Playwrights' Competition Calendar

May 2013

13th May

Theatre exchange, Birmingham

Applications are open for the rehearsed readings on Monday 20th May 2013

This is an opportunity to see the words you’ve written come to life in a relaxed and supportive setting. Professional actors and directors will rehearse the selected extracts for 2 hours after which they will be performed in front of an audience. Audience feedback will be given in paper form.

What happens after Theatre Exchange? It’s different for everyone. We gently encourage but don’t push writers into collaborations, some writers just want to see a section performed to they can go away and re-draft.  If you’re interested in taking a piece further next steps for playwrights have included: full length rehearsed readings at The Edge, Digbeth; fringe productions at The Old Joint Stock; private full cast readings; filmed sections.  In addition we’re working in collaboration withCapital Theatre Festival to find  a piece of new writing for this years festival (20th-24th November), this is subject to successful funding.   We can’t promise the outcome of your involvement in Theatre Exchange but there are lots of people to discuss ideas with making it a great place to start.
  • Apply with a short stand alone piece or an extract from a full length play (if you’re interested in submitting  for Capital Theatre Festival please send your full script, detailing page numbers for the extract you want to submit).
  • Extracts limited to 8 mins.
  • Provide us with a short synopsis and character breakdown.
  • Please include page numbers, and headers.
  • Let us know what question you would like to ask the audience.
  • You MUST be available on Monday 20th April from 5.30pm for the meet and greet. Performances are from 7.30pm.
  • Everyone involved including the organisers are volunteers. However, for taking part you will receive a discount card for the Old Joint Stock Theatre, use of rehearsal space (terms and conditions apply) and a complimentary ticket for a performance of your choice at The Old Joint Stock.

To apply:


20th may

How it Ended Productions – Futurespark

how it ended productions and UK Centre for Carnival Arts are proud to introduce FUTURESPARK, a festival that showcases emerging new writing talent.

How It Ended Productions are looking for writers regardless of age or experience to submit 10 minutes plays, which if selected will be allocated a professional director and performed in front of a live audience at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton, on the 11th and 12th July 2013.

This festival theme: CARNIVAL
All plays must be inspired, however indirectly, on this theme.

Send your scripts to:

Guidelines for submission
– Your piece must be no longer than 10 minutes in duration
– Basic sound/lighting and minimal props
– Extracts or adaptation will not be accepted
– Attach your work in a PDF or Word document.


20th may to 27th May

Popcorn Saturday

RealDeal Theatre is calling for short plays inspired by the movies for its new event “Popcorn Saturday”! See our website The entry window is Monday 20th May to Sunday 27th May 2013 inclusive to and be sure to check the details for entering before sending your script! Good luck with this and all your writing!


20th May

Little Pieces of Gold

24th June Showcase

Every play submitted will be read and a shortlist then made. The shortlist will be circulated amongst our directors who will then make their final choice. If your play is selected it is then assigned a director who will cast, rehearse and direct your piece. We would be hugely grateful if you could stick to the following guidelines. Thank you.


1. Your play must be no longer than 10 mins duration.

2. We cannot accept extracts, adaptations or monologues.

3. We can only accommodate very basic sound/lighting.  No sets or ‘effects’. Our time will be extremely limited in regard to technical rehearsals so writers, please adhere to this.

4. Your piece must not have been staged in the UK ( if it’s had a reading that’s fine).

5. Please do not submit your work if you are living outside the UK. As this is a writers’ initiative we like writers to be able to attend the performance and to meet with their directors.  PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR HOME ADDRESS WITH YOUR APPLICATION.

6. Send your work in a PDF or Word document.

7. Include a very short synopsis of the play and a brief writer’s bio.

8. Cast should be limited to 4 actors.


22nd May

Spearshaker Theatre

Spearshaker Theatre are looking for a play!

After sell out shows at Tara Arts and The London Theatre, Spearshaker are returning with a 5 night run at Abbeyfest in August 2013 and we’re looking for a play with an all FEMALE cast to fill the full 5 night slot.
We’re looking for plays with the following brief:
– 60-90 minutes in length.
– All female cast.
– Maximum 4 characters.
– Characters aged between 18-30
– Basic set, lights, props, costume.
Comedies, dramas and everything in between will be considered.
This is an excellent opportunity for a writer to showcase their work as part of a large festival.
Please send scripts with a short synopsis and a bit about yourself to admin[at]
If you have any questions please email kate[at]
24th may

First Words

A creative training project to support the development of 6 writers from the North of England who want to create theatre for children.

Have you ever thought about creating a piece of theatre for children age 3 and above?  It might be story based, an installation, a participatory adventure or site specific – if so this may be for you.

We want to support new artists to tell new stories that are culturally diverse, innovative, exciting and relevant for children.

First Words presents a unique opportunity for writers to work with a range of leading artists including composer Tayo Akinbode, movement director TC Howard, director Nina Hajiyianni and writers including Mike Kenny & Richard Hurford and early years’ specialists including Amanda Dalton of The Royal Exchange who are at the forefront of making theatre for children and young people in the UK.


30th May

IdeasTap – Editor’s Brief: Rising

As an endless, frozen winter becomes spring, we’re asking you to use whatever comes to mind when you see the word ‘Rising’ as inspiration for this season’s Editor’s Brief – then send us your writing, visual art/photography or AV entries.

As always, our quarterly Editor’s Brief is open to all ages and disciplines, and there are three categories for you to apply to. There will be a first (£250), second (£100) and third (£50) prize in EACH of the following categories:

1. Audio and video (no longer than two minutes)

2. Writing (no longer than 1,000 words)

3. Visual art/photographs (no more than two)

Have as much fun as you want with the theme – we’re looking for originality, talent and creativity – and remember that all first-prize winners will become part of our alumni. (Please note that you can only apply with one entry to one category.)


30th May

Leslie Scalpino Award

The Leslie Scalapino Award recognizes the importance of exploratory approaches and an innovative spirit in writing for performance. It wishes to encourage women writers who are taking risks with the playwriting form by offering the opportunity to gain wider exposure through readings and productions. The award will also seek to increase public awareness for this vibrant contemporary field.

We are looking for a full-length work for live performance by a woman writer with an inquiring approach to language and content.

The winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize, print publication of winning play by Litmus Press, and a staged reading of the piece this October at the The New Ohio Theatre in New York, by Fiona Templeton’s company The Relationship.


31st May

Pint Sized Plays

Now in its sixth year, we’re delighted to announce that the 2013 Pint-Sized Plays competition is now open! As before, plays should be between 5 and 10 minutes long, with two to three characters and able to be performed in a pub with only the furniture available in the bar area and any props as can be carried in. That doesn’t mean the play has to be set in a pub, just that it should be capable of being staged in one, i.e. you won’t have the luxury of lighting, blackouts and scenery! Other than that it’s up to you! We have had plays set in planes, cars, a train… we’ve had talking dogs, praying mantis and cows… there’s a lot of flexibility. We’re simply looking for great plays, great comedies that are innovative and original. This year there will be six winners and four runners-up, to be performed in pubs in Pembrokeshire starting Tenby Festival Week and then all ten plays will compete at the Script Slam (where the audience vote for their favourite) held at 4U theatre in Fishguard. Winning scripts will also be considered to be included in a published anthology of scripts too!


31st May

The Papatango New Writing Prize 2013 in partnership with the Finborough theatre

The Papatango New Writing Prize 2013 will be open for submissions from 11th March – midnight, 31st May 2013.

The competition is open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom only.

There is no age limit.

The play must have a playing time of at least ninety minutes.

We can only accept one entry per person.

All entries should include page numbers on every page.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday, 31 May 2013. Any entries received after this time will not be read, and no extension is possible.

We 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 entries should be emailed to Any entry made to the Finborough Theatre will be disqualified.

SCRIPTS MUST NOT INCLUDE THE AUTHOR’S NAME (OR ANY PSEUDONYM), ADDRESS OR EMAIL ANYWHERE IN THE DOCUMENT. All scripts must include a phone number only on the front page of the script. (Please make sure that any phone number you give is one that you will still have August when the winner is announced. You may include more than one phone number if you wish). As anonymity is a key requirement of the process, any scripts that break this rule will be automatically disqualified.

The play must be an original, 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.

Translations, children’s plays, adaptations, music theatre, television, film or radio scripts are not eligible for the competition.

We recommend reading the literary policy of the Finborough Theatre (on the ‘Literary’ page of the Finborough Theatre website).

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 winner is automatically under exclusive option to Papatango for a period of eighteen months after the announcement of the awards, and will receive 10% royalties of the gross box office from its first production at the Finborough Theatre in November 2013. The terms for any subsequent production mounted by Papatango will be negotiable.

We regret that no correspondence can be entered into regarding any part of the judging process.

Only the winning play and plays longlisted will be contacted, once the winner has been decided; if an entrant has not heard from Papatango by 1 August 2013 they should consider their entry unsuccessful.


31st May


Prize: £6,000
To promote and celebrate the achievements of playwrights who write for young audiences, Theatre Centre runs the Brian Way Award for the best new play for children and young people.
The prize money is intended to give the winner the time and space to develop a new play without the pressure of deadlines or a commissioning brief.
This year’s award is for a new play which was professionally produced between 1 October 2011 and 31 January 2013. The winner of the award will be expected to undertake an ambassadorial role for Theatre Centre.
Applications may come from the writer, the writer’s representative or the producing company.
Further information:
  • Download and read the award criteria
  • Download and complete the application form
  • Submit (by post) all of the requested materials in advance of the 31 May deadline
If you require further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
31st May
Bollywood Superstar Writer

Win £1, 000 and have your 10min Bollywood play performed live.

To celebrate 100 years of Indian Cinema, Freedom Studios is looking for a script for a 10-minute play that recreates the magic of Bollywood to be performed live in the heart of Bradford.

Freedom Studios in association with Bradford UNESCO City of Film, are looking for a talented writer to bring Bollywood to Bradford. Do you have what it takes to write a slice of Bollywood? Can you transport an audience in to the world of excitement, escapism and entertainment? The theme is up to you. Love, loss, hate, comedy or tragedy. Anything goes as long as it has that Bollywood spirit.

Bollywood is all about glitz and glamour so they are giving away £1,000 to the lucky winner!

The winning entry will be performed live in Bradford in either outdoor or indoor venues for family audiences to enjoy in August 2013. It’s up to you what you write about and even what language it’s in (as long as it entertains the audience).

To find out how to enter and for full terms and conditions visit Freedom Studios website.


31st May

Lightship First Act Competition

Are you an aspiring playwright? Do you have a full length play in you? Write the first act and a synopsis and enter Lightship Publishing’s latest competition, First Act, for a chance to win the dream prize of every aspiring dramatist.
Expert Mentoring.

Imagine getting priceless feedback from an award-winning playwright, a leading dramatic agent and a theatre director as you write your play. That is what you get if you win First Act. You will receive three professional mentoring sessions over the course of a year from each judge: prize-winning British playwright Anthony McCarten; Micheline Steinberg, and David Whybrow of the Cockpit Theatre, London.


31st May

Bulbul 2013

Following the sell-out success of Bulbul 2012, we’re really excited to announce Bulbul 2013 our second annual playwriting competition for new writers.

We’re looking for four 30-minute plays that engage with the Arab world. The deadline for submission is 31st May 2013. The winning entries will be performed by a professional cast at Brighton’s Nightingale Theatre in autumn 2013. As with Bulbul 2012, two of these plays will be selected for further development for the Brighton Fringe 2014. Entry is free.

More information, including entry form, are on the website.


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