The David Nobbs Memorial Trust, established in 2017 after the death of the beloved Reggie Perrin author, has launched its latest annual narrative comedy writing competition, encouraging and championing 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. Prizes for the 2023 competition overall winner will take home £1000. Any runners-up will receive £250 per entry. 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.
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.
The David Nobbs Memorial Trust was established by comedy producers, performers and people who knew and loved David, with the blessing of his family, to honour his memory by supporting new comedy writing in the UK.
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. Full entry criteria can be found on the website. The winner will be announced in July 2023.
Trust chair, journalist and author Mary O’Hara said: “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 said: “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!”
The Trust is supported by three patrons: comedy legend and friend of David’s; Michael Palin as well as the writer Jonathan Coe, another of David’s friends, as well as the playwright and award-winning writer and producer of HBO’s Succession, Lucy Prebble.
Coe said: “I’ve never met anyone with such a sharp, instinctive sense of comedy as David Nobbs. Comedy was in his blood and it was his way of coping with life’s manifold absurdities. Encouraging younger writers – such as myself – was an integral part of his mission to spread more laughter throughout the world, and I’m proud to have a role in that now, as a Patron of David’s Memorial Trust.”
Nobbs’ widow and Honorary President of the Trust, Susan Nobbs, added “I know that awarding a bursary to new writers, as a support at the beginning of their chosen career would have definitely appealed to David.”
Deadline: 23:59 on Friday 31st March 2023
Source: BBC Writersroom