Sunderland Creative Writing CIC, in partnership with Sunderland Culture, is pleased to announce its first programme: DRAFTED, a professional development programme for writing for the stage.  Drafted is made possible by the generous funding support of Arts Council England and the National Lottery.

Three selected writers will each receive:

  • an individual Research and Development week (five days) working on their script together with a director, up to 4 actors, and a mentor/dramaturge, in a rehearsal space
  • an industry-sharing production by the cast in front of an invited audence including regional programmers and producers
  • follow-up mentoring to progress and fine-tune the further development of the script and the writer’s aspirations for next steps.
  • potentially (subject to future funding), a second stage opportunity for at least one of the writers to be supported in submitting applications for a short professional run in a regional venue.

This opportunity is funded for Sunderland writers, which means: those resident in the borough of Sunderland*, or who as of the date of this call out are participants in writers’ groups based within the borough of Sunderland. (*defined as resident in a property where council tax would be due to Sunderland City Council).


You will need to submit an outline (max 500 words) for a full-length play, and the opening 15-20 pages of script. Please note that the full play does not have to be completed at the time of submission. You should also submit a brief pitch (300 words) telling us why this development opportunity would benefit you, and how you will make use of it. The play should have a maximum of four actors. One or two of those actors could double parts if your script makes this possible.

Finally, please let us know any weeks from September to December which you know now you will not be free to engage with the five day session. We will work with each of the writers as far as possible to agree five days which works for you and for the director and cast, but do note in applying you are agreeing to commit to finding this time.

The script, outline and pitch should be submitted as attachments (Word, Pages or PDF please) to drafted@sunderlandcreativewriting.com by the deadline for submissions which is noon on 30th June 2021.

All submissions will be considered by a panel which will decide upon the three successful writers. We aim to do this and notify all applicants by the end of July.

If you have any questions about submission, or about the project, please email the address above. Updates and progress about the project will be posted to this project webpage and to Sunderland Creative Writing’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

Please note that the timing of this opportunity assumes that by the autumn Covid restrictions will permit the R&D week to take place, and subsequent performance to take place. If this is not the case, we may have to vary the approach, defer the sessions or take some other alternative action to deliver the project.

We look forward to receiving your applications, and to supporting the three selected writers through this professional development opportunity.