November 1-15, 2005 Awards

November 1, 2005
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November 1-15, 2005 Edition AWARDS Oregon Book Awards

Names Bob Welch

Among Four Finalist

EUGENE, OR/10/24/05—Bob Welch’s book, “American Nightingale” (Atria Books, 2004) is among four finalists for the Oregon Book Award’s general fiction category. Winners will be announced Nov. 11, 2005 in Portland.

Welch’s book, which was featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and on Authorlink soon after it was released, is the story of Frances Slanger, the first nurse to die after the landings at Normandy during WWII.

Welch is a columnist with The Register-Guard newspaper and an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. More information:

Royal Exchange

Launches Prize

For Playwrights

LONDON/10/18/05—The Manchester Royal Exchange theatre has launched the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition, a national contest designed to discover Britain’s best writers for the theatre. The winner will receive £15,000 and a fully-staged production to be presented in the Royal Exchange’s 750-seat main theatre. A runner-up play will be staged in a smaller Exchange studio.

The premieres of the winning works will be held in the summer of 2007 during Manchester’s first international festival. The contest will be open to both established and new playwrights, but the submitted work must not have been produced at the time of entry.

According to an article in The Guardian, “In the same way that the Booker is the public face of literature, we’re hoping that this award can revitalize playwriting as a craft,” said Braham Murray, one of the Exchange’s artistic directors. “We’ll have a big team of readers and we’re expecting anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 scripts.” Entries will be culled to a shortlist for the judging panel, to be chaired by former culture secretary Chris Smith. The panel includes National Theatre boss Nicholas Hytner, actor Brenda Blethyn and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Runners-up get £10,000 and £5,000. The remainder of the prize fund will be spent on an award for writers under 26 and a program to help young playwright work with the Exchange for a year.

The goal of the competition is to help British theatre as a whole, and to encourage epic plays. The Exchange also will promote the winners to literary agencies throughout Britain.

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