Home News Controversy surrounding authorship of prize-winning play

Controversy surrounding authorship of prize-winning play

Anne Manter James alleges she is the co-author of the play Search and Rescue, for which Daniel Wade won the Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award

Anne Manter James has alleged on Twitter that Daniel Wade, who is published by Temple Dark Books, removed her name as co-author from the play Search and Rescue, and submitted the work as his alone for the competition, run by Listowel Writers’ Week and judged by Billy Roche

Daniel Wade was awarded the first prize of €1000 for the play.

“Crafting Search and Rescue as a retelling of the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh was my idea,” alleges James on Twitter, “I studied it under Professor Herbert Mason at Boston University and his excellent, moving translation of Gilgamesh was the text that we consulted while writing.

“We were so far along with writing Search and Rescue that I was booking rehearsal space at Dublin Fringe LAB, so that we could physically block out scenes and do revisions to the script together.”

Source: Twitter account of Ms. James posted on 30th August, 2022.

In a Twitter thread, published by James on 30th August 2022, James alleges that she has proof of a shared, time-stamped Google doc as evidence of her collaboration on the play.

The controversy raises some interesting questions not just about the issue of co-authorship, but also with regard to how competitions—or publishers for that matter—can ever fully know the background to a piece of work.

In a response on Twitter to the allegations, Daniel Wade said he would be seeking legal advice and had nothing further to say about the matter:

“I am responding to libellous allegations made on this platform regarding my play Search and Rescue. The author of these tweets claims to have co-authored this play with me. There is no factual basis to these allegations and I firmly deny these defamatory claims.”

He went on to say he was seeking further legal advice.

Daniel Wade and Anne Manter James have not yet responded to Books Ireland’s invitation to comment.