Our submission window is open! This is a really exciting time for London Playwrights as we open our doors for our members to send us their plays! We’re really excited about reading your submissions, getting to know you as writers, and being able to offer feedback and development opportunities.
Our Literary Associate, Emily Glaze has been super busy coordinating the submission window – working behind the scenes to make sure the process runs smoothly as well as shaping new ideas for the kind of opportunities we’ll be able to offer selected writers. We caught up with Emily to put some of the questions we’ve received about the submission window to her…
“Why did you decide to open a submission window?”
Firstly, we really appreciate all of you for your continued support – we have definitely felt this more than ever during this last year and we wanted to give something back to you by offering more support and further opportunities to continue to develop your plays. We’re always amazed by the fantastic work you create on our courses and for how willing you are to jump in and get involved in the projects we run, there is always such a strong sense of community. We now want to see your work beyond the workshops, after #WrAP and following our script consultancy services, to find out how your play’s progressed or see what new idea you’ve been working on! And if you’ve been kindly supporting us from the sidelines, we want to read your work and hopefully support you in developing it further.
“What kind of scripts are you looking for?”
We’re not looking for anything in particular in terms of style or genre, in fact, we’re hoping to be surprised by what we discover! We’re really looking to work with you as a writer, for you to develop your script further through our support, so it’s not necessarily about sending us a perfectly polished script but rather an exciting story and distinctive writers voice. Scripts that grab our attention offer new perspectives, express ideas in an original way and have a strong sense of urgency is what we want to see.
For an idea of the kind of plays we’re currently supporting in development, head over to our #PlayClub 2021 program (there’s still time to sign up!) where you can find out more about our 3 Play Club writers and their plays selected from our 2020 submission window.
“I’m not sure my script is quite finished, it’s a bit of a work in progress, can I submit it?”
Yes! We’re offering opportunities for writers to develop their scripts regardless of where they’ve got up to. So whether it’s a first draft, an idea you developed through #WrAP or something you’ve been working on in lockdown, we’d love to read it! We’re not looking for short plays, pitches or play ideas so something in the region of 40+ pages is ideal. Make sure to let us know in your submission what stage of development your script is at. You’ve got until April 14th to submit it so there’s still time complete a your draft if you haven’t done so already.
“Can anyone submit a play?”
Writers over 18 of all levels (even first-time writers!) are welcome to apply and as long as plays are written in English, our international members are of course included in this! All that we ask is that you’re a London Playwrights member. This is because our work is completely supported by our members and we couldn’t run projects like this without your support. The generosity of our members allows us to create and produce exciting opportunities just like this one – so this really is about giving something back to our fantastic community! If you’re not a member yet, you can sign up for just £3.63, you can find out more about joining here.
“Can I submit a script in another medium, e.g. for audio or screen?”
As we’re primarily for playwrights, with an emphasis on the stage, our capacity to develop opportunities for other mediums such as film, TV and radio will be limited. Our readers aren’t screenwriters so any feedback we give on screenplays will focus on techniques like structure, character and dialogue, rather than how the piece works for the screen. However, if you’ve got a play in another medium that you’re excited to tell us about and you think we should read it, feel free to send it in.
“Can I submit more than one script?”
To ensure we can offer every writer feedback on their script, we’re limiting submissions to one-play-per-writer, so make sure it’s one that you’re really excited about, one that you think will most benefit from further support and development.
“Can I send in a script I’ve submitted before?”
Yes! We accept re-submissions from prior years because we’re keen to see how your plays have grown and developed. So if you sent in a script to last year’s submission window (or to any of our other opportunities such as the script consultancy service) and you’ve undertaken rewrites and considerable changes to it since then, we’d love to see how its progressed!
“What happens after I submit my play?”
After the deadline, your script will be read in full by one of our reading team. Every writer then gets feedback which will be sent to you. We’ll also let you know if we think your script is suitable for one of our development programs.
“When will I hear back?”
Please allow plenty of time after the deadline for us to read and feedback to all of the brilliant scripts sent to us. We’ve already received well over double the number of submissions than last year so hold tight; we’ll keep you updated with regular emails and check in with you if we feel it’ll take us longer.
“What opportunities are on offer?”
This year we’re offering a number of exciting development programs to selected writers but it should also be said that we’re being led by the submissions we receive. If we identify writers with similar needs for example, we’ll look at how we can create tailored opportunities just for them. However, below you can read about some of the things we’ve got up our sleeves:
During one-to-one sessions with a mentor you will be given feedback on each new draft of your script, you will be set writing exercises focused on developing your writers voice and your understanding of key areas within playwrighting such as: story structure, dialogue and character, you’ll be given a reading list tailored to you and your script with the aim of inspiring you to seek out new perspectives and finally you’ll work closely with a mentor to create a blueprint plan of how you will work beyond the scheme.
Whether it’s dialogue, structure, character, endings, or the nature of the story you’re telling, we’re organising workshops tailored to the needs of your script to help support you in taking it to the next level.
We all know how useful it is to hear the words we write out loud, it can help us find clunky moments of dialogue, ensure lines are motivated, characters backstories are fleshed out and journeys are fully realised involving both conflict and resolution. So, we’re offering just that. Selected writers will receive a table-read of their script, whether it’s online or in-person, you’ll get the chance to hear your script come to life.
If your script isn’t quite right for one of our development opportunities this year, don’t worry! You’ll be receiving in-depth feedback regardless and there are plenty of year-round workshops and courses to get involved with!
“What are you most looking forward to about the submission window?”
I’m so excited to get stuck into reading the submissions! Opening a script on the first page and diving head-first into a whole new world a writer has spent hours creating is my idea of heaven. Whether it’s the twists and turns in a story or being surprised by a big reveal, I’m always inspired by the hard-work and huge amounts of effort that goes into writing a full-length play, it’s not an easy task! I’m a very visual person so I often find I’m picturing events unravelling as if they’re playing out on a stage in front of me (front row seats of course). Every writer has a play that only they can write through their own unique voice and set of experiences, so I can’t wait to see what you all have written!
We hope this helps clarify anything you were were wondering about the submission window but if you do have any questions, feel free to pop them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them! You have until 14 April to submit your scripts and you can find out more about how to do this here. Good luck – and we really can’t wait to read your work!