“The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has done more than any other single force to get plays by women collected and celebrated, but more importantly, produced.”     


--Marsha Norman, 1983 Winner, ‘night Mother




The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honors outstanding new English-language plays by women.  Since 1978, the Prize has encouraged women playwrights and drawn attention to notable new works. Many of the Winners have gone on to receive other honors, including Olivier, Lilly, and Tony Awards for Best Play.  Eight Blackburn Finalist plays have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.  The Winner of the Prize is awarded $25,000 as well as a signed original print created especially for the Prize by noted artist Willem de Kooning. Each of the nine Finalists receives an award of $5,000, making the Prize not only the oldest, but the largest playwriting prize for women.    In 2016, The Prize was awarded at the National Theatre in London to Lynn Nottage for her play, Sweat.  For more information, visit www.blackburnprize.org.


Leslie is Executive Director of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Leslie Swackhamer 2015 | Website by Peter Ton