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Write It Out! Prize
2023 Winner Matty Mahoski


Matty Mahoski has been named winner of the 2023 Write It Out! Prize for playwrights living with HIV, presented by playwright Donja R. Love in partnership with National Queer Theater. Mahoski was selected based on their play Un(in)sure.

"Matty's play is clever and muscular," says Love in a statement. "I found myself falling deeper and deeper into the story. How they used absurdism to speak to the incompetence and brokenness of the healthcare system was painful and hilarious. The play triggered my anxiety as I recalled many frustrating experiences navigating the healthcare system. Above all, Matty's play made me feel like I am not alone."

The Prize includes a cast award of $5,000 along with a year of dramaturgical support to develop a new work in the coming year. That new work will get a reading in 2024, the culmination of the prize.

"Receiving the Write It Out! Prize is a powerful affirmation of my personal progress, as well as a recognition of the heart and effort I have poured into this play," says Mahoski in a statement. "As an early career playwright, receiving these generous resources will create a firm foundation to stand on as I continue to learn and grow in this medium. Becoming HIV positive forced me to reimagine my life in every way I had previously considered it. Living with HIV has empowered me to walk fully into who I am and to hold myself with strength, with love, and with the knowledge that I am not alone; I am in a community. The WIO! cohort and prize have helped me to recognize that I want my work and my art to be of service to our community."

This year's prize was made possible thanks to support from Broadway Cares, the Terrence McNally Foundation, ViiV Healthcare, and GLAAD.

Matty Mahoski (They/Them) is a multi-hyphenate, interdisciplinary creator and performer. An alumnus of NYU Tisch School for the Arts Department of Drama in the New Studio on Broadway and the Experimental Theatre Wing, Matty’s work focuses on creating art and telling stories through various mediums, often centering movement and music. As a queer, trans, non-binary, neurodivergent, Jewish, artist who lives with HIV, Matty’s experience navigating these intersections of identity and perspective heavily influences their work. Matty’s writing was recently featured in the Write It Out! 2022 World AIDS Day presentation through National Queer Theater. Their choreography was recently featured in New York Theatre Barns 2022 OPEN Choreography Lab livestream presentation. They are also the recipient of the 2023 Write It Out! Prize for their play, UN(IN)SURE


Created by award-winning playwright Donja R. Love in 2019, Write It Out! (WIO!) is a groundbreaking playwriting program and prize for people living with HIV and AIDS.


WIO! takes pride in being created by community for community. Understanding the isolation one can feel when living with HIV, WIO! provides community and artistic tools as it amplifies the visibility of people living with HIV in the theatre and beyond.


The goal of WIO! is to use the power of imagination and healing to strengthen the voice of those living with HIV and AIDS and transform the theatre landscape into a more equitable and stigma-free space.


WIO! is produced by National Queer Theater in partnership with The Each-Other Project and with support from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Terrence McNally Foundation.

Applications for Write It Out! are now closed.

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“Oftentimes, as people living with HIV, we can feel so alone. Due to stigma, there is a level of shame that grips us so tightly, adding to our loneliness. When we are able to navigate through these feelings and attempt to creatively express ourselves, there aren't resources or safe space specifically for us. The WIO! Prize, much like the program, is here to change that. This prize is for any playwright living with HIV who aims to center themselves and their work on their terms.” 

- Donja R. Love, Program Creator

WIO Prize
Where's Our Angels? by Dominic Colón

Donja R. Love (he/him) is Black, Queer, HIV-Positive and thriving, and a Philly native. He is the recipient of the Antonyo Awards’ inaugural Langston Hughes Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Laurents/Hatcher Award, and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. Other honors include The Lark’s Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, the Playwrights Realm’s Writing Fellowship, and the Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. He is the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ+ People of Color. Plays include soft, one in two (The New Group), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Nominations), and The Trade. Love is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School.

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Lee Raines (he/they) is a long-term survivor of HIV, diagnosed in March,1989. Lee was in the first cohort of Donja R. Love’s Write It Out! (WIO!) workshop and has served as WIO!’s Program Manager since 2022. His final project for WIO! in 2020, Blood Spill, led to a commission by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) to write UNJUST, a short play about HIV Criminalization. UNJUST has been presented by ETAF at special events in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Lee has been a member of ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, and is a longtime volunteer for AIDS Walk New York and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He has shared his stories with The Generations Project, and recently recorded one of the 30 stories that are included in The AIDS Monument, an interactive memorial park currently under construction in West Hollywood. As an actor/singer/dancer, Lee performed in numerous plays and musicals, most notably his favorite, a production of Chicago starring Chita Rivera.

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