Questions raised included:

What is a playwright and what can they be?

It is a legitimate career in its own right
It's doing the thing
It's who you know
It's producing your own
Don't make blanket rules - just do it!

What are people writing at the moment? How do you write?

'Issue' plays
Visually impaired characters
Conversations play in my head. Then grows outwards
The obligation to care for the older generation [suggestion to look at Lucy Kirkwood's play 'Children']
Sorting table in a charity shop - female space
Women's boat race as a musical
Powerlessness and feeling stuck
Dementia, Alzheimer's, race and class
Dissection of female body
Diverse stories, social justice
Teenage girls in Scotland. Never seen an empowered, curious, vibrant teenage girl on stage. They're so often victims.
Big cast stuff for young people with flexibility in staging
Feminist dad raising strong girls
Religion, sexuality, gender
Unresolved conflict in a family - esp African Caribbean communities which these communities don't want the outside world to see.
Quite cathartic doing cross-cultural work
Work with children using sensory, play, masks, music
Tell stories of historic Black British folk
Start from a big question - political - big ideas to humans
The overcoming of adversity
Rewriting modern-day telling of A Christmas Carol


Differences in regions - London has lots of opportunities. Not all of them are always accessible.
Full time work often prevents you from doing all you need to.
Need an informal collective
If something is holding you back (socially) theatre's are often keen to work with you
Considerably more applications by men are sent for opportunities - internal monologue women might have that stops them sending in work
Zeitgeist for certain plays
A theatre might not be able to hold your hand
Solicited work versus unsolicited work
Hard to find actors over 30 or BAME actors for a short play night (especially in the regions)
Issues over 'colour blind' casting - there's a reason for writing a person as female, Black, South Asian etc
Issues with pigeon-holing and wanting to be mainstream
Afraid of being ideologically attacked for holding a particular point of view
Cultural appropriation - who has the right to tell a story? who's story should you be telling? Thought research is important one person cannot be representative of a whole community.

Help and support

*David Lane's list - £30 for the year for one email a week full of writing opportunities and theatre news.
*Dramaturge's Network - run by Gareth Morgan
*Rapid write Response - run by Theatre 503 (Battersea, south London)
*Graeae -
*Soho Theatre Writers
*Writers & Artist Yearbook
* Paptango - new writing prize which provides feedback for all submissions
* Blue Elephant Theatre (Camberwell, south east London)


Literary departments want your work. They expect submissions. However, everyone is at capacity.
Confident email when sending submissions
Finborough Theatre don't want plays about 20 somethings living in London
Don't be discouraged
Challenge yourself and what other people say about you
Beware the echo chamber - makes you smug, arrogant. You need to see the humanity in those with opposing views. Good to make yourself uncomfortable.
A good dramaturge will help you prepare - brig people into a project early
Find people who you click with.
Read plays by communities you are wishing to right about
Read plays - maybe form a play book group
Writing Groups can be useful
Theatre 503 Playwriting Award open from 1 Feb - 31 March

Look out for
Happiness Limited at the New Diorama - February 2018
Conquest at the Vault Festival (London) - 20 -25 Feb 2018
A play about whiteness (part of Starting Blocks) at Camden People's Theatre 17 March 2018
Serephima Cussack, Sophia Loiner, John O'Donovan