Connor Allen and Anita Sullivan scoop Imison and Tinniswood Awards

The winners of the ALCS-sponsored Imison and Tinniswood Awards 2023 were announced at the BBC Audio Drama Awards, held on 19 March.

In its 30th year, the Imison Award 2023 was won by Children’s Laureate of Wales, Connor Allen, for his play The Making of a Monster. The award recognises the best radio script from a newcomer, and was presented by Nick Imison, the son of BBC scriptwriter Richard Imison in memory of whom the award was founded.

The Imison Award was judged by members of the Society of Authors’ Scriptwriters Group: Ben Carpenter, Imogen Church, Trish Cooke, Jamila Gavin, Sean Grundy, David Morley, Barney Norris, Robin Mukherjee and Rhiannon Tise.

The Making of a Monster is an autobiographical drama about second chances. Connor is a bright, mixed-race Newport teenager, but his life is in danger of spiralling out of control, fuelled by his confusion and despair over who he is and why his father is largely absent from his life.

Commenting on the winning script, the judges said:

“The Making of a Monster is a well-shaped play with an important message. It is inventive, heartfelt and bold. We thought it was believable and painted the scene well and overall was both compelling and moving, especially as it’s not something we get to hear much about at all.”

Award-winning playwright David Edgar presented the Tinniswood Award for the best original audio drama script, to Anita Sullivan for her play End of Transmission.

End of Transmission centres on Jude’s 50th birthday. She has lived with HIV for over 20 years and has unresolved questions. Only the virus knows the answers. The virus takes her on a transmission journey, skipping across continents, centuries, decades and diverse hosts to meet the person who gave her HIV.

The Tinniswood Award judges were Vickie Donoghue, Nicholas McInerny and Natalie Mitchell. Of the winning script they commented:

“This script was the definitive story about this subject for radio. The writer cleverly uses the form to be adventurous in their storytelling, taking us across eras, continents and bodies as they weave personal, informative, and true stories together to give multiple perspectives. A beautiful and moving script that is also brave and bold in its uniqueness!”

The other shortlisted plays for this year’s Imison were The A-Z of Things: M is for Mussels by Lara Barbier and Knock of the Ban Sithe by Kenny Boyle. The other shortlisted plays for the Tinniswood Award were A Close Approximation of You by Oliver Emanuel, Waterloo Station by Katie Hims and Strings by Linda Marshall Griffiths.