Gordon Pengilly (Canada)
Winner English as a First Language
"Seeing in the Dark"
Synopsis: Released from prison after serving 18 months for armed robbery, Clayton is optimistic about his chances on the outside, but even before he reaches his home town, he is drawn into a dangerous situation and in the end literature seems to be his only redemption.
What the writer says: "I've written quite a bit of radio drama, and I'm a trained stage playwright, so I focus on writing for the theatre. I've also written some television, and most recently have been trying to break into the film industry...It's a tough nut to crack. It doesn't seem to matter how good your scripts are, the windows of opportunity and the doors that open to you are few and far between, I'm learning. Actually, I find writing radio plays and screenplays quite similar...The radio play is kind of the movie in your ear".
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Bolaji Odofin (Nigeria)
Winner English as a Second Language
Synopsis: A comic Romeo and Juliet story set in modern day Nigeria. Ngozi, a young Catholic girl, falls for Ibrahim, the son of an imam, and who is preparing to become an imam himself. They keep their love secret for as long as they can, but their families find out, and disapprove violently.
What the writer says: "Nature Calls is my third stab at the prize. When I write, which isn't as often as I'd like, I try and wait for this magical connection with my characters. Sometimes it doesn't happen. But when it does I find they take up their own lives and live it while I merely chronicle events. With Nature Calls the connection was immediate and powerful. Its characters and I knew and understood each other utterly. Start to finish took four days. I had so much fun writing it it was almost sinful.That the play won is a tremendous bonus. I thank God for it."
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•South Asia - Dean Barrett for "Bones of the Chinamen" (Thailand - English as first language)
• Asia Pacific - Stephanie McCarthy for "Killing Oleander" (Australia - English as first language)
• Russia and the Caucasus - Lasha Bughadze for "When Cabbies Are Attacked" (Georgia - English as a second language)
• Europe - Vincent Vella for "The Pardon Beggars" (Malta - English as a second language)