Nathan Carr and Milivoy Webber Memorial Prize

An award for women writers

An example of the work of printmaker, Raf, titled Anne Marie with moths
Anne-Marie with moths, a print by Raf

Carr Webber Prize 2024/25 – UPDATE

Now open to women of all ages and a deadline of 15 January 2025

Happily, these are exceptionally busy times for Mama Quilla Productions. In 2023, we facilitated monthly workshops (free) for the Mentoring Women Writers Initiative. We had 272 initial applicants, from which we chose 10 emerging writers. We showcased their work in The Women Who at the Alexandra Palace on 29 October 2023 and in the Sprint Festival at the Camden People’s Theatre on 7 March 2024. We have a new epic State-of-the-Nation play in the pipeline, and two short but dynamic film projects.

In the autumn of this year (2024) at the Alexandra Palace (date to be announced), Artistic Director Kay Adshead will facilitate a free weekend workshop exploring WOMEN AND WAR (maximum 25 participants). With most Britons believing another world war is likely within the next 5-10 years, this is a prescient and horrifyingly important subject to tackle. Another workshop culminating in a public reading of the work will be held in January 2025, and it is anticipated we will further formally showcase the work on or about International Women’s Day 2025.

To request a place on the free weekend workshop, please use the Contact Form accessible via the button at the bottom right of this page. Work brought into the workshop or developed in the workshop will be entered for the Carr Webber Memorial Prize, but you do not have to attend the workshop to be considered, you can just submit your entry via the Contact Form. (All entrants prior to the new deadline have been contacted and their entry carried forward.) The winner of the prize will be announced in our International Women’s Day performance.

We are thrilled to announce that our Guest Judge this year is successful novelist and question compiler for the fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz, Sue Barnard.

For 2024/25, the award is only open to women writers.

  • SUBJECT—Women and War
  • GENRE—Anything (poem, short story, monologue, flash fiction, micro play, anything you choose)
  • PRIZES—First prize £250, publication on this website, and an original, strictly limited edition print illustrating their entry, by artist Raf.
  • LENGTH—750 words or less or 3 minutes or under of dramatized performance
  • DEADLINE—15 January 2025

Winners 2021

Thank you to all entrants for the 2021 writing award. Every single submission was read and judged blind by a team of judges.

In 2021, the genre was


And the theme was


We are pleased to announce the winner and runners up :

  • Jeff Gallagher

    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

    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

    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 2024/2025 award, 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. 


Anything—poem, short story, monologue, flash fiction, micro play, anything you choose


Women and War

Maximum Length

750 words or 3 minutes of dramatized performance


Free of charge

Closing Date

15 January 2025


This prize is awarded periodically in memory of Nathan Robert Carr and Milivoy Ivon Webber. The genre and theme change each time. The prize 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 2024/2025 award, you should be female-identifying, age 16 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 Carr Webber prize, Kay facilitates free writing workshops at the Alexandra Palace, London (open to all).

Read more

Kay Adshead, competition facilitator
Kay Adshead
Image from performance of Section 28 and The Queer State

Section 28 and The Queer State, an epic promenade performed in and around the Alexandra Palace in 2019 devised and directed by Kay Adshead and company through a series of workshop.

Raf, 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 2024/2025 winning entry by creating a bespoke limited-edition print, as part of the prize.

Avatar of printmaker Raf


  • Guest Judge Sue Barnard

    Guest Judge Sue Barnard

    Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet. In addition to working as an editor for Crooked Cat/Darkstroke Books and Ocelot Press, she is the author of six novels: The Ghostly Father, Nice Girls Don’t, The Unkindest Cut of All, Never on Saturday, Heathcliff, and Finding Nina. Sue compiles questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult “Round Britain Quiz.” This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.”

  • Jodie Jameson

    Jodie Jameson

    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.

  • Sadie Adshead<

    Sadie Adshead

    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.

  • Peter Carr

    Juliana Webber

    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!

  • Steven Beard

    Anthony Sergeant

    Actor, writer, trained at RADA, performances include the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Royal National Theatre, and the Royal Albert Hall.

  • Sue Phelan

    Journalist, educationalist, painter, and world traveler. Mama Qulla Executive Board Member. Voracious reader and ex-independent bookshop manager.

  • Steven Beard

    Steven Beard

    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.

  • Rachel Davidson

    Rachel Davidson

    Sister of Nathan Carr. Train driver and avid reader. Into many kinds of crafts. Mother of two.

  • Peter Carr

    Peter Carr

    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.

  • Steven Beard

    Mos Aden

    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 or 3 minutes of dramatized performance. 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. The winning entry will be published on this website. The author 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.

About Nathan Carr and Milivoy Webber

Nathan and Milivoy were loving partners for the last 10 years of their lives. Nathan (1976–2017) worked for many years as a researcher for Mama Quilla. He was always the first to review the scripts of new plays. His passions were books and current affairs. Milivoy (1967–2017) was an aspiring novelist who loved travel, languages, music, chess and table tennis. Their lives were tragically short and they are deeply missed by their family and friends. This prize honors their lives.