Award for Most Promising Playwright (East Midlands writers only)

The competition is open to anyone currently living, working or studying in the East Midlands region (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire.

This competition is for early career writers who have had no more than one play professionally produced.

The winner of this competition will receive:

  • A rehearsed reading of their play as part of a celebration event at Nottingham Playhouse in September 2015
  • A 12 month attachment with Fifth Word based at Nottingham Playhouse
  • £2000 development money*
  • A mentor to provide dramaturgical support whilst on attachment
  • ‘Go and see theatre budget’

*The development money is intended to give the winner the time, space and support to develop a new play over the 12 month attachment.

All entries will be read by a panel of artists and industry professionals. A rehearsed reading of the winning entry and extracts from runners up will be showcased at a special new writing event at Nottingham Playhouse in September 2015.

For full details including terms and conditions and to enter visit the Promising Playwrights website

Deadline: 15 July 2015

Source: BBC Writers Room

Writers’ Guild Event: Meet the Agents

Do you want to know what an agent can do for your writing?

Writers’ Guild Great Britain is holding a special event (Monday 1 June 2015 at 7pm) to help you find out about the role of agents in a writer’s career.

A panel of agents from different agencies will speak about:

• The role of an agent
• Whether an agent is essential for your career as a writer
• When you should start looking for an agent
• The best way to approach an agent when you’re ready.

The panel discussion will close with an audience Q&A.

We’re pleased to be able to welcome again to the panel Meg Davis from Ki Agency.

The remaining panel members will be announced over the coming weeks.

Tickets are free to members of the WGGB, and for non-members will cost £10 (£5 concessions), plus a small ticket-handling fee.

Entry to the event includes a free drink afterwards.

The event takes place at St Albans Centre, London EC1. Find out more and book your ticket.

Event takes place: 1 June 2015 at 7pm

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Page

Opportunities: Our Pick of the Week – Verity Bargate Award 2015

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: Verity Bargate Award 2015 (£6,000 prize)

Description: The Verity Bargate Award (VBA) was established in 1982 to honour Soho Theatre’s co-founder and is presented biennially to an artist resident in the UK or Ireland with fewer than three professional productions.  Past winners include: Vicky Jones, Thomas Eccleshare, Insook Chappell, Matt Charman, Shan Khan, Bonnie Greer, Toby Whithouse and Diane Samuels. The winner will receive £6000 in respect of an exclusive option to produce the winning play at Soho Theatre, directed by Artistic Director, Steve Marmion.

So, what’s so great about it? Regarded as one of the major players in the world of playwriting competitions, the VBA offers one lucky writer no less than a production at the Soho Theatre – and £6000 to boot! They accept full length plays on any theme as long as you’ve never submitted it to the Soho’s Literary Dept before and it is previously unproduced – so start perfecting that masterpiece  hiding on your laptop now! Haven’t got anything to send in? Well we’re flagging this one up early for you so you’ve still got 3 months to the deadline on 31st July. You can write the winning play by then, right…?

Check out the full details here.

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

We’re trying something new to make the site easier to browse, let us know if you like Pick of the Week and we might make it a full time thing.

Channel 4/ Touchpaper accepting screenplay submissions for Coming Up Scheme

Channel 4 is offering up-and-coming British film-makers the chance to have their own original feature length single drama produced in the new look Coming Up scheme. From the submitted applications, a shortlist of 6 writers will be commissioned to write a full screenplay under the guidance of key industry talent. Three of those writers will then be selected to proceed to second draft before one 90 minute screenplay will be chosen to be produced in full with an up-and-coming director at its helm and planned for broadcast on Channel 4 in 2016. The two runners-up will be commissioned to develop a series treatment for Channel 4.

Continuing the spirit of supporting and unearthing bright new talent that has run throughout the previous 14 years of the Coming Up scheme, this new incarnation of Coming Up encourages applications from those looking to build a career in television.

The scheme is funded by Channel 4 and produced by Touchpaper Wales, a Zodiak Media company, and the aim of the scheme is to produce bold, original, surprising and powerful ideas.

Writers with no previous television experience and writers with a writing credit on less than 2 programme hours of a series or serial (such as a long running soap) broadcast on UK television are eligible.

Writers of an original single television drama, or writers with credits on 2 programme hours or more of a series or serial broadcast on UK television are not eligible.

How to apply: visit the website for full guidelines and an application form.  You’ll be asked to submit a writing sample which needs to be a full length script / 2 short plays.

Deadline 15 May 2015

Source: @Playwriting_UK

IdeasTap/ Invertigo seeking playwrights for rehearsed reading

One playwright will get the chance to develop a play on the theme of “family” over a four month period with dramaturgical support from the artistic directors of Invertigo, with a rehearsed reading at The Pleasance and a £350 fee.

Following a successful collaboration with Dan Murphy, last year’s Writer in Residence, Invertigo Theatre are looking for a new writer to work with for 2015 – an IdeasTap member who is keen to collaborate in an open and friendly environment over a four month period, and who is interested in working with the company’s newly formed rep company.

One IdeasTap member will win:

  • The opportunity to develop a play over a period of four months from May – September 2015
  • A rehearsed reading of the play at a respected Off West End venue
  • The possibility of being programmed in the Invertigo 2016 calendar
  • A £350 fee
  • Dramaturgical support from the artistic directors of Invertigo

To apply, you’ll need to submit an original script idea of no more than 150 words on the topic of what family means. The play must be suitable for more than four characters. You’ll need to be a member of IdeasTap to apply, to join and submit your work, click here.

Deadline: Friday 22 May 2015 at 5pm

Source: IdeasTap Creative Briefs

Writers wanted for Stitchin’ Fiction

After a blinder of an evening last month, Team SF are back with a vengeance to seek out and provide a platform for London’s upcoming best and brightest!

What are we looking for? Like-minded creatives who seek a platform for collaborative theatre-making opportunities. That’s it! Whether you’re fresh out of your thesis or seasoned with scripts, SF’s doors are open for all the apply.

You provide the words for the performer, and collaborate as director on the night. All submissions MUST be sent through email. Submissions should be between three and ten minutes (maximum).

Stitchin’ Fiction is an equal opportunities organisation.
We welcome all ages, ethnicities, physicalities and accents. We strive to best match performers to our written submissions. The nature of SF means that any role could come up at any time – every event is completely different!

If you would like to find out anything about the organisation, or get involved behind the scenes, please get in touch by email.

How to apply: send your work to – stitchinfiction@gmail.com
Performance date: Tuesday 2nd June
Place: The Boogaloo, Highgate, N6 5AT
Submission Deadline: Monday 25 May midnight

Source: IdeasTap Jobs Page

Story City Theatre Residency (Leicester)

In partnership with Off the Fence Theatre Company and Upstairs at the Western, Story City is offering this opportunity for an emerging artist/ company. The winner will get a week from Saturday 4th July to Friday 10th July to develop their performance, ready for an audience on the Friday evening at 6pm. You’ll get input from a producer, director and a writer in this time. Off the Fence specialises in new writing and plays. All of this is free of charge but you’ll need to pay your own travel costs.

How to apply: please check your eligibility and download an application form here. You’ll be asked to upload supporting material including an outline of your project.

Deadline: 15 May 2015

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook page

The Charles Causley Trust (Cornwall) writers in residence

The Charles Causley Trust is looking for two writers in residence to support the Charles Causley’s House project, based in Launceston, Cornwall.

Two residencies are available, both on 3 month fixed term contracts of service.

  • Poet in Residence beginning 1st August 2015
  • Writer in Residence beginning 6th January 2016

Applications will be considered for both residencies, or either where stipulated. The Charles Causley Trust will award one of these residencies to a published poet and one to a poet or a writer specialising in a different genre.

Each resident will be paid a stipend of £3200 and accommodation is provided in Charles Causley’s House in Launceston.

How to apply: Please visit the News page of The Charles Causley Trust (www.thecharlescausleytrust.org) for a full role description and information on how to apply for the residency.

Deadline: 10 May 2015

Source: Arts Council Jobs page

Meeting the deadline from hell: How I wrote a play in three weeks while on holiday with a toddler

In this guest post – an example of how committed writers can make the most of challenging circumstances – Tamara von Werthern explains how she managed to complete a play on a tight deadline on a family holiday.

I put the phone down with a mixture of elation and dread. The good news was that the Arcola liked my idea for a play about ghost bikes, roadside memorials for cyclists who have been killed on the street. The theatre wanted to accept me into their writers’ group and stage The White Bike at their writing festival. The bad news? The script needed to be in just three weeks’ time and I was about to go on a much-anticipated holiday during which we planned to drive through Germany and France with a tent and our eighteen-month-old daughter, Marlene. Aaaargh!

Despite having done a lot of thinking about what I wanted to write, I had not even put pen to paper yet. To make it worse, this was a subject that made me feel anxious and worried as I cycled to work every day and was terrified of not coming home myself one day. So it would not be easy to switch between working on the play and having a carefree time camping. How on earth could I do both, get a good script in and enjoy my holiday without ruining it for everyone by stressing about my deadline?

Tamara
The author with her daughter Marlene. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

We set out early by Eurostar and DB trains and arrived at my dad’s place near Frankfurt in the afternoon. The journey was quite productive. James read books to Marlene while I took half hour writing sessions, interspersed with talking with James, playing with Marlene, picnicking and changing nappies. To avoid abandoning my family completely, I stuck to these short time-slots and made the most of the time we were spending together during my breaks.  Initially, I just wrote as much as possible: not the actual play, but around it, collecting ideas, writing down what I was worried about, what should happen, who should be in it.

The next morning I got up at 5.30, sat in my dad’s empty kitchen with a strong coffee and put in another two and a half hours. By the end of this, I had decided on a structure and the main characters. Just in time for the holiday to begin!  We loaded up my dad’s old bus, with a mattress and a camping table in the back and set off, towards the French border. James drove. Marlene sat between us in her child seat and I had my notebook on my lap and started writing scenes as we drove.

The characters became clearer to me as I started to write scenes putting them in action.  Even so, I hated most of the early scenes. I knew they were not yet as good as I wanted them to be, but it was still good to write, to have to produce material, and quickly, as I didn’t have the luxury of just putting it to the side and forgetting about it. Marlene slept a lot while we were driving and James and I spoke about what I was writing in the intervals, which helped me enormously as it freed me from being trapped too much in my own head with the play.

Our first stop was at a camp site just over the French border – where, incidentally, we left my daughter’s beaker, a slightly traumatic event, which only came into full force 200 km further away at bedtime. But aside from missing beakers, we managed to have a lovely time. We ate croissants, swam in rivers, had a lovely meal at a French restaurant for my birthday, assuming Marlene would sleep all the way through in her buggy, but she woke up as the starters arrived and participated heartily to the amazement of the couple on the next table: ‘Elle mange! Elle mange tout ca!’

At the campsite, my notebook got fuller, and I started to see more clearly what needed to be in the play and what was superfluous. I did a lot of highlighting and scribbling notes into the scenes I already had on paper and I began to work on shaping the piece as a whole, thinking of it as a puzzle that needed to be solved. What would come first? How could this scene flow into the next? The idea of a journey through my own neighbourhood emerged. I wanted to convey how, when cycling, everything you see sparks a memory of something else, an association – and that is quite similar to seeing your life flash before you.

Marlene on the dunes. (Photo courtesy of the author.)
Marlene on the dunes. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

Meanwhile, I was determined not to skip my holiday, or let this amazing opportunity turn into a source of stress.  Even though the project was always in the back of my mind I made it a point to unplug and enjoy the moment. We went for walks, had wine outside our tent in the evenings, and travelled through the Dordogne valley to the amazing sand dunes behind Bordeaux, where we also managed to fit in dinner with university friends and met their children.

In Bordeaux, I got a message that I needed to send the blurb to the Arcola immediately, so we wandered up and down dusty market streets until we found an internet café where I spent half an hour trying to condense a half-written play into three lines, then press send.

By limiting the writing to driving times, I managed to get a lot done in the hours that would otherwise have been dead time, and I was helpfully forced to stay in my seat. It was sometimes challenging, but I managed to enjoy the holiday, and felt that writing the play actually enriched my time away.  It also led to interesting and quite deep conversations with my very supportive partner James, who willingly served as a sounding board, which we might not otherwise have had.

I submitted the play on time, and it was staged at the Arcola six weeks later. I also feel the nature of writing it as part of a journey has made its way into The White Bike, which has had its own journey since then – we are just about to present the full-length version at the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, and hopefully we’ll manage a full production of it later on.

The experience I had working to this difficult deadline has definitely carried forward into my everyday writing habits. It’s shown me that if I can finish a play under these circumstances, I can definitely fit writing into my busy life as a working mum, even if it means squeezing in a scene before the school run or during my lunch break at work.  As writers, we rarely get the perfect circumstances to work but by seizing moments to write whenever we can spare them, it is possible to finish a play with a very full schedule – or even while keeping a toddler entertained in a van in France.

Tamara von Werthern is a writer and director/producer. Her work has been performed at the Royal Court and the Arcola Theatre. She is currently working on a production of her play THE WHITE BIKE, which will be shown at The Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh this June. Her crowdfunding campaign is live until 8 May at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1933130638/the-white-bike

Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (USA)

Writer’s Digest has been shining a spotlight on up and coming writers in all genres through its Annual Writing Competition for more than 80 years. Enter the 84th Annual Writing Competition for your chance to win and have your work be seen by editors and agents! The winning entries of this writing contest will also be on display in the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection.

Submission categories:

  • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

Prizes: Runners up will receive a cash prize of between $50 and $1,000, and a discount from the Writer’s Digest Shop.  The Grand prize winner will receive:

  • An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s Digest (subscriber issues only)
  • $5,000 in cash
  • An interview with the author in Writer’s Digest
  • One on one attention from four editors or agents
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
  • A one year subscription to Writer’s Digest Tutorials
  • A 30-minute Platform Strategy Consultation with Chuck Sambuchino

Fee:  There are two different application fees to apply – one for the early bird entry, one for the regular entry

Early-Bird Deadline: May 4, 2015

  • Poetry entry—$15 for the first entry; $10 for each additional poetry entry.
  • Manuscript entry—$25 for the first entry; $20 for each additional manuscript entry.

Deadline: June 5, 2015

  • Poetry entry—$20 for the first entry; $15 for each additional poetry entry.
  • Manuscript entry—$30 for the first entry; $25 for each additional manuscript entry.

How to apply:  Enter online or submit your entry via regular mail. Offline entries must be accompanied by an Entry Form, and the required entry fee (credit card information, check or money order made payable to F+W Media, Inc.). If you are entering more than one manuscript, you may mail all entries in the same envelope and write one check for the total entry fee; however, each manuscript must have its category indicated in the upper left-hand corner. You may enter online even if you are paying with a check. All checks will be cashed within 60 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.

  • Your entry must be original, in English, unpublished* and unproduced, not accepted by any other publisher or producer at the time of submission. Writer’s Digest retains one-time nonexclusive publication rights to the Grand Prize and First Place winning entries in each category to be published in a Writer’s Digest publication.* Entries in the Magazine Feature Article category may be previously published. Any piece posted online, anywhere other than a personal blog, is considered published.
  • If you are submitting your entry via regular mail (NOT using the online entry form), the entry must be typed on one side of 8-1/2 x 11 or A4 white paper. Scripts and poems may be either double-or single-spaced; all other manuscripts must be double-spaced. Your name, address, phone number and competition category must appear in the upper left-hand corner of the first page —otherwise your entry is disqualified. Entries submitted online do not need name, address, phone number and competition category in the upper left-hand corner of the first page since that information is collected on the form.
  • BE SURE OF YOUR WORD COUNT! Entries exceeding the word or page limits will be disqualified. Type the exact word count (counting every single word, except the title and contact information) at the top of the manuscript.
  • Mailed entries that are more than one page in length must be stapled.
  • Due to SEC restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, or North Korea.
  • For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.

Deadline:  4 May 2015 for Early Bird Deadline / 5 June 2015 for regular deadline

Source:  Play Submissions Helper