The 2017 Lysicrates Martin Prize


Submissions are now open for the Lysicrates Martin Playwriting Prize for 2017.

Following three successful years of the Lysicrates Prize, The Lysicrates Foundation and Griffin Theatre Company are delighted to announce a new prize for playwrights writing for children, The Lysicrates Martin Prize, produced in association with National Theatre of Parramatta.

We’re looking for the first Act of a new play written for an audience of 8-12 year olds

That’s it! No further writing required. If you’ve got an idea you’ve been thinking about working up, then submit the first 20 pages to the Lysicrates Martin Prize and your play will be assessed by a team of professional readers.

The three finalists receive a week’s rehearsal with a professional director and cast, before a staged reading is held before an audience at Riverside Theatres on 14 October. The audience (both adults and children) vote for the winner, who receives a full commission ($15,000) to finish the play. The runners-up receive a cash prize of $1,000.

The competition is only open to writers who’ve had two or more mainstage plays produced.

In contrast to the Griffin Award, which is open to writers at every stage of their career, The Lysicrates Martin Prize is intended to support mid-career playwrights. Traditionally the prize attracts just 20 entries – from some of our most exciting and innovative writers.

Submit your entry here by Monday 21st August, or contact Griffin’s Studio Artist, Phil Spencer if you’d like to discuss your submission or any aspect of the prize. 
Full terms and conditions 


The 2017 Lysicrates Prize

The winner for the 2017 Lysicrates Prize for Playwriting is Melissa Bubnic for Ghosting the Party. Michele received a full commission from Griffin of $12,500 to finish the script. The two runners-up, Jennifer Compton for The Goose in the Bottle and Nick Coyle for The Feather in the Web each received a $1,000 cash prize.

The History of Lysicrates

A highlight of Athenian life in the fourth century B.C. was the theatre competition, held in public in a large amphitheatre. Wealthy patrons would sponsor a theatre company, and the prize for best play or musical performance—a highly valued status symbol—was a bronze tripod, which the winner was expected to place on top of a monument they would commission. All the winners’ monuments lined the ‘Street of the Tripods’ in central Athens. Today, the ‘Street of the Tripods’ still exists, but the only monument standing there is the one that wealthy sponsor Lysicrates erected in 334 B.C. Numerous copies of this monument have been made, in countries that the Athenians never knew existed. The most beautiful of these replicas sits today in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The Lysicrates Foundation was established by John and Patricia Azarias to provide encouragement to Australia’s playwriting talent, and to help restore this beautiful Lysicrates monument.


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