Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Winners Announced for the inaugural Box of Tricks & Sky Studios Screen/Play Award


It is wonderful to have been part of such an exciting writing competition that has discovered two truly compelling, talented underrepresented voices - Panellist Mina Anwar

Selected from nearly 350 entries from underrepresented talent right across the North of England, Box of Tricks and Sky Studios are delighted to announce that the two winners of the inaugural Screen/Play Award are Conway McDermott and Sarah Tarbit. Each writer will be awarded 10,250 to write a 70-minute stage play and a 20-minute screenplay inspired by a single central idea to be developed with support from the two partners throughout 2021.

Conway McDermott [they/them] is a trans non-binary writer from Liverpool. They describe their work as genre fiction, using fantasy, history, sci-fi and mysticism to create a fuller landscape of worlds and stories for weird working-class queers to inhabit . For Screen/Play, Conway will develop The Priestess - a trans coming of age story that crashes into a psychosexual horror full of dark humour.

"All you can hope for as a writer is to connect to others through your ideas, and to find a common truth in stories. Its a great feeling to know that my pitch resonated with the panel. Suddenly these new really exciting creative partnerships are rolling into my life, and I am so excited for what theyre going to bring, and desperate to rise to the challenge of it! I am on the edge of my seat with excitement for what were going to make together!" - Conway McDermott

Conway is an exquisite, engaging gifted writer and I for one cannot wait to see how their wonderful imaginative storytelling will be nurtured to create an exciting piece of theatre and television. - Panellist Mina Anwar

Sarah Tarbit [she/her] is from Ashington, Northumberland, one of the most deprived areas in the country. Her work documents life in the region and often calls for social and political change. In 2020, she was Highly Commended for the Sid Chaplin Award (part of the Northern Writers' Awards) and had two short plays produced by Live Theatre in Newcastle. For Screen/Play, Sarah will develop You Belong Here exploring the effects suicide can have on a community and the people left behind.

I'm buzzing to have been chosen for the Screen/Play Award! What an opportunity! I can't thank Box of Tricks, Sky Studios, and the rest of the judging panel enough for believing in me and seeing value in my story. It means validation - not just for me as a writer, but for working-class stories and stories from underrepresented groups as a whole. - Sarah Tarbit

The world Sarah chooses to write about is rich, full of life and familiar to me. Voices I know but don't hear and faces I recognise but don't see, exist there. Sarah's desire to bring what exists in the periphery into focus is what I think this award was designed for and I can't wait to see how her pitch develops! - Panellist David Judge

Launched last year to unearth exceptional Northern talent from communities currently underrepresented on stage and screen, the Screen/Play Award will see both writers this year develop a brand-new play for Box of Tricks and a short screenplay with Sky Studios.

Following online interviews with six finalists, the two winning writers were selected by a panel of leading industry figures comprising of the acclaimed actresses Mina Anwar (Everybody's Talking About Jamie) and Melissa Johns (Life, I Hate Suzie, Coronation Street); writers Chris Bush (UK Theatre Award-winning playwright), David Judge (writer of Box of Tricks' SparkPlug - finalist for Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play of the Year 2017) and Temi Wilkey (2020 Stage Debut Award, The High Table); as well as Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder (Joint Artistic Director, Box of Tricks) and Donna Metcalfe (Script Executive, Sky Studios).

In addition to developing new scripts with the two winning writers, Box of Tricks and Sky Studios will support the 15 shortlisted writers through a tailored package of masterclasses - offering an invaluable opportunity to explore their craft and the world of screenwriting with industry experts. As well as the two winners, those writers include Shazia Ashraf, Mohammed Barber, Rosa Hesmondhalgh, Asif Khan, Aisling Lally, Rosie MacPherson, Lauren-Nicole Mayes, Amy Rhianne Milton, Laurie Ogden, Stefanie Reynolds, Elis Shotton, Ted Steptoe, and Christopher York.

Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder and Adam Quayle, Joint Artistic Directors, Box of Tricks, said: In partnership with Sky Studios, we set out to uncover exceptional Northern talent and to celebrate creativity at a time of adversity. Reading submissions for the Screen/Play Award has highlighted for us the wealth of talent we have here in the North but that far too many of those voices still go unheard and their stories go untold. We want to unlock doors and create opportunity and we're delighted to champion Conway and Sarah as they uncover the stories they want to tell.

Vicky Wharton, Executive Producer, Sky Studios, said: "We couldnt have asked for a better response to the Screen/Play Award. At a time of unprecedented challenge for the Arts, working with Box of Tricks has underlined for us the importance of the whole creative sector in nurturing and developing new writers. Throughout the process we have uncovered some truly exceptional new talent from the North of England, in particular Sarah and Conway who both have unique stories to tell that will resonate with audiences of both stage and screen."

Temi Wilkey, Writer, actor and Screen/Play panellist said: I feel so honoured to have been part of the selection process for this award and so excited about Sarah and Conway. They both represent exactly why I think this award is important, in completely different ways. Their voices are so important and so underrepresented in the TV & theatre landscape. Both of them hav
See more stories from sky

More from BskyB


New Sky shop to open at Metrocentre Gateshead

Metrocentre Gateshead has announced that Sky has chosen the retail and leisure destination as the location for one of its first ever bricks and mortar retail sh...


100 days until the Tokyo Olympics

Sky Sports Scholar and GB sprinter Imani-Lara Lansiquot looks ahead to the games in Japan and reflects on a challenging 12 months on and off the track...


Sky Studios appoints Gabriel Silver as Director of Commissioning for Drama

Sky Studios has today announced the appointment of Gabriel Silver as Director of Commissioning, Drama in the UK, overseeing a broad slate of bold and ambitious ...


Sky Sports reveals talent line-up for The Hundred

Sky Sports reveals on-screen talent for brand new tournament, high profile names include Andrew Flintoff, Dinesh Karthik, Kevin Pietersen, Tammy Beaumont, Daren...


Sky releases official trailer and key art for epic Sky Original drama, Domina, ahead of 14 May launch

Sky today releases the official trailer and key art for brand new Sky original, ...


Sky celebrates its first win at the BAFTA Film Awards for Promising Young Woman

The EE British Academy Film Awards winners were announced this weekend at a virtual ceremony hosted by Edith Bowman, Dermot O'Leary and Clara Amfo. The accl...


Chris Stylianou on why it's Time to Care

This past year has been difficult for us all in different ways, but it has undoubtedly highlighted just how valuable and important social interaction is to our ...


How do you do data? The nation's new data tribes revealed

Data Tribes: Sky Mobile has worked with psychologist Jo Hemmings to unveil the nation's data typologies with Entertainment Enthusiasts, Logged-on Loved-ones...


First look image of iconic ceramicist Clarice Cliff (Phoebe Dynevor) revealed for Sky Original film The Colour Room

Sky today released an exclusive first look image of Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton) ...


Epic story of record-breaking football club Manchester United launches on Sky Documentaries and NOW in May

The United Way premieres on Sky Documentaries and streaming service NOW on 24th ...


Nick Mohammed and David Schwimmer return in hit comedy Intelligence 2 from 8 June on Sky One and streaming service NOW

Sky confirms returning comedy Intelligence 2 will air from 8 June on Sky One and...


Hotspots: On The Front Line returns to Sky with brand new series

Hotspots: On The Front Line will return to Sky News, Sky Documentaries and streaming service NOW on Thursday 1st April at 9pm. The brand-new Sky original seri...


Sky launches the new Mare of Easttown trailer

Sky launches the new Mare of Easttown trailer. The series will air weekly from Monday 19 April on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW. Academy Award - winni...


Sky Q now gives more control to visually impaired customers

New Voice Guidance feature makes navigation even easier, joining a range of accessibility features Sky's Group CPO committed to going beyond to make Sky Q...


Sky Q's latest update makes voice control even easier, plus more new features

Easily find more of what you love with Disney voice search integration on Sky Q...


Sky launches the Sky Zero Footprint Fund' - a 2m campaign to inspire change and help fast-track sustainable initiatives

The Fund will help accelerate and amplify positive environmental messages and be...


Sky and Creative Access partner to launch TV placements for under-represented groups

Sky, Europe's leading media and entertainment company, has partnered with Cr...


George Floyd death: Sky News dedicates channel to livestream of Derek Chauvin trial

Sky News will livestream the courtroom footage from the trial of Derek Chauvin i...


Academy Award and BAFTA nominated Promising Young Woman is coming exclusively to Sky Cinema and streaming service NOW from 16 April 2021

Nominated for 6 BAFTAs and 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Emerald Fen...


Sky launches Sky Connect' to provide Britain's small businesses with a better broadband experience - 1000 new jobs to be created

Small businesses are more reliant on broadband as they lead the nation's eco...


Watch history in the making live on Sky Sports this F1 season

Formula One is always exhilarating. This year, however, as we build up to the start of the new season in Bahrain this weekend, there is more riding on it than u...


David Thewlis boards Landscapers with Will Sharpe confirmed to direct, as new Sky Original drama goes into production

David Thewlis joins Olivia Colman as further casting announced BAFTA winning Wi...


Sky releases official trailer for The Nevers ahead of 17 May launch premiering on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW

Sky today launches the official trailer for brand new drama The Nevers and confi...


Sky Sports acquires rights for Barclays FA Women's Super League

Broadcaster lands ground-breaking Barclays FA Women's Superleague three-year rights deal starting from 2021 Sky Sports to show at least 35 live matches per...


Sky reveals first look teaser and images for epic Sky Original drama, Domina

Domina will air in May 2021 on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW A Sky Original series produced by Sky Studios and Fifty Fathoms Starring Kasia Smutniak,...


Sky News to launch first daily news programme dedicated to climate change and the environment

The Daily Climate Show will appear across all of Sky News' digital channels ...


Sky Studios launches Transistor Films

New wholly-owned factual and unscripted production company Formed by team behind Netflix smash-hit I AM A KILLER and Sky Original The Murderer & Me Sky Studi...


Sky announces start of production in England for The Colour Room, a Sky Original

Starring Phoebe Dynevor as Clarice Cliff alongside Matthew Goode and directed by Claire McCarthy Based on a true story...


Lucy Murphy on why we've chosen to turn on the subtitles for Sky Kids

For many of us, when we're watching our favourite TV shows, films or maybe just catching up on the news, subtitles play the role of language translator. Whi...


NOW TV rebrands to NOW

Today, NOW TV is proud to unveil a new identity, look and feel. With a new name, NOW reflects how brilliant simplicity meets brilliant entertainment. Members ca...


Sky celebrates three wins at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards

The 2021 Royal Television Society Programme Award winners were announced this evening at a virtual ceremony hosted by Jonathan Ross, with Sky's awards inclu...


Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's Wellington Paranormal lands on Sky Comedy and NOW TV this April

Cult mockumentary comedy from Grammy and Emmy award-winning Jemaine Clement and ...


Andra Day secures Oscar nomination for her performance in Sky Original film, The United States vs Billie Holiday

Following a critically acclaimed performance in The United States vs Billie Holi...


Sky Studios expands Comedy team with three new hires

Following a string of break-out Sky Original comedies, Sky Studios is expanding its Comedy team with three new hires across indie commissioning and in-house dev...


Stephen van Rooyen's Speech at the Deloitte Enders Media and Telecoms Conference 2021

Check against delivery Hi everyone, it's great to be here again at the Ende...


Highly anticipated Zack Snyder's Justice League available on Sky Cinema and NOW TV from 18 March 2021

Sky announced today that the Warner Bros. Pictures and DC full-length film, Zack...


Sky Sports partner with the Women's Sport Collective

Sky Sports has today launched a new partnership with the Women's Sport Collective that will see the broadcaster support the network's ambition of provid...


Sky, WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS Turn on the Subtitles' for more than 500 episodes of their most popular kids' content

Sky, WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS Networks UK have partnered to improve the literac...


TV & Film for International Women's Day

This International Women's Day we're celebrating female talent, both on and off screen. From documentaries about the inspirational female figures that h...


Sky receives a record number of nominations at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2021

Sky has received a record-breaking 13 nominations at the 2021 Royal Television S...


A Silver Data Lining: Sky Mobile reveals a staggering 174M worth of data has been saved due to lockdown living

Due to more time spent at home, Sky Mobile customers have saved a collective 55 ...


Sky Original film The United States vs Billie Holiday wins Golden Globe Award

Critically acclaimed Sky Original film The United States vs Billie Holiday secured an award at the 78th Golden Globe Awards ceremony this morning. Andra Day, w...


First look at Gomorrah's fifth and final season

A Sky Original series produced by Cattleya and distributed to over 190 territories around the world Directed by Marco DAmore and Claudio Cupellini Starring Sa...


John Ryley's acceptance speech for the RTS Outstanding Contribution award

At the 2021 RTS Television Journalism Awards, Sky News proudly collected six awards including Channel of the Year for a fourth year running. On the night, Head ...


New episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden, featuring Prince Harry, airs 9pm tonight on Sky Comedy

In tonight's episode at 9pm on Sky Comedy, now that The Duke and Duchess of ...


Sky reveals first look trailer of Sky Original Ich und die Anderen'

Series produced by Superfilm Filmproduktions GmbH in association with Sky Studios Cast includes renowned German talent: Tom Schilling, Mavie H rbiger, Katharin...


Sky launches trailer for Six Minutes to Midnight, a Sky Original

Only on Sky Cinema from 26 March Starring Eddie Izzard and Judi Dench Sky today launches the trailer for Six Minutes to Midnight, a Sky Original, which will b...


Jeremy Darroch's speech at Kew's Reforestation Conference 2021

Delivered by Jeremy Darroch, Sky Group Chairman, at the Kew Reforestation for Biodiversity, Carbon Capture and Livelihoods conference on the 24th February 2021....