Zoë Tomalin Wins the David Nobbs New Writing Competition

Writer Zoë Tomalin has won the 2021 David Nobbs Memorial Trust New Writing Competition with her script Creeps. Zoë wins a £750 cash prize plus one on one time with a comedy industry member of the DNMT board.

Zoë said: “It’s a real honour to accept a prize named after the late great David Nobbs. I’m beyond thrilled that the judges connected with my script Creeps, a dark comedy about a washed-up actor who accidentally kidnaps his three obsessive teenage girl superfans. I can’t wait to use the award to develop more projects centering problematic, complicated – and frankly kind of gross – women. Thank you!”

The David Nobbs Memorial Trust competition is now in its fourth year. It offers cash prizes to up-and-coming comedy writers, helping them ‘buy time’ for writing as well as valuable one-on-one time with a top comedy producer or commissioner.

In a year that saw a record number of applicants, the runners up were Zara Janjua with her script Scottistani, and writing partners Kate Reid and Zak Ghazi-Torbati with their script The Other Half. They receive £250 each.

Eighteen judges from across the industry – including veteran comedians, writers and producers cast their expert eyes through this year’s entries. Producer Lucy Lumsden, comedian Roisin Conaty and writer-performer Daniel Lawrence Taylor presided over the shortlisted scripts to select the winner.

Lumsden says: “Another strong crop of talent and a great range of comic voices which made the job pleasurably harder. The David Nobbs Memorial Trust competition is a great stepping-stone for the industry, the finalists should be very proud of what they’ve achieved.”

Daniel Lawrence Taylor adds: “It was a joy to read so many amazing scripts. I can’t wait to see some of them on our screens in the near future!”

Trust chair, journalist and author Mary O’Hara, comments: “As a board, we are absolutely thrilled with the breadth and depth of comedy-writing talent involved in this year’s competition. To win in what was a record year for entries, shows just how fantastically funny and accomplished the winning scripts were. On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and all of our amazing judges. The past year has been an enormously challenging one, including for comedy writers and performers, many of whom saw their livelihoods disappear for an extended period. Huge congratulations to our winners. We look forward with great anticipation to 2022’s competition!”

David Nobbs’ widow and Honorary President of the Trust, Susan Nobbs, concludes: “David would have been delighted at the high standard of record entries this year and it has been very difficult to choose a winner. He always said there were so many writers with voices that needed to be heard.”

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