Five years ago today, London Playwrights’ Blog published its first blog post. And what a ride it has been!
In the past five years, we have:
- Shared 2,000+ opportunities
- Published 255 Weekly Roundups – never missing a week
- Racked up over a million page views
- Received visits from 150,000+ playwrights
- Generated over 100 pieces of original content
- Run a new writing festival involving more than 40 creatives
- Launched our #WrAP Challenge with 150+ playwrights
- Welcomed nearly 200 members
When Kimberley Andrews and I first decided that playwrights needed a place to find all the most exciting opportunities gathered together in one place, we would never have dreamed where this path would take us – or all the other exciting ways we would find to work with emerging playwrights.
We are so grateful to each and every one of you who have read the blog. You’re the reason we’ve kept on doing this work, and we really appreciate having had the opportunity to support your writing over the years.
Woo hoo! What’s next?
First, we’re planning to celebrate!
We’re planning a birthday party
After all, you only turn five once! This writer-friendly event will be open to our members and readers, and should be really good fun. We look forward to sharing more of the exciting details soon.
We’re inviting readers to share their stories
We’re opening this up to our community of readers, looking for people’s personal experiences of how London Playwrights’ Blog has had an impact on their writing.
If you have two minutes to spare, we’d really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. You can keep it short and simple, and it would mean a lot to the team!
In the long term, we’ve also got some big plans in the works.
We’re going to be fundraising and applying for grants to support a digital transformation project, making our online offerings even better and more useful for everyone who interacts with us online!
Writer Development – Accessible To All
We’re planning to expand our workshops, online masterclasses, and digital resources even more widely. We believe that all writers should have access to the tools they need to grow their craft, regardless of background or financial circumstances. We have big ambitions to use technology to make create new development opportunities for our members working at all levels of their careers.
Increased Community Connection
We’re planning to connect even more with our community.
- Later this year, we will be launching a survey to find out more about what you need to support your work, and targeted our activities around what you say.
- In the course of the next year we’re planning to launch a ‘Members Spotlight’ feature where those in the LPB community can promote and share their work on our site.
- We’re also hoping to build links with more individual members who are interested in volunteering for LPB/LPW – who have skills they want to develop or expertise they can share.
Laying Future Groundwork
To date, everything you have seen on this site – from opportunities and articles to the technical code of the website itself – has been created by volunteers, working for free.
We’re big believers that combination of volunteers and paid staff – as seen at other non-profits and social campaigns – can be a winning combination. But finding a way to pay the core team working incredibly hard day in and day out to keep the lights on will help us ensure this resource can continue for years to come.
As we move into our next phase of activity – which increasing artistic ambitions – we’re going to be exploring all of our options to build a financially secure organisation – while still looking out for playwrights on tight budgets, and ensuring can still access the information and resources they need.
How you can help us keep going!
If you’d like to see London Playwrights’ Blog keep going for another five years, here’s what you can do to make that happen:
1. Share, share share!
The more writers that are in our network and supporting our work, the larger the support base for our work. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or email your favourite posts to your friends. Tell other writers about us. We have grown entirely by word of mouth, and it’s these little actions that make the difference.
2. Become a member
Joining as a member and becoming an active part of our community is the most important thing you can do to help us continue providing the blog and growing our work. You can set the rate you’d like to contribute, starting from the price of a cup of coffee (£3.63) per month.
As a thank you for being more involved in our community, members get access to special features and programmes. The possibilities of what we can offer are really only limited to how fast our base can grow. (We’ve worked to keep membership rates as accessible as possible, but if this is still too tight for your budget to afford, we offer a skillshare option, where you can contribute your time and skills to be part of the community.)
Learn more about joining: https://www.londonplaywrights.org/join/
3. Launch your own project
When we started LPB, no one gave us permission. We thought it was a good idea and figured it was worth a shot. We googled how to make a website and we did it. Bit by bit this grew into something much bigger than we could have imagined.
Want to create a scratch night? A script swap? A writers group? You have so much more power than you think to make this happen. And we’re are always here to help support you in publicising any work supporting writers. (That’s what the Weekly Roundup is here for!)
And if you have an idea that falls into our creative remit, it may even be possible to launch this in partnership or with support from LPB. If you think it might be a match for us, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you’re collaborating with us or not, the more good ideas and artistic energy that’s being created in this industry, the better for our whole community of playwrights. If you’ve got an idea you want to see get off the ground, there’s no better time to go for it!
Thanks again for making our first five years so great – and here’s to (hopefully!) many more.
Featured image: Andy Eick via Flickr Commons CC Licence