Alfred Fagon Award 2013 (writers of African or Carribbean heritage only)

The Alfred Fagon Award was established in 1996 in memory of the late Jamaican playwright and actor, Alfred Fagon. The £5,000 prize is awarded to the writer who has, in the opinion of the judges, written the best stage play of the year. New as well as established writers are encouraged to enter.

The Award is open to playwrights of African or Caribbean descent resident in the UK.

What to submit:  A full length play of at least 70 minutes in length.  The play need not have been produced.  For plays which have been produced, only those produced since August 2012 will be considered (‘production’ is defined as any professional presentation before the public).  Each entrant can only submit one play.

Entrants must submit the following hard copies:

  • two copies of their play
  • a synopsis
  • a CV confirming the writer’s Caribbean and/or African heritage, and residency in the UK

How to apply: Applicants are required to submit their application both in hardcopy and by email.

Hardcopies should be sent to:

The Alfred Fagon Award 2013
c/o Tiata Fahodzi
Waterloo House
207 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8XD

The electronic copy should be sent to: info@alfredfagonaward.co.uk

Full details of how to apply can be found on their ‘how to enter’ page.

What you get: The winning writer receives a £5,000 prize.

Deadline: Friday 9 August 2013 at 5pm

Source: @Miniaturists on @PlaywritingUK

Opportunities Weekly Roundup: 26 April 2013

Our weekly round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Nick Darke Award 2013 – Deadline: 29 April 2013

King’s Cross Award at the Courtyard Theatre (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Woolwich Plays of Tomorrow seeking short plays (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama seeking short plays to be performed at the Bush Theatre – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Screenwriting Goldmine Awards (entry fee) – Deadline: 9 May 2013

Little Pieces of Gold seeking ten minute plays – Deadline: 13 May 2013

Brian Way Award 2013 – Deadline: 21 May 2013

Futurespark Festival seeking short plays – Deadline: 20 May 2013

Leslie Scalapino Award 2013 (women writers only) – Deadline: 30 May 2013

Bollywood Superstar Writers call for 10 minute plays – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Sandpit Arts seeking 30 minute plays about Arab World – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Papatango New Writing Award 2013 – Deadline: 31 May 2013

The Bruntwood Prize – Deadline: 3 June 2013

Adrienne Benham Award 2013 – Deadline: 7 June 2013

Verity Bargate Award 2013 – Deadline: 30 June 2013

Old Vic New Voices seeking writers on attachment for Community Company – 1 July 2013

ARK Theatre seeking short plays for ‘Two by Two’ – Deadline: 31 July 2013

Yale Drama Series Competition 2013 – Deadline: 15 August 2013

Tower WWI new play competition (entry fee) – 27 September 2013

Conor McPherson on the art of playwriting

Conor McPherson’s acclaimed play The Weir is playing at the Donmar Warehouse, and will be followed by The Night Alive.  As part of the promotion McPherson’s publisher, Nick Hern Books has shared an excerpt from the introduction to his latest collection of plays, which features insight into his writing process and tips on how to keep the writing magic alive:

 

The best plays come in a flash. An image, a feeling, and that’s it. You know these ideas because they are the undeniable ones that won’t let go. They pull you in and compel you to start scribbling notes. If you are a playwright and you have one of these on the go, you know you have a responsibility. To what? Something that doesn’t exist? But the good ideas feel like they do exist. They’re just beyond view, and you’re trying to capture them with glimpses that may or may not be accurate.

So many things can go wrong along the way between the vision and its presentation on stage – missed beats in the writing (or too many beats), the wrong cast, wrong director, wrong theatre or just the wrong time. Any and all of these may consign your hard work to the ‘Who Cares?’ file. And you know you are playing Russian roulette – it all comes down to those couple of hours on opening night. But you keep the faith and you pull the trigger. What else can you do?

The Weir 2013-2A.indd

You start scribbling. Worry, issues of control, and even, ironically, a sense of longing to be free of the process, all propel you to write your first draft. Subsequent drafts can never quite fix all the problems, yet neither can they prompt the same exhilaration. Many playwrights I’ve talked with agree that the best moments are often those tentative notes when the ghosts first present themselves in your mind. They are so insubstantial, yet bear their complete mysterious history within. This is when playwriting is at its most private and, paradoxically, when the play is at its most beautiful. The more real you make it, the less magic it retains. You are aware of this but what can you do? You keep going. Always writing at the very edge of your limitations. And your limitations are not necessarily a bad thing. Your limitations are in fact what give you your unique voice. But it’s hard to view your limitations in a warm light when you’ve just read over your work and it makes you embarrassed.

The truth is nobody really knows how to write a good play. You just do your best to avoid writing a bad one. The rest falls to fate. Joe Penhall once said to me, ‘Who knows if the magic is there and – even if it is – will the bastards see it?’, which I think sums up the car crash of hope, despair and paranoia that accompanies artistic creation.

And the enemy of art is not the pram in the hallway, it is self-consciousness. When you are young you know nothing, least of all yourself. You write plays quickly, perhaps in a matter of days. As you grow older – and if you’ve managed to survive some decades of playwriting – you may gain a little wisdom. But you lose your recklessness. Why? Because, like the ageing stuntman, you know exactly what’s at stake each time you do it. Further, you are no longer new. Everyone knows what you can do and they have certain expectations. So you go the long way round, trying to surprise everyone. But going the long way round kills spontaneity.

And what’s wrong with that? Well, Neil Young’s late producer, David Briggs, said that the best way to record music is the simplest way. You get the mic as close to the sound as you possibly can and just record it as it is. ‘The more you think, the more you stink’ was his mantra. Neil Young’s albums are full of first takes – often the very first time the band have ever played the song – because that’s where the magic is. Neil Young calls it, ‘the spook’. In other words, you’ve got to be careful not to perfect what you are doing to the extent it has no soul left. Perfect is not best. Okay, so he’s talking about rock ’n’ roll, but there’s something in that for playwriting too.

So if there’s anything I can see that’s worth passing on, it’s this: it’s as important to forget what you’ve learned as it is to learn.

McPhersonPlays3.indd

This piece is an extract from the Foreword to Conor McPherson Plays: Three, a new collection covering a decade of playwriting, which is available now. It includes acclaimed plays such as The Seafarer as well as two previously unpublished works: The Birds and The Dance of Death. To order your copy at a special 25% discount – no voucher code required – just click here.

The Weir is playing at the Donmar Warehouse, London until 8 June (a tie-in edition is available here). It will be followed by a new Conor McPherson play, The Night Alive, which will also be published by Nick Hern Books.

 

Reposted from Nick Hern Books

Opportunities Weekly Roundup: 19 April 2013

Our weekly round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Off The Fence Theatre Company seeking pitches for short plays about Alfred Hitchcock – Deadline: 19 April 2013

Talawa Firsts seeking scripts (for Black British Writers) – Deadline: 19 April 2013

Nick Darke Award 2013 – Deadline: 29 April 2013

King’s Cross Award at the Courtyard Theatre (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Woolwich Plays of Tomorrow seeking short plays (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama seeking short plays to be performed at the Bush Theatre – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Screenwriting Goldmine Awards (entry fee) – Deadline: 9 May 2013

Little Pieces of Gold seeking ten minute plays – Deadline: 13 May 2013

Brian Way Award 2013 – Deadline: 21 May 2013

Futurespark Festival seeking short plays – Deadline: 20 May 2013

Leslie Scalapino Award 2013 (women writers only) – Deadline: 30 May 2013

Bollywood Superstar Writers call for 10 minute plays – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Sandpit Arts seeking 30 minute plays about Arab World – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Papatango New Writing Award 2013 – Deadline: 31 May 2013

The Bruntwood Prize – Deadline: 3 June 2013

Adrienne Benham Award 2013 – Deadline: 7 June 2013

Verity Bargate Award 2013 – Deadline: 30 June 2013

Old Vic New Voices seeking writers on attachment for Community Company – 1 July 2013

ARK Theatre seeking short plays for ‘Two by Two’ – Deadline: 31 July 2013

Yale Drama Series Competition 2013 – Deadline: 15 August 2013

Tower WWI new play competition (entry fee) – 27 September 2013

Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama seeking short plays to be performed at the Bush Theatre

This opportunity offers the chance to write a short piece to be included in Theatre Renegade’s Courting Drama event in The Bush Theatre’s Attic.

Every two months, Courting Drama brings together eight handpicked writers and directors to create a new collaborative partnership to bring to life a 20-minute piece of new writing at the Bush Theatre.  Previous writers and directors have gone on to work with the Hampstead Theatre, Bush Theatre, HighTide, the Lowry, Royal Court Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Belt Up Theatre, and Punchdrunk.

Theatre Renegade strongly believes in the idea of collaboration and would like the chosen writer to be available to attend rehearsals in London (dates to be decided by the director and writer) and to the show of Courting Drama on 25 May 2013.

What to submit:  Applicants are requested to submit the following:

  • A piece lasting between 12 and 20 minutes, which is either an extract from a longer piece or in itself a short piece/playlet.
  • A 100 word overview of your piece
  • A bitly link to any relevant work in your portfolio and details of any relevant work and training or experience as a writer

How to apply:  Applications are made through the Ideastap brief.  You must register with Ideastap and have a profile page in order to apply.  Plays must saved in PDF or Word format.

What you get: The chosen piece will then be worked through with Theatre Renegade’s Dramaturg, workshopped and finally showcased at the Bush with a professional director and actors as part of Courting Drama.

Deadline: Tuesday 30 April at 5pm

Source: @PlaywritingUK

Off The Fence Theatre Company seeking pitches for short plays about Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock.  Image via Wikimedia Commons

Off the Fence Theatre Company has been commissioned to produce a series of short plays at Leicester’s Curve theatre as part of their forthcoming Hitchcock season.  They looking for scripts to consider for performance in RR2 in September and October 2013.  Scripts should be longer than 5 minutes but under 30 minutes, for no more than four actors and with a connection to Alfred Hitchcock or his work.

What to submit/How to apply:  Please forward a synopsis of your idea (no more than 300 words) together with your contact details and short biography to script-editor@off-the-fence.com by 19th April 2013. Please do not send scripts at this stage.

Deadline: Friday 19 Apr 2013

Source: @PlaywritingUK

Talawa Firsts seeking scripts (for Black British Writers)

Image via Talawa

TALAWA FIRSTS, run by Talawa Theatre Company, has put the call out to writers and/or directors who have a script close to production level or who are working on a piece that needs showcasing.

How to apply/What to submit:  Send synopses and scripts to scripts@talawa.com for potential inclusion in this year’s TALAWA FIRSTS – Michael Buffong’s studio season showcasing the best in fresh Black British writing.

Deadline: Friday 19th April

Source: @PlaywritingUK

Futurespark Festival seeking short plays

Image via BBC Writersroom

How It Ended Productions and UK Centre for Carnival Arts are proud to introduce FUTURESPARK, a festival that showcases emerging new writing talent.  They  are looking for writers regardless of age or experience to submit 10 minutes plays, which if selected will be allocated a professional director and performed in front of a live audience at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton, on the 11th and 12th July 2013.

The festival theme is CARNIVAL, and all plays must be inspired, however indirectly, by this theme.

Definition of Carnival…
car·ni·val  / kärnəvəl
1.A period of public revelry, merrymaking or celebration
2.An exciting or riotous mixture of something

What to submit: A play of ten minutes or less in length inspired by the them of Carnival.

– Your piece must be no longer than 10 minutes in duration
– Basic sound/lighting and minimal props
– Extracts or adaptation will not be accepted

How to apply: Save your script as a PDF or Word file and send to: futurespark@howitended.co.uk.

Deadline: 20 May 2013 at midnight

Source:  BBC Writersroom

Screenwriting Goldmine Awards (entry fee)

Image via Screenwriting Goldmine

The Screenwriting Goldmine Competition is back for our second year.  Once again, they’re looking for great original screenplays, from new writers from all over the world. The five finalists will have their work read by 11 highly influential judges, opinion leaders within the industry.

Eligibility: The writer cannot have earned more than £12k from screenwriting within the last five years.

What to submit: An original movie or tv scripts, from 45 up to 120 pages, any genre, any budget.

How to apply: Submit your contact details and a PDF version of your script through their online submission page.  Your script should be saved in the following format without spacing or punctuation:  yourname-scriptname.pdf. For example. ‘The Fire-Starter’ by P.J. O’Hara, in a PDF format, should be uploaded as: pjohara-thefirestarter.pdf

More details can be found on their FAQ page.

What you pay: £40 entry fee until Thursday 25 April; £45 entry fee until Thursday 9 May for late registrations.  For an additional £55, you can receive one page of script feedback on your entry.

What you get: There are tiered levels of awards all the way down to the 100 quarter finalists who receive a commemorative mug.  But the grand prize is: £500 cash prize, script consultancy meeting on your script, 1-year IMDbPro membership, FinalDraft Software, Scrivener Software, and the Screenwriting Goldmine audiobook.

Deadline: 9 May 2013

Source: Raindance e-newsletter

Opportunities Weekly Roundup: 12 April 2013

Our weekly round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Greenwich Theatre Gay Theatre Festival – Deadline: 15 April 2013

Lyric Hammersmith Writers Programme inviting applications (ages 18-25) – Deadline: 15 April 2013

Nick Darke Award 2013 – Deadline: 29 April 2013

King’s Cross Award at the Courtyard Theatre (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Woolwich Plays of Tomorrow seeking short plays (entry fee) – Deadline: 30 April 2013

Little Pieces of Gold seeking ten minute plays – Deadline: 13 May 2013

Brian Way Award 2013 – Deadline: 21 May 2013

Leslie Scalapino Award 2013 (women writers only) – Deadline: 30 May 2013

Bollywood Superstar Writers call for 10 minute plays – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Sandpit Arts seeking 30 minute plays about Arab World – Deadline: 31 May 2013

Papatango New Writing Award 2013 – Deadline: 31 May 2013

The Bruntwood Prize – Deadline: 3 June 2013

Adrienne Benham Award 2013 – Deadline: 7 June 2013

Verity Bargate Award 2013 – Deadline: 30 June 2013

Old Vic New Voices seeking writers on attachment for Community Company – 1 July 2013

ARK Theatre seeking short plays for ‘Two by Two’ – Deadline: 31 July 2013

Yale Drama Series Competition 2013 – Deadline: 15 August 2013

Tower WWI new play competition (entry fee) – 27 September 2013