George Stiles and Anthony Drewe at the 2012 WhatsOnStage Awards
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe at the 2012 WhatsOnStage Awards
© Dan Wooller

A new award to help support and develop musical theatre writing in the UK has been created by Olivier Award-winning writing duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

The inaugural MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award will help to raise winner's profiles in the industry and provide them with mentorship and support to help develop a new musical over a twelve-month period, culminating in an industry showcase. Winners will be selected by Stiles and Drewe and a panel of judges.

Stiles and Drewe found success after winning the first Vivian Ellis Prize in 1985 for their musical Just So and their credits include Honk!, Betty Blue Eyes and Mary Poppins.

Commenting on the award, the pair said: "Writing a good musical is really hard. We were lucky enough to receive advice and support from some of the best in the industry, including Cameron, during the early years of our careers... We've long been championing new writers in the UK and we hope this new Mentorship Award will really make a difference to the quality of musical theatre writing in the UK."

Cameron Mackintosh added: "I have worked with George and Anthony for over 30 years having produced their first musical Just So, so I can't think of any writing collaboration better versed in the challenges of a career in the musical theatre or have more knowledge of the highs and lows that inevitably come with writing any new musical.

"They are the ideal pair to mentor the next generation of musical writers with their hard earned wisdom and knowledge of the endless work and joy involved in the creation of this rare but much loved art."

Submissions for the award are being accepted from 8 February and close at on 9 March.