The Bruntwood Prize is a competition managed by The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. It’s open to playwrights across the UK. The prize has a comprehensive website, featuring everything from submission guidelines, to writing inspiration, to FAQ, to pointers from past winners. Be sure to make use of this resource before submitting.
What to submit: An original, unperformed full-length play. Only one submission per writer will be accepted. Note that plays MUST be submitted under a pseudonym – see website for full details.
What you win: The winner of the 2013 prize will receive £16,000 and a year-long attachment at the Royal Exchange Theatre. There will also be three Judges’ Awards of £8,000 each. All four award winners will have the chance to develop their play with the Royal Exchange, with a view to production. In addition, leading theatre publishers Nick Hern Books will publish all winning plays that receive a production at the Exchange. The top 100 plays will receive a feedback report from the Royal Exchange.
Closing date: 3 June 2013
Theatre503 will be having a Writers Night on Thursday 7 February 2013 – a chance to see their new production of Desolate Heaven for only £5! This production is the first of Paul Robinson’s tenure as sole Artistic Director. Writers are eligible to write a short play for their Rapid Write Response – deadline Sunday 10 February. Selected plays will be performed on 25 February. (Use the code WRITER during checkout to get the discount.)
The Hampstead Theatre is also offering £5 tickets to the first five performance of Peter Souter’s Hello/Goodbye (from 1-5 March 2013).
Bread and Roses Theatre Company has put out a call for short plays on their website. Selected plays will be performed at their next Platform, date TBA. No further script guidelines are given. Details of writers from the previous platform can be seen here.
What to submit: In addition to your script, a character list, approximate length, and brief synopsis are required. Submission is completed using their online form.
Closing date: 24 February 2013
The Courtyard Theatre has announced the launch of the 2013 King’s Cross Writing Award. Launched in 2003 with only 27 submissions, the biennial competition has steadily grown. Judges in the past have included playwrights Debbie Isitt, Robin Soans and Mark Ravenhill, the National Theatre’s former Literary Manager Jack Bradley, theatre critic Aleks Sierz, and Nick Quinn from The Agency.
What to submit: Writers are invited to submit full-length plays that have not been published or performed. Writers may enter up to two scripts. Submission guidelines as well as rules and conditions are available on their website. (Note that hardcopy submission is required, so budget time for your script to get there in the post!)
What you win: The winner receives a £5,000 cash prize and a staged, rehearsed reading at The Courtyard Theatre.
What you pay: £10 entry fee per play (up to two plays accepted)
Closing date: 30 April 2013
In addition to its current call for submissions of one-act and full-length plays, the Brockley Jack is seeking 10 minute short plays. You do not need to have a connection to Southeast London to enter this competition.
What to submit: Writers are invited to submitted a play of up to ten minutes featuring no more than four actors. Script must be able to be performed with basic staging and technical support.
Plays should be written around the theme of Legacy: “Where are we going, where are we now, and how did we get there?”
Only one submission per playwright allowed. Be sure to read the full submission guidelines before submitting.
What you get: Performances of selected scripts will take place on Saturday 4th May and selected plays will be announced on their website.
Closing date: Monday 4 March 2013
If you live, work, study, or have a strong connection to South East London, you’re eligible to submit to the Brockley Jack’s Write Now 4 Festival. They are seeking “previously unperformed plays that reflect contemporary culture or society”.
What to submit: Both one act and full length plays are accepted. Writers are eligible to submit up to two plays. The cast should feature no more than five actors. A one page synopsis is also required. Read the full submission guidelines, which include formatting specifications, before submitting. Online submission form can be found here.
What you get: One selected play will be given a full production in a two week run at the Jack Studio in May 2013. Two further selected plays will be given a week’s workshop time and rehearsed readings during the Festival.
Closing date: Monday 4 February 2013
Note – Writer Beware: This sounds like a great opportunity for a number of reasons, but there are a couple of red flags that warrant an added ‘writer beware’…
1) In their guidelines, they state that submission automatically grants the Jack Studio Theatre royalty-free performing rights to the play during the Festival. So if you submit and are selected, you could anticipate pushback if you changed your mind.
2) They also say “Your play will be directed by a professional director. The director must be granted freedom to interpret the play in their own way.” This does not seem like a particularly-writer friendly attitude, and indicates the theatre is not following Writers Guild guidelines.
We don’t have any direct experience with this theatre, so it could be that these points would not be an issue. If you do end up participating, please do drop a line to let us know about your experience.
Exeter Phoenix Digital are running a National Short Film Commissioning Competition for UK Residents, seeking films between 5 and 10 minutes long. All genres welcome. (Note: they are also running a separate competition, which only entrants based in Devon are allowed to enter.)
What to submit: A statement of up to 400 words outlining your ideas. “The proposal should clearly demonstrate the tone, themes, genre and strategy of your ideas. We will not accept any supporting material at this stage.” Submissions are made through their online form.
What you win: “The 2013 Short Film Commission will contribute £500 towards the cost of developing and realizing the short film project, such as equipment, cast, crew, locations, travel, etc. There will also be a set amount of in-kind support in the form of equipment hire and access to facilities such as edit suites and studios. Access to training and personal development will be included too.”
Closing date: Friday 15 February 2013
Chalk the Sun will be running creative writing workshops for stage and screen on the second Saturday of each month in Balham, South London. Workshop leaders include BBC script-editor Jonathan Wolfman, TV writer Gillian Corderoy, director and playwright Danusia Iwaszko and the Chalk team (for more details on tutors, check the Chalk the Sun tutors page).
Flexible attendance permitted.
Fee: £30 one session, £125 for five sessions, £225 for 10.
Tomorrow 25 January HighTide Literary Manager Rob Drummer will be answering questions about writing and submitting plays in an online forum titled “How do I know when my play is ready?”. Check out the full info on the IdeasTap page. (Note: you must be an IdeasTap member to participate in the Forum.)
This Saturday 26 January from 1-5pm, the Soho Theatre is having a big sale on playtexts. A good chance to pick up some bargains on playtexts spanning their last decade of productions. More details at the link.