New Playwrights Awards - 2016

Professional Programme - How to Apply

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply for the Professional Programme, you will meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are a mid-career or established professional playwright. (Professional means that you have previously been commissioned, paid for your work or produced your own work in a professional setting as a playwright.)
  • You are a playwright based in Scotland
  • You are applying for a project as a Scottish playwright based elsewhere, but your project is happening in Scotland with partners based here. (Unfortunately, this excludes bursaries.)

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 will we select which applications to support?

In selecting which applications to support we will consider, how:

  • The support will allow you to do something you wouldn't otherwise be able to.
  • It will contribute to the development of your playwriting craft.
  • It will meet your creative ambitions.
  • If you are applying for a project, the budget and timescale you propose is realistic. Playwrights' Studio pays recommended industry rates for everyone involved in projects. If you need to, please contact Emma McKee, General Manager in advance and she will be able to discuss these rates with you. Playwrights' Studio will contract everyone involved in the project and pay them directly.
  • If you are applying for a project, you imagine it working within current Government guidelines relating to COVID-19.

Any activity supported through this Programme will always be playwright-led, putting your needs at the heart of the process. Your application will be assessed and considered by Playwrights' Studio staff.

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.

We will support as many playwrights as possible within the resources we have available. Unfortunately, we will not be able to support every application received.

A few exclusions

  • Playwrights who have recently received support from Playwrights' Studio (within the last 18 months) or who are currently in receipt of support from one of our other Programmes.
  • You are still eligible to apply for Mentoring or New Playwrights Awards.
  • Students in full-time formal education (i.e. 16 hours or more per week). 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.

As a development organisation, we do not commission or produce plays and our resources are limited. This is, therefore, not a commissioning or production fund. Resources 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 been produced or received significant script development elsewhere.

As this Programme is funded through Creative Scotland, please bear in mind their recent guidance in relation to receiving Government support:

"People in receipt of social security benefits, or those planning to apply for them, should make their own checks in terms of the potential impact the award [of a Bridging Bursary] would have on any benefits payments. We also strongly advise that you check the most up-to-date information and advice from the UK Government on their support programmes for freelancers before making a request to this programme. It is your responsibility to consider the impact of a request to this fund on any other support you intend to access."

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: Professional Programme, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

If applying by email or post you will need to 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?

Before you start your application please read the Frequently Asked Questions. We have also created a practice application form & guide, to help you draft your submission before transferring to Submittable.

As part of your application you will need to provide:

  • Contact details (including name, address and mobile number).
  • Any communication and/or access needs that we should be aware of.
  • A supporting statement explaining:
    - Your play or project idea and why you would like to be considered
    - How the support will allow you to do something you wouldn't otherwise be able to.
    - How the support will contribute to the development of your playwriting craft.
    - How your creative ambitions will be met through this support.
    - If you are applying for a project, which artists or practitioners you would like to work with; whether you would like Playwrights' Studio to work with you to identify these partners; and, how you imagine the project working within current Government guidelines relating to COVID-19.
  • A 100-word summary of your play or project idea. If your application is selected, this will be published on the Playwrights' Studio website
  • How much money (£500 - £5,000) you are requesting.
  • Proposed timescale if you are applying for a project (please allow at least four weeks from being informed of the outcome of your application).
  • Proposed costs if you are applying for a project. This does not have to be detailed but it needs to indicate how the money would be allocated.
  • Tell us anything else about yourself, your idea or your project that feels relevant to your application. (This could include any Equalities, Diversity & Inclusion information you would like to tell us about. The form which is completed as part of this application is processed separately and anonymously and therefore cannot be considered as part of your submission. Therefore, if you would like us to consider characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, disability, economic background, etc. please use the space below to do so.)
  • A CV detailing your writing career as a playwright to date.
  • A brief biography. If your application is selected, this will be published on the Playwrights Database on the Playwrights' Studio website.
  • Whether you will be writing in English, Gaelic, Scots or BSL.
  • An Equalities Monitoring Form.
  • Whether you would like to receive feedback on your application.

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


The Programme currently has two deadlines:

Wednesday 30 September 2020  (we will let you know by week beginning 5 October 2020)

Monday 30 November 2020  (we will let you know by week beginning 7 December 2020)


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