Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards 2023: Winners announced

Britain’s most acclaimed writers were honoured at the 30th Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards 2023. The event, held on 16 January, was sponsored by ALCS.

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) announced the winners of its annual awards at a ceremony at the Royal College of Physicians in London. The 15 awards recognised writers from across film, television, literature, theatre and video games.

Veteran playwright David Edgar received the prestigious Outstanding Contribution Award for his contributions to British playwriting spanning four decades, as well as his instrumental role in safeguarding British theatre during the pandemic. Edgar was presented the award by wife and co-writer Stephanie Dale (both pictured above).

Edgar is one of the UK’s most prolific playwrights, with more than 60 of his plays having been performed on stage, television and radio. In 1989 he founded Britain’s first postgraduate playwriting course at the University of Birmingham, where he was later appointed Professor of Playwriting Studies. He was the architect of the WGGB’s New Play Commission Scheme, which commissioned 18 playwrights to write new plays at a time when theatre faced an existential threat from the pandemic.

On winning the award, Edgar said: “I believe that every professional writer should be a member of the Writers’ Guild, and I’ve been one for 40 years. Like most playwrights, I couldn’t have sustained a career in the theatre without the terms and conditions we’ve negotiated for all playwrights, which I believe are the best in the world. It’s a huge privilege to be honoured by my union for my work as an activist and as a playwright.”

Photo of Aamina Ahmad

Aamina Ahmad: Winner of Best First Novel

Aamina Ahmad won Best First Novel for her dazzling debut The Return of Faraz Ali, an exploration of identity, power and social division, set in Pakistan during the tumultuous late 1960’s.

Adam Kay won Best Long Form TV Drama for This is Going to Hurt, a BBC medical drama portraying the stressful and emotionally distressing conditions facing junior doctors in the NHS. Neil McKay won Best Short Form TV Drama for Four Lives, which follows the true story of the murder of four young gay men and their families’ fight for justice in the wake of failings by the Metropolitan Police.

Ben Power won Best Screenplay for period spy thriller Munich – The Edge of War, an adaptation of Robert Harris’ 2017 novel. Meanwhile, Rebecca Hall won Best First Screenplay for her adaptation of the 1929 romantic novel of the same name, Passing.


Here’s the full of list of winners from this year’s awards…

Outstanding Contribution

David Edgar

Presenter: Stephanie Dale


Best Long Form TV Drama

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Presenter: Helen Lederer


Best Short Form TV Drama

Four Lives by Neil McKay

Presenter: Steven Moffat


Best Long Running TV Series

Doctors, Episode 5: “Hello”, by Toby Walton

Presenter: Jack Thorne


Best Children’s TV Episode

Dodger, Episode 9: “Dosh”, by Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery

Presenter: Larry and Paul


Best TV Situation Comedy

Big Boys by Jack Rooke

Presenter: Maurice Gran


Best Screenplay

Munich – The Edge of War by Ben Power

Presenter: Sarah Phelps


Best First Screenplay

Passing by Rebecca Hall

Presenter: Emma Ko


Best First Novel

The Return of Faraz Ali by Aamina Ahmad

Presenter: John O’Farrell


Best Writing in a Video Game

Immortality by Sam Barlow, Barry Gifford, Amelia Gray and Allan Scott

Presenter: Olivia Wood


Best Online Comedy

The Room Next Door – Boris Johnson’s Resignation Speech by Michael Spicer

Presenter: Josie Lawrence


Best Radio Drama

Waterloo Station by Katie Hims

Presenter: Samira Ahmed


Best Radio Comedy

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Austen by David Quantick

Presenter: Michael Spicer


Best Play

Wonder Boy by Ross Willis

Presenter: Roy Williams


Best Play for Young Audiences

The IT by Vivienne Franzmann

Presenter: Charlie Higson


About the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB)
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain is a trade union representing writers for TV, film, theatre, radio, books, comedy, poetry, 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 wide range of benefits to its members.