Awarding £3,000 for the best original script by a writer new to radio, this year’s Imison Award shortlistees are Maynard by Fraser Ayres; LoveSick by Ella Skolimowski; and Scoop McDoolie by Isaac Fisher. The Award was judged by members of the SoA’s Scriptwriters Group: Ian Billings, Stefan Buczacki, Ben Carpenter, Jamila Gavin, David Morley, Barney Norris, Hannah Silva, and Sean Grundy. Read the full announcement via the Society of Authors.
The Imison Award is administered by the Society of Authors and is presented each year as part of the BBC Audio Drama Awards. This year this will be an online ceremony on Friday 26 March (date TBC). Read the shortlists from the 2021 BBC Audio Drama Awards here
The 2021 Imison Award shortlist
Lovesick by Ella Skolimowski
Produced by Julius Beltrame, Apple Podcasts, 60’/ 9 episodes
The judges said: “The judges found this work displayed a bold use of the monologue to hold attention and create surprise. It was consistently funny, well and tightly written, carefully structured, and created intrigue by straddling the boundary between audio drama and short story.”
Ella Skolimowski is an Irish-Polish writer and performer. Originally from London, she has lived in Dublin since 2018. Ella writes for the theatre on contemporary social issues, especially themes relevant to the Irish diaspora and the lived experiences of women. She loves generating theatrical experiences that will make people think and laugh.
Her first play Driving Me Crazy was included in the New Theatre Dublin’s New Writing Week, 2019. She was a co-lead in Follower Count, her second play, an extract from which was presented at Smock Alley Theatre as part of the Scene + Heard festival in 2020. Her short, Pandemic Panic!, was included in the New Theatre Dublin’s Fightback Festival in 2020. In October 2020 she began publishing LoveSick, her first serialised audio drama.
Maynard by Fraser Ayres
Produced by Mel Harris (Sparklab Productions), BBC Radio 4, 44’
The judges said: “Maynard. A strong, emotional and assured piece of writing. Its characters are all clearly defined with high stakes and believable dialogue that is both sharp, hits its targets and is full of humour. It captures the location and voices of Black Brixton compellingly and builds to a great conflict and shocking outcome. It clearly conveys the socio-political implications of crime, peer pressure and the pull of family ties, and is written by someone who cares about this world. A great read.”
Fraser Ayres is an award-winning actor/writer/director as well as CEO and founder of The TriForce Creative Network; an organisation set up in 2003, with a core ethos of ‘inclusivity’, promoting equal opportunities in the entertainment industry. Fraser developed his writing skills on BBC dramas such as Doctors and EastEnders and is the lead writer on Idris Elba’s In the long run for Sky.
He is currently writing several projects including a CBBC show, an original comedy for UKTV based on his own life experiences, and several radio dramas focusing on the hidden history of Jazz. Fraser also created Sorry, I Didn’t Know – an all-inclusive, comedy panel show, focusing on Black History. In his spare moments, Fraser studies ‘books that he really shouldn’t’, plays with Lego, and also teaches a variety of one to one subjects including: Yoga, Reiki, Meditation, and Mindful Breathing.
Scoop McDoolie by Isaac Fisher
Produced by Naala Vanslembrouck, Apple Podcasts, 32’
The judges said: “A witty script, with bags of energy, that was well written for the medium of sound.”
Isaac Fisher is an MA screenwriting graduate from Met Film School, London. He grew up in Wakefield, and the experience of having grown up in a rural, working-class town forms is an influence across his work. He has written several short films, winning multiple international awards and qualifying for a number of festivals.
The most notable of these, the Scene It Awards 2020, saw his short script Bitter officially selected alongside Academy Award-winning Skin and Palme D’Or nominated A Drowning Man. His TV pilot The Other Side of the Coin was recently recognised in the top 13% of entries to the 2020 BBC Writers Room Comedy window. His current portfolio consists of three features, two TV pilots and shorts scripts.
ABOUT THE IMISON AWARD
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 Vicky Foster, Lulu Raczka, Adam Usden, Mike Bartlett, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Lee Hall, and Nell Leyshon. We would like to thank all producers, writers, and agents who have entered the awards. With thanks to the Peggy Ramsay Foundation for its support.