Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers (FEWW) and its annual prize were established in 2010 to honor the memory of Leah Ryan, and to encourage and support the work of women writers. It is the purpose of the prize to perpetuate the integrity, compassion and creativity that Leah herself possessed and inspired in others.
Leah Ryan’s FEWW intends both to encourage brilliant and unrecognized women playwrights with an annual cash prize and a New York City showcase of the winning work. Beginning in January of 2015, the FEWW will be offering The Vladimir Award, a new emergency fund for writers facing medical emergencies. At the beginning of her treatment for leukemia and with her characteristic humor, Leah Ryan named her IV pole Vladimir, a nod to the Russian writers she loved. It was Leah’s wish that this emergency fund be created.
All women who consider themselves emerging playwrights (as distinct from fledgling or mid-career playwrights) are eligible to apply for the FEWW Prize. Playwrights from all over the world are encouraged to apply, but the play must be written in English. Eligibility does not require that a submitted work adhere to the traditional three-act structure. One-acts, two-acts (even four-, five-, six- acts), monologues, adaptations, and any other wild (or deceptively tame) format will be considered with equal seriousness. The only absolute requirement is that the submitted text be a completed full-length work for theater.
The 2016 winner will be chosen by a committee selected by the board members of Leah Ryan’s FEWW, and will be presented her award as part of the 2016 Lily Awards, which honors the work of women in American theater.
The winner will also receive a cash award of $2,500 as well as a staged reading of her play hosted by FEWW at a theater in New York City. In addition, a stipend of up to $700 for travel and accommodation may be provided by FEWW if necessary.
For more details, please visit the official FEWW website here.