Disabled Playwright Support Programme

Supported by Birds of Paradise Theatre Company & Playwrights' Studio, Scotland


A career in the arts is not straightforward for anyone: we recognise, though, that disabled artists face an increased number of barriers, from starting out to working professionally. Created in partnership with Birds of Paradise Theatre Company (BOP), this programme offers a disabled playwright bespoke support, providing artistic development, financial support, skills sessions, and opportunities to widen their creative community.

The Disabled Playwright Support Programme is a professional development opportunity for a disabled* playwright living in Scotland, with a commitment to writing for theatre.


At the start of the programme and then at regular intervals, we will work with you to design support that gives you the space and time to experiment with your writing and grow in confidence as a playwright. This might include, but is not limited to:

  • one-to-one playwright mentoring sessions with an established professional playwright
  • sessions to discuss your writing, how you feel about it and how to further develop your work
  • meetings with external theatre professionals
  • a script development workshop with a professional director and actors

This programme will be tailored to focus on what you need and what your play needs. It is designed to support you from initial idea to the first draft of a new, full-length play.

Financial Support
£2,000. This is roughly equivalent to 13 contact days with Playwrights' Studio and BOP.

Skills Sessions
The skills sessions are group activities available to you as a playwright currently being supported by Playwrights' Studio. They are designed to enhance your skills and knowledge of the theatre industry, give you the opportunity to ask questions and think about the other sides of being a playwright that don't necessarily involve writing. These often take the form of workshops, Q&A's and panel discussions.

Playwrights' Studio will create space for you to make connections with your peers within the industry. This includes the Playwright Induction Day, a group visit to the theatre, invitations to meet other practitioners in Scottish theatre and social events with other playwrights.

Key dates

Below is a rough timeline of group activity. We will work with you to set specific dates for the rest of your work with other people on your play.

14 January Playwright Induction Day
18 February Skills session 1
18 March Skills session 2
22 April Skills session 3
August/September Skills session 4


This award is open to anyone who identifies as disabled and meets the criteria for applying to the programme.

To be eligible to apply for the Disabled Playwright Support Programme, you should:

  • Have some experience of creative writing
  • Have a specific idea you want to develop into a full-length play
  • Be able to commit to an eight-month intense programme

You should also be:

  • Be resident in Scotland or from Scotland and living elsewhere
  • Available for the Playwright Induction Day on Friday 14 January 2022

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications from playwrights who:

  • Are in full-time formal education (i.e. 16 hours or more per week). If you are in part-time education, please contact us to discuss your options.
  • Have received support from Playwrights' Studio in the previous 18 months (this doesn't include attending workshops or groups run by us).

If you are in doubt regarding your eligibility, please contact us at info@playwrightsstudio.co.uk

Access and Equality

See our full statement on access and equality.


Here are a few things you may want to think about before you proceed with your application:

  • We don't think of this work as 'teaching' you how to write a play, but supporting you to grow your writing skills. For this reason, it is beneficial to have some experience of creative writing.
  • This programme is designed to support you from the initial idea through to the first draft of a full-length play. For this reason, you should only apply if the idea you're proposing hasn't already been written.

Please submit using the Disabled Playwright Support Programme form. You can either submit a written application, or a video application. We accept submissions in English, Scots, Gaelic or BSL.

Before you submit you application, you may find it helpful to use the practice application form & guide (Word) (PDF), to help you draft your submission.

If you are unable to submit online and would like the application form in a different format or have any questions at all regarding or the application process, please email info@playwrightsstudio.co.uk.

Applications deadline: 5pm, Wednesday 13 October 2021


What Happens Next

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

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submission no later than Wednesday 17 November 2021.


Please read the Frequently Asked Questions. If your question is not answered, please email info@playwrightsstudio.co.uk and we will be happy to help.

A message about COVID-19

There will inevitably be some changes to how we deliver our support for playwrights now and in the future. We will be flexible to the needs of playwrights and other artists involved, within Government guidelines and our own resources.

Financial Support
The payment will be made as quickly as possible after receipt of the signed offer letter from the playwright.

*A note on terminology - what do we mean by disabled?

We use the term 'disabled people' or 'disabled playwright' to refer to anyone who self-identifies as disabled. This can include D/deaf people if they identify as disabled as well as others living with impairments (physical, sensory, learning, cognitive, mental health, etc.) that identify as disabled. Playwrights' Studio use the Social Model of Disability and recognise that some people experience disabling barriers.

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