Behind the Scenes at LPB: An Intern’s Inside Look

 LPB’s Former Intern Hector Dyer shares his story on what it’s really like working at London Playwrights’ Blog.   Want to work with us?  Check out our current job postings!

My first proper day with London Playwrights Blog was a very literal case of learning on the job.

Despite plenty of phone calls and email correspondence, I met the team properly amidst all of us running around with frantic excitement on the morning of Dark Horse Festival.

Not only was it the best way to feel involved and get myself up to speed but it was also fantastic to understand what LPB is all about. Dark Horse Festival was a day of new writing with some phenomenal and provocative scripts displaying a wealth of talent and important voices to be heard. There was an industry audience in the afternoon and a public one in the evening, with plenty of nip and tucks made throughout the day.

The real eye-opener for me was the sheer support that the LPB team had given to the writers and this runs throughout all of their work; an incredibly generous and welcoming atmosphere to playwrights of any level.

The writers of Dark Horse Festival 2016. Image: Eulanda Shead Photography.

The subsequent months allowed me to learn in a slightly calmer environment but one where the same ethos and passion for new writing takes precedence.

I have since learnt how to use WordPress in spite of my ropey IT skills, written blog content and developed a knack for spotting online opportunities with alarming speed.

My main responsibilities have been to run the uploads of relevant opportunities to the blog, a job which once you get the swing of things becomes pretty speedy.

Whilst it’s obviously a fantastic resource for all playwrights, this job is brilliant for anyone who wants to find the best pockets of the internet, mailing lists, groups and other blogs for playwrights in general. It’s been an excellent learning curve in how to keep your ear close to the ground all the time and make sure that nothing passes you by.

On a practical level, getting to know the ropes of WordPress is hugely important. Anyone who’s wishing to set-up their own blog or website but isn’t sure how to really needs to get lessons from LPB Director A.C. Smith a.k.a. Alli! She can vouch for me when I say I was a total and utter novice in this regard at first but Alli ensured that a programme which looks fiendish initially has since become second nature.

A.C. Smith and Kimberley Andrews at Dark Horse Festival 2016. Image: Eulanda Shead Photography.

The other great thing about learning this way is that you can go straight in to contributing to a blog which has been established for a number of years – there are a lot of past examples to reference and you’re not trying to build something from scratch.

I was also able to help out at workshops run by Alli and Kimberley – running the Front of House and generally being an extra pair of hands in the sessions. It’s another good way of meeting people in this field, making connections and understanding what it takes to put on practical hands-on help for writers.

Overall it’s been a brilliant team to be part of and for anyone looking to gain some experience in the literary world I can’t recommend it enough.

The true testament of why I’ve enjoyed my time so much though is fully down to the people involved.

All of the team have been unfailingly friendly and welcoming, totally understanding of any personal commitments and truly focused on doing the best for everyone involved.

In a short time, with plenty of career advice from the LPB team, it’s been a perfect stepping stone to future projects!

Since finishing his internship, Hector Dyer has gone on to create performance work at the Barbican Centre and for New Diorama’s Incoming Festival with Bellow Theatre. You can follow him on Twitter at @HectorTDyer.

Cover image: Kazu End

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