Playwriting Opportunity (in English and Welsh)

Launch of DAW’s One Act Playwriting Competition 2012

Monday 17th October 2011. Today, DAW launched its annual Playwriting Competition. The competition aims to encourage the writing of plays for theatre in English and Welsh. Previous prizewinners have been published and performed as a result of promotion through our New Writing Scheme.

THE WINNING PLAY IN EACH CATEGORY
WILL RECEIVE A CASH PRIZE OF £250
AND WILL BE PUBLISHED

PLAYING TIME: 20-50 MINS – A MINIMUM CAST OF TWO

An Adjudicating Panel appointed by the Drama Association of Wales will read and consider the plays entered into the Competition and will award the following prizes:

• Best Play for a Youth Cast (16-25 years) – £250
• Best Play in the Open Category – £250
• Best Play in the Welsh Language – £250
• plus commemorative Prizewinners Medals
• The above plays will also be published by DAW Publications

Also:
• The Best Play from a Wales Based Playwright will be awarded a bursary to Tŷ Newydd, the National Writers’ Centre for Wales

TO CONTINUE THE SUCCESS OF LAST YEARS SERVICE…
If you would like to make use of DAW’s Script Reading Service whilst your play is with us, please send £37.50 as the combined price of both competition entry – £17.50 and Script Reading Service – £20.00

For a hard copy of the application form, please contact Teresa on Cardiff +44 (0) 29 2045 2200 or
email: teresa@dramawales.org.uk

For a downloadable entry form by pdf or word format, visit our website

Closing date: 31st January 2012

THE COMPETITION IS OPEN TO EVERYONE. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED FROM ENTERING IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE WALES – WE RECEIVE ENTRIES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

With special thanks this year to Christchurch Theatre Club, Dorset

And in Welsh, for the curious, if not for those who actually read and speak it . . .

LAWNSIAD CYSTADLEUAETH YSGRIFENNU DRAMA UN ACT CDdC 2012

Yr wythnos hon, fydd CDdC yn lawnsio’r gystadleuaeth ysgrifennu drama un act 2012. Bwriad y gystadleuaeth yw annog ysgrifennu dramau ar gyfer theatr yn y Gymraeg ar Saesneg. Yn ogystal a gwobr ariannol byddem yn ystyried cyhoeddi rai o’r dramau buddugol. Yn y gorffennol maer dramau buddugol wedi cael ei cyhoeddi a’i perfformio o ganlyniad i gynllun hyrwyddo ysgrifennu newydd CDdC.

MI FYDD ENNILLYDD POB CATEGORI YN ENNILL GWOBR ARIANNOL O £250 AC YSTYRIR GYHOEDDI RHAI O’R DRAMAU BUDDUGOL!

HYD Y DDRAMA: 20-50 MUNUD – CAST O DDAU NEU FWY YN UNIG.

Penodir panel o feirniaid gan Gymdeithas Ddrama Cymru i ddarllen, dadansoddi dramau ar gyfer dewis ennillwyr yr gwborwyon canlynol:

• Drama orau ar gyfer cast ieuenctid (15-25mlwydd oed) – £250
• Drama orau yn yr gystadleuaeth Agored – £250
• Drama cyfrwng Gymraeg orau – £250
• Medalau i’r ennillwyr cofiannol.
• Bydd CDdC y ystyried gyhoeddi’r dramau uchod

Yn ogystal:
• Mi fydd yr ddrama orau gan ddramodydd o Gymru yn ennill bwrsariaeth i Ty Newydd, Canolfan Ysgrifennu Cenedlaethol Cymru.

GWASANAETH DARLLEN SGRIPTIAU

Os hoffech wneud defnydd o wasanaeth darllen sgriptiau Cymdeithas Ddrama Cymru tra bod eich drama gyda ni y pris gyfunedig yw £37.50 sef £17.50 i gystadlu yn y gystadleuaeth ysgrifennu a £20.00 am ein gwasanaeth darllen sgript.

Am ffurflen gais ar gyfer y gystadleuaeth, cysylltwch â Teresa, Swyddfa Cymdeithas Ddrama Cymru (CDdC) drwy ffonio +44 (0) 29 2045 2200 neu ebost: teresa@dramawales.org.uk neu www.dramawales.org.uk/pages/playwritingcompetition.html am ffurflen gais pdf neu word

Dyddiad cau: 31ain o fis Ionawr, 2012

CYSTADLEUAETH YN AGORED I BAWB. PEIDIWCH A DI-GALONNI OS YDYCH YN BYW TU ALLAN I GYMRU- RYDYM YN DERBYN CEISIADAU GAN GYSTADLEUWYR AR DRAWS Y BYD!

www.dramacymru.org.uk/tudalen/cystadleuaeth.html

Diolch yn fawr iawn i Christchurch Theatre Club, Dorset

Tweet Dream

You know you’ve been on Twitter too much when you dream in Twitter stream fashion. The first part of my dream last night had something to do with a Twitter conversation going on amongst me, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I’m sure it was all very interesting, but I can’t remember any of it.

The dream went on to being about a garden in late afternoon sunlight, me trying to find a very specific kind of flower (none were the right color, and I recall the soil being dry; the flowers looked unhealthy). And then Steven Moffat turned out to be a member of some council, and the queen or one of her chancellors was chasing people through the gardens. I don’t quite recall how this was resolved; it may have ended in us jumping into a cab.

Meanwhile, I have an idea for a new play. So now the question is whether to plow on with my current story (novella? novel?) or switch gears.

National Playwrights Conference

Yesterday evening I did something awful to four of the five toes on my right foot. So after hobbling around all last night and most of today, I figured I might be due for some good karma and so have thrown my hat into the ring for next year’s National Playwrights Conference. They have open submissions through 21 October, and while the odds are slim that my work will be picked (they receive 800+ submissions), I can hope. Plus, I love that they have an online submission process. (Visit the O’Neill Center site for more information.) As a rule, I don’t submit to places that require a fee, but I decided to take a chance with this one. Wish me luck! With this or other submissions . . .

Making a Play

So I’ve written two plays: the 10-minute “Warm Bodies” and the one-act play 20 August. That one was supposed to be two acts but it would have required a lot of padding to make it long enough and I didn’t want it to drag.

Prior to these two, I’d written scenes but never an entire play of any length. Except screenplays. I had done those and intend to do more.

So what drew me into to playwriting? Well, friends of mine asked me to try my hand at a short play for something their local community theatre was doing, a sort of directors’ workshop. “Warm Bodies” sprang from that. And I was rather pleased with the result, so I submitted “Warm Bodies” to a few other places–many of which I have yet to hear back from. But one theatre in London e-mailed me back and asked for a sample of something longer.

I had nothing longer. At least, not in terms of stage plays. SO . . . I wrote 20 August.

Apparently as far as plays go, I write on commission. Unpaid commission at that, but if something ends up produced, that wouldn’t be too terrible.

I used to be in a Shakespeare troupe, and I also did some acting in college, so at least I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with the form. With my screenwriting background, and my understanding of the mechanics of a stage, I think I did all right. “Warm Bodies” has been submitted to eight different competitions now–and though it hasn’t been accepted anywhere yet, it hasn’t been rejected yet, either (though that’s just a matter of time, I’m sure)–and 20 August is being read in both London and Cardiff.

I never fancied myself a playwright, even though I have taught playwriting classes. Hmm. As Ophelia says: “We know what we are but know not what we may be.”

Off to New York

In a few hours I’ll be on the train to NYC. I prefer the train to flying; I like forms of travel that provide me with scenery.

Staying in the Paramount at Times Square. I haven’t stayed in this particular hotel before, but it’s supposed to be very nice, so I’m excited to give it a go. Since I’m planning on spending most of my time in the room (writing), it’s important to me it be a nice one!

I do expect I’ll need to take breaks, though. To eat at least, and to find gifts for the kids because I’ll be taken to task if I return empty handed on Sunday. Also, I’ll want to go to the Lindt store and stock up on truffles because I like to eat those while I’m writing. They’re like sweet little rewards for my hard work.

For the most part I expect to be working on my “K-Pro” story, though I may also edit 20 August a bit. I’m thinking of reducing it to a one-act play. Once it’s ready I’ll be able to send it out to competitions and such. AND . . . I’m bringing the stuff for my spec script just in case I get the urge to work on it.

Here’s hoping for a productive weekend!

And so . . .

Another rejection today, this time for “Warm Bodies.” But they were nice about it, saying that it just didn’t fit in with the kinds of plays they publish. This publisher apparently focuses on the kinds of things kids do in school, and I can agree that “Warm Bodies” is a bit much for that crowd. However, I wish their website had been more clear about this, since it said they publish stuff for community theatres and such as well (which is exactly what I wrote “Warm Bodies” for). I will try it elsewhere.

It is difficult, though, not to get discouraged when it seems to be raining rejections. Some days I feel like I might never be successful on any front, no matter how hard I try.

Mixed Results

Well, on the up side I finished the first draft of my two-act play and sent it to the theatre in London that had asked to see something in longer form. They wanted to get a sense of my style, so I felt that even though it was a draft, it suited the purpose. Though of course I added a note that it was just a draft.

But on the down side . . . Another rejection for a couple of my short stories. Rejections are always difficult, and this one felt particularly harsh, not because they were mean about it per se but it was just the stark wording: “The piece is not for us. Best of luck with this.” Really? That’s the best you can do when letting someone down?

Here’s hoping the play does better for me.

And did you see that BBC Books is planning to do Sherlock books after all? Now how do I get my foot in that door, I wonder?

WIPs

I thought I might expand a bit more on my two current projects, which I mentioned briefly in yesterday’s Sparkfest post.

(1) The play I’m writing–this one is a full-length play–is about a man who jumps off a bridge. Sort of. Is any play ever really about what it pretends to be about? My previous playwriting effort, “Warm Bodies,” has been generally well received, so I hope this one will be too. I’ve dabbled in scene writing before, and I’ve even taught playwriting classes, so it’s funny that I never really tapped into that side of me for out-and-out writing. I only wrote “Warm Bodies” because someone asked for a 10-minute play for a directors’ workshop, and I thought, Well, it can’t be so different from screenwriting, so long as you keep it in your head that they can’t do quick cuts and will need time to change sets. Right? It probably helped that I do have a modest history in stage acting.

(2) The story I’m writing, which looks like it will be novella length before long, is called “The K-Pro.” It’s, uh, different from my usual thing. But not in a bad way. Can’t quite tell if it’s going to go the paranormal romance route or just be a kind of weird . . . thing.

And once I finish these two projects, I have a couple of actual screenwriting projects to get on with. “Something Real” is a romantic comedy, and I also have a TV spec script to sort out. When it rains, it pours! I’ll be off to NYC this weekend to devote some real time to all of this; it can be difficult to concentrate at home with the ins and outs of family.