Playwrights' Competition Calendar


Hello and Goodbye… Again!

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 10:05

So, a few months ago I had a comment saying ‘Isn’t it about time Gina came back? Wherever she decided to go, she has surely “found herself” by now’. I ignored it for a while, but it kept niggling at me in an irritating fashion until I came to the conclusion that maybe the answer had to be ‘yes’.

Now, I haven’t actually found myself, but I think I see a glimmer and, more importantly, I miss this. And you guys. But I haven’t missed trying to keep up to date with the calendar so I’ve started a new blog HERE.

It’s called Midlife Crisps (thanks to smallest child), and it’s all abut MEEEEE! Hurrah. I’m still writing, still trying to get published/produced/paid, and still wanting to talk about my favourite subject which is, of course ME ME ME.

So, I am sorry I’m not going to be very helpful any more, but I will try to be interesting and entertaining, and hopefully you’ll come along and have a look every now and then. No pressure, just, you know, if you want to. Sometimes. Maybe.



Bye Bye

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 15:16

Hello lovely readers one and all,

I am very sorry to say that I have come to say goodbye. For too long now my Playwright’s Calendar has been left lonely, unloved and a source of guilt for me when it pops up every day as one of my selected pages.

I have loved blogging and calendaring but, as you may have noticed, have not had the inclination to get my arse in gear to do it for a long time.  I will probably get back to it sometime in the future because I love talking about ME so, who knows, maybe I will meet some of you again in that great webiness in the sky.

Me? How kind of you to ask. I am still writing but mostly children’s books now (although my favourite play is still out there gathering dust on various desks) and I continue to dream my little writery dreams. You know the ones – multiple reprints, international acclaim, awards, that sort of thing, however,  I think writing fiction is always going to be easier than real life so it’s going to have to be bye bye blog.

I don’t want to leave this as a cobwebsite so will try and work out how to delete it in about a month but, until then, I want to say thank you all for reading, thank you all for commenting, and thank you all for your lovely best wishes when times have been good and not so good. It’s meant a lot to me.

All that’s left to do now is wish you all the best of luck.

And Happy Writing to you all. XXX



Spring has Sprung

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 09:39

Hello lovely writery peoples and how the devil are you all? Very well and productive I hope. I’m just dropping by to let you all know I am still here and keeping my calendar up to date even if I’m being a little quiet myself.

It’s been a funny old Spring with lots of family stuff going on, some of it quite tricky, but they do say that the first year’s the worst so if it’s not more sorted by the summer I’m going to be mightily pissed off and then I really will write that play about last Christmas!

My ‘Contact Me’ link seems to be working well so thank you everyone who’s been sending me stuff to put in the calendar, and don’t forget I need a closing date. I also get lovely messages from lovely people sending lovely wishes which are always very much appreciated. I started this calendar for myself because I have such a shocking memeory, and I’m so pleased you all find it useful too.

Now, it seems I’ve also got a bit of a confession to make – I’ve been accused of going over to the dark side so, here goes…

I’m really really sorry but I’m writing another children’s book!

I know, I know, but I really didn’t mean for this to happen, I was just thinking about plays and theatres and stuff when this idea came along and it looked quite nice so I didn’t think it would hurt anybody if I just thought about it for a bit – I could stop whenever I wanted, but then one thing lead to another and now… Well, it’s been going on for forty five pages and I’m sorry, but I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to. I am still keeping full custody of my calendar and my plays and I’m making sure they don’t miss out on anything so I’ve got a couple of radio plays up for the Backwell Playhouse, and I promise they’ll be in for the important stuff like The Bruntwood and the drama slot at the BBC Writersroom but for now… well, I just hope that if you can’t forgive you can at least understand.

Anyway, until the next time, happy writing to you all. XXX


Happy Christmas!

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 19:46

Christmas is here and playwright’s getting fat

She’s eaten too much turkey and drunk a full wine vat

She hasn’t made her fortune and fame has yet to call

But hope is ever present for me and playwrights all.

Happy Christmas to all my lovely, hopeful readers and I look forward to seeing you all next year.



15 Sleeps

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 23:35

How’s your Christmas shopping going? Mine’s okay but the husband’s a bit grumpy because I don’t know what I want. I was going to say “Your love is enough” but I couldn’t get it out for laughing.

I’ve been busy rewriting the book and have already sent it out to 3 new agents so am feeling quite proud. I’ve also reworked my play after all the comments from the Experiment night and am just waiting for Himself to read first and comment, but don’t feel I can hassle him (see note above). It’s only about an hour so the places I can send it are limited but I can try Soho who don’t seem to have a limit and nor do 503. Lucky there’s a handy ‘Where to send your script’ page roundabouts.

Speaking of my Nuffield Experiment night, they’ve just opened for submissions again for their February night so I can highly recommend that if you’re close enough to get there. I’ve also heard that Papatango 2015 is also open for submissions with the winner getting a four week run (I think). Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival is gearing up for next year too, but they don’t have any specific dates yet. Ooh, now, they’re looking for one hour plays… thanks Ian.

I had an interesting email from the Royal Court today which they sent because of my 2 1/2 minutes of fame last year with my Found Play. This year they’re doing Mini Plays:

Something’s got under your skin. It’s niggling away. You need to do something about it. We’re listening…

GRIT is an open call to writers of all ages and experiences to contribute a play that can fit in the palm of your hand.”

Look at the time! I should be in bed now, even though it means I’ll have to turn off the Christmas tree lights which I hate doing because it all looks so beautiful (and makes it really difficult to find the tree chocolates). So good night and happy writing all. X

P.S. I’ve just found a fabulous quote:

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
—Charlotte Brontë , Jane Eyre


Happy First Day of Advent

Filed under: New Competitions — Gina @ 22:24

I opened my Frozen chocolate advent calendar today (that’s the movie, not the very cold chocolate) and those chocolates are tiny! Very disappointing. I knew I should’ve gone for the Gruffalo one – that was Thornton’s.

I’ve had a busy month and that included my rehearsed reading at the Nuffield’s Experiment night. I was able to be there for the afternoon rehearsals which was so helpful – I only wish it could have been for the whole play! The night went very well, the actors were great, I got some really useful feedback afterwards and I also got a bit of praise which is no bad thing. The evening was rounded off nicely with some performance poetry from a Beaver. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

Have you all been watching the Royal Court’s micro plays? It’s well worth it – my favourite so far has to be ‘Britain isn’t Eating’ with Katherine Parkinson whose timing is just perfect.

I’ve put stuff in the calendar but I’m sorry to say I’m losing interest now because Buzzcocks is on the telly! I’ve rewritten my children’s book and taken out an awful lot of adjectives which seemed like a good idea at the time but now just seems like too many words saying nothing very useful at all. Which is kind of what I’m doing here. I’ve also got to start thinking about my Christmas post – I was told off last year for being too down beat so I’ll try for a bit more Christmas cheer this time. or maybe I’ll just drink more wine while I write.

Happy December and happy writing all. X


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

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