Winner to be announced on Feb. 25

Lynn Nottage, Elizabeth Meriwether, Ann Marie Healy and Michele Lowe are among the 10 playwrights to be named finalists for the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn prize.

Nottage earned the nod for her play “Ruined,” which has been gathering buzz since it preemed in Chicago and is currently playing in Gotham in a Manhattan Theater Club run that opened Tuesday.

Established in 1977, the Blackburn prize honors female legit scribes writing in English.

Plays also in contention this year include Healy’s “What Once We Felt,” Lowe’s “Inana” and Meriwether’s “Oliver!”

Also on the 2009 finalist list are Anupamu Chandrasekhar (for her play “Free Outgoing”), Lucinda Coxon (“Happy Now?”), Chloe Moss (“This Wide Night”), Kaite O’Reilly (“The Almond and the Seahorse”), Amy Rosenthal (“On the Rocks”) and Esther Wilson (“Ten Tiny Toes”).

Winner, who also receives a $20,000 cash prize, will be announced in a London ceremony Feb. 25.

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