Max Afford Playwrights' Award

The Max Afford Playwrights’ Award is offered by Perpetual and administered by Playwriting Australia. It was created “to promote interest in Australian drama and to encourage the writing of plays in Australia, to help and give incentive to young writers of plays.” The award is an initiative of the late Thelma May Afford, who in her will established a fund to offer a periodical prize in memory of her husband.

Malcolm ‘Max’ Afford was an Australian playwright and novelist. He was renowned for his stage scripts and radio plays which explored Australian settings and subjects through a macabre style of drama. He was survived by his wife Thelma May Afford who established this award to foster and support playwrights, while improving the public appreciation of young writing talent of Australia.

The total value of the biennial award is $30,000, which includes $15,000 cash to the writer and up to $15,000 towards creative development with a director, dramaturg and a cast of actors.

To be eligible for the award the play cannot be produced, or scheduled for production before the creative development component of this Award. It must be over one hour in duration. Plays that have previously received support from Playwriting Australia are not eligible, but you may resubmit a work. The Max Afford Estate have created this award to be given to a young playwright, to enable them to further their education in the field of drama, to improve their creative writing and, to improve the general public’s appreciation of Australian drama and playwrights. We have defined young playwrights to be between the ages of 18 and 40.


Playwriting Australia are currently not taking submissions for this biennial award. We will call for submissions for the 2020 Max Afford Playwrights’ Award in the second half of 2019. Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed of when submissions are open.


Whale by Fleur Kilpatrick

Mate by Ang Collins
For Unknown Reasons by Zoe Cooper

Read our 2018 announcement here

Pedagogy by Chris Summers

The Bees are all Dead by Kit Brookman

The Silver Alps by Maxine Mellor

Sunshine by Tom Holloway
Kill Climate Deniers by David Finnigan

The Max Afford Playwrights’ Award is offered by Perpetual as Trustee

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