Playwriting Courses at The National Theatre (£500/£350 concessions cost)

The National Theatre are launching their series of Autumn Playwriting courses! For the first time, they are running both the ‘How to begin playwriting’ and the ‘How to develop your playwriting’ courses simultaneously, so there is plenty on offer for writers of all levels.

How to Begin Playwriting: 

A ten-week course which will give an insight into approaches to beginning playwriting. This course will focus on techniques, exercises and approaches to writing, with opportunities for discussion and shared group critiques.

Course dates: Tuesdays 19 Sep – 28 Nov (not 24 Oct), 6.30–8.30pm.

Location: Clore Learning Centre.

Cost: £500/£350 (concessions)

How to apply: Please click here to book your place on this course.

How to Develop your Playwriting: 

A ten-week course which will give an insight into developing your playwriting. This course will focus on techniques, exercises and approaches to writing, with opportunities for discussion and shared group critiques.

Course dates: Fridays 22 Sep – 1 Dec (not 27 Oct), 10.30am – 12.30pm.

Location: Clore Learning Centre.

Cost: £500/£350 (concessions)

How to apply: Please click here to book your place on this course.

Deadline: The deadline for both is 8 September 2017 at 5pm. 

Source: Direct Contact


The Owl and Cat Theatre seeking provocative new plays

One of Melbourne’s leading independent theater’s, The Owl and Cat Theatre, are seeking provocative new plays to produce.

They are looking for work that is thought-provoking/confronting in nature, and work that explores contemporary themes. There is no specific genre stated, they are simply seeking new plays that speak to a modern audience.

Plays should have a running time of 50 – 120 minutes, and should not have been previously produced. Plays should be in PDF format, and should be professionally formatted (e.g. using script-writing software such as Celtx and/or Final Draft). Musicals and previously submitted work are not being accepted.

If selected, your play will run for 3 weeks, with a total of 12 shows. Successful playwrights will receive a payment of AUD $150.

How to apply: Applications should be emailed to with the subject heading: 2017 Script Submission.

Deadline: 1 September 2017 

Source: Direct Contact

When (and when not) to hear your work read aloud

As part of the launch of our new membership scheme, we’re celebrating writers that LPW has worked with in the course of the past year.

In the final blog from our Dark Horse Festival writers, John Murray shares his thoughts on the importance – and difficulty – of hearing your work read aloud.

It’s important to hear your work read aloud; I say ‘important’, rather than ‘enjoyable.’ Listening to your work is crucial to the playwriting process but it can be a difficult procedure to manage.

I studied creative writing at university, so I feel fairly comfortable reading my work aloud; poetry, prose, non-fiction and some pretty awful and unnecessary hybrids of the above. My first full piece of writing for performance was a monologue which I went on to direct and perform myself, so I felt confident in reading that aloud, to anyone who would listen, during the development stages.

But when it came to work for more than one voice, I was stuck. I just about managed to get away with a radio drama I wrote a few years ago; there were twenty characters in the play and a friend and I read and recorded the whole thing, with long pauses between lines as we tried to slip back and forth between elaborate accents.

That recording was just about enough for me to imagine what the piece could sound like with different actors playing each role. I needed to know how that slew of voices would mesh together and if any of them stood out for the wrong reasons.

My first pieces for the stage with multiple characters were a different kettle of fish. As a writer, I tend to place too much emphasis on the aural quality of the work and ignore moments of more complex physicality. As each piece slowly formed, I found it impossible to feel satisfied with what I was writing because I was not able to hear distinct voices coming through.

After a few false starts with readings, I’ve realised that who is reading your piece is crucial in making the experience useful and can ultimately make the difference between hearing the voices of your characters emerge and hearing nothing at all.

I think that it’s important to hear different groups of people read your work. In the early stages of development, one of the most useful groups you could turn to is a group of writers. I’m sure most people know the general benefits of writers groups, but in this instance I suggest using the writers as actors.

A writer, especially one who is also working on a piece, is often sensitive to the way in which lines of dialogue are being constructed. They look out for pauses, they pay attention to punctuation and they never assume they’ve read a line correctly; they will invariably go back and look at the line again and try and work out if you intended something different with a comma, or a ‘long pause’ or a repetition.

What’s more, it’s likely that most of the writers in the group will not have much acting experience. If you can’t find a group of writers that you feel happy working with, gather a few friends who you trust and ask them to read. Try to avoid any professional performers at this stage and just listen to the lines that people trip over. Listen to them laugh or gasp and stay alert to the moments where they lose concentration. Hearing people make mistakes as they read can be so useful; it can signal awkward phrasing, overworked language or moments of lag in the dialogue.

I get so much out of these readings. After they’ve read, the writers can help you unpack certain choices you’ve made, big or small. They can question your technique and highlight the moments where you’ve really achieved your goals. Their feedback is so useful in developing style and structure.

A group of friends can offer a similar kind of critique: they can point you to moments where you might need to focus when redrafting, moments where the scenes drag or speed along too quickly. They’re a ready-made audience with no professional tint to their feedback; they’ll ignore formatting issues and won’t confuse you with comments about pieces at the Fringe they saw two years ago that “might really help you” but can’t remember what it was called or who wrote it. I’m particularly guilty of that.

After you’ve finished this and redrafted, I’d suggest you take your piece to a director. Ask if they have an hour or two to read your work and comment on it from a directorial perspective. You won’t hear them reading it but their feedback will give an insight into what you might expect from a reading with actors.

They’ll know which scenes might challenge a group of actors and which they’d have less trouble with; this might not actually lead you to make any changes to those scenes, but it’ll give you an insight into what you might face when working with actors and arm you with suggestions you might be able to make to them as they perform.

After these first two stages, you’re ready to hear a group of professionals read. It’s easier said than done assembling a group of actors; I’ll leave it to an advice columnist with more chutzpah than me to explain the process. However you manage to assemble your actors, be ready for that reading to be unlike any of the readings you’ve had up until that point.

On the one hand, the actors will be able to bring a wealth of training, experience and excitement to the roles. They should be used to quickly mining a scene for useful details which they can draw from and they’ll be happy to stop and start and try sections out differently in order to allow you to hear how a different tone could work. You should even be able to make quick edits which won’t faze them and allow you to hear scenes constructed differently.

On the other hand, once a piece is with an actor, writers can often feel like they lose control. They might feel certain words or phrases are being skipped over in favour of something more exciting to that particular actor. This can either be fruitful or excruciating. You might find yourself being asked to justify why a character behaves in a certain way; actors will look for objectives that you might not feel are appropriate which leaves you flailing about trying to correct them.

However, if you’ve gone through the first two stages and really taken as much as you can from those readings, you’ll feel much better equipped to deal with whatever is thrown at you. I don’t want to sound like I’m downplaying the talent and commitment actors can bring to a reading: they can help you transform a piece and give voice to characters that you have desperately wanted to hear from, and once you reach the rehearsal room they are your greatest ally. But, if you take a piece to actors too early in your process, you will be faced with a plethora of issues which might set back your drafting process and distract you from the early tasks of assembling your work and crafting the tone and themes of a piece.

Listen to your work as often as possible. It’s the only way you can be sure that you’re ready to let a piece get up on to its feet and walk about. Which is a third and even more complicated kettle of fish…

John Murray’s latest project is Celebrate The Mountains, an online writing project with Thom Kofoed. Subscribe at:

Be part of the movement. Click here to become a member today!

Women’s Comedy Festival accepting applications (£50 prizes)

The Women in Comedy Writing Festival have announced a new competition for comedy writers to have their work performed live.

The competition is broken up into two categories, the first being comedy sketches and monologues. They are looking for sketches and/or monologues of 3 minutes in length that feature a female voice/story. The second category is humorous short stories of no more than 1000 words. All work must be of the comedy genre, and can be written by men but all submissions MUST feature women as the main characters.

There are prizes of £50 for first place winners, plus publication and performance opportunities in each category. Comedy related prizes will also be available for the runners up and a Women in Comedy memory stick will be given to all winners.

The Women in Comedy Festival will run 19 – 29 October 2017 in Manchester and Salford.

How to apply: There is a £3 entry fee to apply, and all applications can be made here through the Women in Comedy website.

Deadline: 12 October 2017 

Source: Direct Contact

The DH Ensemble seeking D/deaf artists for scratch night at Battersea Arts Center

The DH Ensemble have put out an open call for artists from the D/deaf and hearing community for their Freshly Scratched night of new work in association with Battersea Arts Center.

They are looking for work that is from the D/deaf and hearing community, and for work that is also accessible to both D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences. Anything including poetry, stand-up comedy, spoken-word, multimedia, live art and cross-disciplinary work is being accepted. They encourage innovative work that acknowledges the presence of the audience.

In their words: “We strongly encourage emerging and established D/deaf, hard of hearing and hearing artists to think about ways of making their work accessible to D/deaf, hard of hearing and hearing audiences. A section of an existing piece of work could be considered a scratch if this is the first time you are trying accessible elements. Artists who already make visual work without spoken text who would like to reach a new audience are also encouraged to apply with a new piece of work. For advice about making your work accessible, you are welcome to contact with an email or a British Sign Language video.”

Each piece can last up to 10 minutes, and 6-7 pieces will be picked to be performed in front of a live audience at Battersea Arts Center on 6 October 2017.

How to apply: You can apply using the online application form which can be found here. Or you can email with a 300 word description, or a short film in BSL of no more than 2 minutes. Please provide your name and contact information. You can also email links via various social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram that visually convey your idea.

Deadline: 4 September 2017 

Source: Direct Contact

6 week playwriting workshop with Lee Anderson at the Arcola (£85 cost)

The Arcola are running a 6 week playwriting workshop titled: WRITING FOR THE STAGE – CONSENTING ADULTS COPY. The course will be run by playwright Lee Anderson.

About Lee Anderson: “Lee Anderson is a playwright and dramaturg based in London and working internationally. He is Writer-in-Residence with SQUINT theatre company and Co-Artistic Director of Performance Anxiety. As a playwright, Lee’s work has been presented at The Pleasance (‘Molly’, SQUINT), Tristan Bates Theatre (‘Poles Apart’, Like The Clappers), The Lion and the Unicorn (‘Skin Deep’, Attila Theatre), and Theatre N16 (‘How Many’, Pokfukam Rd Productions). His work has been longlisted for both the Papatango Playwriting Prize and Old Vic 12.”

Course content: These workshops will enable budding playwrights to create their first draft of an original, one act play. Over the course of six-weeks, the group will focus on a different instrument in the playwright’s toolbox – from crafting dialogue and constructing characters, to structuring your play and finding a dramatic form.

Each session will last for 2 hours, and will involve a mixture of practical exercises, lively discussion and script readings. There will also be opportunities for writers to share their work and hear extracts read aloud. In the final week, writers have the option of submitting a first-draft of their play and receiving detailed feedback on it, and/or hearing an extract of their work read to the group.

Who’s it for? The workshops are aimed at budding playwrights aged 16+, with no previous experience required.

Course dates: Tuesday 31 October – Tuesday 5 December 8pm-10pm

How to book: Please click here to book a place.

Cost: £85 for the entire course

Source: Direct Contact

Opportunities Weekly Round-up: 11 August 2017

Want to support LPB? Become a member!

Our weekly Friday round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).  Opportunities are grouped into four sections: 1) Pick of the Week & featured posts; 2) Opportunities with Deadlines; 3) Workshops and Events; 4) Ongoing opportunities (No deadline).

Want to be sure you never miss an opportunity?  Sign up for our email list to get the weekly roundup direct to your inbox!

Featured posts:

Member Meetup! Join us on 1 September

Guest post from Dark Horse writer, Sophia Chapadjiev: Are you researching, or just procrastinating?

Guest post from Dark Horse writer, Sonali Bhattacharyya: Procreative: How to be a playwright AND a new parent

Our latest opportunities Pick of the Week: Chelsea Theatre seeking submissions for scratch night (£50 prize) 

From the Archive of our Advice Column, Pursued By A Bear:  “I’m struggling to finish my first play, should I just give up?”

Opportunities with deadlines:

Soho Theatre young writers’ lab 2017 (16-26) – Deadline: 13 August 2017

Monday Club seeking scripts for rehearsed reading at Old Red Lion Theatre – Deadline: 13 August 2017

Yale Drama Series Competition 2018 – Deadline: 15 August 2017

TheatreThirteen accepting scripts for scratch night – Deadline: 16 August 2017

London Short Film Festival open for 2018 submissions (entry fee $6.50- $38) – Deadline: 21 April-21 August 2017

Little Pieces of Gold seeking 10 minute plays for show at Southwark Playhouse  –  Deadline: 25 August 2017

Galley Beggar Press short story prize 2017/18 (£10 entry fee) – Deadline: 27 August 2017

London Horror Festival seeking scripts for production at the Old Red Lion Theatre – Deadline: 28 August 2017

Miscellany Theatre Productions seeking love stories for My Irish Love Song project – Deadline: August (exact date TBC)

The Old Vic accepting applications for the 3rd year of Old Vic 12 – Deadline: 30 August 2017

VAULT Festival 2018 open for applications – Deadline: 31 August 2017

Eloise Lally Productions seeking scripts for London Fringe Festival – Deadline: 31 August 2017

Hat Trick Productions seeks comedy scripts for ‘Your Voice, Your Story’ initiative – Deadline: 31 August 2017

89th Productions seeking full-length plays for production – Deadline: 31 August 2017

Soundwork call out for 15 minute monologues (Production and placement on website) – Deadline: 31 August 2017

Barnes Film Festival short film competition (under 25’s, entry £10) – Deadline: 1 September 2017

Chelsea Theatre seeking submissions for scratch night (£50 prize) – Deadline: 16 September 2017

Graphic Short Story prize 2017 (£1000 prize) – Deadline: 29 September 2017

Hammond House accepting scripts for screenwriting competition (£10 entry fee) – Deadline: 30 September 2017

Heretic Productions seeking monologues for production at the Arcola Theatre – Deadline: 30 September 2017

Red Dragonfly new playwriting competition 2017 open for submissions – Deadline: 1 October 2017

Caroline Aherne Bursary for Funny Northern Women now open for submissions – Deadline: 9 October 2017

Congleton Players One-Act Plays Festival open for submissions (£150 prize) – Deadline: 30 November 2017

Theatrefullstop seeking shorts for pub theatre festival – Deadline: 1 December 2017

Ashland New Plays Festival (Oregon, $15  entry, $1500 prize) – Deadline: 31 December (or when they receive 400 submissions)

Events and workshops:

Playwrights’ Redrafting Workshop (with Jennifer Farmer) – On 12 August 2017

The Scenic Route presents ‘Creating Theatre, an Intensive Lab'(£195/£210 cost) – Starts 21 August 2017

Three day playwriting workshop with Simon Stephens in Andalucia  15 – 19 October 2017

Writers’ Mutual writing group -currently taking place Wednesdays 11am- 1pm

Ongoing submissions:

Ugly Duck offering cheap rehearsal space in Docklands – next few months for Edinburgh Fringe

Three opportunities with Alphabetti Theatre and rolling deadlines

Theatrefullstop in call out for bi-weekly podcast script submissions – Deadline: None posted.

Newsthump looking for spoof news writers – Deadline: ongoing

Arvon Grants available for writing courses – Deadline: none posted/ various

London Poet seeking film makers to collaborate with – Deadline: none

Edgemar Center for the Arts (Santa Monica) seeking new work for 2017 season – Deadline: none

Batty Mama seeking writers/ artists – Deadline: none posted

Rich Gifts Theatre seeking writers – Deadline: rolling

Paines Plough accepting ongoing submissions – Deadline: rolling

BBC Comedy Classroom – Comedy writing resources for young people –  Deadline: various

Online Masterclass with Aaron Sorkin on Screenwriting ($90) – Deadline: none posted

JW3 seeking submissions of pieces about Jewish culture – Deadline: rolling

BFI Postroom open to submissions of films and scripts from emerging filmmakers – Deadline: rolling

Opportunities to hear your play with Player Playwrights – Deadline: rolling

Online Playwriting Course with Live Theatre (£95-£495) – Deadline: rolling

Playwrights Circle at the Bread & Roses – Deadline: ongoing (monthly event)

The Institute of Other seeking creative practitioners – Deadline: none posted

White Hart Trust Studios seeking international and foreign language theatre – Deadline: none posted

Pokfulam Rd Productions looking for playwrights and creatives – Deadline: none posted

55 Kings Contemporary Theatre Productions looking for writers – Deadline: none posted

Plane Paper Theatre call out for plays – Deadline: none posted

Theatrelab seeking scripts to perform at ‘WordPlay’ at Bath Spa University – Deadline: none posted

Londonville Lit offering reading slots – Deadline: none posted

Madam Renards Mini Fringe Festival Swindon open for applications from writers and performers – Deadline: none posted (festival takes place in 2016)

Orange Tea Theatre accepting submissions – Deadline: rolling

Funding available for students at Glasgow University MLitt Playwriting & Dramaturgy – Deadline: none posted

Everything Theatre accepting plays for podcast readings – Deadline: none posted

The Cockpit Theatre seeking work for scratch nights – Deadline: none  posted but performances take place on the first Monday of the month.

Shred Productions open to submissions – Deadline: none (open submissions)

Poppy Seed – accepting submissions of 5 minute scripts for blog – Deadline: none posted

The Old Vic accepting applications for the 3rd year of Old Vic 12

The Old Vic have launched the 3rd year of The Old Vic 12 and are now accepting applications!

The Old Vic 12 is a creative scheme that aims to support artists. They are searching for 12 individual artists who are ready to take the next step in their careers. The scheme provides opportunities to expand networks, receive first class mentoring and benefit from a prestigious association with The Old Vic through an attachment to this iconic building. The selected 12 will also receive a grant to create and develop three brand new plays to be presented at The Old Vic.

In their words: “The successful applicants will be creatives looking to make a change in their work, whether that’s a step up or the support to go in a new direction. Applicants should be creating their own work on the fringe, assisting established practitioners or working at the equivalent level, and feel that they would benefit from a structured year and attachment to an independent producing theatre.”

They are looking for three directors, three playwrights, three producers and three exciting collaborators from any discipline: designers, composers, DJs, lighting designers, movement directors, illusionists and everything in-between. So if you’re interested in collaboration and new plays, they want to hear from you!

The scheme is open to those based in the UK. Each applicant should have varying amounts of experience in their specified field. To find more, and for full information, please click here.

How to apply: All applications should be made through your Hiive account. The Old Vic 12 post can be found here on the Hiive website.

Deadline: 30 August 2017 at 12 pm 

Source: Direct Contact

Opportunities – Pick of the Week: Chelsea Theatre seeking submissions for scratch night (£50 prize)

Each week we look through our pile of writing opportunities to pick out one we think is particularly worth your time. It could be an innovative brief, great prize money, a high-profile company, or just plain fun.

This week’s pick: Chelsea Theatre seeking submissions for scratch night (£50 prize)

Description: Chelsea Theatre are seeking submissions for their new scratch night, and are offering £50 prizes to the winning applicants! They are looking for short scripts based on the themes: home, culture, and borders. They are accepting scripts, skits, comedy, poetry, and more. Each piece should be within the time frame of 2-9 minutes, and have 1-6 characters. All chosen pieces will win a prize of £50, and will have their work performed at the scratch night later this year. The deadline to apply is 16 September 2017.

What’s so great about it? Getting your work produced can be a daunting process, especially if you’re an emerging writer, but that is exactly why this opportunity is so worthwhile. With a whole night dedicated to new writing, Chelsea theatre are supporting those who are just starting out, and those who are struggling to find a home for their work.

You are free to explore the specified themes in any way you like, and as they support innovative work from a range of disciplines. So whether you write comedy or horror, your short piece will be in good company on the night.

Every winning applicant will have their work performed on one of London’s top stages, and will receive a £50 prize!

Read full details here.

Please note, we’ve posted this for your convenience and we’re not affiliated with the organisers of the opportunity.

Image Credit: Chelsea Theatre 


Hammond House accepting scripts for screenwriting competition (£10 entry fee)

Hammond House are currently accepting short scripts for the launch of their new screenwriting competition. The genre is open but they are looking for work based on the theme: Eternal.

They are looking scripts formatted for the screen (done via a professional software such as CELTX) with a time frame of 10 – 15 minutes.

Curtis Hogarth, one of the judges, states: “I am looking for a level of creativity, originality, and skill that can compete with industry professionals across the country. I am looking for a script that tells a captivating story from a unique perspective.”

The winner’s screenplay will be professionally produced and submitted for entry to the BAFTA qualifying AESTHETICA film festival, with a film trailer produced for second and third places.

How to apply: There is a £10 entry fee for all those applying, or £5 for existing members. Please read the full terms and conditions here. To submit your script, complete the entry form which can be found here.

Deadline: 30 September 2017 

Source: Direct Contact

A resource for emerging playwrights