The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, co-founded by Emilie S. Kilgore and William Blackburn, honors outstanding new English-language plays by women. Many of the winners have gone on to receive other honors, including Olivier, Lilly, Evening Standard and Tony Awards for Best Play. Eight Blackburn Finalist plays have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Houston-based Susan Smith Blackburn Prize reflects the values and interests of Susan Smith Blackburn, noted American actress and writer who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life. She died in 1977 at the age of 42. Over 350 plays have been honored as Finalists since the Prize was instituted in 1977.
The 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has been awarded to U.K. playwright Lucy Prebble for her play A Very Expensive Poison.