Women writers won nine out of the 16 Awards presented at the Royal College of Physicians in London as part of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s (WGGB) 60th anniversary celebrations. ALCS was once again lead sponsor of the Awards which celebrate a wide range of writing talent across the TV, radio and publishing industries.

Other sponsors of the Awards included BBC, ITV, Company Pictures, Nick Hern Books and Silver Reel. The evening was hosted by writer and actor Joanna Scanlan (Getting On, No Offence) and for the first time included the Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting Award.

The fact that women won a majority of this year’s Awards, including Outstanding Contribution to Writing was particularly significant given last year’s findings from the WGGB’s 2018 Equality Writes research which ALCS was proud to fund as part of our ongoing campaign for writers’ rights. The research found that only 16% of all working screenwriters in film in the UK are women, and that the percentage of UK TV episodes that were predominantly female-written stands at just 28%. This dipped to only 14% for women writing for prime-time TV, and just 11% in comedy.

WGGB President Olivia Hetreed said, “60 years on from the founding of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain it is thrilling to see that British writing and British writers are in such great shape, with a fantastic array of winners across all disciplines. And in the year of our Equality Writes campaign, highlighting the long term failure to give women writers equal access to film and TV work, it’s impressive to see so many female winners in all categories as well as to celebrate the success of Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas for her Outstanding Contribution to Writing.”

The Winners:

Outstanding Contribution to Writing – Heidi Thomas

Best Online Comedy Where Are You From? The Game by Hannah George and Tasha Dhanraj

Best Long Running TV Series –  Coronation Street, Episode 9451/2 by Jonathan Harvey

Best Writing in a Video Game – Reigns: Her Majesty by Leigh Alexander

Best Children’s TV Episode – Free Rein, Episode 207, Bob by Vicki Lutas and Anna McCleery

Best Radio Comedy  Sarah Kendall: Australian Trilogy Volume 2, Part 1, Seventy-Three Seconds by Sarah Kendall

Best Long Form TV Drama – Killing Eve, Episode 5, I Have A Thing About Bathrooms by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Best First Novel – White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht

Best First Screenplay – Apostasy by Daniel Kokotajlo

Best Radio Drama – Stone by Alex Ganley, Martin Jameson, Vivienne Harvey, Cath Staincliffe and Richard Monks

Best Play for Young Audiences – Beginners by Tim Crouch

Best Play – Gut by Frances Poet

Best Screenplay – American Animals by Bart Layton

Best TV Situation Comedy – Detectorists by Mackenzie Crook

Best Short Form TV Drama – A Very English Scandal by Russell T Davies

Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting – Everybody’s Talking about Jamie by Tom MacRae

About Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB)

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is a trade union representing writers for TV, film, theatre, radio, books, poetry, comedy, animation and videogames. It negotiates national agreements on pay and conditions with key industry bodies, including BBC, ITV and Pact; the Royal Court, National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. It campaigns and lobbies on behalf of writers and offers a range of benefits to its members, including free contract vetting, support and advice; events and discounts; free training; a weekly ebulletin; a pension scheme and welfare fund. The Writers’ Guild annual red-carpet Awards launched in 1961.