The Courtyard Theatre has announced the launch of the 2013 King’s Cross Writing Award. Launched in 2003 with only 27 submissions, the biennial competition has steadily grown. Judges in the past have included playwrights Debbie Isitt, Robin Soans and Mark Ravenhill, the National Theatre’s former Literary Manager Jack Bradley, theatre critic Aleks Sierz, and Nick Quinn from The Agency.
What to submit: Writers are invited to submit full-length plays that have not been published or performed. Writers may enter up to two scripts. Submission guidelines as well as rules and conditions are available on their website. (Note that hardcopy submission is required, so budget time for your script to get there in the post!)
What you win: The winner receives a £5,000 cash prize and a staged, rehearsed reading at The Courtyard Theatre.
What you pay: £10 entry fee per play (up to two plays accepted)
Closing date: 30 April 2013
In addition to its current call for submissions of one-act and full-length plays, the Brockley Jack is seeking 10 minute short plays. You do not need to have a connection to Southeast London to enter this competition.
What to submit: Writers are invited to submitted a play of up to ten minutes featuring no more than four actors. Script must be able to be performed with basic staging and technical support.
Plays should be written around the theme of Legacy: “Where are we going, where are we now, and how did we get there?”
Only one submission per playwright allowed. Be sure to read the full submission guidelines before submitting.
What you get: Performances of selected scripts will take place on Saturday 4th May and selected plays will be announced on their website.
Closing date: Monday 4 March 2013
If you live, work, study, or have a strong connection to South East London, you’re eligible to submit to the Brockley Jack’s Write Now 4 Festival. They are seeking “previously unperformed plays that reflect contemporary culture or society”.
What to submit: Both one act and full length plays are accepted. Writers are eligible to submit up to two plays. The cast should feature no more than five actors. A one page synopsis is also required. Read the full submission guidelines, which include formatting specifications, before submitting. Online submission form can be found here.
What you get: One selected play will be given a full production in a two week run at the Jack Studio in May 2013. Two further selected plays will be given a week’s workshop time and rehearsed readings during the Festival.
Closing date: Monday 4 February 2013
Note – Writer Beware: This sounds like a great opportunity for a number of reasons, but there are a couple of red flags that warrant an added ‘writer beware’…
1) In their guidelines, they state that submission automatically grants the Jack Studio Theatre royalty-free performing rights to the play during the Festival. So if you submit and are selected, you could anticipate pushback if you changed your mind.
2) They also say “Your play will be directed by a professional director. The director must be granted freedom to interpret the play in their own way.” This does not seem like a particularly-writer friendly attitude, and indicates the theatre is not following Writers Guild guidelines.
We don’t have any direct experience with this theatre, so it could be that these points would not be an issue. If you do end up participating, please do drop a line to let us know about your experience.
Exeter Phoenix Digital are running a National Short Film Commissioning Competition for UK Residents, seeking films between 5 and 10 minutes long. All genres welcome. (Note: they are also running a separate competition, which only entrants based in Devon are allowed to enter.)
What to submit: A statement of up to 400 words outlining your ideas. “The proposal should clearly demonstrate the tone, themes, genre and strategy of your ideas. We will not accept any supporting material at this stage.” Submissions are made through their online form.
What you win: “The 2013 Short Film Commission will contribute £500 towards the cost of developing and realizing the short film project, such as equipment, cast, crew, locations, travel, etc. There will also be a set amount of in-kind support in the form of equipment hire and access to facilities such as edit suites and studios. Access to training and personal development will be included too.”
Closing date: Friday 15 February 2013
Chalk the Sun will be running creative writing workshops for stage and screen on the second Saturday of each month in Balham, South London. Workshop leaders include BBC script-editor Jonathan Wolfman, TV writer Gillian Corderoy, director and playwright Danusia Iwaszko and the Chalk team (for more details on tutors, check the Chalk the Sun tutors page).
Flexible attendance permitted.
Fee: £30 one session, £125 for five sessions, £225 for 10.
Tomorrow 25 January HighTide Literary Manager Rob Drummer will be answering questions about writing and submitting plays in an online forum titled “How do I know when my play is ready?”. Check out the full info on the IdeasTap page. (Note: you must be an IdeasTap member to participate in the Forum.)
This Saturday 26 January from 1-5pm, the Soho Theatre is having a big sale on playtexts. A good chance to pick up some bargains on playtexts spanning their last decade of productions. More details at the link.
Sky Blue Theatre Company has put out a call for submissions for their play competition (now running for its second year). The company is based in Cambridge, but there are no geographic limits on entry.
What to submit: A one-act play (10-30 minutes) with two or more actors. 50 word play synopsis also required. (The rules include strict guidelines on formatting.)
What you pay: £15 per play entry. You can submit as many plays as you like.
What you win: Shortlisted plays will be performed at the Junction Theatre, Cambridge. The audience will vote for the winning play. Shortlisted writers will be considered for publication by Samuel French and Lazy Bee Scripts with written assessments from these publishers, and will be given a filmed copy of the performance of their play.
Closing date: 30 March 2013
To celebrate its 25 year anniversary, Nick Hern Books will be offering a 25% discount on all titles on their website during 2013.
In addition to a wide selection of plays, they have a number of books on playwriting. If there’s anything you’ve had your eye on, now is the time…
Get your scripts ready! The BBC Writersroom will be running its next submission window from 14 February 2013 to 28 March 2013, and this may be your last chance to submit to them for the forseeable future.
In 2012, the Writersroom adopted a new submission policy – no longer accepting scripts year round, they instead require that scripts be sent in during specified submission windows. The goal of this was to better control (and ideally reduce) the number of submissions. However, as Paul Ashton explains on their blog, the changes have not had the expected effect. The BBC has actually received more scripts under this new system, and they feel that often the work isn’t as polished because people are sending in pieces that aren’t ready to make the submission window.
This combined with the fact that they are planning to adopt an e-submissions policy means that the BBC Writersroom won’t be accepting new submissions until Autumn 2013 at the earliest. The BBC states that they will be running other talent searches and opportunities in the meantime, but if you have a script you want them to see, best to get it in now. (And be sure to check their formatting guidelines first to give your script its best shot.)
Closing date: 28 March 2013