Opportunities – Pick of the Week: HighTide First Commissions Scheme 2018 – 2019 open for applications

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: HighTide First Commissions Scheme 2018 – 2019 open for applications

Description: First Commissions is HighTide’s attachment programme for writers and theatre makers. Every year, they work with a number of emerging writers who have never received a full length play commission. Over an 18 month period they then aid them to create a piece of theatre.

What’s so great about it? This is an excellent opportunity for all the writers out there who have yet to receive a full length play commission. The programme will not only support the chosen writer in developing a piece of theatre but also aid them in making an application to Arts Council England’s Project Grants, to produce two rehearsed readings, to collaborate with a wider creative team, usually in the form of a director or facilitator, and to engage an established theatre artist to act as a mentor and dramaturg.

So, if you are yet to get that break you’ve been looking for and you want to benefit from this bumper opportunity, get your applications in by 14 June 2018!

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.

Photo courtesy of HighTide. 

BBC Ouch: ‘Going Out’ Live storytelling event at Edinburgh Fringe accepting submissions

Ouch runs the disability part of the BBC website and a podcast on the BBC with a focus on disabled people and diverse stories.

Your disability tales are wanted for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe! They are looking for unusual, complicated and humorous stories just waiting to be told … and they are here to help you tell them.

They are holding their third BBC Ouch storytelling event at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. The theme this year is Going Out – interpret that at your will.

All they ask is that the story is true, you are disabled or have a mental health difficulty, and that your story incorporates this. If chosen, you’ll get to work with a top comedy script producer and perform it in front of an audience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.

How to apply: Find out full details, how to apply and watch some of the stories from previous live storytelling events

Deadline: 18 June 2018 at 9am

Source: BBC Writersroom

The Scenic Route: Creating Theatre Lab- open for applications

As part of their platform to provide accessible opportunities to nurture new talent, The Scenic Route presents an intensive practical workshop exploring how to create original theatre collaboratively from scratch.

Through a series of masterclasses, practical exercises and rehearsals the group will investigate a range of techniques involved in devising a cross-disciplinary piece which brings together physical theatre, text and music. 

The lab will culminate in a sharing of the work to an invited audience.

This is a rare opportunity to benefit from the combined expertise of respected practitioners, whilst practically applying their shared experience in a working ensemble. 

Participants will take away a wealth of resources to build upon in future work, along with increased skill, confidence and understanding working in this form, plus connections with other artists.

Details:  The Lab runs from Monday 27th August – Sunday 2nd September 2018, 10am – 6pm and takes place at Stockwell Playhouse, 208 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2JU

Cost:  (To make the opportunity as accessible as they can, costs have been subsidised by The Scenic Route).

Early bird offer (book by June 15th!) £250

From June 16th £275      (25% discount for previous participants)

How to apply: The lab is open to both experienced and new artists alike – at any life stage – whether coming from a performance perspective, composition / musical direction, or playwriting. (There is no requirement for all participants to perform). Applications should be made directly through their website. 

Deadline: none posted

Source: @Playwriting_UK

Blazing Hyena seeking submissions for Send, Scene, Deliver

 A new monthly playwright development day in Edinburgh. Send, Scene Deliver provides writers with space, a director and actors to develop a scene and answer any questions they may have over the course of a day. Followed by a sharing at:

The Mad Hatter
8 Torphichen Pl, Edinburgh EH3 8DU

There will be a short post-show discussion of each piece.
It is a safe place for writers, actors and directors to exercise those creative muscles, network and support each other.

Featuring a Script Swap Shop of published plays increasing accessibility for emerging playwrights to develop through reading scripts. This is a free service where people will swap their old play scripts for something they have not read before. 

They are currently accepting submissions for June and July 2018.

What they are looking for:

  • A ten minute scene from an existing play or a play you are looking to develop.
  • A short character breakdown.
  • A brief writers bio.

Submissions guidelines: 

  • The extract must be no longer than 10 minutes. 
  • It can be any genre however, they are unable to accept musicals.
  • It should be formatted in 12pt font, double spaced and sent as a PDF.

How to apply: send extracts to blazinghyenatheatrecompany@gmail.com

If you are interested in working as a guest director for Send. Scene. Deliver please contact


Sharing Dates 
Thursday 14th June
Thursday 19th July

Deadline 1 June 2018 at 5pm

Source: Playwriting_UK

Sheffield Theatres: Utopia Theatre – Writer’s Masterclass (free)

Utopia Theatre and award-winning playwright Oladipo Agboluaje are thrilled to offer a free Writers Masterclass day aimed at aspiring playwrights on Thursday 24 May from 11.00am – 6pm.

This masterclass aims to build your confidence, begin to hone your skills as a playwright and send you away full of ideas about what to write next and how to do it; working through a variety of exercises both individually and as a group.

How to book: places are free but limited, book here.

Date: 24 May 2018 at 11am

Deadline: not applicable

Source: @Playwriting_UK

People’s Play Award open to writers from the North of England (£1000 prize)

They People’s Theatre is pleased to announce the latest People’s Play competition.  This award is aimed at playwrights from the North of England who are yet to have a full-length play performed professionally.

Past winners include Peter Straughan (Wolf Hall, TV mini-series; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, BAFTA winning screenplay) and Alison Carr (Iris, Live Theatre; Fat Alice, Traverse Theatre).

What you get: The winning writer will be awarded £1,000, and their play will receive a five night production by the People’s Theatre in May 2019 in our new Studio Theatre. This will be one of the first productions in this exciting new space.

The winning play will have a rehearsed reading in October to allow the writer to develop the script as necessary before rehearsals begin in March 2019.

What they are looking for: The judges for the competition are looking for a new full-length play (no shorter than 90 minutes) on any subject, for a cast of any age or gender, and unlimited in number. That said, writers are asked to bear in mind that the performance area is roughly 5m x 7m.

How to apply: Please send one hard copy of the script to: The People’s Play, People’s Theatre, Stephenson Road, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QF.

Deadline:  31 August 2018

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Group

Free writing course with WoLab and Theatre N16

WoLab are thrilled to be partnering with Theatre N16 to deliver a FREE 12-week intensive course led by industry professionals, aimed specifically at actor-writers.

Over the 12 weeks, you will develop your existing playwriting and acting skills through a series of tailored workshops, which will also include mentoring sessions in producing and marketing, as well as regular visits from established playwrights/theatre makers within the industry. All participants will be working towards a industry showcase to an invited audience of agents, casting directors, programmers, and producers. Throughout the duration of the course, participants will write their own monologue to perform for the showcase, as well as co-write a duologue with another member of the group. They will receive personalised support and feedback during the process.

Further information:

  • An introductory welcome session will be held on 20th June (Time TBC).
  • Course Dates: Every Wednesday 11am -3pm, from 27th June – 12th September.
  • Showcase Dates: 16th and 17th September (two performances each day).
  • All sessions will be held at Theatre N16, 5 Ashley Road, London, N17 9LJ.

How to apply: please complete the application form on their website. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an audition on Wednesday 13th June. You will be notified if you have been shortlisted by Friday 8th June.

Please DO NOT apply if you are an already published playwright, or have within the last 5 years undergone drama school training, that resulted in an industry showcase.  Any questions, send an email to submissions@wolab.co.uk ~ more info on WoLab can be found: www.wolab.co.uk / Twitter: @WoLaboratory

Deadline: 4 June 2018

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Group

Expressingwordz seeking writer and producer for new theatre company

Expressingwordz is  a new theatre company in Sheffield and  theylooking for a writer and producer to join the team.

The first project will be a journey of an immigrant navigating a post-Brexit Britain, with the aim of taking the show to Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe in 2019.

It is currently not a paid position but will be paid if funding is successful and profits from the show will be shared evenly. Future projects will then be decided amongst the team.

How to apply: If you are interested in being a part of this please apply with a cover letter (500 words max) about which role you wish to apply for, why you would want to join the project and your experience in theatre to zoe.albafarrugia@gmail.com.

Deadline: 4 June 2018

Source: Arts Council Jobs

Penguin launches search for new writers and illustrators with WriteNow2018

Penguin has  opened applications for WriteNow 2018, their programme which aims to find, mentor and publish new writers and illustrators from communities under-represented on the UK’s bookshelves.

“We launched WriteNow because we know that books don’t reflect everyone in our society – there are still too many stories which are not being told, and too many voices which are overlooked. We want this to change.”

WriteNow offers:

  • Free workshops in Liverpool, London or Nottingham where budding writers and illustrators can learn more about the publishing process, hear from published authors and literary agents, and receive one-on-one feedback on their work from one of our editors or designers;
  • Chance to join their mentoring programme, being matched with a Penguin editor or designer for a year to develop their book or artwork.

“Now entering its third year, WriteNow is already having a tangible impact on our publishing – so far we’ve signed deals with 5 writers from the programme, with many more to come.”

Who can apply: the programme is aimed at people from under-represented communities including Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers, LGBTQ writers, writers with disabilities and writers from socio-economically marginalised backgrounds. It is open to illustrators of children’s picture books this year for the first time.

How to apply: writers and illustrators need to visit www.write-now.live for full details.

Deadline: 9 July 2018

Source: direct contact

A resource for emerging playwrights