Playwrights' Competition Calendar

September 2013

1st September

Painted Words

Painted Words is a spoken word and visual art exhibition for the theatre’s public spaces drawing on the themes of these two plays.

We would like a written response to the statement below in the form of a picture in words.

Painted Words are pictures made through words. They can be highly descriptive, they can be very brief, they can be literal and precise or broad and florid. They are a passage which clearly shows the picture created in your mind. They can be dramatic or simple, fact or fantasy, real or abstract; they are whatever your imagination wants them to be.

The only requirement is that they are no longer than one side of A4, but bear in mind that, very often, the shorter they are the better they are.

From the contributions we receive we will make a selection of those which are imaginative, challenging, exciting, inspiring and moving to be recorded and displayed in the Mercury for three weeks in October. A limited number will also be uploaded to the theatre website.

We would like your Painted Words in response to the following paragraphs:

  • “For the practice of virtue a modicum of comfort is necessary”
    Thomas Aquinas
  • The poor, by necessity, will inevitably lean towards less virtuous lives while those with money will lead fuller and more generous existences. However, the more you have the greater the temptation to keep it.
  • In fact, is there anyone intrinsically good enough that money cannot corrupt? So, for your own moral well being it is better to remain poor.
    In desperate times what would you do to survive? How far will your principles get you before necessity takes over?


Email or post them to Painted Words, c/o Chris Hallam at Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester CO1 1PT. Please include your name, address and contact number.


2nd September

Leverhulme Arts Scholorships – Bath Theatre Royal

The egg theatre has received funding from The Leverhulme Trust to develop a specialist Arts Scholarship programme over the next three years. The Leverhulme Trust are one of the largest all subject research funders in the UK.

Between 2013 and 2015 the egg theatre will offer up to 5 Arts Scholarships per annum to talented artists and theatre makers who are interested in developing their skills in making work for young audiences. Leverhulme Arts Scholars will be exposed to some of the best children’s theatre in the World, receive training from expert practitioners, and be supported and mentored to develop their own work.

The aim of the programme is to encourage more talented individuals to make original theatre for young people, and to further establish the egg as a centre of excellence and a source for some of the best new children’s theatre in the UK.

Please click on the link below for more information about the Arts Scholarship Scheme and how to apply. Deadline for applications is 2nd September 2013.

Leverhulme Arts Scholarship Application Pack


4th September

Bridge Arts

Bridge Arts’ next project is underway and we are looking for writers who want to jump in at the deep end with us!

We are looking at love in the 21st century.  What happens if you’re the only one out of your mates to not have a girlfriend?  Does internet dating really work?  Stalking an ex on Facebook taking up most of your time?

We want to create stories about how love, and the age-old problem of finding it, have changed in the 21st century.

All scenes and ideas will be work-shopped and explored with actors. The best three stories will be produced at a Central London theatre to be confirmed.

If you are a writer or have a good idea about a scene you would like to write with this theme in mind, get in touch at by Wednesday 4th September for more details about the project.


9th September

New Writing South and Chichester Festival Theatre have teamed up for a fifth year to run a Young Playwrights Programme for the South; an exciting series of workshop for young playwrights.

To apply, please send a maximum of two A4 sides of creative writing on a subject of your choice. This can be in script format, or could be a short story or poem.

What we want to see is creative flair – no prior experience of writing is needed.

This is a subsidised programme and the fee is £60 for successful applicants. A limited number of bursaries are available.

Please send your creative writing, along with a short extract as to why you would like to take part, to New Writing South by email to

Or by post to:
Debo Amon
New Writing South
9 Jew St


9th September

New Ideas Festival

Hey, writers!   Time to dust off that short script that’s never been produced, or get cracking on finishing the one you’ve got in the works.  The deadline to submit to Alumnae Theatre’s annual New Ideas Festival is September 5, 2013 (yes, a little earlier than usual).  New Ideas is a juried, 3-week festival which focuses on script development, and offers playwrights dramaturgical support, free rehearsal space, publicity, and sold-out houses.  Playwrights are encouraged to participate in the whole production process, from choosing a director and cast to attending rehearsals and revising their work as it comes off the page.  The Festival runs from March 12-30, 2014, with a different lineup each week.


6th September

The Royal National Theatre Foundation – Playwright Award: call for submissions

We are delighted to announce submissions are now invited for the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award. This Award succeeds the Meyer-Whitworth Award and is intended to help further the careers of playwrights, resident in the British Isles and Republic of Ireland, who are not yet established.

Nominations must be made by directors of professional theatre companies. Multiple nominations by one professional theatre company are accepted.

Main application criteria:

  • Plays nominated must be in the English language and have been produced professionally in the UK for the first time between 1st December 2010 and 30th November 2012.
  • Candidates will have had no more than two of their plays professionally produced, including the play submitted, before the end of the nominating period above.
  • Nominations are accepted for original stage plays only.
  • No play that has previously been submitted for the Meyer Whitworth Award is eligible.


13th September

2525 – Matt Lucas sketch show for R4

Radio 4 has commissioned a new comedy sketch series created by Matt Lucas, set more than 500 years in the future.

Six episodes of 2525, which is said to ‘take its stylistic cue from Little Britain’ will be recorded in front of a studio audience this autumn.

The show will go out in the 6.30pm slot, and all the sketches will be linked via an ‘aloof robotic voice-over’.

Producers at Lucas’s company John Stanley Productions have also put out an open call for comedy writers – or would-be comedy writers – to submit ideas to the show.

The brief for scripts gives some idea of the planned tone of the show. It says: ‘We are looking for both returning characters and one-off sketches about life in the distant future’ and states that the show will feature ‘characters from every walk of life whether human, alien, computer, cyborg or mutation.’

Lucas co-created the show with his childhood friend Ashley Blaker, who also devised BBC One’s The Matt Lucas Awards with him.

Click here for more details about submitting a script by the September 13 deadline.


15th September

Rehearsed Reading Series

We are now seeking four one-act plays for our rehearsed reading series in November. We shall be producing two readings on the 3rd & and 4th November.

Initially, we would ask you to send us a five page extract and one page synopsis of your already completed play (this is not an opportunity to pitch a play). The synopsis must clearly outline the action of the play. Submission deadline for synopsis and extract is September 15th. Based upon these we will then ask for the full length play and the final 4 plays will be selected by October 5th.

Plays must have a minimum run-time of 40 mins and maximum of 50 mins. We are looking for contemporary stories that address the way we live now. We are not accepting historical or period pieces, musicals or plays with music. The initiative

is only open to writers living in the UK.

Please send both the extract and synopsis to and clearly state rehearsed reading series in the subject box.


20th September

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

The Directors of the Prize have established that plays will be received from specified professional theatres throughout the US, the UK and the Republic of Ireland, as well as other English-speaking countries.  Each year, letters inviting submissions go out to the listed theatres (see links below) during the second half of August.  Plays are due by September 15th in North America, and by September 20th in the UK.

Plays are eligible whether or not they have been produced, but any premiere production must have occurred within the preceding calendar year.  Previous winners are not eligible.

Each year, letters inviting submissions go out to the listed theatres (see links ) during the second half of August.  Plays are due by September 15th in North America, and by September 20th in the UK.

A note from a 2012 finalist is:  Theatres should really be shoulder-tapping but see the list and approach one.


27th September Now extended to October 25th

The Tower Theatre New Writing Competition

The Tower Theatre Company in London are running a brand new playwriting competition – looking for a play based on World War 1. Winning play receives a full scale production in November 2014. Runners up receive a rehearsed reading. More info on the Tower Theatre website:

2014 will mark the centenary of the beginning of the First World War and we are inviting writers to explore the subject. There are no restrictions in terms of genre or structure and plays do not necessarily have to be set in period. However the themes of the play should resonate with those we associate with the Great War. Running time of between 60 and 120 minutes.


30th September

Charles Barron Prize for Doric Drama

There will be a first prize of £1000 and two runner-up awards of £300 and £100. The prize-winning plays, and all entries for the competition, will be considered for performance by the group.

“Plays may be full-length or one-act, and should be written in one of the North east Doric dialects. Entries must be original and not previously published or performed.”

She added: “Doric, the dialect of North east Scotland, holds a special place in the Scottish family of languages.


30th September

Supernova 6 – A Festival of new One-Act Plays

We are now delighted to announce that Supernova 6 will take place in February 2014 at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant. We would like to ask any playwrights to send us their short plays to be considered for inclusion; we are aiming to produce 8 brand new works over the space of a week, each directed and performed by our award-winning membership.

Terms and Conditions

  • The play should be able to be performed by a maximum of 6 actors (but could contain any number of characters)
  • Plays must consist of a single act. Playwrights should aim for compositions of between 15 and 35 minutes, short plays are just as welcome as longer ones!
  • Plays should be written for an English-speaking audience
  • Plays must be original, unpublished and previously unperformed, with no performance rights attached
  • Plays should be able to be performed within the constraints of our space, the Spring Arts Centre, and please bear in mind the nature of the festival – we will be unable to include plays which require complex sets, effects or costumes.


30th September

High Tide ’15/Ideas Tap

Two IdeasTap members will have the chance to have their plays staged at HighTide Festival 2015. They will also each receive a research and development week in 2014 with Steven Atkinson, HighTide Artistic Director, culminating in a readthrough of their play at IdeasTap.

HighTide will only consider full-length plays, conceived for live performance. For further information on The HighTide Literary department and what they’re looking for, read How to submit a play to HighTide and How to write a HighTide play.

Note: If you are considering applying, free online advice will be available at the ‘Submit a Play to HighTide 2015 Application Advice Online Forum’ on IdeasTap from 1pm to 2pm on 11 September 2013.

Download the terms and conditions.

Please note this is the only opportunity to submit your unsolicited play to HighTide for the chance to be produced at HighTide 2015 Festival. HighTide will not be accepting submissions once this brief has closed. Another brief will open in September 2014 for unsolicited submissions for HighTide 2016 Festival.


30th September

Southend Playwriting Festival

The Festival is open to everyone.  Entries must be submitted to between 1 June and 30 September 2013 for the 2014 Festival.

Any length of play or genre is eligible.  All work must be written in English, certified as original, and copyrighted by the playwright prior to submission.  The Festival will not be responsible for any plagiarism or false submissions.

Entries must be submitted free of performance rights and fees as none will be paid by the Festival organisers.  Instead playwrights get the chance to hear their work performed by professional actors in front of an audience.

Full Circle Theatre will choose the best submissions to form the main Festival programme and will inform playwrights of their decision by the end of October.


30th September

Fright Night – Skylight Theatre

On 1st and 2nd November, we’re taking part in the Halloween festivities, with a night of contemporary chills. Still accepting submissions, we’re looking for pieces between 10 and 20 minutes that will give our audience a genuine scare. Deadline 30th September.

All submissions can be sent via our contacts page. We’re also keen to hear from Directors able to take part. Looking forward to hearing from you.


30th September

Stephen Joseph Theatre is now accepting script submissions.

In order to avoid a backlog of unread material they will only receive scripts during certain periods of the year. The first submission window will run until Friday 30th of September. Play scripts will be considered with several opportunities for new writing that will take place at the theatre in 2014 in mind. The SJT is looking for scripts to produce but also new writers to work with and develop in order to programme their future work.

Please send a synopsis, a writing CV and a short extract from your completed play (maximum 15 pages). To prevent waste, the theatre prefers to read plays on a Kindle so scripts should be e mailed as .pdf and formatted with this in mind. Your synopsis and CV should be attached as .doc or .docx files.

The e-mail address to send them to is:

If you would like to send your submission pack as a hard copy please attach a SAE if you would like it to be returned. All submissions without a SAE will be recycled.

Please send to:

Henry Bell

Stephen Joseph Theatre



North Yorkshire

YO11 1JW

For more details visit the Stephen Joseph Theatre website.



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