News: Natalie Arle-Toyne wins the September John Byrne Award

15 October 2019


We are delighted to hear the news that Natalie Arle-Toyne has won the September John Byrne Award with her short story Sumbridge Drive.  Natalie has been part of our Lost Lending Library team and is also performing at Imaginate's next Scratch That! event with a new piece of performance exploring an aspect of the same idea she grew up with in South Africa, Is my broken finger is the same as your broken leg? 

Natalie said: "The John Byrne Award is something to be celebrated: a space that encourages conversation about the world around us, and how we choose to respond to it.  So I’m overwhelmed that my short story Sumbridge Drive got picked as September’s winning entry.  I encourage everyone to get online and read, watch and listen to all of this month's entries - it’s a full-on buffet for thought. 

Is my broken finger the same as your broken leg? has been a question that has fuelled a few of my creative endeavours of late, and led to this short story and also the working title for the gig-theatre piece which is part of Imaginate’s “Scratch That!” at the Traverse on the 6th November.  Same question, different content: Is all pain equal and valid when contextualised? How do we navigate our personal pain when confronted with a world that is seemingly going to the dogs? I’m not sure, but it’s making me write.

I’m more than excited that Imaginate, leaders in creative development of theatre for young people, are supporting “My Broken Finger, Your Broken Leg” at this early stage; and with O─čuz Kaplangi composing and Sarah Rose Graber directing, we’re in good hands."

Niall Dolan, CEO of The Iris Initiative who deliver The John Byrne Award said, "The John Byrne Award promotes any creative work that makes people think about values. Our independent judging panel described Natalie Arle-Toyne's short story as 'reasoned, constructive, and compelling', and so a worthy winner of the September John Byrne Award. We commend Natalie's work to anyone interested in considering the values that underpin how we relate to one another."

The John Byrne Award is an inclusive, creative arts platform who accepts creative work in any medium, 365 days a year, from everybody over 16 living or studying in Scotland.

  • Every entry published
  • No entry fees
  • Submit your work in 15 minutes
  • £7500 annual prize | £250 monthly prize

Find out more and enter here -

What is Imaginate Scratch That!

Imaginate Scratch That! events are showcases of new performances ideas for young audiences, that are still in the very early stages of development. They are excellent opportunities for artists to try out a new idea with an audience of peers and likeminded people and receive audience feedback at an early stage. Natalie Arle-Toyne will perform her 10 minute piece at the Scratch That! event on 6th November, alongside four other artists. The event is presented in partnership with the Traverse.  Find more information here