Deborah was placed third for the Alfred Bradley Bursary Award for her drama Fifteen, and saw extracts of her play performed by actors during a ceremony in Manchester.
As a runner-up she will also get the opportunity to work with a mentor from Radio 4 to further develop the script and future commissions.
Deborah said: “I’m hoping there might be the opportunity for a commission for the play or another project.”
She was presented with her prize by Mark Damazer, the controller of Radio 4, at a ceremony attended by around 100 people.
The competition had originally attracted 400 entries.
Deborah said: “I am really pleased to have finished in the top five given a very high standard of entries.
“As part of the winners’ event at the BBC in Manchester, an extract from my script was performed by actors, which was rewarding to watch.”
Deborah’s play was one of 13 to make it on to the final shortlist for the bursary, and tells the story of a spirited teenager who shakes up the home of foster parents.
The journalist works part-time at the Doncaster Free Press, which she joined in 2001, and has previously worked for the Derby Evening Telegraph as well as having written for stage and TV.
The bursary was established to commemorate the life and work of radio drama producer Alfred Bradley.
This year’s overall winner was Mark Shand from Rochdale for his play Abigail Adams.