Northern Irish Playwright and Fighting Words NI Mentor Karis Kelly takes top award at Women’s Prize for Playwriting

Northern Irish Playwright and mentor with Fighting Words Northern Ireland, Karis Kelly, has been awarded the Women’s Prize for Playwriting for her play ‘Consumed’, a drama about four generations of Northern Irish women at a 90th birthday party in a “house full of hungry ghosts”. 

Karis’ play was selected from 850 entries and 12 finalists, by the panel of judges that included Arifa Akbar, Mel Kenyon (Chair) and Lucy Kirkwood.  

She said of the award: 

“It's really brilliant for Northern Irish writing. This play is firmly about Northern Irish women. I wanted to put four generations on stage, and I'm so pleased to say that'll be happening in 2023.” 

Karis has worked with creative writing centre Fighting Words since 2020 as a Young Playwrights Programme & Playwright Club mentor.  Most recently she worked on Fighting Words collaboration with the Lyric Theatre Belfast, Young Playwrights Autumn Season 2021 - Writing Theatre For Alternative Spaces, where plays written by 14-18 year olds were performed at Ulster Museum. 

Fighting Words NI Director, Hilary Copeland said: 

“To see Karis’ writing win the Women’s Prize for Playwriting is a well-deserved recognition of her incredible talents.  Every year we make creative writing opportunities available to young people across Northern Ireland.  Having Karis as a mentor for our dedicated monthly Playwright Club and focused playwright programmes for 13-18 year-olds gives these young writers an incredible insight into the skills involved in writing and producing plays.” 

Further information on the Women’s Prize for Playwriting at and info on how to part in Playwrite Club is online at