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JUST WRITE - opportunities for theatre writers

Just Write is an exciting way for theatre writers in North East England to grow their skills, create quality theatre, and see their work produced on stage.

Started in January 2019 and supported by an initial 12 month grant from Arts Council England, our programmes will help early career writers take important steps in their careers. In 2023 we received a generous 24-month grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, that will allow us to operate our exciting Response programmes into 2025. There will be opportunities that are constantly changing so please stay in touch.

Just Write was established by Ben Dickenson, Associate Literary Producer at Alphabetti Theatre and Executive Director with Theatre Hullabaloo.





Response Programme


Our response writing competitions have been offering early career writers the chance to create exciting original short plays since 2019. We are delighted to be offering 3 further opportunities for writers to produce response plays between February and April 2024.


How does it work?

  • Come and watch one of the below plays during the first week of performance (Tuesday – Friday). When you arrive at the box office, ask for a Writer’s Pack. This will contain information about who the actor you are writing for, the director, any other conditions of entry and information about how to submit your script.

  • You will then have until midnight that Friday to write a complete short play responding to any aspect of the production you’ve seen – what you write is up to you, but you’ll have to follow the instructions in the pack carefully to be considered.

  • Your play must be written for the actor and director we tell you about in the Writer’s Pack. It must not exceed 7 pages of text, and 15 minutes reading length. Your name must not appear anywhere on the script.

  • Our mentor team (Ben Dickenson, Martin Hylton, Louie Ingham, Paula Penman) will read the submissions and select a winning script. Unfortunately, due to the amount of entries we are anticipating, they are unable to offer notes.

  • All successful applicants will be notified by the Monday of the response rehearsal week.

  • The winning script will then be professionally performed in a double-bill with the production it is reacting to during the third and final week of the run (Tuesday – Thursday).​

Is it paid?

Yes! Each winning script will receive a commission fee of £500. 

How do I get involved?

To be considered for this opportunity you must see the main play during the first week of its run, pick up your Writer’s Pack, and submit your script by 11.59pm on the first Friday. Details of how to submit will be included in the Writer’s Pack.

  • Please note – if you have won a response writing competition previously you are not permitted to enter another competition in the same season. 


When is it?

 There are 3 separate Response Programme productions, here are the dates:

1.. In response to Disco Pigs

  • First week of run Tuesday 20th February to Friday 23rd February, performances at 7.30pm – attend whichever you like. Submit script no later than 11.59pm on Friday 23rd February.

2. In response to Imaginary Fields

  • First week of run Tuesday 19th March to Friday 22nd March, performances at 7.30pm – attend whichever you like. Submit script no later than 11.59pm on Friday 22nd March.


​3. In response to Hope is a 4 letter word

  • First week of run Tuesday 16th April Friday 19th April performances at 7.30pm – attend whichever you like. Submit script no later than 11.59pm on Friday 19th April.

People, some standing, some sitting; in the bar area of Alphabetti theatre
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