Opportunities Weekly Round-up: 30 November 2018

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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).

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Featured posts:

#WrAP is back for 2019! Write a play this January!

Four tips on how to write a historical play that still feels contemporary

Festive Gift Guide 2018 – The Best Gifts For Writers

LPB Members: Online Course – Writing in Dialect: How to Listen, What to Write

LPB Members’ Monologue Competition: Winning entries

LPW Online Book Club: The Effect

Our latest opportunities Pick of the Week: Shorts @ The Canal – Love Shots call out

Pursued by a Bear: “I’m tired of being a starving artist”

Opportunities with deadlines: 

The Arcola Theatre accepting submissions for The Public Address – Deadline: currently accepting expressions of interest

Wales Writer in Residence (National Theatre Wales BBC Cymru Wales) – Deadline: email now to express interest

Play Submissions Helper: 32 Opportunities with November deadlines – Deadlines : various throughout November 2018

Creative Futures seeking 5 young people to mentor as freelancers (16-25) – Deadline: 30 November 2018

Free 5 week film course with Collage Arts – Deadline: 30 November 2018

The North Wall Oxford seeking young writers for ArtsLab residency – Deadline: 30 November 2018

RAODS ‘321’ Play Writing Competition 2019 open for entries for performance in Italy – Deadline: 30 November 2018

Almost Random Theatre (A.R.T) Playwriting Competition seeking one minute plays – Deadline: 30 November 2018

Farnham Maltings Theatre: New Conversations – open for applications – Deadline: 30 November 2018

32 Opportunities with December deadlines – Deadlines: various throughout December 2018

The Vault: New Writers’ Programme open for applications – Deadline: 1 December 2018

Theatrefullstop accepting submissions for Pub Theatre Festival – Deadline: 1 December 2018

Papatango and The Spring Arts Centre: Free playwriting course for Hampshire based writers – Deadline: 2 December 2018

The Yard Theatre submissions window open – Deadline: 3 December 2018

RSL’s Literature Matters Awards call for proposals– Deadline 5 December 2018

Lady Eleanor Holles and Hampton High Schools – Write the Girl: discussion & commissioning opportunity – Deadline: 5 December 2018

BITS new writing night accepting submissions – Deadline: 10 December 2018

The Pleasance: London Associate Artists and Companies – open for applications – Deadline: 10 December 2018

Young Pleasance Edinburgh Residential 2019 (age 16-21) – Deadline: 12 December 2018 at 10am

RSL Christopher Bland Prize 2019 open for entries (over 50’s)– Deadline: 12 December 2018

New Writer Commission, Big Brum Theatre in Education Company Ltd (paid) – Deadline :14 December 2018

Shorts @ The Canal – Love Shots call out – Deadline: 14 December 2018

International Young Theatre Playwriting Contest open for entries (15-25 year olds) – Deadline: 15 December 2018

Breakwater Theatre Company new playwriting contest open for submissions – Deadline: 15 December 2018

Young Writers’ Group at the Bush Theatre (14-17 year olds) – Deadline: 17 December 2018

365 Women a Year Playwriting Project – Deadline: 31 December 2018

Dwell Time – Penistone Train Line Newspaper: seeking submissions– Deadline: 31 December 2018

Quantum Frolic Theatre Company seeking shorts for playwriting competition (£10 entry fee/ £250 prize) – Deadline: 31 December 2018

Ashland New Plays Festival: International Playwriting Competition ($20 entry, $1500 prize) – Deadline :31 December or when they reach 400 submissions, whichever is sooner

Drip Action Theatre Company: Arundel Festival Theatre Trail open for submissions – Deadline: 31 January 2018

BBC Writersroom announces submission window for Script Room Drama 2019 – Deadline: 7 January 2018

Persistent and Nasty seeking submissions  on ‘hope for the future’ – Deadline: 7 January 2018 at 5pm

King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal seeking 10 minute plays for festival ($15 entry fee)- Deadline: 14 January 2018

Optik Theatre: The Script Room – call out for scripts – Deadline: 31 January 2019

Toi Toi, Teatru Manoel (Malta) seeking one act plays on the theme of ‘Breaking the Rules ‘ – Deadline: 1 February 2019

Green Curtain Theatre seeking one act plays on the theme of ‘breaking away‘ – Deadline: 28 February 2019

University Women In The Arts Announces Partnerships With Leading Arts Organisations On Project To Tackle Abuse In The Arts– Deadline: 15 March 2019

Langham Court Theatre announces Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Competition ($45 entry) – Deadline: 29 March 2019

Carlo Annoni Award 2019 open for entries – Deadline: 30 April 2019

Events and workshops:

The Director’s Cut hosting The Writer’s Club –  Next term starts January 2019

Writing your own role: workshop with Lydia Parker at the Actors’ Centre – Dates: find out more on the website

The revival of Broadway theatre with Chris Jones and Matt Wolf by Bloomsbury Institute – Date: 27 November 2018

Flux Theatre: Writers Clinic – Date: 30 November 2018

The Arcola Theatre: Scriptwriting Masterclass – Bending the rules – Dates: 1/2 December 2018

National Theatre – Playwriting Then and Now: 30 Years of Nick Hern Books – Date: 8 December 2018

The Old Vic – Workshops for Artists – Dates: various throughout January 2019

Drama Studio London: Writing For The Theatre – Playwriting Course 2019 – Dates: Starts 15 January 2018

Women’s Writing Workshop with Actor Awareness (University Women in the Arts) – Date: 22 January 2018

Writing Scripted Comedy with Chris Neilan – a one day workshop (Manchester) – Date: 28 January 2019

Clean Break: An Introduction to writing for theatre in criminal justice settings – Date: 8 February 2019

Writing West Midlands: Short course in playwriting – Dates: Starts 26 February 2019

Writing for Television: Residential workshop with Roy Mitchell – Dates: 20-24 May 2018

Online workshops and resources: 

Stagedoor App Podcast (Bridget Minamore and Chris Campbell of the Royal Court’s Literary Office)

Bloomsbury Publishing: How to get your play published (view live stream of talk)

WGGB launches FREE Musical Theatre Kit

An Introduction to Screenwriting: free online course with FutureLearn & Uni. of East Anglia

LPB Summer Sessions: Overcoming writers’ block (online workshop)

LPB Summer Sessions: How to write a monologue (online workshop)

LPB Summer Sessions: Promoting yourself as a writer (online workshops)

LPB: The Redrafting Toolkit

LPB Members: Online Course – Writing in Dialect: How to Listen, What to Write –  Available now

Ongoing submissions:

Festive Gift Guide 2018 – The Best Gifts For Writers

It’s that time of year again: for the Christmas gift round up! Discover our selection of the best presents for writers…

‘Tis the season for mulled wine, Christmas films, carols, and trying to be more organised than last year and not leaving all of your shopping to Christmas Eve (gulp).

Maybe your friend or family member is a playwright and you’re looking to avoid buying them a notebook for the sixth year in the row (though a writer can never have to many notebooks), or maybe you’re a playwright looking to treat yourself or even add something special to your own wish list.

We’ve scoured around – stopping off for plenty of mince pies on the way – and have compiled a Christmas gift guide for writers.

Also, did you know, that by shopping through the links provided in this list, you can help support LPB at absolutely no extra cost to you?  We’ve provided links to everything we’ve recommended here using the Amazon Affiliates scheme. Even if you DON’T buy the original item (and purchase something different ), if you click through any of our links to access the Amazon website, we’ll get a small percentage of the sale to help us keep running the blog, and it won’t cost you anything extra.  So if you are planning on shopping at Amazon this festive season, we’d really appreciate it if you clicked through from here first! Thanks!

Here’s what made our 2018 Gift Guide:

  1. Papatango: Being a Playwright

Becoming a playwright doesn’t just mean picking up your pen and creating a story, there’s also lots of practical and business elements involved in building a career in theatre. This brilliant book from Papatango covers everything from pursuing funding opportunities to approaching agents. (Paperback £9.29/ Kindle £8.83)

2. The Misty Play Text

We’re frequently told that a good writer is also a good reader. Seeing theatre shows performed live is incredible, but reading the play text helps you discover a play in a whole new way, as well as learn more about the practical side of writing  a show, particularly in relation to formatting.

Misty by Arinzé Kene, originally on at Bush Theatre before transferring to Trafalgar Studios, was one of the stand-out hits of this year. A mix of music, poetry and theatre, this show was spectacular – and the play text should be at the top of everyone’s wish list! (Paperback £7.09/ Kindle £6.74)

3. Membership to London Playwrights’ Workshop!

Sign up for an annual membership for London Playwrights’ Workshop and you’ll get access to resources and writing exercises, including our Write A Play In A Month (WrAP) scheme, which will help you hit the New Year running (or writing even). You’ll also get discounts on course bookings, access to the playwrights’ book club and the chance to come along to member meetups.

You can sign up for monthly membership for just £3.63 per month here, but for a limited time, we’re also offering annual membership for £40; there is even an option to purchase this as a gift and the lucky recipient will receive a nice email on a date of your choice (even Christmas day!) containing details of their membership. If you want a gift that lasts all year round, this is it! Purchase your annual membership here. 


4. Writers and Artists Yearbook 2019

Often writers don’t just stick to theatre, and write for TV and novels, and this best-selling guide gives handy tips on how to get published across all these different types of media. There’s also nuggets of advice and inspiration, and it’s updated every year, continually supporting writers in their careers by providing the latest opportunities and knowledge. (Paperback £14.77/ Kindle £14.15)

5. A Pencil Case Fit For The Bard!

Shakespeare is perhaps the most famous playwright, so how could he not feature on this list? Well, we’ve not added Shakespeare himself to this list as we seem to have misplaced our Tardis… But you can get this lovely tin pencil case with a variety of Shakespeare quotes on. It’s perfect for when you need a bit of a poetry pick-me-up while you’re slogging through your tenth draft… (£9.49)

6. Something To Get The Creative Juices Following

Unfortunately, creativity sometimes just won’t strike. That’s when writing exercises are brilliant to kick-start your brain again and fill it with wonderful ideas for your next show.

The Writer’s Toolbox (£13.01) is filled with exercises and instructions to help you discover new stories and ignite those sparks. It also contains four spinner palettes to spice up your story with some plot twists…

Sometimes the problem is actually finding the time to write, but the Five Minute Writer (Paperback £9.99/ Kindle £3.49) shows how (you guessed it) we can all find five-minutes to get our creativity going again. Just spending five minutes a day on one of the exercises in the book will help you discover your story!

7. Subscription to The Stage

Full of theatre news, reviews, interviews and jobs in the industry, The Stage is a one-stop-shop for any playwright who wants to stay up-to-date about everything happening in theatre land.

They’re currently offering a special Christmas gift subscription that will begin on December 25, and grant the holder access to the print, digital and web only editions, as well as 10% discount on theatre tickets and other subscriber benefits! (From £12)

8. Theatre Brooch

Maybe you’ve stumbled across this article as you’ve got Sue from HR for your Secret Santa but all you know about Sue is that she quite likes plays, and likes to write on her lunch break (we may now be thinking about the backstory for Sue, please stop us).

This metal enamel pin is the perfect gift for any theatre-lover, and won’t break the budget! (£1.90)

9. A Pocket-Sized Notebook

We’re officially allowing you to give your writer friend a notebook for the sixth year, as a writer can really never have enough notebooks. Getting a pocket-sized one is great as it means a writer can fit it into their bag, so when an idea suddenly strikes them, they have somewhere to write it down in! This Field Notebook is also great as, with it living it someone’s bag, it’s handy that it’s waterproof and tear proof – no one wants a notebook to become so dog-eared they can’t read it! (£9.07)

10. Women Who Write Are Dangerous

The title of this book alone should be enough of a reason to buy it!

This book challenges the previous notion that writing is not a suitable career for women (with writers like Charlotte Brontë having had to adopt male pseudonyms), and instead brings the work of around 50 female authors together to showcase their brilliant writing.

Learn more about some of the best authors of our time with this book that’s perfect for curling up by the fire with on Christmas day. (Hardcover £13.88)

Happy Holidays from all of us at LPB!

Four tips on how to write a historical play that still feels contemporary

Reflecting on her experience of writing ‘Dandelion‘, which is set in 1988 and centres around the impact of the homophobic law Section 28, guest writer Jennifer Richards discusses writing a play for a modern audience that isn’t about the modern at all. 

Writing a play that’s not set in today’s world feels risky; with the idea of “newness” often favoured in theatre, with new writing theatres tending to ask for plays about the modern world. This suggests that historical plays (new ones, not the classics!) may not have a place in today’s theatre scene. But just because a play isn’t set in a contemporary time period, doesn’t mean it can’t have a contemporary feel.

My latest play Dandelion is set in 1988 and explores the impact of Section 28, a piece of legislation introduced by Thatcher that banned the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by schools and local councils.

You may be thinking that 1988 isn’t exactly Elizabethan times, but history is so important to this play, with the entire one hour and 20 minutes centred around the fallout of this legislation on the two queer female protagonists. As I was writing Dandelionlearning to make a play that so steeped in history feel contemporary was definitely a learning curve, but here’s the tips I picked up:

  1. Ask yourself: why is this story still relevant today?

When learning historical texts at schools, whether that was a Shakespeare play or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, I always felt slightly distant from the story.

I was 14 and knew nothing of forbidden love or scary scientific inventions; and it’s not that I’ve now spent all the years since I’ve left school having my own Romeo and Juliet story set in a mad-scientist’s lab (though, great idea for a play), but I’ve seen loads of wonderful new takes on these plays and stories, which has helped me discover my connection to them.

Also, finding myself in unequal relationships where there wasn’t the correct balance of power, I’ve learnt the universality of the themes in those stories, which often do deal with power and love.

Shakespeare’s plays are still staged so frequently as they have something important to say to a modern society. In writing a historical play, it’s about looking where that universal connection still lies, that point within your play that exists outside of its time period.

With my play Dandelion, its’ ideas around identity and learning to be comfortable with yourself are not thoughts that only existed in 1988. And though the intricacies of any historical play are likely contained to that time period, it’s the wider themes that should make your story enduringly relevant.

  1. Plan an event exploring the history

Exploring that relevancy I mentioned above doesn’t have to just be contained to the script or stage. With Dandelion, we’re hoping to run a panel event in the New Year centred around the impact of Section 28 and why it’s important to remember queer history.

This has further helped us explore that historical significance of a piece of work in a modern setting. Putting on events like this, or perhaps running workshops that offer the chance for people to learn more about the history of your play and why you chose to explore that history, will further foster this connection between the historical and the modern.

  1. Don’t shy away from the time period

Making a historical play feel contemporary doesn’t mean trying to minimise the history as much as possible for fear that that part of the play will seem dull. If you want the world you’re creating in your play to really resonate with your audience, it has to feel genuine.

Using the correct language from the time period, having fun with the costumes and the music all helps cement the time period. Building a world that does seem different from today also encourages audience members to examine this difference, and look at how we’ve changed as a society, or perhaps how we’ve not changed.

  1. Understand the historical significance through the character

When I first started writing Dandelion, because it centres so specifically around a piece of legislation, I didn’t know how to introduce Section 28 to the play without it sounding like I just really needed to funnel in the description of what Section 28 was so the rest of the play could work.

And it would have been these stilted historical references that would’ve prevented the play from resonating with a modern audience. I needed to learn to tell this history through the characters rather than name-dropping legislation every other word.

Therefore, at the beginning of the play, we play the sound clip of lesbian activists crashing the BBC News to protest Section 28 (an event that really happened) to make it clear from the start that though this play is about a time of historical significance, it centres on the people of that time.

Plays are typically about having a strong voice and characters that people connect with and it’s important to remember that doesn’t change when it comes to historical plays.

Rehearsal shot for Dandelion, taken by Rosie Featherstone

Dandelion has been my first time writing a play not set in the modern day, and it’s been great learning how to combine the historical and the modern – and decking myself out in all the 80s costumes hasn’t been too bad either!

Wait – you’re telling me those costumes are only for the actors?


Jennifer Richards’s show Dandelion is running at the King’s Head in Islington on December 16th and 17th December.       


Optik Theatre: The Script Room – call out for scripts

The Script Room has a call out for original and unperformed scripts for its next event which takes place at the Workspace Studio Richmond upon Thames in March 2019.
Work submitted can be on any theme and in any style. Plays can be of any running time, though we will discuss performing an extract of a play that is full length.
Scripts that are selected are given fully rehearsed staged readings performed by the professional actors of Optik Theatre.
How to apply: scripts should be sent to Optik director Barry Edwards at mail@barryedwards.net
For more details  visit www.thescriptroom.com
Deadline: 31 January 2019
Source: direct contact

The Director’s Cut hosting The Writer’s Club

The Writer’s Club is a unique club for playwrights, where writers come together to develop their scripts, learn, share and inspire. It takes place fortnightly on Saturdays 11am – 1pm or Monday evenings 6pm – 8pm at Calder Bookshop & Theatre, Waterloo, London.

The next term starts in January, read more here.

How to apply: membership fee is £100 a term (every 4 months).  To apply you will need to submit two samples of your work (no more than 10 minutes each). Places  are limited so apply now to avoid disappointment.  To apply, visit the website. 

Deadline: none posted 

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Group

Stagescripts 10@10 Quest for 10 unsung plays by living UK-based writers

As part of their 10th year of operation as an independent publisher and licensing agent for play and musicals, Stage scripts seek to uncover 10 plays which have had at least one professional production and which deserve to be championed for a further life. The selected scripts will be featured in their catalogues.

How to apply: read the full guidelines and apply here

Deadline: none specified

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Group

Writing Scripted Comedy with Chris Neilan – a one day workshop (Manchester)

This is a  full day practical workshop were you will be asked to write and participate and share ideas.

Why are some characters funnier than others? Why was Friends so much better in the first two seasons? Why don’t comedic characters have to have character arcs? Why are British and American comedies different – and are they really? And how, dear God, do you construct an effective plotline?!

If these are the kind of questions you ponder of a weekend, and if you have a head full of sitcom characters and mirthful plotlines, this workshop could be for you. We’ll focus on how you can structure ideas into effective and funny scripts, looking especially at the ins and outs of narrative structure, and how that can be the maker or breaker of your script.

Date: 28 January 2018, 10am – 4pm

Cost: £39.89

How to book: here

Deadline: not applicable 

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Group

The Arcola Theatre accepting submissions for The Public Address

Stop and Search by Gabriel Gbadamosi opens the question of why a tactic aimed at policing drugs, violence and terrorism has grown into a flashpoint for wider, and deeper, flaws in a volatile and frightened social psyche.

The Public Address looks to answer that question. Over two nights 16 new pieces will be brought to the stage, exploring the social ramifications of the policy from creative perspectives.

From spoken word to performance art and everything in between, The Public Address gives a platform for new voices.

How to submit: Register your interest here.

Deadline: none posted 

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Group