Playwriting Opportunity: 15-minute Horror Scripts

Planning ahead for 2014, the Shudders theatre company are holding a new script competition for 15 minute stage scripts. Now in it’s third year and in receipt of Arts Council Wales Research & Development funding, Shudders are calling out for 15 minute stage horror scripts.

Four £100 prizes are up for grabs to the four best scripts. Competition opens September 1st 2013 and closes November 30th. Visit the company website www.shudderstheatre.weebly.com for the full details and read the Terms & Conditions before entering.

Playwriting Opportunity: Call for Monologues

Suitcase Theatre is calling for new monologues to be included in their forthcoming production at Clwyd Theatr Cymru Mold in July 2013.

1. Each monologue should be written for performance in a theatre, by a single actor on stage, and should have a playing time of at least 5 minutes but not more than 10 minutes.

2. The monologue should be new, original and previously unperformed, and should be complete in itself, without being an extract from a longer work or an adaptation from another medium.

3. Three monologues are required to form part of an evening’s entertainment on the theme of “Television” – the whole programme to include two new plays, one a satire on game shows, the other an improbable comedy. The monologues will therefore relate to this theme. It is envisaged that actors will deliver the monologues as if to camera.

4. Although the monologues will be essentially verbal, writers should feel free to utilise props and costumes. However there will be no scenery as such, and writers should avoid complicated use of doors, windows and so on. It will be possible to “divide” the monologue into “scenes” through the use of lighting, but this is not essential.

5. The monologues will be performed in the Emlyn Williams Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold during the week beginning 8th July 2013, and scripts should be submitted to Mike Stevens at mike.suitcasetheatre@hotmail.co.uk to arrive before midday on Monday February 25th 2013.

6. Suitcase Theatre will audition actors, including the writers themselves should they wish, to perform the scripts, and these auditions will be held initially on Wednesday February 27th 2013.

7. The panel selecting the monologues for performance will consist of Anna Turner, Artistic Director and Steph Phillips, Assistant Director, who will direct the monologues, and Michael Stevens, Suitcase Theatre Company Manager.

8. Writers whose work is chosen will be able to attend rehearsals and may be asked to re-draft elements of their piece in conjunction with discussions with the director.

A writer may submit more than one monologue for consideration, but each piece should have a title and be signed off as the original work of the writer whose name appears with it.

The Problem of Not Being Black Listed

I really would like to try putting my stuff on this new Black List. Problem? I have a short and a television spec, and they’re only taking feature scripts.

While I certainly understand that features are what Hollywood is most interested in, and therefore it’s to the Black List’s benefit to focus on them, I do mourn the fact that by doing such they are shutting out a wide swath of potential talent. I mean, I probably could write a feature script, and one day I might. But others whose hearts are in television or whatever? Are they expected to write a feature simply because that’s what people will read? I don’t think it’s a good metric when these writers’ best works may very well lie in other forms.

As for me, I know having a short is not particularly helpful. It’s at best a writing sample, since no one is really in the market to film a short. Sigh. But even so, it’s a good, solid sample, so why shouldn’t it get to be put on the Black List so it can get read? Hrm.

Right now the Black List FAQs suggest they may widen their scope to other forms some time in 2013 . . . But since they’ve already had a fair amount of success just managing feature-length screenplays, I have to wonder whether they really will bother to stretch open their arms. I can hope. I’m on the mailing list. Let’s see if some of us writing orphans can get a little love.

Playwriting Opportunity: Traverse Fifty (Scotland, Open to All)

As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations we are searching for the best voices from Scotland and beyond. We want to find 50 writers who embody the spirit of invention, adventure and risk taking that has come to define the Traverse over the last 50 years.

The Traverse Fifty is a year-long writer’s attachment to the Traverse Theatre. Throughout 2013, we will run a series of tailor-made events for the writers, including panel discussions, workshops and one-on-one dramaturgy with our artistic team. The programme will culminate in a New Writing Festival featuring the work of the Traverse Fifty. At the end of the process we will offer three seed commissions.

Who we want:
50 brilliant writers of any age, from anywhere. You must have had no more than two professional productions staged.

How to apply:
Submit a 500 word play for Edinburgh and a 250 word covering letter outlining why the attachment would be beneficial. To submit your script please go to www.traverse.submittable.com

For more info on the project please visit our Traverse Fifty page.

Deadline: 12pm, Friday 14 November 2012.

For more info email Catherine.Makin@traverse.co.uk

Playwriting Opportunity: Mentoring Project (Wales)

Ty Newydd National Writers Centre for Wales

Tutor: Kaite O’Reilly

Dec 7 – 9, 2012 and April 12 – 14, 2013 (2 weekends, with email contact between)

This unusual course offers aspiring writers for live performance the rare opportunity of developing a new short play with guidance, tuition and dramaturgical feedback over a 4 month period by award winning writer, Kaite O’Reilly. It is designed for those who are new to the medium but serious about their writing, who wish to develop their skills as a dramatist in a supportive but professional environment. The focus will be on process—storylining, creating characters, plot, and dramatic tension, and developing the dramaturgical skills required to structure, shape, revise and so complete a short script. Deadlines will be given for completing drafts, with full feedback and reports by Kaite, with advice and exercises on further strengthening the script.
Owing to the unique form of this course and the individual attention that will be given, there will only be 8 participants. If you wish to apply please send your booking form with a short writing history.
For information, fees, booking forms etc. contact Tŷ Newydd:
tynewydd@literaturewales.org
01766 522811
www.tynewydd.org

Kaite O’Reilly has won various awards for her work, including the Peggy Ramsay Award for YARD (Bush Theatre, London), finalist of the 2009 International Susan Smith Blackburn Award for The Almond and the Seahorse (Sherman Cymru) and 2010/11 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry for her retelling of Aeschylus’s Persians (National Theatre Wales). In Water I’m Weightless, with National Theatre Wales, premiered at the Wales Millennium Centre in August 2012, before transferring to London’s Southbank Centre as part of the official Cultural Olympiad. An experienced tutor and mentor, Kaite has taught playwriting and dramaturgy at Universities and theatres across the UK (Exeter, Graeae Theatre, Soho Theatre, Birmingham Rep’, amongst others) as well as internationally (KNUA, Seoul; ITI, Singapore; Evora Festival, Portugal). Further information on Kaite can be found at www.kaiteoreilly.com

Writing Opportunity: AACT New Play Fest

Just a heads up since the actual call for scripts isn’t expected to come until the fall, but the American Association of Community Theatre is putting together a New Play Festival (AACTNewPlayFest) in which selected community theatres across the country will produce new works by unpublished playwrights. Details here; keep checking for updates.

Writing Opportunity: Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2012

Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2012

The details of the prize are as follows:

Categories: Fiction; Poetry; Life Writing
Word limit: 3000 (or five poems)
Deadline: 27 July 2012 5pm GMT
Prize: £300 and publication in Wasafiri magazine
Fee: £6.00 if entering one category, £10 for two and £15 for all three

The prize is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book in the category they wish to enter. Other terms and conditions apply, please visit www.wasafiri.org for further information and to download the application form, or email wasafiri@open.ac.uk

Making My Case

This is why Hollywood should hire me: studies have shown that open systems are more successful overall than closed ones.

By which I mean production companies and studios that keep using the same pool of writers, directors and so forth over and over again will eventually run out of ideas and ways to be innovative. By keeping young talent out—and/or making it difficult for us to “break in” (why should we have to “break” anything?)—these systems are actually doing themselves a great disfavor.

Jonah Lehrer uses the example of pro athletes in his book Imagine. America produces a great number of good athletes. How? Not by narrowing the margins, but by throwing a wide net. Would-be athletes get many, many opportunities to play and perfect their games, their techniques. From the time they are young, they are encouraged to keep trying and repeatedly rewarded for their efforts. When they get scouted in high school and college, they still may be a bit rough, but potential is what counts. Being a pro athlete is like a very long apprenticeship. Scouts and teams are willing to take a few risks on players who may not be quite there yet, but with a little more work have the chance to be stellar.

Another example (also from Lehrer): medical and/or technical research and innovation. Labs and companies that are willing to take more risks have records of having more success. This makes sense; throw a wider net and you’re more likely to catch something worthwhile.

Meanwhile, Hollywood continues to be an insular enclave in which the same actors and directors make the same few movies again and again. Writers and producers borrow from themselves and each other, but it’s all the same stuff. (Steven Moffat ended both Doctor Who and Sherlock with faked deaths, which doesn’t show much fresh thinking on his part; granted, the Sherlock story line was a given due to the source material, but to do it on his other show, too? Really?)

Time to try something new.

So why not with someone like me, who has the education and a smattering of experience but could really use an apprenticeship of some kind to boost my abilities and talents? A mentor, if you will. I’m willing to keep learning, so long as someone will teach me. As far as risks go, I’m not even a long shot. Hollywood needs fresh blood and new ideas, and here I am—me and thousands of others like me—ready and willing, able to serve. If only the system would lay a little money on the table and take a few risks.

After all, the best and brightest know how to make good use of all their resources.

Camp NaNoWriMo

You may have noticed my Camp NaNoWriMo badge under “Coming Soon” in the sidebar. I got an e-mail about this yesterday, and I’ve decided to participate in August.

Camp NaNo is basically the same thing as “regular” NaNo except not in November. And since November is very difficult for me because of holidays and such, I’m thinking August might work out better. (June is another camp option, but I have other obligations for June.)

The other cool thing about Camp NaNo is how you get put in “cabins” with writing partners. Like bunks at camp. You can request certain roommates, or roommates who are your age and/or write the same kinds of things you do, or go with luck of the draw. Since I don’t know anyone who is planning to do Camp NaNo, I went with “Surprise Me!” But if you’d like to request me as a bunkmate, I’m mpepper on the site.

No idea what I’m going to write yet. I’ve put myself under “chick lit” for now, but that may change. Might go YA or something. Might do a sequel to “St. Peter in Chains.” I have a few ideas, just not sure which will demand the most attention come August.