Sunday, 10 September 2017

Picture the Scene - Our New Play Writing Competition

North Cumbria Scriptwriters (NCS) invites local writers to take part in our latest competition.

Writers are invited to submit a short play based around a picture.

The three winning plays will be staged in the studio at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick for one evening performance in October 2018 by local actors with local directors.

Entries that do not conform entirely with all the requirements listed in the particulars below will not be considered.

Entrants

1.  Entrants must live or work within Cumbria or have significant Cumbrian connections.

2.  Entries of a single play by two or more writers are welcome as long as this complies with all other criteria in this information.

The Play

1.  The play must be of one act, 30-35 minutes long and not previously performed.

2.  It must be suitable for acting:
  • by a maximum cast of six,
  • in conventional or traverse setting,
  • with minimal, economical and lightweight set,
  • with properties and costume implications likewise uncomplicated,
  • with straightforward lighting and sound effects.

3. There must be a very clear connection between the play and the picture.

The Picture

1.  A single picture only is permitted. It must be suitable for featuring in black-and-white format in publicity and on programmes for the performance at Theatre by the Lake (TBTL).

2.  Any form of picture, including photograph, may be used and can be the entrant’s own work.

3.  Use of the picture in publicity and outcomes of this competition must not involve NCS in any copyright or permissions issues, whether costs or negotiations.

4. NCS will be happy to feature where practicable the names and briefest contact details of artists who have waived charges for the purpose of this competition.  

Format of Scripts

In order to assist the readers who will be evaluating the entries, entrants’ scripts MUST conform to ALL of the following:

1.  Scripts must be typed on white paper in Arial font, size 12 or larger.

2.  Scripts must be double-spaced.

3.  Speaker names ranged left (not above speeches centrally).

4.  Voice- and stage-directions clearly distinguished (e.g. italic).

5.  Printing must be single-sided with pages clearly numbered, but without any running headers or footers.

6.  Include a copy of the picture at the front of the script.

7.  Scripts must not carry any identification of the writer.

Submission Arrangements

1.  The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2018.

2.  Writers should submit one play only.

3.  Three copies of your script are to be submitted to:

     Carol Donockley
     30 Knowe Park Avenue
     Stanwix
     Carlisle
     CA3 9EJ

4.  On a separate A4 sheet provide your name, title of your play, Cumbrian residential address and other contact details.

5.  On the same sheet provide a signed undertaking worded as follows:

“This script is my own original piece and I recognise that NCS has no responsibility for any copyright or permissions implications financial or otherwise in regard to the picture or to any quotations and/or music featured”.

6.  Where plays are written jointly, adapt 5 above accordingly, all writers signing the undertaking.

7.  Acknowledgement of receipt will be made only if a stamped addressed envelope or card is included.

Selection of Plays

1.  Submitted scripts will initially be read by three members of NCS, none of whom has written a piece for the competition or has any knowledge at all of any scripts entered by NCS members. They will select five plays to go forward to Conrad Lynch*, Artistic Director at TBTL. He will have been totally independent of all previous proceedings and will decide on the three plays for performance.

* to be confirmed

2.  The three successful writers will then be contacted, with their names and the titles of their plays posted on this blog. The anticipated timing for this is late May 2018.

3.  If any of the three successful scripts is subsequently withdrawn by the writer, the three NCS readers will select one of the remaining plays on the shortlist for performance instead.

4.  Decisions in all cases are final. No opportunity for discussion or correspondence will be provided.

Performance Companies and Direction

1.  NCS will actively alert known performance companies to this opportunity to perform at TBTL.  Recommendations of companies and directors from writers are welcome, whether for their own plays or more widely in this competition, but NCS must actively make the actual selection.

2.  Once the winning plays are known, NCS will confer with potential performance companies and directors, expecting decisions to be made by 30 June 2018.

Subsequent Arrangements

1.  NCS undertakes to work with local actors, directors and others to ensure their commitment to the October 2018 performance. Once plays and performance companies are known, NCS will also assess whether further performances in the community of all three plays together is practicable, promoting accordingly. In any case, further performances of individual plays locally will be encouraged.

2.  Whilst firmly intending the successful writers to have as full an opportunity as they wish in developing their plays to full production, NCS reserves the right of decision in securing the viability of this venture.


Disclaimer:  NCS reserves the right to extend or vary any of the above particulars where the potential for a successful performance at TBTL is genuinely at hazard. Reasons for any such changes will be posted promptly on our website.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Next Meeting:

7:30pm
Thursday, 28 September
Lamont Robinson Room
Theatre By The Lake, Keswick

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Are you thinking of entering?

To help us in our planning, we would love to have some indication of the likely numbers of entries. If you are thinking of entering, can you please let Carol know by email, phone or post? 

carol.donockley@btinternet.com     01228 547043
Carol Donockley,
30, Knowe Park Avenue,
Stanwix,
Carlisle,
CA3 9EJ.

NB - this is in no way binding! In other words, you may decide to enter at the last minute, or you may find (having intended to enter) that your muse fails you - we've all been there.

We were hoping to provide a template of a suggested format that you could feed your script into. Unfortunately, we find we do not have the technology to do so on this blog. But if you would like a sample of an accepted format, please email conjensen@trifolium.co.uk and Connie Jensen will send you a relevant sample. You can then delete Connie's content and paste in your own.
If this last is not possible, please at least make sure that your entry is typed (i.e. not hand written), with speech and stage directions clearly distinguished, as explained in the instructions in the 'Format of Scripts' paragraph below.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

SEARCHING FOR A SCRIPTWRITER - A NEW COMPETITION



North Cumbria Scriptwriters (NCS) invites writers resident in Cumbria to take part in a competition for a play based around a poem. The three winning plays will be staged in the studio at Theatre by the Lake in April 2017 by local actors with local directors.


Information for Entrants
The play
1. Your play should be 30-35 minutes in length and must not have been previously performed.
2. It must be suitable for acting by a maximum cast of six, in traverse setting, with minimal/economical set and costume implications and with straightforward lighting and sound effects.
3. The poem around which the play is based must feature on its own as part of the envisaged performance: at the beginning or end of the piece, as preferred, or divided between the two; lasting not more than five minutes in all, with this timing to be included within the 30-35 minute overall requirement. 

The poem
1. The poem can be part of a longer piece if you wish; likewise it can be two or more shorter pieces.
2. It must not be the playwright’s own work.
3. Use of the poem in performance in this project must not involve NCS in any copyright or permissions issues, whether costs or negotiations. 

Format of scripts
1. Scripts must be typed on white paper in Arial font, size 12, double-spaced, with speaker names ranged left (not above speeches centrally) and with voice- and stage-directions clearly distinguished (e.g. italic).
2. Printing must be single-sided with pages clearly numbered, but without any running headers or footers.
3. Include the poem, with title and author given, and placed before or after (or part and part) as you intend for performance.
4. Scripts must not carry any identification of the writer.

Submission
1. The deadline for submissions is 31st August 2016.
2. Writers should submit one play only.
3. Three printed hard copies of your script are to be submitted.
4. On a separate A4 sheet, please provide your name, the title of your play, your Cumbrian residential address and other contact details, together with a signed and dated undertaking:
“Except for the poem, this play is my own original piece and I recognise that NCS has no responsibility for any copyright or permissions implications financial or otherwise in regard to the poem or to any quotations and/or music featured”.
5. Acknowledgement of receipt will be made only if a stamped addressed envelope or card is included.
6. Please send the three copies, the separate sheet and, if included, the stamped addressed envelope or card, to:
Carol Donockley,
30, Knowe Park Avenue,
Stanwix,
Carlisle,
CA3 9EJ.

Judging and selection of plays
1. Submitted scripts will initially be read by three members of NCS, none of whom has written a piece for the competition. They will select five plays to go forward to Ian Forrest, the Artistic Director of Theatre by the Lake who will have been totally independent of all previous proceedings. He will decide on the three plays for performance.
2. The three successful writers will then be contacted at once, with their names and the titles of their plays being posted also on this NCS website. The anticipated timing for this is late October 2016.
3. If any of the three successful scripts is subsequently withdrawn by the writer, the three NCS members will select one of the remaining plays on the shortlist for performance instead.
4. Decisions in all cases are final. No opportunity for discussion or correspondence will be offered.

Subsequent arrangements
1. NCS undertakes to work with local actors, directors and others to ensure their commitment to the one performance at Theatre by the Lake in April 2017. If at all practicable, repeat performances elsewhere in the county will be arranged. Involvement of the writers of the successful plays at all or any stages will be welcome.
2. The directors of the winning plays will reserve the right, in consultation with the playwrights, to amend the script where they feel it is necessary for the successful performance of the play. The director's decision will be final.



 

Friday, 4 December 2015

North Cumbria Scriptwriters' projects before 2011




2010
Dream Department Trainee, by Martin Chambers
Top of the Tree, Bottom of the Garden, by Rick Thomas
Winter Escape, by Rachael Howard
Wordsworth Hearing, Connie Jensen
Howgill, by Jen Mattinson


2009

Ten Plays for Ten Years
To mark our 10th Anniversary, we cooperated with BBC Radio Cumbria to broadcast five, five-minute radio plays written by our members plus one which was to be the winner of a public competition, judged by Radio Cumbria.
We were surprised at the number of entries and delighted with the quality of the writing, but of course there could be only one winner.
This was Mr Robert Armitage from Ambleside, with his piece, 'Cultivating Cumbria'.
We recorded this piece with the help of our friends at Radio Cumbria, for inclusion on a CD of our work. Some of the pieces were selected for broadcast on Radio Cumbria during one winter week.
Due to its success, this became an annual event until 2014. Our thanks to Radio Cumbria and to Rick Thomas for hosting the recordings.


2009 BBC 5-minute radio plays:
Crowned Heads, by Martin Chambers
Eros and the Handbag, by Julia Newsome
Fifth Dimension, by Jenny Yates
The Last Pub in England, by Rick Thomas
Supply Teacher, by Carol Donockley




2008

Write Angles
With Arts Council and Allerdale Council funding, Write Angles 2008 started as workshops with professional directors and writers, and a public competition. These led to script-in-hand performances of works in progress by our members and the competition winner. These were directed by Daniel Bye of the Silvertongue Theatre in York and our own Ian Hinde.
The scripts were read/acted by local amateur actors. The audience, actors and directors were invited to discuss each piece with a view to ways to develop it further. A format emerged and the second and third performances were arranged to include four pieces about 15 minutes long, each immediately followed by discussion. This resulted in many useful ideas and was enjoyed by all who took part.
In April and June, the performances were at Theatre by the Lake in the Studio. In November it was at the Penrith Playhouse.

Workshop 
A script-writing workshop at Bowness on Solway Literary Festival, on ways to extend a script, was also a success.

A Blessed Release
This play by Martin Chambers, was performed by the Black Sheep Theatre Group as part of the Cumbria Darma Festival 2008, on 15 March in Grange over Sands.


2003

Mighty Oak
NCS member Martin Chambers was commissioned by the Nation Trust to write a play about Hardewicke Drummond Rawnsley, one of the founders of the Nation Trust. It was performed in the open air by the Keswick Theatre Club as part of the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the acquisition by the Trust of Brandlehowe Park.

Acting Workshop
Led by Stefan Escreet and held in the Studio at Theatre by the Lake, the aim was to help writers to write for performance.





North Cumbria Scriptwriters' projects 2012

Two exciting opportunities came our way in  2012:

North Cumbria Scriptwriters and Penrith Players have worked together successfully on several occasions and we were thrilled to be invited to take part in 'Penrith Players' Monologue Festival'.
The plays, entitled 'One Voice', were produced at Penrith Players' Theatre at the end of August and the festival was a great success.
Visit Penrith Players at: http://www.penrithplayers.co.uk

In 2012, the market town of Wigton celebrated the 750th anniversary of the granting of its Market Charter.
Six of our members worked together on a script covering the major events in Wigton since 1262. This was our first attempt at team writing so we had lots to learn. The project proved worthwhile and we were delighted to have the play, entitled 'The Throstle's Nest', performed by Wigton Theatre Group at the John Peel Theatre, Wigton, in June.
Visit John Peel Theatre Group at: http://www.wigtontheatre.org

As this was the first time we had worked together on a play and because we found it so rewarding, Connie thought it would be interesting to share the experience with others. Follow the link to see what she had to say: http://conswords.blogspot.co.uk


BBC Radio Cumbria 5-minute radio plays 2012

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BBC Radio Cumbria 5-minute radio plays 2013

Send me a Postcard, by Martin Chambers
Interpub Polevaulting Competition, by Rachael Howard
Increase to 40, by Stephanie Robinson
?Adam, by Charlotte Coulthard
The Old Place, by Robin Acland



BBC Radio Cumbria 5-minute radio plays 2014 (only four this time)

20 Million Eggs, by Robin Acland
Mam, by Anne Ginty
The Memorial, by Kevan France
Yellow for the Sunshine, by Stephanie Robinson




On 17th January 2014 Rick’s play ‘Death and Glory’ was performed, script in hand, by members of the cast of the Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas production of ‘Swallows and Amazons’.  

It was followed by a post reading discussion and questions from the audience.

‘Death and Glory’  tells the story of Arthur Ransome and was very well received.

Congratulations Rick!


Sophia Atcha

Following on from her success in the 24:7 Theatre Festival, Sophia was approached to write a play in three days for the Manchester Library Theatre Company, New Script Night 2013.

Sophia accepted the challenge and wrote ‘The Calling’  which was selected for reading.

‘The Calling’ was produced by Danny Stewart.
Directed by Martha Salmon and the actor was Feroza Shah.
Congratulations Sophia
We look forward to hearing more about

‘The Calling’ soon

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Welcome to North Cumbria Scriptwriters!

[This is our new on line presence. The original webpage at www.northcumbriascriptwriters.co.uk will disappear from the end of December 2015.]


We are a group of writers with a serious commitment to writing for performance on stage, screen and radio.

We are associated with the Theatre By The Lake (TBTL) in Keswick, Cumbria, UK.

Our members pay a small annual subscription and we meet on the last Thursday of the month (except December) usually at the Theatre by the Lake, but occasionally at other venues, for instance The Penrith Players Theatre.