Cardiff’s pub theatre The Other Room, located in Porter’s and winner of The Stage’s Fringe Theatre of the Year Award 2016, have announced the launch of a new playwriting award the Violet Burns Playwright Award, which aims to help discover and develop Welsh and Wales-based female playwrights.
The Award will run annually for the next three years, and the winner will have the opportunity to have their first play professionally produced at The Other Room. In this, its inaugural year, the Award is looking for writers specifically interested in writing in the Welsh language.
The Award has been made through the generous support of Violet’s daughter Hayley who has created it in memory of her mother.
Violet Burns was born into a working-class family in 1946. Raised in a two bedroom council house in a small fishing village on the east coast of Scotland, where there were insufficient finances available to support the family and she had to leave school early to take up a job in the local Spar. Given her background and the limited opportunities she had been given, she never believed herself capable nor creative, and yet was a secret writer and poet. She never returned to her education despite having a keen interest in both medicine and writing. Violet sadly passed away on 10th January 2017 following a battle with lung cancer. Today, the day the Award is announced, would have been Violet’s birthday.