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Karim Khan's Brown Boys Swim wins Popcorn Writing Award 2022

The winner was announced at a ceremony at the Gilded Balloon Library Bar today

Karim Khan with Natalie Denton, Charlotte Colbert, Lydia Leonard and Nainita Desai
© Popcorn Group

Brown Boys Swim has been crowned the winner of the 2022 Popcorn Writing Award!

Written by Karim Khan (who received a prize fund of £3,000), the play is a coming-of-age tale that explores the pressures impacting young Muslim men today. It received a glowing five-star review from our very own Alex Wood earlier this month.

In addition, this year marked the first time that the Popcorn Group has partnered with BBC Writersroom, offering all the longlisted playwrights individual meetings with members of the BBC Drama Commissioning team.

Jess Loveland, head of new writing at BBC Writersoom, commented: "It has been a real privilege and pleasure for BBC Writersroom to partner with the Popcorn Group on the prestigious Popcorn Writing Award for the first time this year. The quality of all the longlisted plays has been outstanding, and the range of stories and issues explored through the writing nothing short of inspiring. We want to congratulate this year's winner Karim Khan, on his subtle, nuanced, and funny play looking at the experiences of young Muslim men coming of age today. Huge congratulations also go to the three shortlisted finalists for their brilliant, thought-provoking work. We can't wait to meet all the talented longlisted writers over the next couple of months and chat to them about their work and writing ambitions."

The other three finalists for the 2022 award are Jenna Fincken for her one-woman thriller Ruckus, Laura Horton for her hoarding-themed piece Breathless and Tabby Lamb for their queer rom-com Happy Meal, taking home prize funds of £1,500, £1,000 and £500 respectively.

The judging panel for this year's awards included actor Luke Thompson (Bridgerton), portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, comedian Jack Rooke (Big Boys), actor Lydia Leonard (Wolf Hall), composer Nainita Desai, director and artist Charlotte Colbert, producer Jessica Malik (Funny Woman), development executive Natalie Denton, members of the BBC Writersroom team and producer Francesca Moody (Fleabag), who said: "Brown Boys Swim is a beautiful and tender piece of writing full of heart. Dynamic and original. A story I've never seen on stage and one that I was delighted to read and then watch on stage. I loved it."

Read our full Edinburgh Fringe guide