- DEADLINE EXTENDED! (now 31 March 2018) See below at Point 1 under the heading 'Submission Arrangements' 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 inOctober 2018 by local actors
with local directors.
that do not conform entirely with all the requirements listed in the particulars
below will not be considered.
1. Entrants must live or work within Cumbria or have significant
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.
1. The play must be of one act, 30-35 minutes long and not previously
2. It must be suitable for acting:
by a maximum cast of six,
in conventional or traverse setting,
with minimal, economical and lightweight
with properties and costume
implications likewise uncomplicated,
with straightforward lighting and
There must be a very clear connection between the play and 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
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.
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.
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 bedouble-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.
1. The deadlinefor submissions is31 March 2018.
2. Writers should submit one play only.
3. Three copies of your script are to be submitted to:
30 Knowe Park Avenue
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
7. Acknowledgement of receipt will be made only if a stamped addressed envelope or
card is included.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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? firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
“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:
30, Knowe Park Avenue,
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
‘Death and Glory’ tells the story of Arthur Ransome and was very
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.
[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.