The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society today announced a new format for the Allen Wright Award. The award, which recognises the best writing from arts journalists under 30 years old, will offer prizes for the best Fringe review and the best Fringe feature in 2017, selected by a panel of experts including Phil Miller, Arts Correspondent for The Herald, Yasmin Sulaiman, Editor of The List, and Thom Dibdin, Scotland Correspondent for The Stage.

The Allen Wright Award was established in 1998 to commemorate Allen Wright, the first Arts Editor of The Scotsman newspaper, a post he held from 1964 to 1993. Allen was the paper’s Chief Theatre Critic and a passionate supporter of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, conceiving and establishing The Scotsman Fringe First Awards in 1973. Following his death at the age of 65, the Fringe Society set up the Allen Wright Award in 1998, celebrating Allen’s passion and support for the Fringe and his determination to foster new journalistic talent.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:
“The Allen Wright Award provides a much-needed platform for recognising the talents of new and emerging arts writers and is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about the crucial role that arts writers continue to play in the Fringe landscape. This year we will be rewarding the best Fringe review and the best Fringe feature, judged by a panel that includes some of Scotland’s finest arts journalists. I hope as many young writers as possible will be encouraged to submit the work they produce at the Fringe this year for consideration.”

Yasmin Sulaiman, Editor of the List, and winner of the Allen Wright Award in 2008, said:
“If arts journalism is going to not just survive but flourish, young writers need to be nurtured and encouraged. That's why the Allen Wright Award has such an important role to play for young journalists at the Fringe. It's unparalleled for celebrating excellent young writers at the festival, and that's a huge boost for those who want to make arts journalism a viable career. At a time when there are lots of voices clamouring for attention, it's great that the Allen Wright Award and the Fringe Society continue to recognise skilled writers and encourage them to keep writing.”

The Allen Wright Award shortlist will be revealed at a reception on 23 August to which all entrants will be invited, this will take place at Fringe Central, the Fringe Society’s centre for participants, media and arts industry professionals taking part in the Fringe. The winners of the award will be revealed on Saturday 26 August. Further information and details of how to apply for the award can be found on

The 70th anniversary edition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe starts on Friday 04 August, with 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows taking place in 300 venues across Edinburgh.


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact the Fringe Media Office. Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 131 240 1919.

For further details on the Allen Wright Award visit the awards pages on

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the charity that underpins the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was established in 1958, eleven years after the birth of the Fringe in 1947, when the first performers turned up uninvited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. The Fringe is an open access festival – any artist or company can take part regardless of their experience or success and the festival is not programmed or run by an artistic director or any selection body. As a registered charity, the Fringe Society exists to support all participants, industry professionals, media and audience members who attend the Fringe from all around the world, and to produce accurate and up-to-date information and ticketing for audiences, and to raise the profile of the festival as a whole.