About the Professional Programme

Applications are now closed. We aim to announce details regarding our Playwriting Programme for 2020/21 in summer 2020.


After receiving feedback from playwrights that it was unclear what was available from the Professional Programme and how to access resources, we have reviewed it. The Programme now replaces previous schemes such as Writers Projects and Research and Development Projects.

What is included in the Programme?

For 2019/20, we are offering a range of support which we hope is more responsive to the needs of experienced mid-career or established professional playwrights and those who are currently under-represented.

Within the Professional Programme, there are three routes of support available: Supported Script Development Workshops, Self-directed Writing Residencies, and Flexible Support. 

As well as financial assistance, Playwrights' Studio provides administrative and financial management. We will work closely with you to ensure that the activity successfully meets your objectives and offer ongoing support throughout.

During the year, you will also have the opportunity to attend:

  • Playwriting Programme Induction Day - an opportunity to meet playwrights on the other programmes offered by Playwrights' Studio
  • A Cultural Trip, which includes a theatre visit and the opportunity to meet key practitioners in Scottish theatre
  • Skills Workshops. In 2019 these were: Writing for Radio with BBC Radio Drama Producer David Ian Neville, and Introduction to the Business of Playwriting with Stephen Greenhorn, Chair of the Scottish Society of Playwrights

1. Supported Script Development Workshops

You can apply for a two-day script development workshop with a director and actors. There is a budget to support three two-day workshops including an attendance fee for the playwright, director and up to six actors for each workshop. Three dates are available in 2019/20 at our base at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. 

2. Four Self-directed Writing Residencies

You can apply for a week's self-directed residency at a venue in Scotland. Although there is no fee for the residency itself, we will cover travel expenses, accommodation costs and a daily allowance for food and other refreshments.

Our established partner is Cove Park on which this budget is based. If you have an equivalent venue in mind, we will work with you to arrange this.  

We can also cover childcare costs or help source a venue in Scotland that is family or pet friendly. 

When applying, you will be asked to indicate your preferred dates (5 - 7 days depending on your needs).

3. Flexible Support

£500 - £2000

We recognise that not all development support can be planned to meet fixed dates and deadlines. Therefore, you can apply for support for other activity that:

  • Allows you to do something you wouldn't otherwise be able to
  • Contributes to the development of your playwriting craft
  • Meets your creative ambitions

We will make financial contributions between £500 up to £2,000 per application. When you apply, you will be asked to tell us about the activity you need support for.

For example, this could include:

  • Collaboration with other artists e.g. musicians, choreographers, sound composers, visual artists
  • Dramaturgical support for a particular script
  • Attending a training course, conference or networking event
  • Research for a new play
  • Working with a translator
  • A bursary to support the development of your writing
  • Essential equipment that could not be funded elsewhere
  • A contribution towards a script development project with an existing partner (the partner must be based in Scotland)

We will, of course, consider activity that goes beyond these suggestions.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submissions for Residencies and Flexible Support no later than four weeks after submitting their application. So please factor this into your planning.

Playwrights' Studio requires no outcome from this activity but, as part of our evaluation, we will ask you to tell us how the support benefited your playwriting craft.

Previous recipients who have received similar support from Playwrights' Studio include: Rob Drummond (The Happy Lads); Oliver Emanuel (Titus); Annie George (Twa); Sue Glover (Mars); Douglas Maxwell (I Can Go Anywhere) and Lynda Radley (Dandelion)

Fees & Expenses

For all aspects of the Professional Programme, all activities will adhere to recognised industry rates for fees and expenses. For example, Scottish Society of Playwrights and Federation of Scottish Theatre, Equity, Independent Theatre Council.

What we can't support

As a development organisation, we do not commission or produce plays. Our resources are limited. This is not a commissioning or production fund. Funds from this Programme cannot be used to substitute or top up commissioning fees from theatres, or to 'self-commission', nor can they contribute to production costs. We cannot, therefore, support:

  • Commission fees to write a new play (The FST/SSP minimum recommended rate for a play up to 30 minutes is £3,735 which is beyond the scope of this activity)
  • Production costs
  • Plays that have already received significant development
  • Plays that have already been produced

Unfortunately we are unable to accept applications for more than one aspect of the Professional Programme from the same playwright within the same year.

Dates for your diary:

Wednesday 4 December 2019: Playwriting Programme Induction Day

February 2020: Workshop 1 (TBC)

June 2020: Workshop 2 (TBC)

Sometime between April and June 2020: Cultural Trip (TBC)

Before starting your application, please read the Frequently Asked Questions.

How to apply.

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