FREE ‘An Introduction to Screenwriting’ course with University of East Anglia, Creative Skillset & FutureLearn

Screenplays form the starting point for most dramatic films, the essential work from which all other filmmaking flows. All of the tender romance, terrifying action and memorable lines begin at the screenwriter’s desk.

Get the skills and resources to tell these stories with the Introduction to Screenwriting free online course from the University of East Anglia.

This course, funded by Creative Skillset is for writers new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It will establish a common vocabulary for approaching the screenplay and form the basis for upcoming courses in dramatic adaptation, the crime screenplay, and other genres and skills.

How to apply: Register now on the FutureLearn website.

Course dates: starts on 29 February 2016

The Red Planet Prize 2016 – launched!

THE RED PLANET PRIZE IS BACK…

Red Planet is committed to uncovering Britain’s next generation of writing talent, and this year their prize is bigger and better than ever before…

One lucky winner will receive £5,000 to have their screenplay exclusively developed by Red Planet Pictures and will also have six months of intensive development with a dedicated and experienced script editor.

The winner will also receive one to one masterclasses with the crème de la crème of British writing talent including Tony Jordan (Life On Mars, Hustle, Dickensian), Andrew Davies (Pride & Prejudice, Bleak House, War And Peace) and Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations, The Crimson Fields, And Then There Were None.)

We want ideas that burst with character, people and worlds we’ve never seen before, new spins on genre or totally new genres! But most importantly ideas that are deeply truthful and personal to the writer – stories that only you can tell.

How to apply: Send in the first ten pages of a 60′ TV screenplay along with a half-page description of how the series will work and a brief personal biog of no more than half a page. Details of where to send your submission haven’t yet gone up on the website but do keep your eyes peeled once the submission window opens on 4th January 2016!

Deadline: Submissions will be welcomed from Monday 4th January 2016 at 12pm until Friday 22nd January 2016 at 12pm

Source: Red Planet Prize Website

Opportunities Weekly Round-up: 27 November 2015

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; 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!

Our latest opportunities Pick of the Week:  Hampstead Theatre Submission Window Open

(Please also check out this week’s advice column in Pursued By a Bear: How Do I Find My Dream Writing Partnership?

Opportunities with deadlines:

Play Submissions Helper – 50 Playwriting Competitions with December Deadlines – Deadline: Various

 

 

Black Theatre Live seeking Writer/Directors for mid-scale commission – Deadline: 27 November 2015

BFI Film Academy Residential Programme in Screenwriting (for writers age 16-19, £50 fee to attend) – Deadline: 30 November 2015

Saving Endangered Species (SES) International Playwriting Prize (California, $100 prize) – Deadline: 30 November 2015

2015 TF Evans Shaw Society £500 Writing Award (entry £8/£5) – Deadline: 30 November 2015

Slick Rat Seeking Musical Theatre Scripts for Scratch Night at Rich Mix – Deadline: 30 November 2015 at 12pm

Pokfulam Rd Productions seeking submissions for The Pit Part I new writing night on theme of “Hidden Vice” – Deadline: 1 December 2015

Criterion New Writing 2016 programme open to applications – Deadline: 1 December 2015

Theatre InspiraTO’s 11th Playwriting Contest is Now Open – Deadline: 1 December 2015

Punk Monkey Productions accepting 10-20 page submissions for PL.A.Y Noir (Los Angeles) – Deadline: 1 December 2015

Just Some Theatre Company – call out for sketches – Deadline: 1 December 2015

Twisted Showcase: One Minute Horrors – accepting scripts – Deadline: 3 December 2015

‘The Lumen’ Journal Call For Submissions: Summer 2016 – Deadline: 4 December 2015

Applications open for 2016 Jessie Kesson Fellowship –  Deadline: 4 December 2015

Just Some Theatre seeking new writers for script development – Deadline: 5 December 2015

The Scenic Route offering ‘New Routes’ course for theatremakers age 18-25 – Deadline: 5 December 2015

Theatre N16 seeking submissions for DRAFT – Deadline: 6 December 2015

The Scenic Route Offering ‘New Routes’ Course for Theatre Makers 18-25 – Deadline: 7 December 2015

National Student Short Story Competition Open for Submissions – Deadline: 7 December 2015

University of Wolverhampton Seeking Songs Written by Females for Student Performance – Deadline (None Posted but programme will be finalised on 11 December 2015)

Bath Spa University seeking theatre and film scripts for theatreLab – Deadline: 15 December 2015

Steyning Festival seeking unperformed plays of up to 40 minutes (South East Writers only, incl. London) – Deadline: 20 December 2015

Little Pieces of Gold seeking short plays on the theme of ‘education’ Deadline: 20 December 2015

Sky or the Bird Present RAW – Calling All Artists Who Deal With Words – Deadline: 27 December 2015

Hampstead Theatre submissions window now open for plays – Deadline: 31 December 2015

Jameson First Shot Short Film Competition starring Maggie Gyllenhaal (for Writer/Directors) – Deadline: 4 January 2016

Director seeking short plays on anti-fascist themes to direct for screen – Deadline: 5 January 2016

The 2016 Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers – Deadline: 11 January 2016

CCBC Anim8 – Animation Pilot Scheme Open for Submissions – Deadline: 22 January 2016

 Brockley Jack accepting submissions for Write Now 7 – Deadline: 29 January 2016

Drip Action Theatre Company seeking submissions for 2016 Arundel Festival Theatre Trail (paid) – Deadline: 31 January 2016

‘Writing Places’ Writer in Residence at Greenway – Deadline: 31 January 2016

First Break Writing Competition at the Oldham Coliseum – Deadline: 22 February 2016

Theatre503 Playwriting Award returning in 2016 –  Deadline: 29 February 2016

Blue Skies Workshops for writers from Sky or the Bird – Deadline: 31 March 2016

Events and workshops: 

 

Imagineer Your Play with Juno Theatre (Salisbury, £43) – 28 November 2015

Workshop on ‘Writing Fantastic Scenes’ by Master Racontuer (£37)- 2 December  2015 10.30am – 4.30pm

Theatre503 Writer’s Night/ Christmas Party – 14 December 2015

MA Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre London Launch New Competition Series for Students – Launch event 16 December 2015

Ongoing submissions:

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)

East End Literary Salon open to rolling submissions – Deadline: Rolling

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 – No deadline 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

COG ARTSpace call out for playwrights! – Deadline: None posted

 

National Student Short Story Competition open for Submissions

The National Student is an online platform for young writers in the UK. They are running a competition in association with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment that will see one writer have their short story published in a hardback volume. The competition is supporting the Home Entertainment release of Mistress America, and the only criteria is that the stories should be less than 2,000 words and based on the theme of “Growing Up”. It’s UK-based and free to enter.

  • The competition is open to students at universities and sixth form colleges in the United Kingdom, and to those who graduated university in or after 2014.
  • Entrants must sign up as a National Student writer and submit their short story in order to be considered
  • The competition is run in association with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • The Editor’s decision is final

Find out full details and enter on The National Student website

Deadline: 7 December 2015

Source: BBC Writersroom

CBBC Anim8 – Animation Pilot Scheme open for submissions

Get Your Creative on with Anim8!

CBBC and BBC Worldwide’s first animation pilot scheme

Do you have the new Strange Hill High, Gumball or Adventure Time?

If so, they want to hear from you!

In collaboration with BBC Worldwide, CBBC have launched a brand new animation initiative, an amazing opportunity to develop the next generation of UK animation giants.

This exciting partnership will offer UK innovators the chance to pitch for funded development. With time, this will lead to the creation of a range of UK animated properties that have genuine global appeal.

What are they looking for?

They are looking for new content which is original, character driven, fast-paced, funny and has great kid appeal. CBBC is all about having fun with friends, so they are looking for compelling content that is energetic, unpredictable and up-beat with a unique take on contemporary life.

The characters and storylines need to be appropriate to a global and CBBC audience of 6-12+ year olds. The characters can be human or non-human and should have a mindset similar to the CBBC audience. They would encounter relatable situations, however bizarre the world they inhabit!

All ideas must be able to sustain 26 or 52 x short form / 7 / 11 / 22 minute episodes with an innate returnability, and must have both commercial potential and international appeal. They are NOT looking for one hour specials or one-off shows.

They are open to all animation styles and techniques, including mixed-media and are keen to push visual boundaries if the project benefits. However, they are NOT about style over content.

Find out full details on the Anim8 website including FAQs, Rules and Terms and Conditionsdetails of how to apply, what kinds of materials you need to submit, key dates and contacts for more information.

The fully funded pilot will have been produced and delivered no later than Friday, 2nd September 2016!

Deadline: 22 January 2016 at Midnight

Source: BBC Writersroom

Theatre503 Five and Theatre503 Playwriting Award – Submission Details Released!

As promised, here are the details of the 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award/ Theatre503 Five…

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 2016 PLAYWRITING AWARD WILL BE OPEN IN SPRING 2016.

Theatre503’s Playwriting Award is an unprecedented opportunity for playwrights at all levels to be recognised for writing an outstanding, original piece of work for the stage. It will build upon the foundation of the venue’s reputation for engaging with the next generation of playwrights, whilst broadening its opportunities to include more experienced, produced writers.

This biennial award has been made possible by the generous support of The Richard Carne Trust, Curtis Brown Creative, Arts Council England and our publishing partners Nick Hern Books.

The winner of the award will receive a financial prize of £6000 and a guaranteed production of their winning play at Theatre503.

Dennis Kelly, Playwright and Panellist for the award shares his thoughts on 503 and the importance of new writing here.

503Five

Sponsored by The Richard Carne Trust

The 503Five is an eighteen month Resident Writer Training Programme for developing playwrights. It provides the five chosen writers with a full-length play commission, a personal industry mentor, workshops and masterclasses led by industry professionals, practical opportunities to develop their work, varying public presentations, and the vital experience of working in a writer-centric new writing theatre.

To be considered for the 503Five you should have no full-length professional production credits.This is defined as a run of 3 weeks or more in an established venue for which you have received coverage from the national press.

Submission Process

There will be one submission process only for The 503 Playwriting Award and the 503Five. If you wish to be considered for the 503Five you must submit an application for this process.

Applications will be via an online form only. This will go live between 1st and 28th Feb 2016 and will be directly accessible via a one-click Award Button located below.

Writers will need to complete the application form in full, which will include submitting a 200 word biography, a 50 word synopsis of your play, and the full length play in PDF form only.

Writers may submit one full-length play (min. 60 minutes stage time) only. This must be an original, unproduced work, unperformed anywhere in the world, apart from rehearsed/staged readings and workshops.

Co-written plays are accepted for the award. If the writers in question are then considered for the 503Five they will be asked to submit individual work.

Writers are free to submit for the process with a work that has previously been considered by this or another theatre.

Due to the nature of the 503Five training programme and the commitment required, only applicants from the UK can be considered.

Post Submission Process

503 Playwriting Award

All writers will be notified as to the outcome of their submission at specific stages in the process. The first will be the long-list, followed later by the short-list. This contact will be a standard email and Theatre503 will be unable to provide feedback or enter into discussion about those decisions on an individual basis. We will publicise expected dates for receiving information once the process is underway.

The winner of the New Playwriting Award will be announced in November 2016.

503Five

Irrespective of the outcome of an individual’s award submission, all eligible candidates for the 503Five will be considered separately. The winner of the Award will not be eligible for the 503Five. Those writers long-listed for the 503Five will be asked to submit a further application and at this point those who have not been successful will also be contacted. This will happen in Autumn 2016. Due to the nature of the 503Five training programme and the commitment required only applicants from the UK can be considered.

Terms and Conditions

Any play or writer that does not meet the criteria set out below will be disqualified.

  1. Whilst submissions should be made in your own name, the reading process will be anonymous. Therefore please do not include your name or contact details anywhere in the body of the script.
  2. The online portal will be open for submissions from Monday 1st February to Monday 29th February (inclusive). Any entries received before or after this time will not enter the reading process.
  3. All questions on the submission form marked with an asterisk must be completed.
  4. Only entries submitted online as requested will be accepted. Please do not submit any material by any other means. E.g. on paper, email, CDs, digital media.
  5. Plays must be written in the English language.
  6. Plays must have never been professionally optioned, produced or published.
  7. Only one script per writer may be submitted.
  8. Plays may have been submitted to other playwriting competitions, however points 15, 16 and 17 below must be observed at all times.
  9. Theatre503 must be informed immediately should you wish to withdraw your play at any point.

By submitting a script for consideration you agree that:

  1. The text itself does not contain any detail of your identity.
  2. You are the writer of the play and exclusively own and control all copyright and all other related rights to the play.
  3. The play is at least 60 minutes in stage time.
  4. The play is an original, unperformed, unpublished work for the stage and has not been produced anywhere in the world.
  5. The play is available for production and unattached to any other theatre or company.
  6. If you are the winner, or are selected to join the 503Five, your play will be automatically under option to Theatre503 for a period of eighteen months after the announcement of the award winner or the 503Five members, whichever is applicable.
  7. If you  are the winner of the award then Nick Hern Books will have the first refusal over acquiring publication and amateur performing rights, pending further contractual agreement and payment of an advance against royalties.
  8. You will not be entitled to any production related fees other than Theatre503’s standard percentage of gross box office receipts.
  9. Upon the occurrence of any event of force majeure or incapacity, Theatre503 shall not be obliged to produce any work.
  10. The information that you provide can be used for analysis purposes

Final judging panel for the 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting award will include: Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good), Mel Kenyon (Casarotto And Ramsey) Henry Hitchings(Evening Standard), and Lily Williams (Curtis Brown)

Deadline: 29 February 2016- **Submissions Open on 1 February 2016

Source: BBC Writersroom

Sky or the Bird Present RAW – Calling All Artists Who Deal with Words

Sky or the Bird present RAW – Reality As Written CALLING ALL ARTISTS WHO DEAL WITH ‘WORDS’ You could be a cabaret artist, an MC, a musician, a stand up, an actor, a playwright, poet or slammer. If your act does incredible things with words they need you (and those words) at their new event.

The details, in their own words: 

WHERE? The Comedy Room, Camden, NW1.

WHEN? Once a month from February 2016 (exact date TBC).

WHAT DO WE WANT? Reality As Written is an event with a difference – we select acts and provide them with a hook to build their set around. The set can be anything from 5-15 minutes long. The hook for our inaugural event will be quotes from deep thinkers. But you don’t have to go deep! We are looking for fun, provoking, and left field takes on the idea of ‘reality’.

WHAT DO WE  OFFER? We offer you a space to try out new material; in Camden’s newest up and coming venue for Comedy and alternative entertainment. It will be a place to meet, forge new relationships, and test your material.

HOW DO YOU APPLY? Send vimeo links, soundcloud, script samples, etc of your work (5-15 minutes is best) to Dan Horrigan at skyorthebird@hotmail.co.uk with RAW APPLICATION in the subject header.

The deadline is December 27. We will make our selection by January 7th, if you haven’t heard from us by that point please assume we can’t use you on this occasion.

Once you are confirmed we will furnish you with the details of the event and support your journey.

PLEASE NOTE ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS EVENT ARE BEING DONATED TO HELP CALAIS.

Deadline: 27 December 2015

Source: Direct Contact.

University of Wolverhampton Seeking Songs by Female Writers for Student Performance.

James Lovelock at The University of Wolverhampton will be teaching module after Christmas that will culminate in a performance of new work by Level 4 Students.

In his own words:

This year, I am very keen to ensure that we have plenty of songs from a range of different backgrounds, and I’m aiming to ensure that at least half of our songs are by female writers. Ideally we are looking for four female writing teams to submit four songs each (around 15 minutes worth), ideally including a mixture of solo and ensemble numbers. We have four girls to every boy on our course, so we are looking for as much female material as possible!

The performances will be on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th May in the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton. They don’t have a huge budget, but we would be able to pay £15 per song plus a free ticket to one of the shows.

If you are interested then please submit a recording and/or a score of your songs to james.lovelock@wlv.ac.uk. We will try and use as much material as we can, but obviously it depends on how many writers submit.

Deadline: None posted but – they will be looking to finalise the programme by 11th December.

Source: Women Who Write Musicals Facebook Group

Opportunities: Our Pick of the Week – Hampstead Theatre submission window open

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: Hampstead Theatre Submission Window open

Description: Hampstead Theatre is looking for original plays and promising writers. They want to read bold stories, writing that takes risks and plays that speak to a modern audience. If the voice is refreshing, or if the play is delivered with power, rigour or wit, they want to read it. Their current submission window is open until 31 December 2015 for full length plays of more than 50 pages.

So, what’s so great about it? Well, we always like to keep you aware of when the big guns are accepting submissions and the Hampstead is definitely up there amongst the most prestigious of new writing theatres. While there are no promises of what submitting to the Hampstead could lead to, if you’ve got a finished play, it’s always worth taking the plunge and making contact with theatres. The Hampstead have some quite clear guidelines on what they like to receive so do check out their website before submitting to check if your work fits in with their vision.  The submissions window is only open for another month or so, so take this as a final nudge to get that script polished!

Read 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.

Pursued By A Bear: “How do I find my dream writing partnership?”

Pursued By A Bear is our weekly advice column with playwright Adam Taylor.  He’ll tackle your playwriting questions – from practical issues to existential dilemmas – relying on nothing but his bare wits, brute strength, and questionable personal experiences.    

“Can you list some pros and cons of writing with another person versus individually? Any tips on how to create a successful writing partnership?”

I can indeed write a list of some pros and cons of working with another person. I don’t really believe this will be the best use of either of our time, it would probably be more helpful to ignore that request and focus on the second part of your question.

But, in the spirit of partnership, I will diplomatically defer to your will and begin with a list (and you can count having to be diplomatic as the first con).

  • You don’t have to make the tea every time.
  • You have someone to talk to on breaks.
  • You’ve got someone to hide behind in case of a home invasion.
  • You can flick those elastic bands at another person instead of your cat.
  • When you’re dossing you feel less guilty because your partner’s dossing too.
  • You don’t have to decide everything alone.

Unfortunately it’s not all upsides. There are some considerable drawbacks to working with a partner:

  • You have to regularly speak to another human being.
  • The sound of their breathing can be distracting.
  • They sometimes think of great lines before you.
  • They get annoyed if you turn up to work in your pants.
  • You need two chairs.
  • You need a bigger screen.
  • You’ll probably have to use email.
  • There’s more chance of being bludgeoned to death with your keyboard.
  • You have to decide everything together.
  • You have to share your snacks.

While these are all valid and weighty points that will ultimately guide your decision, there are many other factors at play here.

We all know that a writing partnership can produce incredible work. There are countless examples throughout history, from the two Ronnies to Affleck and Damon to Michael Bay and his team of crystal meth addicted chimpanzees.

But as with everything in life, more isn’t always better. The Chris Brown song “Don’t Wake Me Up” for example, had ELEVEN writers. It goes like this:

Don’t wake me up (no)
Don’t wake me up
Don’t wake me up (yeah)
Don’t wake me up up up up up up

The most surprising thing about this song is that eleven people were willing to take credit for its creation.

In terms of sales Don’t Wake Me Up was certified Gold throughout most of Europe, but somehow achieved triple Platinum status in Australia (apparently Australians love a good lie-in)… all of which makes me shed a little tear for the future of the human race.

The above is an extreme example, I don’t imagine from your question that you’re looking for a partner to help you write soulless, manufactured pop nonsense for commercial radio. The point I want to make is that in any writing partnership (or committee of eleven) everything has to be agreed on.

It takes a special kind of partnership to really look at a piece of art with honesty. You need to be able to give and take suggestions and feedback from each other openly and without ego. In the case of the song above, it’s pretty clear that too many chefs resulted in what I’d say is a bland and pointless piece of writing which was produced by group consensus to be as inoffensive as possible.

I think there’s a saying that goes something like “In trying to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.*”

“except, perhaps, for Australians.

We love art of all kinds because it’s an expression of honesty. It’s very difficult to express yourself honestly while simultaneously balancing your tastes with someone else’s.

You really need to be on the same page. Literally and figuratively.

I guess here would be a good point to carelessly segue into another loosely related anecdote.

I once wrote a play in collaboration with five other writers. Don’t ask why, it was the introductory part of a young writers’ scheme aimed at getting us all acquainted. It then had to be performed in actual theatres with real audiences.

We began with the idea of a lonely girl committing suicide in a large shopping centre. I think it came from a news story at the time. The play would follow several characters in the lead up to the event.

However, none of us writers knew each other at that stage, and we hadn’t been writing for long either. We ended up in a sort of awkward situation where I don’t think anybody really liked the play or where it was going, but at the same time none of us felt we had the authority to speak up.

The main problem with this lack of honest communication was that pretty much anything, however ridiculous it was, ended up in the play. Purely because no one wanted to object to anyone else’s idea.

So I somehow ended up writing an insane subplot about a security guard who aspires to be a rapper.

And yes, he rapped in the play.

And it was awful.

I can’t remember how Kane the rapping security guard became part of the project; it was probably my idea. Regardless of how it started, as I was writing it, then in the rehearsal room, and even before the very first performance, I was certain someone would see sense and cut it. A shopping centre security guard stepping out of the action and dropping a verse about how much he fancies the checkout girl in Superdrug… surely no one would actually allow this to happen in front of a paying audience?

At the time, just starting out, and being a bit naïve, I got on with it and hoped it would turn out alright.

On the day of the first performance I remember there was a conversation about some cuts being required. Surely someone would mention Kane now? They would cut him from the show and my embarrassment would be over.

Nope.

They went through every other scene and decided it had to be kept in order for the narrative to make sense. But no one said a word about my scenes, which made so little sense in the context of the play.

Eventually I felt I had to say it myself. The conversation was happening, nothing else really stuck out as being superfluous, so I suggested we cut Kane’s scenes from the play.

Job done.

Except a funny thing happened; the group protested. I don’t know if they thought cutting half my contribution would hurt my feelings, or they were still just being polite, but they argued to keep Kane in the play.

In hindsight, having had more experience of these things (now that I’m an old man) I should have made my feelings over the character clear from the beginning.

As a writer, this was a pretty painful experience. Especially when the play was performed at Latitude and the mic didn’t work. We basically boomed out two minutes of a Biggie instrumental while the unfortunate actor danced around the stage, dressed as a security guard, waving to the crowd and rapping his heart out, completely unaware that no one in the audience could hear a word of it. He looked like P Diddy if he’d never made it in hip hop and instead ended up working for Securicor.

I actually overheard a guy sitting behind me asking his girlfriend; “Is this part of it?” The whole thing felt a little bit like when a streaker invades the pitch at a premier league football match. Except it was written and rehearsed…

I don’t want to unfairly disparage anyone involved in the project. The actors all did an admirable job of delivering the material they were given. And I did get to know the other writers a bit better over the rest of the year, and they were all very talented, awesome people.

But at that time, not knowing each other, and not having experienced each other’s work previously, we were not well-suited as a group. Instead of trust and honesty, we had only manners and diplomacy.

So you better make sure you pick a partner you feel comfortable arguing with. And when I say arguing, I don’t mean having a full-blown domestic and hurling crockery across the living room. I mean you need to feel comfortable discussing contentious points in a civilised and productive manner.

If you don’t feel able to disagree with the other person, they might as well be writing alone.

Likewise, if you don’t respect their opinion enough to always at least consider it, you might as well be writing alone.

In any writing partnership you need to see each other as equals. It doesn’t matter if they’ve had more success than you, or vice versa; the point of working with a partner is to utilise both your strengths.

Then there’s the project itself to consider.

Some projects lend themselves well to collaboration. If you want to write a musical but don’t know what the treble clef is you may want to partner up with someone who has a clue about music.

Other projects aren’t necessarily ideal for partnerships. Say you want to write an intimate two-hander based on the deeply personal relationship you had with your dearly departed granny, you may not want someone who never met her to trample all over your cherished memories.

The last point I feel has to be made is that you should make sure you’re both committed to the project or it won’t happen.

The best of intentions will mean nothing if you’re both working soul-destroying day jobs 24/7 and have no time to meet up. Once a month on Skype doesn’t make a great play. Even if you keep working on it for the next seventeen years you’ll never get into a decent flow without spending some real time on the project.

The right partner can provide inspiration, boost your productivity, see things from different angles, bring fresh experience and keep your morale up.

You’ll know when you’ve found the right partner because they’ll push you to do work that’s different to anything you’ve done before but you’ll be equally as proud of it.

At the same time, if you’re stuck with the wrong partner it can be extremely disruptive and demoralising, and the play will never get off the ground because you’ll be locked in a never-ending circular argument over the colour of the love interest’s trousers. Or worse still, you won’t have any arguments and you’ll end up with a rapping security guard. Or a Chris Brown song. In this case the best thing you can do is call it quits and go back to working alone.

I’ll finish by saying that everyone is different and so every writing partnership (which by default contains at least two unique individuals) will have its own pros and cons. I would try as far as possible to let a partnership form organically out of mutual respect and admiration rather than setting out to find that perfect partner.

Have a question or problem you’d like to send in?  Email advice@londonplaywrightsblog.com and keep your eyes peeled to see if the answer turns up on our site!

(DISCLAIMER: If you send us a question, you’re giving us permission to publish it!  Be sure to indicate what name you’d like us to use as a sign-off when we publish your column, and a just a heads up that we reserve the right to edit submissions for length if needed.)