The 2 Kinds of Writers: Architects and Gardeners

99U posted this insight from Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.  Discussing his writing process both as a scriptwriter and a novelist, Martin says there are two distinct approaches to telling a story:

There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener. In my Hollywood years when everything does work on outlines, I had to put on my architect’s clothes and pretend to be an architect. But my natural inclinations, the way I work, is to give my characters the head and to follow them.

For most writers I know, their approach changes depending on the script and their place in the process.  But this still remains a really interesting way to think about and identify your natural tendencies for getting into a story.  (And as someone who leans more towards being a gardener, it’s always nice to have confirmation that waiting to “see what comes up” can in fact be a perfect valid writing strategy!)

Source:  99U

First Break Monologue Writing Competition

For the second year running the Oldham Coliseum Theatre has teamed up with Oldham Council libraries to run a writing competition linked to First Break, the Company’s annual showcase for new writing and emerging talent. This year they are inviting writers to send us dramatic monologues, (up to 2,000 words) exploring the theme of identity.

What you get:  A selection of these will be read by members of the Coliseum’s acting Company at a special event at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre on Wednesday 7 May 2014.

How to apply:  Entries for the First Break Writing Monologue Competition should be posted, (2 hard copies please) to: First Break Writing Competition, L.E.D., Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Fairbottom Street, Oldham. OL1 3SW

Please note that entries sent by email will not be accepted.

Deadline: Friday 21 February 2014

Source:  Arts Council e-newsletter

Opportunities Weekly Round-up: 6 December 2013

Our weekly round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Pokfulham Rd Productions seeking playwright for collaboration (fluent Korean required) – No deadline posted

Bubble and Squeak Collective seeking plays to workshop – No deadline posted

Sky Arts Futures Fund – £30K bursaries to be won (18-30 year olds) – Deadline: 6 December 2013 at 5pm

£1000 bursaries available for Brighton Fringe projects (IdeasTap) – Deadline: 6 December 2013

Tell Tales 2014 – Submissions open – Deadline: applicants need to attend a meeting on 8 December 2013

Trinity College London International Playwriting Competition accepting entries of one-act plays for young people (Fee required) – Deadline: 13 December 2013

DVM Theatre accepting submissions for scratch night – Deadline: 13 December 2013

Wanted – writer for young people for arts project – Deadline: 13 December 2013 at 12 noon

Theatre Delicatessen launches opportunity for emerging theatre makers – open day on 15 December 2013  which all applicants must attend.

Little Pieces of Gold seeking 10 minute plays for January showcase -Deadline: 15 December 2013

£1,000 for a horror treatment or draft Hopscotch Films – Deadline: 15 December 2013

Playwrights’ Progress Development Opportunity from Writers Guild of Great Britain – Deadline: 11 December 2013 16 December 2013

BBC Writersroom open for submissions – Deadline: 16 December 2013

Screen Yorkshire inviting applications for National Film Talent Scheme – Triangle 2014 – Deadline: 16 December 2013

CLF Art Cafe seek writers for scratch night – Deadline: 16 December 2013 at 5pm

Bush Theatre open to proposals for new plays – Deadline: 20 December 2013

Ghost Dog Productions seeking 10 minute plays – Deadline: 23 December 2013

Lace Market Theatre seeking new play submissions – Deadline: 31 December 2013

Red Planet Prize 2013 open to entries for television writing – Deadline: 6 January 2014

Undeb Theatre seeking Summer Festivals Script Submission – Deadline: 6 January 2014

TLW LEXiCON Play and Short Story Competition (£3 submission fee) – Deadline: 10 January 2014

Jerwood/ Arvon mentoring sheme accepting applications – Deadline: 13 January 2014

Call for Applications: The Camargo Foundation 2014-15 Fellowships for Scholars and Artists – Deadline: 13 January 2014

24:7 Theatre Festival accepting submissions (entry fee) – Deadline: 13 January 2014

IdeasTap Underbelly award 2014 – 14 January 2014

Write Now 5 Festival at Brockley Jack seeking submissions of full-length plays (SE London writers only) – Deadline: 27 January 2014

Arundel Festival Theatre Trail 2014 – Deadline: 31 January 2014

IdeasTap offering £500 for creative projects (16-30) – 7 February 2014

BBC Radio 4 seeking short stories for Opening Lines – Deadline: 14 February (submissions open on 6 January)

Short plays sought for ObamAmerica festival at Theatre503 – Deadline: 15February 2014

National Student Drama Festival 2014 (age 16-25, £98 entry fee) – Deadline: 28 February 2014* (Note: this is the final date shows can be seen by an NSDF Selector to be considered – you must apply in advance of this date to arrange for them to see your show)

The Paul Darby prize for drama is now open for submissions (entry fee £5) – Deadline: 28 February 2014

Ongoing submissions:

The Cockpit Theatre seeking work for scratch nights – No deadline posted but performances take place on the first Monday of the month through to June 2014.

ScriptSpace development workshop at The Space – Deadline: None

Shred Productions open to submissions – Deadline: None (open submissions)

Open Arts Cafe Call for Submissions – Deadline: None posted

Short plays sought for ObamAmerica festival at Theatre503

Short plays are sought for ObamAmerica, a festival of new writing to be produced at Theatre503 in London.

Over Here Theatre Company is seeking submissions of fifteen minute plays for ObamAmerica, a festival of new writing to be produced at Theatre503 in London in the spring of 2014. The festival, which will run 27 May to 7 June, is about life under the Obama administration, looking at all aspects from political to personal.

Barack Obama is a powerful and charismatic figure, one whose election promised great change and provided hope for a difference to American society and the world at large after eight years under George W Bush. Did Obama fulfil those dreams of the American people or has he offered more of the same? Has foreign policy changed? Race relations? How have President and Mrs Obama affected the way society sees African Americans? Is he really on the side of the poor or caught up in the machinations of Capitol Hill? What about his controversial use of drones and the assassination of Osama Bin Laden?

ObamAmerica will explore a wide variety of viewpoints and issues through thought provoking and entertaining short plays.

Over Here is accepting submissions from both new and more seasoned playwrights. Playwrights need not be American but should have an ear for the uniqueness of American speech patterns and a good knowledge of the United States.

Although this is not a paid opportunity, selected plays will receive a full production.

How to submit: Submissions should be sent in PDF or Word Documents to

Deadline: 15 February 2014

Source: BBC Writersroom

Writersroom Comedy Masterclass

BBC writersroom invites you to a comedy masterclass with Jason Cook, creator & writer of the hugely popular BBC Two sitcom, Hebburn, and Matt Tiller, Executive Producer.

This exclusive event which will take place in Manchester,  is a unique opportunity to put your questions to the writer of Hebburn, Jason Cook, and Executive Producer, Matt Tiller (Director of Programming, Channel X), who developed the show with Jason from its inception. They will be in conversation with Helen Spencer, 2014 Salford Comedy Festival Producer. Hear Jason & Matt talk about the development, inspiration and writing process for Hebburn, sharing tips and insights on writing & producing great comedy.

When: Mon 9th Dec

Time: 7pm – 8pm

Where: Digital Performance Lab, University of Salford, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2EQ

Book your free ticket through Writersroom.

Source: BBC Writersroom

24:7 Theatre Festival accepting submissions (entry fee)

Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival is now accepting submissions for 2014. The festival, which will be celebrating its 10th year, will take place from 18-25 July 2014 in venues across Manchester.

They are looking for original, unpublished scripts of between 40-60 minutes in length. Plays which have formed part of a theatre season or have been on an advertised tour will not be accepted. There are no requirements on style or theme.

David Slack, the Festival’s executive producer, says, “24:7 offers a unique and supportive opportunity for writers to self-produce their work imaginatively and effectively in our non-theatre spaces. Firmly established nationally as a key opportunity for new playwrights to be heard, the Festival has also become invaluable career development for many theatre artists in the region.”

How to apply: applicants must register their submissions through the website.  There is a submission fee of £27 which is used to cover the cost of the adjudication process. All entrants will receive feedback.  The festival are also looking for family friendly ideas and devised projects, information can be found on the website.

Deadline:  13 January 2014.

Source: Arts Council e-newsletter


Call for Applications: The Camargo Foundation 2014-15 Fellowships for Scholars and Artists

The Camargo Foundation is now accepting applications from:

  • Scholars working in French and Francophone cultures, including cross-cultural studies that engage the cultures and influences of the Mediterranean region
  • Visual artists, creative writers, film/video/new media directors, playwrights, composers, choreographers, and multidisciplinary artists.

The program is intended to give Fellows the time and space they need to realise their specific objectives and projects, within a vibrant cross disciplinary intellectual context.

Further information: The Foundation’s beautiful hillside campus overlooks the Mediterranean Sea in Cassis, France; it includes a reference library, outdoor theatre and art/music studios. Fellows are provided with accommodations on campus in fully furnished apartments with private kitchens.   Partners are welcome.  A stipend of $1,500 is available.  Autumn Fellowships are 8 weeks in duration from October 1st to November 26th 2014.  Spring Fellowships are for 4, 8 or 11 weeks duration from January 28th 2015.

Qualified candidates from all countries and nationalities are encouraged to apply; proficiency in English is a requirement.

For more information and application details, visit the website or email

Deadline for applications: 13th January 2014

Source: Jerome Foundation e-flyer


NEWS: The Albany Arts Centre holding £1 ticket sale this Friday!

The Albany arts centre in south-east London is to release a batch of tickets costing £1 for each of its 30 shows in their spring season. The dedicated market stall on Deptford High Street, this Friday 6th Dec, will be selling the £1 tickets, with remaining tickets being released on their website later that day.

Read the full article in The Stage.

Source: The Stage website.



CLF Art Cafe seek writers for scratch night

The CLF Art Café / aka The Bussey Building calls for submissions for their first ever scratch festival in March 2014.  Have you got a brilliant new piece of theatre, spoken word, comedy or cabaret act?  If so, the CLF Art Café is offering emerging artists the opportunity to submit wild and wonderful pieces of new work ten to fifteen minutes in length to take part in the WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW Festival and get your work on a London stage.

How to apply: to submit your entry, send us a one minute Vimeo/YouTube clip introducing yourself and your idea, along with a written proposal and any other relevant previous experience in less than 100 words.  Please also ensure that you are free during the festival period 3rd – 23rd March.

Email your submission to with WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW in the subject line.

Deadline:   5pm, 16th December 2013.

Source: IdeasTap Jobs page.

A resource for emerging playwrights