We’re back in Waterside 1 at Watershed, 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX on 6 March for the first of five consecutive Tuesday evening meetings. Ask at the box office if you need directions to Waterside 1. Everyone attending meetings pays £1.

You can find the date, time and venue of our next meeting in the panel on the right beneath the slideshow on our website’s home page, and a complete list of upcoming events on the site’s Diary page.

Tuesday, 6 March at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Tonight we’re featuring the winning entry in our Looking Back, Writing Forward competition —find out the winner below.

Tuesday, 13 March at 7.30pm: Play Structure

Southwest Scriptwriters’ chair Andy Graham looks at how to create vital and compelling stage stories. Elements will include time, place, character and use of action. Please bring a pen and paper, as there will be a practical exercise.

Tuesday, 20 March at 7.30pm: Open Workshop
Tuesday, 27 March at 7.30pm: Engineers’ Blue by Adrian Harris

See below for more news of Adrian’s new play, which makes its first draft debut tonight…

In 1941 the engineering output from Britain reached its zenith as the demand driven by the Allied war machine overreached the skilled personnel available. The government pushed for female conscription to make up for the loss of manpower to the armed services. But women in blue-collar jobs traditionally held by men were far from welcome.

As manufacturing industry benefited from government defence contracts after years of depression and decline, another profession enjoyed the boom behind the bloodshed; the easy commerce of the black market.

Cliff is an engineer wounded at Dunkirk and forced into a reserved occupation who’s desperate to get back to the front. Pete is a young entrepreneur looking to rake in the benefits during the blackouts. The two men are heading for a fight on the home front with Ivy Drake, a young woman volunteer at the Douglas Factory, caught between them.

Tuesday, 3 April at 7.30pm: Trust Me by Andy Graham

Tonight we’re reading a new version of Andy’s play that made it to the second round of the Bruntwood Prize: As their mother sinks into dementia, two brothers fight over the house they grew up in. But what has she done to the will..?

Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for late-breaking news, updates and reminders.


Woman on a Bike wins Looking Back, Writing Forward contest

Congratulations to Lissa Carter who has won our latest in-group competition, Looking Back, Writing Forward, with the opening pages of her play, Woman on a Bike.

Michael Jenner, the group’s honorary president, picked Lissa’s script from five entries. ‘I enjoyed this script immensely,’ he said. ‘It’s witty, touching, and I was involved with Sally right from the first line. Her plight, her frustrations, are just so easy to relate to — which for any script is half the battle won.’

The competition’s other entries also won praise from Michael: ‘The great thing, as the reader,’ he added, ‘was that there wasn’t a single weak piece amongst the five.’

Lissa wins a £25 Amazon gift certificate, and you can hear her successful script extract again at our meeting this Tuesday, 6 March.


Engineers’ Blue wins Peggy Ramsay Foundation funding

Group committee member Adrian Harris has won funding from the Peggy Ramsay Foundation to support the writing and development of his play Engineers’ Blue.

Kingswood Heritage Museum commissioned the play following the success of our Living Local event, for which Adrian produced a series of short dramas by Southwest Scriptwriters at the Museum in Warmley last October. The exhibition includes a collection of motorcycles manufactured by the Douglas Engineering Company, which inspired Adrian’s script set in the engineering works during WWII.

Adrian will use his grant from the Peggy Ramsay Foundation to write and develop the play ahead of a proposed production at Kingswood Heritage Museum later this year. He plans to progress his script using feedback from Southwest Scriptwriters meetings —its first outing with the group is at our meeting on Tuesday, 27 March.

You can find out more about the Peggy Ramsay Foundation, which supports the writing of new theatre plays, from its website.


Steve in Rapid Write Rewind

This Monday, Wednesday and Friday (5, 7 and 10 March) sees London’s Theatre 503 presenting Steve Lambert’s short play Peter and Andy as part of its Rapid Write Rewind show.

Over the last two years, Theatre 503 has invited writers to respond to plays it has produced, asking them to draw inspiration from the original shows’ themes, characters or other aspects that spark their imaginations. This week the company is presenting 16 of the best scripts from the project in two programmes on alternating evenings.

Steve’s Peter and Andy is his response to Peter and Vandy by Brian Logan, which Theatre 503 presented during March 2010, and is part of the first programme of eight scripts.

You can find more details on the shows including how to book on Theatre 503’s website.


March window now open for Laugh Track

BBC Comedy Commissioning and BBC Writersroom have joined forces in search of a ‘bold, laugh out loud studio sitcom’ for 2012.

The Corporation is inviting aspiring sitcom writers to submit 30-minute studio sitcom scripts for its Laugh Track initiative until 21 March. The most promising will be invited to attend a comedy writing masterclass with the chance of an intensive week away to further develop their sitcom idea. The developed projects might then go on to be performed at the Edinburgh Festival Frings and at the BBC’s Sitcom Showcase at MediaCity in Salford.

To be considered, you need to send your script and an outline of how you see the series progressing, with application and equal opportunities monitoring forms to Writersroom in London in the next two weeks.