Writers Guild Encouragement Award Lunch at the Royal Court

The encouraged and encouragers standing on the steps of the Royal Court
Last Friday I went to the Writers Guild Encouragement Award lunch at the Royal Court.  These awards are the brainchild of Mark Ravenhill, and were set up by the Guild to give members the opportunity to publicly thank people who have encouraged their work over the year.

I had nominated David James and the BML (Book Music and Lyrics) Workshop, for nurturing new musical theatre writers and he had won the award.  Tim Sutton - composer/lyricist and facilitator at BML also came along to the lunch, David Thacker- Artistic Director of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton (standing in for Elizabeth Newman), theatre critic Mark Shenton, Amanda Whittington- the Chair of the Theatre Committee and other members of the Guild.  As well as David James, the other people who won the award were Cathy Magee from Dyslexia Scotland- nominated by Lowri Potts; Elizabeth Newman from the Ocatagon Theatre Bolton- nominated by Aelish Michael; Natalie Wilson and the Theatre Centre- nominated by Susan Hodgetts; Paul Milton from the Everyman Writers' Lab, Cheltenham- nominated by Miranda Walker.

David James was also awarded a prestigious Writers' Guild gold pin for his long and dedicated service to the Guild as the Chairman of the Theatre Committee.

There was much quaffing of wine, animated talk and consumption of excellent food in the Royal Court dining room during the afternoon.  The speeches about how people came to be nominated were fascinating stories of writer support, that sometimes popped up in the most surprising places - like the Scottish Dyslexia Society.  I met some really wonderful people and felt so pleased that David James was receiving some acknowledgement for nurturing new musical theatre writers through his inspired idea of the Book, Music and Lyrics Workshop.


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