Lucy Kirkwood’s it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now and Tim Crouch’s The Author have jointly won this year’s Whiting Award, supported by Peter Wolff Theatre Trust.

Kirkwood and Crouch were announced as joint winners in an event held at Nottingham Playhouse yesterday (13 October 2010) in association with Theatre Writing Partnership.

The £6000 award is given annually to the new play which “best demonstrates an original and distinctive development in dramatic writing” and was originally instituted by the Arts Council in 1965.

This year’s shortlist also featured Cock by Mike Bartlett, Posh by Laura Wade, Really Old Like 45 by Tamsin Oglesbury, Ditch by Beth Steel, What Fatima Did by Atiha Sen Gupta, Moscow Live by Serge Cartwright Free Folk by Gary Owen Behud by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti Mish Gorecki Goes Missing by Skye Loneragan and A Day at the Racists by Anders Lustgarten.

Lucy Kirkwood, whose play was produced by award-winning women’s theatre company Clean Break, said: “It felt at the time that we were making something special and it’s lovely to have that recognised. However, the problem with sex trafficking that the play addresses is as entrenched as ever and will only grow more so with the advent of the Olympics. I hope that this award will help us in bringing the play to bigger audiences and raising further awareness of this problem.”

Tim Crouch’s play The Author features performers (including Crouch) placed amongst the audience and premiered at the Royal Court in September last year. It is currently on tour.

This year's award was judged by a panel which included Anthony Clark, James Dacre, Stella Feehily, Peter Petralia and Duska Radosavljevic.