Anna Wright Wins Playwriting Prize

May 10, 2019
Please join us one week from today for our Preview Party & 40th Anniversary Board Reunion, featuring Savannah Sipple reading poems from her new book, WWJD:
Friday, May 17, 2019, 6–8 p.m.
ArtsPlace Performance Gallery
161 N. Mill Street
Free admission
Enjoy hors d’oeuvres by Athenian Grill, browse books by #KyWomenWriters2019 authors, and enter a drawing for one free admission to the conference on September 19–22 (a $125 value).
Guest judge Ifa Bayeza has selected Sapphire Heights by Anna Wright as the winner of our 5th biennial Prize for Women Playwrights. Congratulations to Anna! Sapphire Heights will premiere in four performances on November 7-9, 2019, at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center in Lexington. We will be announcing audition dates and crew information shortly. Any interested theater artists wishing to be a part of this production should contact the director and producer, Eric Seale, at
Anna is a native of England who resides in St. Leonard's On Sea, Hastings. She is an emerging playwright and considers Sapphire Heights to be her first completed play. What inspired her to enter a Kentucky playwriting competition? “I trained as an actress and have worked a lot in the USA on tour with a Shakespeare company, teaching acting and Shakespeare to students of universities, including Berea College, which is why I know how much I love your beautiful state!” A terrific “small world” occurrence.
More about Ifa Bayeza: in addition to judging our contest and serving as this year’s Sonia Sanchez speaker, Ifa is a Harvard graduate and Senior Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Africana Studies at Brown University. Her play The Ballad of Emmett Till was awarded a Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference fellowship, received its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and garnered the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Play. The second work in this trilogy, benevolence, recently premiered at Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, MN, and Penumbra will also produce the third play, That Summer in Sumner. Ifa’s sister is the playwright Ntozake Shange, and they have collaborated on several projects.
Ifa will teach a playwriting workshop at KyWomenWriters2019 on Sept. 20–21 entitled, “The Drama of History.” This workshop will explore methods for re-imagining historical events—including quite recent history and memoir—for the stage. Writing exercises will experiment with voice and point of view, subjective and objective truths, with the goal of sharpening observation, texturing detail, and seeing “differently.” Registrants are encouraged to bring an idea of an historical or personal event that they’d like to write about, and, if possible, a related artifact, i.e., a photograph, letter, news article, or object.
You can register for her workshop or any others on our website. Relevant links are:
Workshop descriptions
Presenter bios
Register online
Travel & hotel info
We are pleased this year to double the number of scholarships available to attend the September conference, four that are age-specific and four that are unrestricted, as follows:
Tenacious Women Scholarships offer full tuition support for 4 women, ages 50+, to attend #KyWomenWriters (our new hashtag!) in September. These scholarships are thanks to a donor who traveled halfway around the globe to attend her first KyWomenWriters in 2018 and wanted to extend the same opportunity to other older women.
Emerging Writer Scholarships offer full tuition support for 4 women of any age with financial need.
Both applications must be postmarked by June 1, 2019. Please visit the scholarships section of our website for more information. Submissions for the Betty Gabehart Prize are also now being accepted and have the same June 1 deadline: guidelines and submission information are available online.