An interview with Abi Morgan from BBC’s FrontRow

If you’re feeling in need of inspiration, check out this BBC Radio 4 interview with Abi Morgan for FrontRow (Jan 2012, length).  In it, Morgan discusses the differences between writing for theatre, television and film, her writing process, and how she juggles so many impressive projects.  Aspirational and entertaining listening – all in the first 12 minutes.

Windsor Fringe Kenneth Branagh Award seeking short plays (amateurs only, entry fee)

This competition, sponsored by Kenneth Branagh for the Windsor Fringe Festival, is seeking submissions for its tenth anniversary reward.  The competition is open to amateurs only (although they do not give a definition of amateur in the competition guidelines).

What to submit: An original play (30 minutes or less) that has not been published or performed.  Maximum cast size of six.  Only one play per writer will be accepted.  Full details on their website.

What you win: Three winning scripts will be selected for performances during three Drama Nights at the Windsor Fringe Festival in October and the winner of the £500 prize will be announced on the last night.

What you pay: £5 reading fee

Closing date: 5 March 2013

Writing classes with Cardboard Citizens and Tamasha

This week, three new writing classes came across our radar, offered by Cardboard Citizens and Tamasha Theatre.

Cardboard Citizens, an organisation that works to change the lives of the homeless through theatre, will be running a week-long course on Writing for Forum Theatre from 18-22 March 2013.  The cost is £364 for 5 days (with a limited number of reduced cost places available).  (For those not already in the know, Forum Theatre is a practice pioneered by Augusto Boal to give a voice to oppressed people and use performance to drive social change (for more info, read his seminal book Theatre of the Oppressed).

The course as described on the Cardboard Citizens website:

Led by experienced writer Sarah Woods, and leading Forum Theatre expert, Adrian Jackson, the week will be a mix of practical exercises and masterclasses; each of the participating writers or devisers will end the week with at the very least an outline of a Forum Theatre play. The course will feature guest sessions by award-winning playwrights such as Bola Agbaje, Kate Tempest and David Watson as well as the opportunity to see Cardboard Citizens’ latest Forum Theatre play Glasshouse by Kate Tempest.

Techniques explored will include “sample R&D workshops, verbatim interviews to source material for Forum pieces and a range of writing exercises and games.”  Writers will receive one-to-one feedback on their work, and will finish the week with an outline for a Forum Theatre play.  Check their website for full details and to apply for a place.

Tamasha Theatre is also offering two new writing classes.  Be forewarned that their application processes are rather intensive, so you don’t want to leave this one to the last minute.  They require a writing sample, CV, and detailed statement of interest, and requesting details of referees.  Full course and application details are available on the individual course pages listed below.

Their Masterclass with Alexi Kaye Campbell will run from 18-19 February, costing £155 for the two days.  The application deadline is 8 February 2013.

They will also be running a New Writing Course from 18-22 March, costing £250 for the week.  Writers will work with Tamasha Co-Artistic Director, Sudha Bhuchar and leading playwright and dramaturg, Philip Osment.  The application deadline is 28 February 2013, with interviews to be held w/c 4 March 2013.


Opportunities Round-up: 2 February 2013

So many opportunities – so many time!  See below for links to opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).

Brockley Jack’s Write Now 4 Festival (full lengths and one acts) – Closing date: 4 February 2013

A Play for the Nation’s Youth – Closing date: 8 February 2013

Equal Writes call for short plays – Closing date: 12 February 2013

Exeter Phoenix Digital National Short Film Competition – Closing date: 15 February 2013

Bread and Roses seeking short plays – Closing date: 24 February 2013

Brockley Jack’s Write Now Shorts – Closing date: 4 March 2013

BBC Writersroom Open Submissions – Closing date: 28 March 2013 (Note: opens 14 February 2013)

SkyBlue New Play Competition (entry fee) – Closing date: 30 March 2013

King’s Cross Award at the Courtyard Theatre (entry fee) – Closing date: 30 April 2013

The Bruntwood Prize – Closing date: 3 June 2013



2013 Bruntwood Prize Competition

The Bruntwood Prize is a competition managed by The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.  It’s open to playwrights across the UK.  The prize has a comprehensive website, featuring everything from submission guidelines, to writing inspiration, to FAQ, to pointers from past winners.  Be sure to make use of this resource before submitting.

What to submit: An original, unperformed full-length play.  Only one submission per writer will be accepted.  Note that plays MUST be submitted under a pseudonym – see website for full details.

What you win: The winner of the 2013 prize will receive £16,000 and a year-long attachment at the Royal Exchange Theatre.  There will also be three Judges’ Awards of £8,000 each. All four award winners will have the chance to develop their play with the Royal Exchange, with a view to production. In addition, leading theatre publishers Nick Hern Books will publish all winning plays that receive a production at the Exchange.  The top 100 plays will receive a feedback report from the Royal Exchange.

Closing date: 3 June 2013

£5 tickets at Theatre503 and the Hampstead

Theatre503 will be having a Writers Night on Thursday 7 February 2013 – a chance to see their new production of Desolate Heaven for only £5!  This production is the first of Paul Robinson’s tenure as sole Artistic Director.  Writers are eligible to write a short play for their Rapid Write Response – deadline Sunday 10 February.  Selected plays will be performed on 25 February.  (Use the code WRITER during checkout to get the discount.)

The Hampstead Theatre is also offering £5 tickets to the first five performance of Peter Souter’s Hello/Goodbye (from 1-5 March 2013).

Bread and Roses seeking short plays for Platform

Bread and Roses Theatre Company has put out a call for short plays on their website.  Selected plays will be performed at their next Platform, date TBA.  No further script guidelines are given.  Details of writers from the previous platform can be seen here.

What to submit: In addition to your script, a character list, approximate length, and brief synopsis are required.  Submission is completed using their online form.

Closing date: 24 February 2013

King’s Cross Award from the Courtyard Theatre (entry fee)

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

Brockley Jack seeking 10 minute plays for Write Now Shorts

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



Brockley Jack seeking submissions for Write Now 4 Festival (for SE London writers)

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.

A resource for emerging playwrights