Nathan Carr and Milivoy Webber Memorial Prize
An annual writing competition
Carr Webber Prize 2023 is now open!
Challenges presented by COVID-19 left us almost a year behind with the deadline for the 2022 prize occurring halfway through 2023. This didn't make much sense and we realised we were never going to catch up, so we decided to skip the 2022 prize and call the next prize the 2023 prize. The extended deadline for the 2023 prize is 31 October 2023.
IT IS STILL ONLY OPEN TO FEMALE IDENTIFYING (FEMALE, TRANSGENDER-FEMALE, NON-BINARY) AGE 45 OR OVER! We want to offer a platform for those neglected voices.
- GENRE—Anything (poem, short story, monologue, flash fiction, micro play, anything you choose)
- PRIZES—First prize £250 and an original, strictly limited edition print illustrating their entry, by artist Raf. Two runners-up awarded £50 each. All published on our website.
- LENGTH—750 words or less
- DEADLINE—31 October 2023
Thank you to all participants in the 2021 writing competition. Every single submission was read and judged blind by a team of judges.
In 2021, the genre was
And the theme was
SO, WHAT IS THE FUTURE NOW?
We are pleased to announce the winner and runners up :
Jeff Gallagher, First Prize for Sauce or Gravy
Jeff Gallagher’s poems have featured in publications such as Rialto, Shooter, Dreich, Littoral and The Journal. He has had numerous plays for children performed nationwide. He has been a teacher of English and Latin. He also appeared in an Oscar-winning movie. He has no handles.
My poetic monologue was written in response to what I see as the increasing lack of fairness in society. The country is increasingly run by the privileged for the privileged. Young people are encouraged to be aspirational but this seems at odds with the continued inequality of opportunity in education and how one’s upbringing, dress, cultural background and even postcode are perceived by ‘the powers that be’. The monologue attempts to provide ironic guidance for those who wish to get on in society. Make the right choices and the right connections and you can be pretty optimistic about what the future may hold!Jeff Gallagher
‘So what is the future now’ was the brief here – and this entry encapsulates everything which is coming down the track at frightening speed. With a clever nod to Philip Larkin’s ‘Mr Bleaney’ it concerns the choices we make in life – even down to the supermarket we use. Those with the sharpest elbows will push others to the margins of an uncaring society divided by wealth, education, breeding and entitlement. And there they will remain. It contains a razor-sharp political message which is clever, humorous and deeply disturbing. A worthy winner. Pauline Moran (Guest Judge)
Liam Hogan, Second Prize for Visiting Time
Liam Hogan is an award-winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction and in Best of British Fantasy (NewCon Press). He’s been published by Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Press, among others. He helps host Liars’ League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London.
With age comes wisdom, or so they say, but not, alas certainty. Especially when looking into the future. And things have been very uncertain these last few years. So, what is the future now? was always likely to be a bittersweet question, a mixture of hope and fear. I don't have any answers, merely suggestions. Keep writing, keep celebrating the successes, small and large, and keep a small plastic dinosaur in your pocket at all times.Liam Hogan
Jen McGregor, Third Prize for Squiggles
Jen McGregor is a writer, dramaturg, and director. Her play Heaven Burns won the 2018 Assembly Roxy Theatre (ART) Award. Writing credits include Sons of God (Piccolo Theatre of Milan, Italian tour), Volante (Hothouse @ Traverse, EMSF, Tom McGrath award), Canto X (Fronteiras Theatre Lab/Manipulate), Screech (Stellar Quines’ Make Do & Mend), The Premorial (Birds of Paradise/Perth Theatre) and Ghost Stories (Pitlochry Festival Theatre).
Squiggles was inspired by and is dedicated to my mum, who died of cancer when I was 20. I'm fascinated by the moments when people's lives change drastically, and the ways we seek out the things we can control within moments of chaos. When a terminal diagnosis cancels the future you thought you were going to have, how do you approach what future remains?Jen McGregor
For information on the current 2023 competition, please keep scrolling!
To read the winning stories from 2021 and 2020, please use the main menu.
Feedback on the Competition
Communications between the writer and Mama Quilla were consistently prompt, friendly and substantive. I felt that my submission was getting serious, expert consideration. Feedback/ encouragement from Kay Adshead was much appreciated. Allston James
…without this competition I would not have written ‘They is mad in asylum’ and explored the voice of the woman who is the main character. I have spent a lot of time working and just being with people who like her have experienced trauma…Jacqui Norton-Lovell
Simple submission process, and clear guidelines. Amy Toledano
First prize £250 + publication on this website, with a specially designed illustration by printmaker, Raf.
£50 will be awarded to each of two runners up.
Anything—poem, short story, monologue, flash fiction, micro play, anything you choose
Free of charge
31 October 2023
This prize is awarded annually in memory of Nathan Robert Carr and Milivoy Ivon Webber. The competition genre and theme change each year. 2023 is the third year of the competition, which is sponsored by Mama Quilla Productions—Art for Change. Mama Quilla spotlights neglected human rights issues and explores the big issues of the day from a female perspective.
- For the 2023 competition, you must be FEMALE-IDENTIFYING (FEMALE, TRANSGENDER-FEMALE, NON-BINARY) AGE 45 OR OVER.
- Your entry must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast, or won a prize.
How to Enter
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below and then upload your manuscript using the Contact form (click on the envelope icon floating at the bottom right of this window).
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send us a message using the Contact form.
Kay Adshead, competition facilitator
Kay Adshead is a poet, playwright, performer, theatremaker and producer. She is published by Faber, Methuen, and Oberon, and has been nominated three times for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. She is Artistic Director of award-winning UK-based theatre company Mama Quilla Productions.
For the annual prize, Kay facilitates free writing workshops at the Alexandra Palace, London (open to all).
Raf, competition illustrator
Raf worked four seasons with the iconic Bread and Puppet activist theatre company making puppets and performing in Vermont and New York.
She created 83 handprinted illustrations for the long performance poem, The Singing Stones, by Kay Adshead, and illustrated The Waiting Room by Isilde Almeida for Mama Quilla's The Working Class Project.
Raf will respond to the 2023 winning entry by creating a bespoke limited-edition print, as part of the winner's prize.
Guest Judge to be announced.
Award-winning actress and writer with countless TV, film and stage credits. A Mama Quilla company veteran. She is Executive Producer of her own film production company, SheSpeaks.
Ex-soldier and uniformed services lecturer at Hugh Baird College. Impresses upon her students the value of the written word, which she sees as a dying art. Loves reading anything original, controversial, with a bit of a twist.
Devoted sister of Milivoy Webber and good friend to Nathan Carr. Enjoys spending time with her house rabbit, working on vintage dolls houses, making jewellery, and lots of reading!
Actor, writer, trained at RADA, performances include the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Royal National Theatre, and the Royal Albert Hall.
Journalist, educationalist, painter, and world traveler. Mama Qulla Executive Board Member. Voracious reader and ex-independent bookshop manager.
Veteran actor who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, the Young Vic, the Old Vic, etc. TV and film credits include Shakespeare in Love, The Remains of the Day, and Cadfael.
Sister of Nathan Carr. Train driver and avid reader. Into many kinds of crafts. Mother of two.
Father of Nathan Carr. A civil and structural engineer specializing in risk assessment, and a Mama Quilla Executive Board Member. Dabbles in software development and web design.
Mos made his theatrical debut, both as performer and playwright, at the Royal Court Theatre where he was invited to join the Unheard Voices programme. He has appeared on stage at London’s most acclaimed theatres.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should my entry be?
Not more than 750 words. Hyphenated words count as one word. Please include a title. The title is not considered in the word count.
What should I write about?
Whatever you like, as long as you write in the specified genre and respond to the competition theme.
How many times can I enter?
You may enter up to 3 times.
Is there a fee to enter?
Entry to the competition is free of charge.
I don’t live in the UK, can I still enter?
Yes, as long as your entry is in English.
Can I submit my entry simultaneously to other competitions?
Simultaneous submission is permitted. Should your entry win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know using the Contact form so that we may remove it from this competition.
Can I revise my entry after submitting it?
What are the prizes?
There is a first prize of £250 and two runner up prizes of £50 each. The winning entries will be published on this website. The author of the first prize entry will also receive a handmade print by printmaker Raf.
How do you choose the winner?
The entry that receives the most votes from the judges will win. The identity of the entrant will be redacted from the manuscript. The judges’ decision will be announced four to six weeks after the closing date and is final.
What happens if I win?
We’ll notify you by email and pay your prize money via PayPal or bank transfer. Your entry will be published on this website. You retain the copyright. Printmaker Raf will illustrate the first-prize entry with a handmade print specially designed to complement it and afterwards you will be sent in the mail the original print to keep. At time of publication, we will ask you for a short bio and photograph for inclusion on the website alongside your entry and for your mailing address so we can send you your handmade print.