Leadership Changeover at LPW!

LPW has been going through something of a transition lately, and as well as the ongoing changes being made to our website, we’ve also had some changes with our core team. As always, we want to keep you, our supporters, in the loop; so with that in mind, our Co-founder, Alli Smith, has written a letter to keep you updated…

Dear friends,

Some of you may have noticed some leadership changes afoot at LPW.  This is a little update and background on what has been happening, and what is ahead as we go into this next exciting chapter.

Not quite a year ago, I welcomed my first child.  LPW Co-Founder Kimberley Andrews assumed the directorship duties while I was on maternity leave, and to be honest, she did such a smashing job that it was agreed she would stay in the role permanently, even after I came back.

We created a new role for me as Head of Special Projects, which would enable me to contribute to the continuing activities of LPW (such as the Women’s Musical Theatre Initiative), and continue growing our work in supporting writers.

However, just as I was getting ready to come back to work and we were getting ready to announce these changes, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I’m lucky that my prognosis is very good, but I am on a tough regime, and it is a life-altering experience.  A few months ago I started treatment, and that will continue for most of this year.  The process so far has been challenging – not least undertaking all this with a baby – but I have been amazed and touched by the kindness and support that I’ve received.

While I was hoping to be integrated back into the LPW team by now, it will be a bit longer before I’ll be actively involved in the day-to-day activities.  (Although I will try to pop up in the Members Facebook group now and again to say hello and join the discussion.)

I will say this – LPW could not be in better hands going forward.  Kimberley Andrews is not only one of the most talented writers I know, she is a brilliant, generous and empathetic champion of writers.  Under her leadership, there have already been a number of positive changes and new initiatives, such as Play Club, the revised Script Consulting Service, and website updates designed to make key information easier to find – just to name a few things.

I’ve known Kim now for over a decade, and her creative vision, tireless work ethic, and inclusive approach are exactly what LPW needs from its Director.  Both personally and professionally, I cannot imagine a better person for this role.

When we co-founded LPW, our mission was to quite simply to help other writers, believing the more we support each other as a community, the better things are for everyone.  The blog and the non-profit company grew entirely in grassroots fashion by word of mouth.  Now thousands of writers each month read our blog, and a passionate and growing group of members forms the core of our community.  We believed it was possible to use technology to democratise the industry and give the next generation of writers the tools to flourish, regardless of background or financial resources.  Every day we get closer to that goal.

Serving as Director of LPW has been one of the greatest privileges of my work as a writer.  I look forward to supporting Kim as she leads the organisation into its next stages of development, and to seeing our readers, friends, and members online or at future meetups, as my medical journey allows.
Until then, keep writing, and never doubt the transformative power of the stories we tell, or how much we can accomplish when we work together to create new opportunities.  From what I have seen from the writers in our community, the future of playwriting has never looked brighter.

With love and gratitude,

A.C. Smith is the former Director of LPW, and is currently on medical leave from her new post as LPW’s Head of Special Projects.

We’re sure you’ll want to join us in wishing Alli all the very best for her treatment and beyond. It’s fair to say that LPW wouldn’t exist today without Alli’s vision, determination and dedication to supporting playwrights. In the meantime, we hope that with your support, we can build on the foundations that Alli put in place and continue to grow our organisation. And of course, we look forward to welcoming Alli back on board when the time is right.

It’s also worth mentioning that, as any organisation grows, it’s natural for changes in the team to take place: people move on to new projects, paving the way for new people come on board – injecting new energy and ideas. Some of our previous contributors have now moved on (leaving the door open to return of course!) and we’ve also got some fantastic new additions the team. Do check out the Our Team page for more information – and look out for the new projects we’ve been busy creating. One thing is certain, everyone at LPW is passionate about supporting you – our community of playwrights!

(Image by Neils Epting via Flickr CC)

8 thoughts on “Leadership Changeover at LPW!”

  1. I’m sitting here, stunned by this news. It seems wrong, somehow, that someone who has given so much should be having to deal with this. Alli – I am in awe of your courage and spirit. As a proud member of London Playwrights Blog, I’d like to convey the most profound gratitude to you and Kimberley for creating this incredible resource. You have helped others more than you will ever know. Now is the time to focus on healing. Take good care of yourself. . Along with many others, I will be looking forward to your return to LPB. Sending you love and strength.

  2. Ali Smith’s sad tale should encourage us all to make the best of our talent and be the best we can be.
    She will need determination and grit to cope with being a new Mum and facing a life threatening challenge. I hope those of us who believe in prayer will remember her and those who believe in goodness will send her a good thought. We owe it to her to make LPW a success.
    Eli I hope the wind will always be at your back and that the road you must travel will open doors and opportunists that will enrich your life.
    Very Best

  3. Take all the time and rest you need and can find, Alli. If LPW is your brainchild, it seems in robust good health, and vastly appreciated by many. Get well and come back!

  4. Geraldine Brennan

    Dear Ali,

    Very best wishes to you for a good recovery and thank you for all your hard work on our behalf. We certainly are in very good hands and I look forward to hearing from you when you’re ready.

  5. Wendy Francis

    Dearest Ali
    I am new to LPW and to writing for that matter and I have learned so much from this brilliant service you have built. It’s great. And so are you. All the best to you and I am wishing you a speedy recovery

  6. Thanks to all of you for providing such a warm supportive group. Alli, I’m going through similar to you – having chemo for secondary breast cancer. I hope you have lots of support with your little one. Mine are grown up, and it’s still hard enough. Sending strength, love and support, and wish I could do more. Pippa x

  7. Victoria Taylor Roberts

    I’d like to take this opportunity as a longstanding member of LPW to say a massive thank you to Alli, Kimberley and the team for the amazing work they have done in bringing to writers visibility of a vast array of opportunities that have impacted the way in which we submit our work. I will be forever grateful for the selfless pursuit of the LPW team in making the lonely world of writing, particularly writing submission, a lot more bearable – and fruitful! Since first encountering LPW several years ago, I have gone on to participate in numerous theatrical events and have won two international playwright awards (the Kenneth Branagh Drama Award 2015 and the EDALYA award just recently.) LPW’s opportunity blog page was instrumental in all of this. I am beyond grateful, I’m humbled by your generosity. Thank you team LPW – and my very best wishes to you Alli in your family’s journey ahead through this rocky stretch.
    Victoria Taylor Roberts

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