If you are a writer or are interested in literature events and activities and live in the north of England then you've found a great regional resource.

Writing for theatre

The North East is renowned nationally for the number of great playwrights that it develops. The main companies that produce new work are listed below. Please contact them directly before you submit work for consideration. It's also a good idea to see some of their work before submitting your own.

Live Theatre

Live Theatre aims to produce the best new work by writers from and/or living in the north east of England. They operate a wide-ranging programme of activities for aspiring playwrights. To find out more contact Degna Stone at degna@live.org.uk.

Northern Stage

Northern Stage produces a wide range of work and acts as a receiving house for theatre from across the world. Although not a new writing theatre as such, they do support the production of new work from writers and theatre practitioners. Check out their website for more information.

Northumberland Theatre Company
NTC is a professional small-scale touring theatre company based at the Playhouse, Alnwick. They tour shows around the country, predominantly using village halls and community centres as venues in small rural towns and villages.

The Gala Theatre

Although the Gala is primarily a receiving venue, Gala director Simon Stallworthy does produce at least one new play or adaptation a year. Please do not send scripts before making initial contact to find out whether the venue will accept them.

The Customs House

The Customs House in South Shields is a receiving venue but also has a long tradition of producing new writing for theatre and as a venue for the development and staging of new work and work in progress. Please do not send scripts before making initial contact to find out whether the venue will accept them.

Playwriting prizes

The Bruntwood Playwriting Competition
The Bruntwood is Britain's biggest playwriting competition. It runs every other year, and aims to discover brand new voices for the theatre. In the last five years it has awarded £80,000 in prize money to new writers, with the Royal Exchange producing six of the winning plays.

The Meyer-Whitworth Award
With a prize fund of £10,000, the Meyer-Whitworth Award is one of the largest annual monetary prizes for playwriting in the UK. It is intended to help further the careers of UK playwrights who are not yet established. The award is funded by the Royal National Theatre Foundation and managed by the Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, in association with the UK Playwrights Network.

The Verity Bargate Award and Westminster Prize
See Soho Theatre's website for up to date information on these two playwriting prizes.

Writing for theatre: further afield

The Royal Court Theatre, London

For over 50 years the Royal Court has premiered groundbreaking new plays and helped to launch the careers of many of our foremost playwrights. Each year, the Royal Court actively seeks out and nurtures new and emerging voices. The theatre accepts unsolicited (sent directly from writers rather than via agents) scripts.

Soho Theatre and Writer's Centre, London

The Writers' Centre discovers and nurtures new writers. It does this through a broad range of activities designed to identify the best new writers and to develop their work towards production. The theatre accepts unsolicited (sent directly from writers rather than via agents) scripts.

The Playwrights Studio, Glasgow

The Playwrights' Studio is a national arts organisation for Scotland which is designed to celebrate, promote and develop Scotland's rich and growing culture of writing. Check out the Studio's website for more information on current opportunities and activities.

North West Playwrights
North West Playwrights supports writers living or working in the north west of England who write for the stage. They produce work in progress and offer a script reading service for writers in the North West.

The Bush, London

The Bush has produced hundreds of groundbreaking premieres since its inception in 1972. They also operate Bush Green, an online networking and submission area of their website, for writers. The theatre accepts unsolicited (sent directly from writers rather than via agents) scripts.

Hampstead Theatre, London
Hampstead Theatre is a writers' theatre and exists to support a thriving local, national and international playwriting culture. They commission plays in order to enrich and enliven this culture and support, develop and produce the work of new writers, emerging writers, established writers, mid-career writers and senior writers, and have a proud tradition for creating the conditions for their plays and careers to develop. The theatre accepts unsolicited (sent directly from writers rather than via agents) scripts.

The HighTide Festival

Founded in 2007, HighTide is a year-round producing company, which exists to source and develop emerging theatre makers from around the world. Each new playwright they produce is premiered at the annual HighTide Festival in Suffolk, before transferring elsewhere for a full production run.

The National Theatre

The literary department is at the core of the artistic activity of the National Theatre and is the principal interface between the NT and writers. The department aims to identify, evaluate and recommend appropriate dramatic material to the associate directors and the artistic director to enable the construction and implementation of a programme of the highest possible quality and the broadest possible range. The theatre accepts unsolicited (sent directly from writers rather than via agents) scripts.

Since its foundation in 1984, the National Theatre Studio has played a vital role in developing work for the National's stages. It is also a resource for a wide range of artists working throughout British theatre, providing an environment in which writers, actors and practitioners of all kinds can explore, experiment and devise new work free from the pressure of public performance. Most of the Studio's work takes place by invitation, and they rarely take forward unsolicited proposals. However, they are happy to hear from directors, writers and other artists who would like to know more about what they do and how to get involved. For more information, see www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/11771/studio/introduction.html.
Scarborough (Fiona Evans, 2006) Scarborough (Fiona Evans, 2006) Pub Quiz (Carina Rodney, 2008) Pub Quiz (Carina Rodney, 2008) Geoff Dead: Disco for Sale (Fiona Evans, 2008) Geoff Dead: Disco for Sale (Fiona Evans, 2008) Queen Bee (Margaret Wilkinson, 2009) Queen Bee (Margaret Wilkinson, 2009)