (ALCS) for their generous sponsorship of the Tinniswood Award.

    Nigel Deacon

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