Happy New Year!

2019 is Southwest Scriptwriters’ 25th anniversary year and we’re looking forward to celebrating our first quarter century with another 12 months of achievement from all our writers!

We’re ringing the changes this year by taking a flexible approach to scheduling meetings so that we’re able to include more of your work in more regular sessions. We already have two meetings a month lined up in January, February and March — listed below and on our What’s on webpage — and we hope to keep up this pace from now on.

It’s not just Tuesdays anymore…

To book more dates, we’ve made meetings moveable so that — for the first time in the group’s history — our meetings won’t only be on Tuesday evenings. We have upcoming sessions scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so please keep a close eye on the day as well as the date of any you’re able to attend.

All the following meetings are at Bristol Old Vic in King Street, BS1 4ED. On arriving at the theatre, please do one of the following depending on the meeting place:

  • Meetings in the Coopers’ Loft
    Sign in at reception next to the bar and take the lift to the Coopers’ Loft.
  • Meetings in the Clore Learning Studio or the Rehearsal Room
    Sign in at reception next to the bar and gather near the disabled toilet on Level 0 (Dress Circle) ahead of the starting time and we’ll go to the meeting together.If you arrive late, sign in and ask BOV staff to direct you to the meeting on Level 3.

Everyone attending meetings pays £2.

Tuesday, 15 January at 8pm in the Clore Learning Studio: Open Workshop

Tonight’s meeting features Matt Sanders’ short play #MeNeither:

‘Show business has changed a lot recently with #MeToo’s high-profile stars bringing their abusers to account.
‘But what about all the unknown victims..?
‘Yes — what about the Heathers..?’

We’ll also continue with Briony Pope’s high-placing Bristol Old Vic Open Session 2018 submission, Detached.

Monday, 28 January at 8.30pm in the Coopers’ Loft: Open Workshop

Featuring Rebecca Inoue’s Edinburgh-bound one-act play, Checkpoint, and Lunch and Friends, a 500-word duologue and a 500-word monologue by Brian Weaving.

Wednesday, 6 February at 8.10pm in the Coopers’ Loft: Dead Girl Walking by Caroline Summerfield

A reading of Caroline’s full-length stage play.

Tuesday, 19 February at 8pm in the Rehearsal Room: Open Workshop

Get in touch using our ‘Book a workshop slot’ form to have your script or script extract read tonight or at the following meetings.

Wednesday, 6 March at 8pm in the Rehearsal Room: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 19 March at 8pm in the Rehearsal Room: Open Workshop


Bush Theatre submission window open until 1 February

London’s Bush Theatre is accepting unsolicited script submissions via its website until Friday, 1 February.

The high-profile new writing theatre seeks full-length plays (with running times of an hour or longer) from writers in the UK and Ireland who are not represented by an agent.

‘The Bush Theatre exists to produce original plays that provoke conversation and are theatrically bold. We are looking for plays which ask sharp questions of what it means to be living now. We want to house a plurality of voices and stories that reflect the diversity of contemporary society.’

Submitting a script is the way to initiate a relationship with The Bush that might lead to further contact with its artistic team and possible development of your play. The volume of work the theatre receives in its submission windows means that it can take up to six months for it to respond.

Learn more


Itching for Scratch Nights II submissions

Scratch Nights home page header

A reminder that we’re now seeking scripts from writers who have brought work to our recent workshop sessions for our second Scratch Nights event scheduled for Wednesday, 13 March.

This time we’re offering our writers the chance to show longer works — the first act of a full-length play, perhaps, or the initial hour of a feature film script — and so we’ll have time for only the most promising pieces.

We’re staging Scratch Nights II aboard Lightship Theatre in Bathurst Basin, BS1 6SG. Four professional actors (two male and two female) will give script-in-hand performances of the selected work to a paying audience in the evening of 13 March after rehearsing it with an established director during the day.

The submission deadline for Scratch Nights II is midnight on Monday, 4 February. Find out the upload address for script submissions at one of our upcoming meetings.


Theatre West back with opportunity for SW women writers

Pioneering new writing company Theatre West is back and seeking a South West-based woman writer to pen a new play to tour this autumn.

The company’s founders and joint artistic directors, Alison Comley and Ann Stiddard, will commission a script that is:

  • An hour long
  • For two actors
  • Suitable for touring to studio spaces
  • Not afraid to take a few risks
  • Previously unproduced — not including rehearsed readings or similar development presentation

The successful script will go into rehearsal in September for a tour taking in venues in Bristol, Cheltenham and Weston super Mare. Theatre West will pay the successful writer £1500 and provide a support package to develop the new work.

If you’d like to take part in the selection process, email Theatre West your name, address and contact details attaching a previous play of which you’re proud — the deadline for expressions of interest is Thursday, 7 February. The company will then be in touch with further information on how to take part. You’ll need to complete a draft script by 8 March and Theatre West will announce its choice of play at the end of that month.

Learn more


Mid-February deadline for Papatango Prize

Papatango Theatre Company logo

Now in its tenth year, Papatango Theatre Company’s New Writing Prize remains the UK and Ireland’s only annual playwriting award to guarantee its winner a full professional production.

As well as royalty payments of ten percent of gross box office receipts from the production of the prizewinning play at Southwark Playhouse this autumn and publication of his or her script by Nick Hern Books, the successful playwright will also receive a £6000 commission from Papatango Theatre Company to write and develop another new play.

All entrants can benefit from submitting a script for the Papatango Prize by accepting the company’s offer of feedback on every entry it receives for the award — another of the contest’s unique features.

Enter your original, unperformed and unproduced full-length play script via Papatango Theatre Company’s website by 9pm on Sunday, 17 February.

Learn more