Imison Award 2018



The Imison Award is presented annually and honours the best original script by a writer new to radio which was broadcast in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 31 October 2017.

The prize of £3,000, generously sponsored by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation, will be presented as part of the BBC’s Audio Drama Awards on 28 January 2018. The judges – Stefan Buczacki, Jamila Gavin, Isla Gray, Catherine Johnson, Christopher William Hill, Nell Leyshon, David Morley, Hilary Robinson, Mike Walker and Elizabeth-Anne Wheal – are delighted to announce the following two shortlisted writers:

Produced by Charlotte Riches, BBC Radio Drama Salford, 45’, BBC Radio 4

The judges said: A strikingly compelling story of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish couple in their close-knit community and the binds that tie them together. Tightly observed, it offers unique insight and adeptly explores modern and universally relevant gender politics.

Adam Usden is a 29 year old writer from Manchester. His first play, Steve and Then It Ended, premiered at Theatre 503 and was one of Lyn Gardner’s Tips of the Week. He has been commissioned by the World Heritage Society, the National Trust and Specifiq for several site-specific promenade plays. He is a graduate of the Royal Court Studio Group and Traverse 50, and has previously been shortlisted for the following awards: PapaTango Prize, 503, Yale Drama and the Channel 4/Òran Mór Comedy Drama Award. His latest Afternoon Drama, Sophie’s Lights, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 2017. 

The Book of Yehudit will be repeated on Wednesday 7 February, 14.15 on BBCR4. Read the shortlisted script

Twitter: @AdamUsden

WIDE OPEN SPACES by Jane Wainwright

Produced by Charlotte Riches, BBC Radio Drama Salford, 45’, BBC Radio 4

The judges said: A moving play, written with an intriguing set up, a good ear for dialogue, and an understanding of how to use the power of radio. Jane dealt confidently with both mental illness and the loss of a baby, with depth and clarity.

Jane Wainwright was a member of the Royal Court Young Writers, Invitation group, ‘Supergroup’ and was ‘fostered’ by’s Adopt A Playwright Award. Her theatre writing includes:  JinnyChildhood Memories; Concrete SupernovaLeftoversHow I Skinned My SisterA Bite of the AppleA Guide to Removing Corpse StainsLife MouldThe Taste of Us or Pinocchio Gets Laid ; the 2012 runner up of the PapaTango prize Photos of You Sleeping (Runner up – 2012 PapaTango Prize; Barrow Hill; and Pet’s Corner.

TV writing includes Hollyoaks and City Larvae. She has been part of the Writers Academy Story Workshop, BBC Playwright’s Scheme and the CBBC New Voices Scheme.

Wide Open Spaces will be repeated on BBCR4, Wednesday 31 January 2018 at 14:15. Read the shortlisted script.

Twitter: @JaneWainwright


The Imison Award is administered by the Society of Authors and was founded in memory of BBC script editor and producer Richard Imison. Previous winners include Mike Bartlett, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Lee Hall and Nell Leyshon.