The David Nobbs Memorial Trust comedy writing competition is open for 2023 entries.
The trust, established in 2017 after the death of the beloved Reggie Perrin author, runs the competition to encourage and champion emerging talent with financial aid. Now in its sixth year, the competition has become a regular fixture in the UK comedy calendar.
The competition offers cash prizes to up-and-coming comedy writers, helping them 'buy time' for writing. The 2023 competition's overall winner will take home £1000, with £250 for any runners-up. The winner will also get a valuable one-to-one consultation with an established comedy producer or commissioner from the Trust board.
Prizes will be awarded after judges from across the UK comedy industry turn their expert eye on entries, which can be submitted up until the deadline of 31st March. The winner will be announced in July.
The trust says: "We are thrilled to announce that judges for the finalist's scripts this year include Lucy Lumsden, owner of Yellow Door Productions and formerly head of comedy commissioning at both Sky and the BBC, along with comedian, writer, director and actor of Veep and The Thick Of It fame, Chris Addison."
To enter, writers should submit the first 10 pages of a half-hour radio or television sitcom pilot script or four three-minute comedy sketches. Scripts should be anonymous, so the judges can read without knowing the author names.
The organisers explain: "The contest is aimed at those early in their writing career, but it is not totally 'open door'. Entrants are required to provide a broadcast credit for their written material and must accompany their entry with a 500-word Statement of Intent describing their writing career goals."
A 'broadcast credit' for the purposes of entry criteria can be for a one-line or one-time joke, but it must have been credited to the entrant(s) on-air or online, with written proof of that credit/payment, if the credit is no longer visible online. Self-published broadcasts do not qualify as evidence.
Trust chair, journalist and author Mary O'Hara, says: "Ever since the competition started in honour of David it has attracted the cream of emerging comedy writing talent from across the UK and we are sure that this, our 6th competition year, will be no different. Each year, our fantastic volunteer judges from across the industry help us fulfil what we set out to do - provide up-and-coming writers with a little financial help to set aside some time for their craft and by doing so, help to support the country's thriving pool of comedy talent. We are excited to see this year's entries!"
2022 winner Rhiannon Shaw comments: "Winning the David Nobbs Prize last year was a completely wonderful and unexpected joy. The money has helped me carve out the time I need to make my script the best it can be, the accolade something I can carry with me forever. It's given me so much confidence in my comedy writing - back last year when I entered I never, ever thought I would win. All of this is a roundabout way of saying you should definitely enter the 2023 competition - you never know where it could take you!"
Full details of the competition can be found at the Trust website: www.DavidNobbsMemorialTrust.org.uk