The David MacLennan Award 2022

The David MacLennan Award aims to uncover new writing talent by providing first time writers with the opportunity to have their work professionally developed and produced, before being presented on stage.

In honour of David MacLennan, founder of A Play, a Pie and a Pint (and Scottish theatre legend), this award aims to celebrate his generosity of spirit, his faith in the magic of theatre, his encouragement of others, his excitement about collaboration and an unrelenting belief that anyone could give theatre a go, no matter their previous experience.  

We want to uncover new writing talent.  This prize is an opportunity for anyone living in Scotland aged 18+ who has never written a professionally produced play before.  The finalists will receive an annual pass to see every A Play, a Pie and a Pint show in the 2023 calendar, and the winner will have their work developed and presented as part of the world famous A Play, a Pie and a Pint Spring 2023 Season.  At the heart of this prize is the principal that anyone can enter – entries are judged purely on the quality of work alone.  We hope that this award will serve as a starting point, for a new writer to find their voice and have their work seen by the public in a professional production. 

About A Play, a Pie and a Pint

Founded by David in 2004, A Play, a Pie and a Pint produces the most new writing of any theatre in the UK. After running for 17 years, the core principles remain steadfast: to present a new play every week at lunchtime, which lasts for under an hour with a pie and a pint included in the price of every ticket. 

We have produced the first professional theatre productions of many first-time playwrights including: David Ireland, Daniel Jackson, Denise Mina, Alan Bissett, Gerda Stevenson, Jenny Knotts, Lesley Hart, Lorna Martin, Claire Nicol, Taqi Nazeer, Kim Millar and David Gerow. Many of our previous plays have gone on to have further life such as Fringe runs or national tours. Six of our plays were filmed and broadcast on the BBC for the first time in 2019, and a Volume of six of our plays was published in an anthology in 2020 by Salamander Street. 


Stage One: January 2022 – March 2022

Stage Two: April – October 2022

  • Open for submission [w/c 4th April – invite only]
  • Workshop with Oliver Emanuel [18th May] 
  • Closed for submission [29th Aug]
  • Reading and selection phase [Sept]
  • Finalists announced [w/c 3rd Oct] 

Stage Three: November – December 2022

  • Mentoring/R&D period [Nov – Dec]
  • Winner announced [w/c 12th Dec]

Stage Four: February / March 2023

  • Winning Production produced in UK [Feb 2023]


Stage one: 

  • We welcome submissions in the form of a treatment (max. 2 A4 pages) of a new play idea, along with 5 pages of sample script – ideally the first 5 pages of the new idea you are pitching
  • Submissions are open to anyone aged 18+, based in Scotland and has never had a play produced professionally before
  • Keep in mind that the plays we produce are no longer than 45-50mins [this equates to 8000 – 9000 words or 40-50 pages] and feature no more than 3 actors 
  • We aren’t asking for submitters to write to a theme or specific provocation, but are looking for brilliant stories, and ask people to consider what makes this a story for now
  • Please do not submit a complete script at this stage as this will not be considered
  • Submissions should not have been published or produced anywhere before and should be written for live performance
  • Submissions should not have previously submitted to PPP
  • Pantomimes, adaptations or translations, or work for young audiences will not be eligible
  • Please submit your treatment via email to, with the subject line: DAVID MACLENNAN AWARD // ‘Title’ by FirstName LastName

The deadline is 12pm, 28th February 2022, at which point proposals will be read by and considered by our judging panel.  Successful submissions will be longlisted and contacted in the w/c 28th March 2022.  The longlist will be made public in the w/c 4th April 2022.

Stage two: 

Longlisted candidates are invited to submit a full 45-50 minute play, using the treatment they submitted in stage one as the basis of the play – this will be the idea we are interested in hearing more about.

Longlisted candidates will be invited to join award-winning playwright Oliver Emanuel for a workshop to help further develop their idea and work towards a full draft.  While there is an opportunity to further develop the work in stage 3, we are giving this a slightly longer time period to ensure people have time to realise their idea in full play form as much as possible. Deadline for submission of a first full draft is 12pm, 29th July 2022

Submissions will be then read by our judging panel, by a first and a second reader to give each play the best chance of success, followed by a panel discussion with recommended plays.  Three finalists will be announced in the w/c Monday 3rd October 2022. 

Stage three: 

Through the month of November our three finalists will be invited to do a day of script development with professional actors, director and a dramaturg to further develop their piece.  A winner will be selected from the final three and announced in the week commencing 12th December.  The other two candidates will be offered feedback on their play, based on their submission and the R&D process.  All three finalists will receive an annual pass to see all A Play, a Pie a Pint productions in 2023.  

Stage four: 

The winning production will be produced as part of A Play, a Pie and a Pint’s 2023 Spring/Summer season.

Evening Times
Creative Scotland
Craig & Rose