Round-up of playwriting competitions

There are a good number of competitions and opportunities open at the moment, so if you fancy a break from eating turkey, tofurkey or Christmas pudding here are some places you could send your plays.

  • The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award is an opportunity for an emerging company or individual to create a show either for the Pit Theatre, Barbican or a site-responsive non-traditional show to take place in East London. The winning show will be part of the Barbican Theatre 2016 season. All scales/lengths of productions will be considered. The Award comprises two R&D grants of up to £2,500 each, a production grant of up to £32,000, a project mentor and in-kind support from the Barbican including press, marketing, tech support and admin. Application details are available from the Award’s website. Deadline: 19 December at 5pm.
  • Heavy Weather are accepting submissions for their new-writing night, Lover, as part of the Black Box Festival at the Etcetera Theatre in January. They are looking for four ten-minute long plays with minimal tech requirements and a same-sex relationship at its core. A cast of up to four actors – two female, two male – will perform all of the plays so do take this into consideration. Send your play to before 22 December.
  • Lost Theatre is open to applications for its ‘5 Minute Festival’ which will run from 2– 7 February. They are looking for emerging/newcomer playwrights, poets, spoken word artists, comedians, actor-writers, physical performers, etc. who have something different or interesting to say and are looking to get their work out to a wider audience. Whatever you submit must be less than five minutes in length, have a narrative thread and either the writer, director or cast must be under twenty-seven years old. Each successful applicant must pay a non-refundable fee of £10 to cover costs of the festival and a £50 guarantee cheque must accompany it, but this will be returned when your performance is completed. Deadline: 28 December. For full details of the application, festival process and entry rules, please visit:
  • The East End Literary Salon is a monthly new writing night at Ophelia, Dalston, featuring rehearsed readings and semi-staged performances from emerging playwrights. Texts submitted should be ten to twenty minutes long – can be short plays, extracts or monologues with preferably no more than three actors as the stage is very small. They operate a profit-share model to keep the salons accessible. Please send expressions of interest, queries and submissions to Deadline: 31 December.
  • The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford, is offering an in-depth residential experience to talented young writers and directors with a genuine commitment to working in the theatre. The TheatreCraft Easter project brings these two vital roles centre-stage, offering them a team of professional actors and highly-experienced mentors to work in a safe and supportive space. The residency will run from 23 March to 4 April and is completely free of charge, including accommodation and all meals. The work created on the residency will be showcased to a public audience at a scratch performance evening at the end of the residency. Places are strictly limited. Writers must submit a maximum of two short scripts/extracts (up to ten pages) to support their application. Deadline: 31 December. Shortlisted applications will be invited to interviews which will take place early in the New Year. If accepted, you will need to complete a rehearsal draft of your script so that it is ready for Easter. For further information and to download the application form, visit:
  • The Sussex Playwrights’ Club’s Constance Cox Playwriting Competition. Submissions must be original new plays from any genre (except musical theatre) lasting seventy-five to one-hundred minutes in length. As this is a competition launched for the eightieth anniversary of the Club, the script must contain the word ‘eighty’ somewhere in the text. All entries should be unproduced, written in English and for the stage with a maximum of seven roles (including any off-stage voices). Monologues will not be accepted. There is a fee attached to enter so each entry must be accompanied by a cheque for £7 made out to The Sussex Playwrights’ Club. There will be three prizes of £280, £180 and £80 with a rehearsed script-in-hand reading for the first-placed play being given as part of the Club’s anniversary celebrations. Send your entry to: The Constance Cox Playwriting Competition (SPC), c/o Mr J. Attwood, 42 Abbey Road, Sompting, West Sussex, BN15 0AB. Deadline: 24 January.
  • Amsterdam-based theatre company, Orange Tea, is accepting rolling submissions of full-length plays for a production in 2015/2016. They are looking for plays sixty to ninety minutes in length for a cast of two to four. Plays should be contemporary and reflect global society. Topics might – but don’t have to – include the environment, social issues, cultural differences or politics. Funny is good but not obligatory. Send your play to

    Listings compiled by Hannah Roe. Please email 17PercentEvents if you have a competition or opportunity we should know about!

About 17Percent

A campaign to get more plays by women playwrights onto UK stages.
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