National Playwright Development Programme Area

The deadline has now passed for proposals


Playwrights' Studio, Scotland is seeking partners with which to collaborate in the formation of a National Playwright Development Programme.  

We want to work in a specific geographical area, outside Glasgow and Edinburgh, to deliver a two-year programme of playwright development support and promotion. This will be achieved in partnership with local organisations, playwrights, and other writers and artists. 

From 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2021, we will invest £15,000 per year, plus our expertise and staff resource, in that local area. This should be matched by a cash contribution, plus in-kind support from local partners.

We now welcome outline proposals for how support and promotion for playwrights in different geographical areas could be delivered.

Vision and background
Scotland is a place for playwrights.

Our vision is of Scotland as a place for playwrights. It is a place where passion, trust and confidence in playwriting - and its power and potential to transform the lives of its people - is appreciated and embraced.

We are looking for an area of Scotland which shares this aspiration through its commitment to supporting, promoting and developing its playwrights in their local communities. 

Every two years, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland and the Scottish Society of Playwrights commission a survey of Scotland's playwrights. Consistently, this survey indicates that there is insufficient support for playwrights based outside the central belt of Scotland and, more specifically, Scotland's two largest cities. Playwrights in rural areas in particular face isolation and inequality of opportunity. Through this Programme, we aim to begin addressing this issue.

We hope that the Programme will build on the success of the Scottish Borders Playwriting Programme led by our Selkirk-based Associate Playwright, Jules Horne, and enthusiastically supported by partners such as Live Borders, Creative Arts Business Network, MacArts and at least 20 local writers. 


"The programme exceeded my expectations.  It helped me to write a solid draft of my play.  The opportunities to receive quality feedback from professional actors, director and a playwright in turn enabled me to develop my play further and improve the quality of my work." 

Borders Playwriting Programme participant 

What is it and who can be involved?

We welcome ambitious ideas, underpinned by strong local knowledge of how to meet the needs of playwrights living and working in the area.  

We will work closely with the partners to devise and deliver a programme of support that ensures that playwrights are at the heart of the programme.   

Typically, this has included, but is not restricted to:

  • Fee for an Associate Playwright, based in the local area, originally from or closely associated with that area
  • The formation of a writing group, led by that Associate Playwright, for aspiring and emerging playwrights
  • TalkFest - a mini-Festival of new writing featuring workshops, script development and rehearsed readings of plays by local writers

For 2019 only, it is possible for members of the consortia to also apply for a Partner Project of £8000 to form part of this Programme (see Partner Projects).

Organisations and individuals which could be involved include: local authorities, cultural trusts, theatre companies, schools, youth theatres, social enterprises, community groups, writing groups, playwrights, writers in other genres, other theatre artists such as directors, designers etc.

What are the principles of this partnership?

There are certain principles which will guide this partnership.  These will also serve as selection criteria. 

There will be:

  • A strong ambition for supporting and promoting playwrights
  • Demand for playwright development support from aspiring, emerging or established writers
  • Genuine involvement of local writers in the delivery of the Programme
  • A range of partners with a commitment to supporting, developing and promoting local playwrights
  • A lead, co-ordinating partner with a willingness to work in close partnership with Playwrights' Studio staff
  • An indication from local partners that they can match the financial contribution from Playwrights' Studio in cash and in-kind
  • An intention to continue the support beyond the initial two-year period

What happens next?

Tell us about your ideas and your partners

Please prepare and submit an outline proposal by 12 November 2018, that includes:

  • Details about all members of the consortia, including writers. These details should describe the different roles the partners will undertake, and indicate who the lead, co-ordinating partner will be
  • A supporting statement from the consortia describing why they want to work together - and with Playwrights' Studio, Scotland
  • A summary of proposed activity for 2019/20 - 2020/2021 and how this fits with existing activity in the area (e.g. writers groups, festivals, publications etc)
  • A draft timeline and budget
  • Confirmation of the financial and in-kind contribution that the partners will make.  In kind contributions can include use of physical space or equipment, existing staff costs that will be donated, administrative support etc
  • How you anticipate the project being monitored and evaluated.

We use the submissions management system Submittable to streamline our proposal process. This means one individual (a playwright or a representative from an organisation) will have to submit the application in their name. If you have any difficulties using Submittable, please get in touch with us on 0141 332 4403 or at  info@playwrightsstudio.co.uk. If you are unable to use Submittable, you can post your proposal to: National Playwright Development Area, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD.

Selection and decision-making process

Submissions will be read and selected by a panel comprising: Fiona Sturgeon Shea, Creative Director, Emma McKee, General Manager, Jules Horne, Associate Playwright, and Karen Dick, Place, Partnerships and Communities Officer, Creative Scotland.

We hope to be able to visit the area/s in advance and make the final decisions based on further conversations. A final decision will be made in December 2018, with activity commencing from 1st April 2019.


Week commencing Monday 26 November 2018 - Informing applicants of outcome and visiting areas/inviting shortlist to interviews

Week commencing Monday 3 December 2018 - Visits/interviews with shortlist

Friday 14 December 2018 - Informing shortlist of outcome

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