Winners announced for Trinity College London’s International Playwriting Competition

Trinity College London’s International Playwriting Competition 2013–14 has shown its true international scope this year, with the top prizes being awarded to playwrights from Australia and Austria.

John Gardyne, head of drama and performance at Trinity, said: ‘This year’s competition saw entries come in from 25 countries around the world – more than ever before – and once again, the standard of writing simply blew us away.’

Australian Sally Hardy was awarded first prize in the category Plays for Teenage Audiences for Gone Viral – which sees a 17-year-old girl coming to terms with the impending death of her father. Hardy said of the news that she’d won: ‘I had to read the email notifying me of the award about five times, before I felt sure enough it was true to even tell my husband. I couldn’t believe it! This means the world to me, as it gives me confidence to continue pursuing my dreams. I couldn’t be happier!’

Virtual Enchantment, written by William Siegfried from Austria, was chosen as the winner of the Plays for Young Performers category. The play has been described as ‘a fairy tale for the internet age’, which follows a group of young people using virtual reality gear to rescue a friend from addiction to an online game. Siegfried said: ‘I am, of course, ecstatic about being one of the winners of the Trinity College London International Playwriting Competition as it means my script will develop a lot through the collaborative efforts of those who will bring it to life on stage.’

As well as Hardy and Seigfried coming away with a £1,000 cash prize and having their work published in a collection of plays, they will both be flown to London in May to see the premiere performances of their plays at Trinity’s International Festival of Playwriting and Performance which will be held at the St James Theatre.

The 2014 International Festival of Playwriting and Performance takes place from 7 to 10 May. For more details, visit www.trinitycollege.co.uk/festival.