Playwrights' Competition Calendar


November already!

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 22:19

It’s November already which doesn’t just mean that my children have a huge stash of Halloween swag in their rooms that they’re hiding from me, but also that it’s the end of half term so I have to go and be nice to other people’s children again on Tuesday. It’s going to be hard!

The good news is that I’ve got a slot in the next Nuffield Theatre Experiment night on the 17th which means I’ll get a rehearsed reading of a 20 minute extract of my new play. Hurrah! The Nuffield has stopped it’s Writers’ Group (with John Burgess that I was on), and replaced it with Nuffield Laboratory, their Artist Development Programme. I recommend you sign up for their Network which offers loads of useful talks/discounts/opportunities if you’re localish to Southampton or can get there easily.

There’s masses of stuff in November if you’d care to have a stroll over there, and I feel there are lots of New Writing nights popping up this Autumn which has got to be a good thing for we scribblers.

If you like Youtube and are looking for a change from Zoella, the National Theatre have a very interesting series of videos for/by playwrights that I’ve been watching when I should have been writing. Please take this as a friendly gesture not the spreading of my own Procrastinovirus.

Love and happy writing to you all. X

(4/11/14  How could you not tell me that I spelt ‘theatre’ wrong? I’m so humiliated!)


It’s a bit (second) drafty in here.

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 13:55

Today is a good day because I’ve just finished the second draft of my new play. It’s only a shorty (38 pages) but I’m quite pleased with it so far which is just as well because there’s an awful lot of cleaning that hasn’t been done. It’s okay though, the kids’ tetanus shots are up to date – not sure about the husband’s…

First I’m going to post a question that was asked on this site but that I couldn’t answer to see if any of you can help: “I’m nearing the end of my first draft of my very first play. I’ve discovered script reading services that will give professional feedback. Does anyone know of a similar service for poetry? My play includes a poem.”

I’ve heard about a new event called “One Hour” which is a regular showcase of new writing based in Soho by Equilibrium Promotions. Each event lasts an hour and consists of 15 minute extracts of three new plays.

Another on-going opportunity is Without Decor at the King’s Head. ‘Are you an emerging writer attached to an ambitious company searching for a platform to develop your work?’ It gives you the chance to develop your play over several weeks, so probably best for those within easy reach of London.

And a third is Rich Mix. “Small Story / Big City: Call for Submissions. Throughout 2015, Rich Mix is looking for new/emerging performers and companies to come and tell their stories of city life, so we can present just some of the small tales that contribute to the rich tapestry of the big city.”

Talking Statues looks very cool – you need to write a monologue for a statue (there are 3 to choose from) by 17th October. This is also the closing date for South Yorkshire writers to get something in for a Script Slam.

Now, you all know I only do competitions here, not writing groups etc, but if you do want those the Bruntwood Prize has a good page, David Lane produces ‘Lane’s List’ once a week, the BBC Writersroom is your friend as is the London Playwright’s Blog (who’s like me only more organised). Not that I’m not your friend of course – I’m just your slightly lazier friend who can’t be bothered to put everything in. But I’m still there for you.

Speaking of the London Playwright’s Blog, they have an interesting series of 3 posts about producing your own show written by Kimberley Andrews. Part one (Getting started), part two (finding a venue) and part three (budgets and profit).

It’s raining again here, and it’s time for me to have a little private play reading before the children come home and have to listen to the filthy bad language Mummy puts in her plays. Not that they don’t hear similar when Mummy’s a bit grumpy but hey ho.

Before I go, though, I will just apologise for the awful pun in the title – my only excuse is a certain giddiness at finishing my play.

Happy writing all. X


Newsjack’s Back

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 16:33

So, here’s me paying attention and being all up to the minute and what not:

Newsjack is back. This is the BBC’s sketch show which actively encourages unsolicited material from we unwashed masses out here and gives real cash money for anything that makes the broadcast. I will warn you – READ THEIR SUBMISSION GUIDELINES CAREFULLY- They get very grumpy with people who don’t. It’s also an idea to follow their Twitter feed because they sometimes give info on subjects they want more of/less of. If you like writing sketches there’s also ‘Behind the Bikeshed‘ who are looking for beatles-themed material.

The BBC Scriptroom 8 is also open for stage plays and The Writer’s Prize is looking for radio plays – both of these close on September 29th. I’m very proud to be on page 12 of my new play, but not sure I’ll have enough of a play for that deadline.

Any Scottish writers out there should check out the Writersroom opportunities page because there seems to be a lot of ‘stuff’ for you like mentorship and workshops. Another niche opportunity is for any deaf or disabled writers living or working in the North West. You have the opportunity of working with Graeae. I like a bit of a niche me because it cuts down on the number of applicants, although the last competition I went for there were only 5 scripts sent in and I didn’t even make it to the shortlist of 2! Humiliating! I’m not bitter though – they must just have been over-awed by the sheer brilliance of my work and realised that there was no way they could do it justice, poor souls. They were probably right.

Anyway, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been so out of the writing habit that, when I had a flash of Sunday morning inspiration, I discovered I didn’t have a notebook by my bed. How bad is that!

And now the husband has gone downstairs to cook supper which means that (assuming he doesn’t set fire to anything) I’ve got a good hour’s writing time.

Happy writing to us all. X



New Year

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 12:55

Well, hello there lovely peoples,

What with the children and the day job, my life runs from September to September so here I am at the start of a new year with hopes, plans, ideas and a little bit more time now I’m only working 3 days a week – Hurrah! It’s been a tricky year for me what with one thing and another so the writing has fallen by the wayside somewhat, but it’s now time to pick it all and brush it off and start all over again and that includes the calendar and the blog so prepare to be… probably bombarded with more regular drivel but you can always skip over this bit and go straight to the calendar.

I’ve been trying to decide how personal I should be with this blog it’s made me think about my little community of lovely writers out there and I have felt I’ve let you down a bit this year so in the spirit of sharing, and so you know where I’m at, this year has been a lot about my mum who’s had cancer. She died at the beginning of August which has been a shock even though it was expected and so life now is about getting used to this new ‘normal’ without her in it. There are good days and bad days and lots and lots of dreams some of which are happy, some are sad and some are just bizarre.

All of that has taken up so much energy and brain space there hasn’t been much room for anything else but I’m writing again now. I did start a play about a family waiting for their mother to die but a good friend told me NO! Good advice, maybe write that one next year, so I’ve started something else which is not much more cheerful, but definitely less maudlin and it’s felt so good to be sitting here writing again. I like that feeling when you start with a small idea, and as you write more, more floods into your head. Such fun.

So there you all are, and look at the time! I have five minutes to get back to work so love and happy writing to you all. X


I like my bed.

Filed under: Random Musings — Gina @ 10:10

Hello lovely writery peoples out there, I thought it was about time I checked in with you all. It’s also 10 in the morning and I’m still sitting in bed which must mean it’s the holidays. (I’m also feeling slightly guilty that the last post to be written was a bit of a tasteless rudey so my apologies to anyone who was offended.)

I’m afraid my personal life has been taking too much of my brain space to allow me to have much of a writer’s life recently and it will continue like this for a while, but I promise normal service will resume soon. I will continue to update the calendar when I have time but the blog bit might stay a bit quiet for a while longer. Not much new writing going on here, although I did scribble off 5 pages of dialogue the other day which might or might not go somewhere. I also rehashed a four year old radio script for a funny little comp that wanted plays set in Tavistock so, because I know the area wellish, I put in a few local street names to my old play. You never know, and it does make my emails a little more interesting. I’m also supposed to be rewriting the first chapter of my book following some really helpful notes I got from the Winchester Writers’ Festival comp., and my allotment’s a mess, the bind weed is taking over the garden and I think the kids might turn feral soon. When did I last bath them?

Anyway, I’ll have a quick scoot around the wonderful world of webbage to check for useful stuff before I go and feed the short ones. Thank you all for your patience and have a lovely summer. XXX



Searching questions.

Filed under: Random Musings — Gina @ 12:40

I think I’ve told you before that I like to check my ‘search engine terms’ to see what people are looking for when they find me. Well, the best one came up yesterday and I feel the need to share because it made me laugh (the easily offended should look away now) and, before anyone asks, I’m sorry but I really don’t know the answer.

“Does playing badminton tighten vagina?”


Just a quickie

Filed under: Random Musings,Writing Opportunities — Gina @ 12:57

Anyone out there signed up for the University of Glasgow post grad playwriting and dramaturgy course? You can apply now for a funded place. I think you have to apply by June 16th but I’m not sure. Here’s the website.

Busy doing nothing here (apart from a little trip to Eurodisney. For the kids, you understand). I’m still sending out my book to agents and competitions, and waiting to hear from a couple of people who are looking at my play. I know I asked them to do it as a favour, but didn’t they understand I meant DO IT NOW!

I’m a bit stuck, actually, waiting for a new idea. A couple of vague thoughts are floating around my head but nothing strong enough to make me ravage my laptop. Oh, and I’ve applied for a new job writing short stories for a company who run workshops for kids. It’s not going to win me my Olivier or get me on the top table at Waterstones but I am excited by the thought of being paid to write. It’s kind of like when I started working in theatre and I found myself doing a job I loved in an environment I loved and, to top it all off, some bugger wanted to pay me for it! Anyway, trying not to count my chickens and all that, so stay calm and I’ll keep you posted.

That’s the end of my lunch break so I’ll be off now. Happy writing all. X

P.S. I lied. Eurodisney was all about me and it was AWESOME! I now own a Mickey Mouse ring, some Mickey Mouse oven gloves (so cool – they’re like his big, white gloves), Mickey and Minnie salt and pepper shakers and… no money. X


Free Monday

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 21:43

I love bank holidays. A free day off – Hurrah! What have I been doing? Eating, drinking and writing – more hurrahs. I haven’t been doing all three together because that’s what made my keyboard sticky last time. Promise.

More stuff gone in the calendar including Sterts who are looking for one act plays, and the London Horror festival is doing their Stagefright competition again for short, radio horror. I was shortlisted 2 years ago and had great fun going to London for the final where our plays were recorded live by the Wireless Theatre Company – highly recommended. Oh yes, and if you want £1,000 you’d better have a look at Time Zone Theatre Company.

Another website to visit is David Lane’s. Every Monday he emails ‘Lane’s List’ which is full of useful links,interviews and articles so I can recommend you all sign up for that one.

So, this month I’ve been ill a bit (I’m better now, thanks), writing a bit (finished 1st draft of play-that-I’ve-been-writing-for-fucking-ever. Now for the rewrites. Luckily I like rewriting. In fact, sometimes I prefer rewriting to squeezing out that 1st draft.), submitting a bit (8 agent rejections for my book so far, but hope not lost yet) and I’ve even looked after the kids a bit (good Mommy).

An interesting thing has happened with my mosaic play for 6 actors – it’s become a play for 16 actors and has had a workshop with the Oxford Drama School thanks to Abigail Pickard Price, my lovely Director from last month’s rehearsed reading. I was going to put it in a drawer, but I’m now seeing if can have a whole new life – I’ll keep you posted.

It’s dark and cold in my office now (it’s not as swanky as it sounds) so I’m going to my sitting room which is warm and light and has a TV. Happy writing all. X



I’m back!

Filed under: Random Musings — Gina @ 09:37

That’s me back from The Smoke (as we provincials call that thriving metropolis that is London), and also back from whatever nonsense has been happening to WordPress for the last few days – many apologies if you haven’t been able to access this blog.

My rehearsed reading? Awesome! The King’s Head had found me a great Director and really lovely/talented group of actors to play with. When I walked in for rehearsals and saw them all sitting there I had a sudden realisation that they were there to play my characters and it was so cool to look and think ‘Oh, so that’s what Zoe and Emma look like’ etc. It was also great to listen to the Director talking to the actors – so exciting when she was saying exactly what I had intended.

The downside? There are more holes in my script than a Swiss cheese! Sitting in my room reading aloud at home it all sounded great. Sitting with an audience watching it being read straight through – not so much. The good thing though is that this time I could also see all the good things I’d written as well as the things that didn’t work and left feeling very up whereas last time, at Offcut, all I could focus on was the mistakes and left feeling pretty depressed. All that excitement and a bit of personal growth – what more can you ask for?

My piece of advice for you today – I was terribly efficient with my reading and about 4 weeks ago invited all the London new writing venues I could think of (you know – Soho, 503 etc) but none turned up whereas I only rang The Royal Court the week before and someone did come from their Literary Department. My thought is that maybe don’t send your invites too early because then you might get forgotten. Leave it until a week or two before and then they’ll still have you in mind when they organise their viewing week. This isn’t gospel, mind you, just my opinion – for all I know they might all hate me really and, while I was in Islington, they were all having a ‘bring your new script and we’ll put it on for you’ party at the Nash.

Paranoid much?

I now have 10 minutes to get to work, and I want a quick look at the play I’ve been writing since December. December! I’m sooooooo slooooooow! But I’m just coming to the end of the first draft so that’s good. I then need to rewrite the first chapter of my book because everyone keeps telling me I’ve started it in the wrong place. Anyone who tells you to ‘Begin at the beginning. Work through the middle and stop when you reach the end’ you now need to say ‘But where is the beginning?’

That could be a new philosophy for life. Maybe I should write a book about it.

And don’t forget your Newsjack sketches.

Happy writing one and all. X


Time flies…

Filed under: New Competitions,Random Musings — Gina @ 12:14

It’s March! How did it get to be March? Busier than a busy bee, me, but first a quick heads up; I’ve been updating the calendar and 3 of the competitions I’ve put in are closing in the middle of March (an auspicious day for playwriting judges maybe?). There’s Bristol’s Quick and Dirty comp, Plain Sight want a play for children and the Royal Court’s International program. Then take a quick look at the end of the month where you’ve got Papatango, Theatre 503, Salisbury Playhouse, Liverpool’s Page to Stage, Bristol’s Tobacco Factory and Sky Blue Theatre Company. Don’t you come telling me you’re bored!

So, what have I been up to then? Well, I’ve had a birthday (but my hairdresser put my age at 6 years younger so that’s alright), child #1 has had a birthday (I have a 12-year-old – that’s just madness), I took my Mummy to see the Lion King (we both cried – please don’t hate me), I went to see my friend’s play with Descent Theatre at Rich Mix (a great night) and… I think that’s it.

Did I tell you about my rehearsed reading? It’s my consolation prize for being shortlisted for the Adrian Pagan Award and it’s this Thursday in Islington. Gulp! I’m very excited and quite nervous but I’ve been brave and invited lots of cool New Writing folks so fingers crossed that it goes well.

Still sending my book out – 4 no’s so far but I’m keeping it out there, and I think I’m on query draft #658 now so where there’s ink there’s hope.

I’m going to go now and find my sports bra because I’m off to play badminton to try to combat the Writer’s Arse I’m cultivating. Happy writing to you all. X

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