New Playwrights Awards - 2016

New Playwrights Awards - How to Apply

Applications are now closed.
We hope to reopen applications in summer 2021.

Is a New Playwrights Award right for me?

New Playwrights Awards are for early career playwrights who have one or both of the following:

  • Experience of developing your work in a workshop environment, through rehearsed readings or working with others to improve your skills.   
  • You might have had plays produced e.g. A Play, A Pie and A Pint, or have produced your own work.   

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply for a New Playwrights Award, you will meet the following criteria:

  • You are an early-career playwright.
  • You are based in Scotland.   
  • You are available on Friday 4 December 2020 for the Playwriting Programme Induction Day. If you are unable to make this date, please let us know via
  • You are able to commit to completing your New Playwrights Award by 31 March 2022.
  • You are not a student in full-time formal education (i.e. 16 hours or more per week) at the start of the New Playwrights Awards Programme. Applications may be considered from individuals who are undertaking a part-time course of study. However, this will depend on how it relates to your course.

Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion

We believe diversity is essential to a thriving cultural sector and aim to work actively with writers from a range of different backgrounds.

Because they are currently underrepresented, we strive to increase applications from and representation within our Programmes from playwrights:

  • Writing in Gaelic, Scots or BSL
  • Based outside the central belt of Scotland
  • From Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • Who are disabled
  • From socio-economically deprived backgrounds
  • Who are female, trans or non-binary 

We welcome playwrights of any gender, religion or belief, age, or sexual orientation.


We work closely with all the playwrights selected for our Programmes to ensure that their specific requirements are met. For example, this could be provision of BSL interpreters at mentoring sessions, childcare costs or simply documents printed in a different format. We have a dedicated access budget that enables us to provide this support. If you would like to, please contact us via to discuss what we can do to support you through the Programme.  

How does the selection process work for New Playwrights Awards?

A limited number of places are available each year and we receive many more applications than we are able to support. Your application is assessed and considered by Playwrights' Studio staff, supported by previous recipients and other representatives from the arts and cultural sector. The selection panel for 2020/21 comprises Maryam Hamidi, playwright and previous New Playwrights Award recipient, Rosie Kellagher, Dramaturg, National Theatre of Scotland, Sabrina Leruste, Theatre Officer, Creative Scotland, Hayley Sinclair, Communications & Projects Coordinator, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, Stef Smith, Associate Playwright, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, and is chaired by  Fiona Sturgeon Shea, Creative Director, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland. In making its selection, the panel considers:  

  • Your commitment to developing your playwriting skills and experience.  
  • How the New Playwrights Award will contribute to the development of your writing and your creative ambitions.
  • The originality and potential of your idea and your voice. 
  • Your ability to receive feedback on your work, act on this feedback, and work independently on a project for a year. 

Playwrights writing in Gaelic or Scots may submit their full application in Gaelic or Scots. If you wish to submit your application in BSL, please contact us at to discuss this further. 

How do I apply?

We use the submissions management system Submittable to streamline our application process. You may find it helpful to use the practice application form & guide, to help you draft your submission before transferring to Submittable.

If you are unable to use Submittable, you can:

  • Email your submission to
  • Post your application to New Playwrights Awards, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

If applying by post or email you must include an Equalities Monitoring Form.

Please let us know if you would like the application form in a different format or require assistance completing the form. Contact us via email at

If you have problems using Submittable, or have any questions at all regarding or the application process, please feel free to email We are happy to help.


What do I need to include in my application?  

  • Contact details (including name, address and mobile number). 
  • Details of any communication or other access requirements that we should be aware of to support your participation in this Programme.
  • A supporting statement detailing how a New Playwrights Award will benefit your progress as a playwright.  
  • Details of any script development you have previously been part of and how this has made a difference to the way you think about your writing.
  • A description of the idea for a script that you would like to focus on.
  • A 100 word summary of your play idea. If your application is selected, this will be uploaded to the Playwrights' Studio website.
  • A brief biography detailing your writing experience to date. If your application is successful, this will be published to the Playwrights Database on the Playwrights' Studio website. Please visit the Database for examples on how to format your biography.
  • Two 10-page samples of your writing (plays only, the samples must be from different plays). Please note that we do not expect your idea to be one of your writing samples as it may not necessarily be written yet. However, if you have begun working on your idea, you are welcome to submit an extract of it as one of your writing samples.
  • Synopsis for each play (maximum 50 words. Please include these at the top of each writing sample).  
  • A CV detailing your writing experience to date.  
  • Whether you would like to write in English, Gaelic or Scots. Please note, there is a dedicated Gaelic Playwriting Award if you would like to write in Gaelic.  
  • Confirmation that you are available on Friday 4 December 2020 for the Playwriting Programme Induction Day. If you are unable to make this date, please let us know via
  • Whether you would like to receive feedback on your application.

You will receive an email confirming the submission of your application.

Deadline for applications: the deadline for 2020 has passed. Applications will reopen summer 2021.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submission no later than Friday 27 November 2020.

Before starting your applications, please read the Frequently Asked Questions and use the practice application form & guide.


(Photo Credit: Scott Cadenhead)

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