London Playwrights’ Workshop: Writer Development Programme

We recently announced the launch of London Playwrights 2020, the new writer development programme for 2020 and we’re pleased to bring you a bit more information on this exciting new opportunity!

4 playwrights will be selected to develop their plays with us over the course of 2020, culminating in a rehearsed reading in London in front of industry professionals at the end of the year. Participants will also receive mentoring, dramaturgical support and writing masterclasses aimed at supporting them in writing the very best version of their script, whilst learning the practical and professional skills to boost their careers as playwrights.

Who can apply: we welcome applications from all writers of all backgrounds and all experience levels (including absolute beginners) as long as you are over 18. However, you must sign up for #WrAP2020 in order to apply. #WrAP2020 is our January playwriting challenge, where participants sign up to receive support and inspiration to help them write the first draft of a new play in just a month – this is available  for London Playwrights’ Workshop members. Read more about signing up for WrAP2020 here, and scroll down to the FAQ’s if you want to know more about why we’ve included this requirement. 

How it works: throughout January, writers will work on their new plays with the aim of completing a first draft. You will then have until the 14 February to write a one-page outline of your idea and submit your work-in-progress scripts to us. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a full first draft to send in – as long as we can see potential in your idea and get a glimpse of your unique writing voice, that’s all we need.

Timeline: please note, this timeline is to give a rough guide of the framework of the programme, and is subject to change, depending on space and availability.

  • January 2020 #WrAP2020
  • 14 February – deadline for submissions to London Playwrights 2020
  • Mid-March – writers selected and notified
  • April (Master class 1)
  • June (Master class 2)
  • August (Master class 3)
  • October (Master class 4)
  • November – preparations for rehearsed readings
  • December – Rehearsed readings at a London venue
  • Writers will also receive 4 dramaturgy/ feedback sessions throughout the year and within this, deadlines for developing the plays will be set as agreed individually. 

What we are looking for: we looking for exciting new ideas, unique writing voices and stories that need to be told on stage! We’re not expecting polished scripts to be sent to us after you’ve only had a month to work on them! We’re looking for writers who have the potential to develop their ideas into fantastic scripts during 2020 and by the end of the year, we’re hoping to have uncovered four amazing emerging playwrights who will be armed with polished new plays ready to be put on stage.


Why is London Playwrights 2020 only open to London Playwrights’ Workshop members? Quite simply our members subscription fees keep our organisation going and allow us to continue bringing opportunities, support and the Weekly Round-ups to you for free; without them, we wouldn’t be able to meet the running costs of our organisation and so it is important to us to give something back to those who support us. That said, membership costs just £3.63 per month and you won’t be tied into a contract, read more about signing up here! If the cost of membership is genuinely a barrier for you accessing this opportunity, please email us at to discuss. We’re definitely not trying to be exclusive but we do hope that by building on our number of members, we will be able to grow our organisation and provide more accessible resources for a wider number of playwrights.

I’m a member but I haven’t got time for #WrAP2020 this time round, can I still apply for London Playwrights 2020? Yes! But please sign up to receive #WrAP2020 emails as we will be emailing submission details out via this mailing list. The purpose of connecting this opportunity to #WrAP2020 is because we’re looking for writers who have a new idea to work on during the development programme.

Do I need to be in London to take part? No but the masterclasses and readings will take place in London so you will need to be able to travel in for these, the dramaturgy sessions can be done via Skype or phone if necessary. At the moment, we do not have funding to cover travel expenses, however, we may be able to award small bursaries in circumstances where the travel costs will make the opportunity inaccessible. Details of this will be provided when the submission details are emailed out in early January.

If you have any further questions, feel free to comment below or please email us at

4 thoughts on “London Playwrights’ Workshop: Writer Development Programme”

  1. Hi, This sounds great! I have two questions: a) is this open to non uk residents and b) Re: “throughout January, writers will work on their new plays with the aim of completing a first draft.” will there be a brief sent out in Jan that writers will need to follow or can they send in an idea they have already been working on? Thanks for explaining.

    1. Kimberley Andrews

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Yes, non UK residents are welcome to apply but the 4 masterclasses will take place in London as will the rehearsed readings. The one-to-one feedback sessions can be done by Skype though for those who live outside of London.
      At the beginning of January, some inspiration exercises will be sent out for writers who haven’t got an idea yet. But if you already have an idea in mind, you’re very welcome to send us that.
      Hope that helps,

    1. Kimberley Andrews

      Yes, but there will be approximately 4 masterclasses held in London as well as the rehearsed reading so it’s recommended that you are able to travel to London before applying.

      Best wishes,

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