BBC Writersroom to open for submissions of TV & Film Drama scripts, 17-31 March 2014

For 2014, the BBC Writersroom has transitioned to a new submissions system (as noted in a previous post), and the first submission window is coming up.

The BBC Writersroom will be open to submissions of TV & Film Drama scripts from 17 March 2014 at 9am until 31 March 2014 at midnight.  They will only be accepting scripts that relate to this subject area during this time – there will be opportunities for other scripts (comedy, radio drama, etc) later in the year.

How to apply:  Applications can be made through their e-submissions system.  (Note: they will not be open to submissions until 17 March 2014, and you will not be able to apply before this date.)

The BBC Writersroom website has great resources, including writing tips, sample scripts, what they’re looking for, how to format a script, and more – so it’s worth making time to look through their website in detail before applying.

Deadline:  31 March 2014 at midnight

Source:  BBC Writersroom

Upcoming classes and workshops with Papatango, Soho Theatre, and others

If you’re looking for a class or group to work on your writing, here are a few upcoming opportunities that might be of interest.

Papatango Playwriting Masterclass
Wednesday 26 February 10am – 2pm at Toynbee Studios, London

“Papatango are delighted to announce our inaugural Resident Playwright, May Sumbwanyambe, will deliver a free masterclass for 10 would-be writers.  George Turvey, Papatango’s Artistic Director, will also be present.  This event is free but space is limited in order to guarantee detailed, personal support. To apply, please email with a short CV.”

The deadline for applications is noon on Wednesday 19th February.

Character-Building Workshop at Soho Theatre
Monday 3 March, 2-5pm
Tickets: £30 (£25)
Led by Nina Steiger (Literary Manager, Soho Theatre) and Verity Bargate Award winner Vicky Jones

“Struggling to give your characters diverse and authentic voices? Find yourself staying well within your comfort zone? Interested in the process of writing with/for actors? Following on from our sell out workshop last month, join us for an afternoon to help you create stories, worlds and structures which bring out the best and the boldest in your characters and your plays.”

Theatre Writing for Beginners, Unlocking Your Creativity
Dates: Tuesday nights, 6th May – 24 June 7 – 9pm.
Venue: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA.
Fee:  £185 (payment by instalment possible)

“An 8 week course on Tuesday nights, looking at the basics of theatre writing. Includes copy of a short theatre play that we’ll study as a group. The group will also decide on an outing to a theatre show which will be arranged during the course (ticket price not included). Complete your own short play by the end of the course, or make inroads into work on a longer one.  Please book via, or email for further information.”

Work with a Playwright on your Dialogue and Use of Metaphor, Chalk the Sun
Balham Bowls Club Bar, 7 – 9 Ramsden Rd London SW12 8QX
On-going monthly workshops with flexible attendance: £30 for a one-off, £125 for 5, £225 for 10

“Stage & Screen  for scriptwriters focusing on techniques and development of radio, stage, TV and screen plays including series and episode writing with feedback from the Chalk the Sun tutor team of professional writers, producers, editors and directors. Full information, including tutors’ profiles, student work and testimonials, downloadable reading list, venue details, booking and payment options, is available at”


Ticket to Write seeking one act plays about the Beatles (£20 fee)

The Ticket To Write Festival is a showcase of original plays based on The Beatles.  The competition is for one-act stage plays about The Beatles or any other artist, group or aspect of the 60s Mersey pop music scene.

What to submit:  Your plays can feature any aspect of The Beatles or other Mersey artists of  the 60s era – their music, work or lives.  They can even be inspired by a song or song-title.  The plays should last about 40 – 45 minutes, and have a maximum of four characters.

What you pay:  There is a £20 application fee.  (*Note: The application fee is listed alternately as both £15 and £20, so check on this before sending your payment in!)

How to apply:  Email your submission to with your script in the attachment.  This copy should NOT feature the writer’s name on any of the pages, to ensure fairness in judging.  Once you have received confirmation of your script, you will be required to fill in the Submission Form and return it by post with the entry fee.  Full details can be found on the website.

What you get:  Three plays will be chosen to be staged  at the Unity Theatre on Tuesday and Wednesday July 15 and 16 . The same plays will be staged on both nights giving a greater payback for the efforts of the writers, director and actors. The audience votes will still be included in the overall choice of the winner of the £150 prize.

Note – CAREFUL!:  According to some of the fine print on the website of Ticket To Write, they claim that the festival will assume copyright of your play for the duration of the festival and any follow-up tours, and that the copyright will revert to the writer 6 months after the performance.  This appears to run counter to Writer’s Guild guidelines – as the writer, you should retain copyright (essentially, ownership) of your play, granting them performance rights for the festival.  If you choose to apply for this opportunity, be sure you’ve clarified these legal guidelines with them to protect your work.

Deadline:  Friday 18 April 2014

Source:  Bruntwood Prize Opportunities Page

Northern Film & Media seeking two experienced script mentors (3-month contract)

Northern Film & Media are looking to secure the services of two experienced script mentors to take give industry guidance to a selection of the North East’s top script writers. The scheme will aim to assist the writers in developing the strongest possible script and pitch ahead of meetings with financiers. The mentoring will take the form of a series of 1-2-1 Skype sessions and notes.

Eligibility:  They are looking for people who can show evidence of the following:

  • At least 3 years’ experience in the development of feature films at a high level
  • Excellent communication skills – both written and verbal
  • Experience of mentoring early stage filmmakers from treatment to script
  • Strong networks within the film industry

Timeline:  They are looking to secure these services across a period of three months starting from March 10th 2014.

How to apply:  If you are interested in being considered please submit your CV and a quote for your fee for four mentoring sessions  (not to exceed £2,000). Please email before 21st Feb 2014  Fee must be quoted including VAT. Fee does not include travel and accommodation expenses which will be paid by Northern Film & Media if required.

Deadline:  21 February 2014

Source:  Arts Council e-newsletter

Little Pieces of Gold seeking 10 minute plays on subject of Social Media

Little Pieces of Gold is seeking ten minute plays on the subject of social media for their next showcase on the 15 & 16th June 2014 at Park Theatre.  Little Pieces of Gold is a regular showcase for bold, thought provoking, entertaining new drama with each show featuring an eclectic mix of short plays selected from around 300 submissions.

Writing prompt from Little Pieces of Gold:

To ‘like’ or not to ‘like’? 8 short plays about social media

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linked-In, Selfies and the rest, Little Pieces of Gold are looking for ten minute plays which say something about your relationship with the social media landscape and how it impacts your life.

Does it have a positive effect on love and friendship or does it simply give us a bad case of FOMO and lead to lack of intimacy? What about work and productivity? Does social media stimulate it or overload us with information, hamper our concentration and distract us from being creative? Has social media given us a voice? Has it made us more politically engaged, promoted democracy and helped to subvert despotic regimes around the world? Or, are its powers limited as armchair revolutionaries, censors and cyberbullies overshadow the good?

Whether you love it, hate it or are somewhere in between, tell us how it’s affected you.

What to submit: A ten minute play with a maximum cast of four.  They cannot accept extracts, adaptations or monologues, and the piece should not have been performed previously (readings are ok). Only basic sound and lighting can be accommodated.  Full details about submission are on their website.

Your application should include the following:

  • Your play (in PDF or Word format)
  • Short synopsis of the play
  • Brief writer’s bio
  • Your home address (only UK writers are eligible)
  • How you heard about the showcase

How to apply: Email your application to

What you get: Your play will be assigned a director and will be cast, rehearsed, and performed in the showcase.

Deadline: Monday 5 May 2014 at midnight

Source: BBC Writersroom

Samuel French accepting short plays for OOB Festival (New York)

Samuel French is now accepting submissions of short plays (30 minutes or less) for its highly successful Off Off Broadway Festival in Manhattan. The festival requires applicants to collaborate with a producing organisation and it offers a prize of publication in the notable Off Off Broadway Festival Plays series. On their application, playwrights must cite the organisation that will produce their play (at this early stage, this can be the playwright). 30 plays will be chosen to be presented during the festival.

How to apply: please visit the website for full submission guidelines and an application form.

Deadline: 28 February 2014

Source: Play Submissions Helper Facebook page.

Opportunities weekly round-up: 14 February 2014

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).

BBC Radio 4 seeking short stories for Opening Lines – Deadline: 14 February

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

Free workshop examining writer/director relationship – workshop takes place on 16 February 2014

DVM Theatre accepting ideas for scratch night – Deadline: 17 February 2014

All the Rage Theatre accepting submissions (female writers) – Deadline 21 February 2014 at 12 noon

First Break Monologue Writing Competition – Deadline: 21 February 2014

Dysthelexi seeking submissions for SundaySurgery (targeted at Dyslexic Writers, fee for participation) – Deadline: 23 February 2014

BBC Comedy accepting sketches for radio (paid) – Deadline: 28 February 2014

Grin Theatre seeking LGBT-themed plays of around 30 min for Queerfest 2014 – Deadline: 28 February 2014

Young Playwrights Competition at Grin Theatre seeking entries of 30 min plays (age 18-30) – Deadline: 28 February 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

Nickelodeon Writing Programme open for submissions – Deadline: 28 February 2014 at midnight

Invertigo Theatre and the Pleasance present: Writer in Residence – Deadline: 3 March 2014

Windsor Fringe accepting one act submissions to 11th annual Kenneth Branagh Drama Writing Award (amateur playwrights only; £5 entry fee) – Deadline: 5 March 2014

Creative competition on the theme of LOVE (£250 prize), IdeasTap Editors Brief – Deadline:  7 March 2014 at 5pm

Page to Stage Festival 2014 accepting one-act plays (£30 entry) – Deadline: 31 March 2014

2014 Papatango New Writing Prize – Deadline: 31 March 2014

Theatre 503 playwriting award opens for submissions on 1st March – Deadline: 31 March 2014

Tottenham based writer required – Deadline: 31 March 2014

Tobacco Factory (Bristol) Script Space Competition 2014 – Deadline: 31 March 2014

Burbage New Writing Prize – open for submissions – Deadline: 7 April 2014

Putney Theatre Company accepting submissions of short plays – Deadline: 13 April 2014

The Nick Darke Award 2014 is open for submissions for £6000 prize – Deadline: 14 April 2014

Chesil Theatre Company accepting 10 minute plays– Deadline: 25 April 2014

East 15 playwriting competition open for submissions – Deadline: 30 April 2014

Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize launched (£20 entry fee) – Deadline: 30 May 2014

The Newspeak Theatre Company seeks writer for their writers-room – Deadline: 30 June 2014

Ongoing submissions:

Ice & Fire/ Amnesty International UK – rolling submissions for plays with human rights theme – Deadline: Ongoing

Performance Platform Opportunity, University of Greenwich – Deadline: None posted

Quids In Theatre Co seeking 40-60 minute plays for lunchtime series – Deadline: Ongoing

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

The Newspeak Theatre accepting submissions – Deadline: None (open submissions)

Burbage New Writing Prize – open for submissions

Burbage Productions has launched its new writing prize. The winning play will receive a full production in London, there are no rules on content or style, but the play must be full length and complete (at least 90 minutes running time) and previously unperformed, although plays which have received up to 3 workshops/ staged readings will be considered.

How to submit: send plays along with a brief synopsis to Please read the guidelines below before submitting or visit the website.

  • The competition is open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland only.
  • There is no age limit.
  • The play must have a playing time of at least ninety minutes.
  • Only one entry per person will be accepted.
  • All entries should include page numbers on every page.
  • They are only able to accept entries submitted by email in Word or PDF format. Entries must be entirely complete and in one document only.
  • All scripts must include a phone number and contact email address on the front page of the script.  
  • The play must be an unperformed and unproduced piece of work. It cannot have received a professional production in any form, anywhere in the world, apart from an absolute maximum of three rehearsed/staged readings or workshops only. Amateur productions do not apply. Any scripts that have been professionally produced or published will be automatically disqualified.
  • The entrant must exclusively own and control all copyright and all other related rights to the Submitted script. It must be available for production and unattached to any other organisation or individual.
  • The terms for any Subsequent production mounted by Burbage will be negotiated in good faith at that time.
  • We regret that no correspondence can be entered into regarding any part of the judging process.
  • The winning play will be announced by Monday 14 April. 2014.

Deadline: 7 April 2014

Source: Playwriting UK Facebook Page.

Invertigo Theatre and the Pleasance present: Writer in Residence

The Invertigo Theatre gang is giving one IdeasTap member the chance to become it’s writer-in-residence. The winner of this brief gets the chance to develop their play over a three-month period. Additional benefits include: a rehearsed reading of the play at an Off-West End venue and a £350 bursary. Successful applicants will show an imaginative response to the brief in their synopsis, and their previous work can be in any style, but of a high standard.The judges would also encourage writers to be creative in their research concepts and try to embrace oral as well as written narratives.

Invertigo Theatre is looking for a writer in residence to work with on a special project under their recently launched ShedCreative initiative. Invertigo champions lesser known new writing and is looking for an IdeasTap member keen to collaborate with a creative ensemble.

What to submit: to apply, you’ll need to submit an original script idea of no more than 150 words on the topic of identity and its role in British society today. The play must include:

  • Two characters only – one from Wales, one from England
  • The characters must be aged 16 to 25

Writers should be creative in their research concepts and try to embrace oral as well as written narratives.

Once all the applications have been received, selected candidates will be invited to interview on Wednesday 5 March 2014. Invertigo will then select three further candidates from the shortlist, who will be given six days to write a 10-page script, to be performed on Saturday 15 March at the Pleasance Theatre in front of industry professionals and Invertigo’s artistic team. The winner will be chosen and notified within the next few days.

How to apply: you’ll need to be a member of IdeasTap to apply, once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to follow the brief and upload supporting documents.

Deadline: 3 March 2014′

Source: IdeasTap Creative Briefs page.


Theatre 503 playwriting award opens for submissions on 1st March

“Theatre503’s Playwriting Award is an unprecedented opportunity for playwrights at all levels to be recognised for writing an outstanding, original piece of work for the stage. It will build upon the foundation of the venue’s reputation for engaging with the next generation of playwrights, whilst broadening its opportunities to include more experienced, produced writers”. (Theatre503)

This biennial award has been made possible by the generous support of The Richard Carne Trust, Curtis Brown Creative and Arts Council England.The winner of the award will receive a financial prize of £6000 and a guaranteed production of their winning play at Theatre503. In addition to this, 5 writers will be selected to take part in 503five, an eighteen month Resident Writer Training Programme for developing playwrights. It provides the five chosen writers with a full-length play commission, a personal industry mentor, workshops and masterclasses led by industry professionals, practical opportunities to develop their work, varying public presentations, and the vital experience of working in a writer-centric new writing theatre.

Writers applying for the 503Five should have no full-length professional production credits, defined by a run of 3 weeks or more and which has received coverage from the national press.

Submission details:

*There will be one submission process only for The 503 Playwriting Award and the 503Five. If you wish to be considered for the 503Five you must submit an application for this process*.

  • The 2014 Theatre503 Playwriting Award/503Five will open for entries between 1st and 31st March 2014. Applications will be made using an online form directly accessible via a one-click Award Button located on the Theatre503 homepage. This button will go live on 1st March 2014.
  • Writers will need to complete the application form in full, which will include submitting a 200 word biography, a 50 word synopsis of your play, and the full length play in PDF form only.
  • Writers may submit one full-length play (min. 60 minutes stage time) only. This must be an original, unproduced work, unperformed anywhere in the world, apart from rehearsed/staged readings and workshops.
  • Co-written plays are accepted for the award. If the writers in question are then considered for the 503Five they will be asked to submit individual work.
  • Writers are free to submit for the process with a work that has previously been considered by this or another theatre.

Post Submission Process:

503 Playwriting Award: all writers will be notified as to the outcome of their submission at specific stages in the process. The first will be the long-list, followed later by the short-list. This contact will be a standard email and Theatre503 will be unable to provide feedback or enter into discussion about those decisions on an individual basis.

The winner of the New Playwriting Award will be announced in November 2014.

503Five: irrespective of the outcome of an individual’s award submission, all candidates submitting for the 503Five will be considered separately. The winner of the Award will not be eligible for the 503Five. Those writers long-listed for the 503Five will be asked to submit a further application and at this point those who have not been successful will also be contacted. This will happen in Autumn 2014.

Terms and Conditions

Any play or writer that does not meet the criteria set out below will be disqualified.

  1. Whilst submissions should be made in your own name, the reading process will, in part, be anonymous. Therefore please do not include your name or contact details anywhere in the body of the script.
  2. The online portal will be open for submissions from Saturday 1st March to Monday 31st March (inclusive). Any entries received before or after this time will not enter the reading process.
  3. All questions on the submission form marked with an asterisk must be completed.
  4. Only entries submitted online as requested will be accepted. Please do not submit any material by any other means. E.g. on paper, email, CDs, digital media.
  5. Plays must be written in the English language.
  6. Plays must have never been professionally optioned, produced or published.
  7. Only one script per writer may be submitted.
  8. Plays may have been submitted to other playwriting competitions, however points 15, 16 and 17 below must be observed at all times.
  9. Theatre503 must be informed immediately should you wish to withdraw your play at any point.

By submitting a script for consideration you agree that:

  1. The text itself does not contain any detail of your identity.
  2. You are the writer of the play and exclusively own and control all copyright and all other related rights to the play.
  3. The play is at least 60 minutes in stage time.
  4. The play is an original, unperformed, unpublished work for the stage and has not been produced anywhere in the world.
  5. The play is available for production and unattached to any other theatre or company.
  6. If you are the winner, or are selected to join the 503Five, your play will be automatically under option to Theatre503 for a period of eighteen months after the announcement of the award winner or the 503Five members, whichever is applicable.
  7. You will not be entitled to any production related fees other than Theatre503’s standard percentage of gross box office receipts.
  8. Upon the occurrence of any event of force majeure or incapacity, Theatre503 shall not be obliged to produce any work.

Final judging panel includes: Dennis Kelly (Matilda The MusicalUtopia), Chris Campbell (Literary Manager, Royal Court Theatre), Erica Whyman (Associate Artistic Director, RSC and Chair, Theatre503), Roy Williams (Sing Yer Heart Out For The LadsSuckerpunch), Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard) and Marianne Elliot (Associate Director National Theatre, War HorseCurious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time).

For all enquiries email

Deadline: 31st March 2014  7 April 2014 (date extended!)

Source: Theatre 503 e-newsletter

A resource for emerging playwrights