The Writers’ Block is running a 3 day training programme for Emerging Playwrights, funded and supported by The Minack Theatre.

The outcome of the programme is for the Minack Youth Theatre to commission a selection of short, original plays for Summer 2022.

NB – we also have an opportunity for Emerging Writers in the Redruth area to work on a community story gathering project. Deadline 14 Feb. More info here. 

Led by writer and lecturer Jane Pugh, participants will work up a treatment and sections of dialogue to present to the Minack directors on the final day.  These free sessions will offer skills development and the time to write, develop and edit as well the chance to try out the budding scripts with performers.  There will be a certain number of paid commissions coming out of this process. Not all participants will have their play commissioned.

Feedback from 2021

  • It was a real privilege to be amongst such a talented and generous group of writers and Jane was insane. Insanely brilliant. 
  • I feel a lot more confident in my writing and storytelling abilities, both at a discovery level and actually writing against theme, character and with conflict in mind.
  • Being able to hear scripts after such a short process was also really interesting and I loved the sharing at the end. 

When:  11 – 13 April 2022

Where:  The Hypatia Trust, Lower Ground Floor, The Regent, 54 Chapel St, Penzance , Cornwall TR18 4AE (this will transfer to zoom if COVID restrictions are reinstated)

Who: Young and emerging playwrights up to a maximum of 8 people

What:  Why we write a story in whatever its form – in this case stage plays – underpins everything writers do. Our first mission, therefore, is to ask ourselves what we want to write about.  Next, we’ll look at narrative structure and how we craft a story for the stage.  Then we’ll explore characters and a sense of place.  Put them altogether and we will have produced something magical for the Minack.

Cost: The course is fully funded by The Minack Theatre so no cost to participants. However, there is no budget for travel and accommodation.


How to apply: 

Select one of the following art works as your inspiration

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Obedience and Defiance by Paul Rego

Exploding Shed by Cornelia Parker

The Night Hawks by Edward Hopper

  1. Write a three-minute play inspired by the painting or sculpture. You can use the work in any way you like. It could be based on the artist’s intentions or your own interpretation.
  2. Include brief character biographies.
  3. Also include your biography or curriculum vitae and a covering letter saying why you would like to do this course.
  4. Correctly format your play.
  5. Include all your contact details on your submitted play. Don’t just include your name on the email you send. We must be able to track your work.
  6. We’re interested in your idea, your voice, and how you use the stage to best explore your story.

Please ensure you follow all instructions above. Submissions not meeting the requirements may not be deemed valid.

Send your submission to [email protected] by 9am on 7 March 2022

For further information before applying please contact Amanda Harris 07712331421 or email as above. Applicants will be advised of decisions by 21 March.

Jane Pugh has worked as a story writer, editor and educator since 1986. She’s worked in film and television for Channel 4, BBC and the ITV network. Her films have won a total of seven awards and she script edited children’s television, long-running drama series, single dramas and serials. A qualified university lecturer, she teaches script and screen writing at Falmouth University. Jane worked at the National Trust bringing history to life through storytelling. She is currently the Community Outreach Facilitator at The Writers’ Block as well as being an experienced workshop leader, offering mentoring to young and emerging writers across Cornwall. She has written for the stage and performs her own comedy and storytelling.



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