Play Development Bursary

Applications for the Play Development Bursary are currently closed. We hope to open applications again in 2022.


A Play Development Bursary is an opportunity to receive financial and practical support to create the first full draft of a new play.

The aim of the bursary is to help create space for playwrights to invest time, with momentum, in a new piece of work up to first draft stage. It is a chance to experiment and explore an idea when they may not otherwise have space to do so.

Open to early career and professional playwrights, four bursaries are available, including one for a playwright writing in Gaelic. The Bursaraidh Leasachaidh Dealbh-chluich Gàidhlig is supported by Comhairle nan Leabhraichean. Each bursary offers the financial support, space, skills sessions, development, and community support over the course of a year to help you create your next play.


Financial support
£3,634 (This is equivalent to the equivalent to a first draft fee under the Scottish Society of Playwrights/Federation of Scottish Theatre commissioning agreement).

A week-long writing retreat at Cove Park or equivalent venue for space to work on the script. We cover travel expenses and provide a daily allowance for food and refreshments.

Access to a desk in the Tom McGrath Writers' Room in the CCA is available on request for the duration of the Bursary.

Case Study Sessions
These sessions are optional group activities available to you as playwright currently being supported by Playwrights' Studio. These often take the form of workshops, Q&A's and panel discussions.

Three two-hour sessions with either an Associate Playwright or an external theatre professional. Support will be tailored to focus on whatever you feel you need to best develop your script.

A one-day script development workshop with a professional director and actors.

Playwrights' Studio will create spaces 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 key practitioners in Scottish theatre and social events with other playwrights.

Key dates

You will be able to set specific dates for your individual support sessions around your own availability. Below is a rough timeline of group activity.

14 January  Playwright Induction Day
18 February   Case Study Session 1
18 March   Case Study Session 2
22 April   Case Study Session 3
Aug/Sept   Case Study Session 4


To be eligible to apply for a Play Development Bursary, you should:

  • Have had at least one play produced paid at industry rates. For example, you might have had plays produced by a theatre company or have produced your own work

  • Have experience of being the writer in the room, developing your work in a workshop environment, through rehearsed readings or working with others to improve your skills

You should also:

  • Be resident in Scotland or from Scotland and living elsewhere
  • Be available on 14 January 2022 for the Playwright Induction Day
  • Anticipate being able to complete a Play Development Bursary by 31 March 2023

We are unable to accept applications from playwrights who:

  • Are in full-time formal education (i.e. 16 hours or more per week) at the start of the Play Development Bursary. If you are in part-time education, please contact us to discuss your options
  • Have directly 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 any doubt regarding your eligibility, please contact us at info@playwrightsstudio.co.uk.

Access & Equality

See our full statement on access and equality.


The application process is deliberately brief. The bulk of the application is a series of short statements telling us about you and your experience of being the writer in a script development scenario, what you want to achieve through the support, and the play you would like to write.

Please submit using the Play Development Bursary form. You can either submit a written application, or a video application. We accept submissions in English, Scots, Gaelic or BSL.

Before you submit your 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, Tuesday 12 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 Friday 10 December 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 Playwright Development Support 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.

Payment will occur in two parts, £2,000 after receipt of the signed offer letter from the playwright and the remainder on completion of the Bursary.

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