Lyric Writing For Playwrights (LPW Workshop)

Are you interested in using lyrics in your plays or even writing for musical theatre? Learn how to channel your playwriting skills in a new direction to open new doors.

This half-day intensive uses encourages participants to open their imaginations and work with language in a new way as they explore the intricacies of lyric writing.

Playwrights generally have a good instinct for compelling turns of phrase, but turning these into songs requires a different skillset. Powerful dialogue, or even beautiful poetry, do not necessarily translate into effective song lyrics.

Whether you want to write for a band or a West End stage, there are certain patterns and tricks that songwriters use to make their lyrics compelling and exciting.

This workshop will cover:

  • Inspiration – finding and nurturing song ideas
  • Structure – finding the right frame for your idea
  • Rhyme – when to use it, when not to, and the wisdom to know the difference
  • Feel & Flow – how to judge the ‘singability’ of your lyrics
  • The basic ‘rules’ of lyric writing – and also how and when to break them.
  • Where to go next – ideas for continuing to develop your skills as a songwriter

This workshop is primarily targeted at people who want to write songs for characters (building on their skills as playwrights), but that doesn’t mean you need to be interested in writing for musical theatre.

Each participant will complete a series of writing exercises during the workshop, that will see them leave with lyric ideas and a clear plan for how to take these forward and continue to develop them into complete songs.

Who this workshop is for

This workshop is open to all.

Participants who already have some basic knowledge of songwriting may be familiar with some of the material covered, but they will be challenged to use this in new ways through the writing exercises.

Please note that you do not need to be a musician or have any previous experience of writing music. However, a love of good songs is strongly recommended!


There is no need to prepare work in advance, but participants will need to bring a notebook and pen for writing exercises.

If possible, participants should also bring a rhyming dictionary or a smartphone with internet access.

When and where

Date and time: Saturday 11 November 2017 from 10.00am-1.00pm

Venue: Theatre Delicatessen Broadgate, 2 Finsbury Avenue, London EC2M 2PA (nearest tube: Liverpool Street/Moorgate)

Cost: £41.50 members / £55 non-members*

*You can become a member for the price of a cup of coffee a month – this supports the blog and as a thank you gives you access to special benefits, resources, and discounts. Join here:

How to book

Members booking:

Please click through to access our members portal and book at the discounted rate.


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Places are limited and reserved on a  strictly first come first serve basis, so early booking is advised.

About the Workshop Leader

A.C. Smith is a scriptwriter, songwriter, and the Director of London Playwrights’ Workshop. As a lyricist, she has been shortlisted for the Kevin Spacey Artists of Choice Awards and the Perfect Pitch Awards. As part of Barlow & Smith, her work includes DREAM QUEEN (Globe Theatre), VANYA’S (development support from Old Vic Workrooms and Criterion Theatre), THE GAME (St James Studio), THE NEXT STEP (HighTide), and numerous cabaret engagements including the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Gala. Their debut album CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY can be found on iTunes. She A.C. studied songwriting with Book Music & Lyrics, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Royal Opera House, and the Institute of Contemporary Musical Performance, and is currently a member of the Mercury Musical Developments Advanced Writers Lab.

Image: George Kelly via Flickr Commons CC Licence

Curious about our other workshops?  Check out the full listings here!


4 thoughts on “Lyric Writing For Playwrights (LPW Workshop)”

  1. I would love to do this workshop and it’s what I need too but with travel and accommodation costs it’s too expensive. Any chance you could bring it up North? Helen

    1. Hi Helen, I wish we could! We are actively working on developing our online workshops, so watch this space – even if we can’t come to you physically, we may be able to do so via computer!

  2. Hi Ali, you asked me to email to remind you to send us your handout on where to place songs in our books. I really enjoyed the workshop, learned loads so thanks

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