We appreciate that across the Country we are experiencing disruption in different ways and waves. For our broader, new work community, it has been an arduous time and one also of invention and collaboration in different forms. To playwrights, we know your work has been disrupted. We hope that this program announcement brings some opportunity and connection for you.
For Program 2022, APT has partnered with great peer organisations including The National Theatre of Parramatta; La Boite Theatre; Pride Foundation Australia; Performing Lines; Ilbijerri Theatre Company; Moogahlin Performing Arts; and Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company to name a few. We are grateful for the support of The Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW, Arts Tasmania and philanthropic partners including The Thomas Family and individual donors, Shark Island Kangaroo Valley, and The Darin Cooper Foundation. I acknowledge the staff of APT, our Board and National Advisory Panel for their belief, work and focus through this time.
Below you will find a short overview of the programs on offer, ranging in opportunity for early career, mid and established playwrights. Some programs have quite specific requirements for submission, others are quite open. Please check the requirements carefully.
We are thrilled to offer some programs that are old favourites and some new programs: from the First Nations Retreat; workshop time with actors and creatives; commissions; playwright capacity building workshops; Duologue for peer connection and conversation; and support for regional playwrights to develop work and industry connections.
We also appreciate many of you have been in touch with us, eager to be considered for digital publication at APT. You will see that we have not announced our digital publication call-out. We will be making a further program announcement in the next couple of weeks. Do stay tuned for these further updates.
We have a terrific online panel in conversation on the nature of playwrighting in the digital age, featuring outstanding international and domestic guests, live-streamed in October and available for catch-up until November. More details are below and we encourage you to tune in.
Please scroll down, have a peruse of Program 2022 and click through to explore those activities that are of interest to you. By clicking through you will find more detail, including eligibility, when EOIs open and close, who and how to contact us if you have a question, and the link to the submission portal. Don’t delay, as some EOI windows for submission are short!
Subscribe for updates as we will regularly post news and alerts on programs as they roll out, including further announcements later in the year.
Continue writing, telling and sharing your stories, finding and forging pathways, making connection with your work, your peers, your sector and your audience.
Thank you for reading. We are looking forward to receiving your EOIs!
First Nations Retreat
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED: Click here
Are you a First Nations playwright looking for support to develop your play?
The First Nations Retreat & Development Strategy is a 6-step project aimed at seeding, developing, connecting, publishing and distributing plays by First Nations playwrights.
Philanthropic Support provided by Shark Island Kangaroo Valley.
RETREAT DATES: 15-23 February, 2022.
RETREAT LOCATION: Kangaroo Valley, NSW.
OPEN TO: National First Nations applicants only.
Duologue | Facilitating collaboration
Duologue supports collaborative relationships and new work development for playwrights over a six-month period.
Playwrights work with a collaborator, and APT provides support for face-to-face (or remote) direct working time, with both playwright and collaborator paid for three hours each and every month for 6 months.
Program dates: January – June 2022
Open to: National applicants, priority focus on mid-career and established playwrights
La Boite x APT | Play Development Workshops
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED: –
Do you have a draft play that could benefit from a workshop with actors and creatives?
Utilising La Boite’s recently-funded resident Artist Company, this program will provide 10 x 3-day workshop development opportunities for playwrights and their plays. There will be a public outcome at La Boite for 5 of the projects as part of La Boite’s Artist Development Program.
WORKSHOP DATES: workshops will be held between February – June 2022 in Brisbane, QLD.
OPEN TO: National applicants.
Pride Foundation Australia x APT | Commission and Publication
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED: Click Here
Are you an LGBTQIA+ identifying playwright with a new play idea? One (1) commission is available. Priority for an under-represented playwright and subject matter in the Queer Community toward producing and publication consideration.
PROGRAM DATES: Commission and development activity to be completed within 12 months of contract.
OPEN TO: National LGBTQIA+ applicants only, priority focus on previously produced playwrights.
Performing Lines x APT | Commission and Development Program
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED: Here
Are you a playwright whose work requires bespoke cultural, artistic, formal or methodological development and producing? Two commissions with development support are available for (two) playwrights or playwright collaborations to each develop a new work toward producing and publication consideration.
PROGRAM DATES: Commission and development activity to be completed within 12 months of contract.
OPEN TO: NSW resident applicants only.
National Theatre of Parramatta x APT | Playwright Development Lab
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED: Click here
Are you a Western Sydney playwright seeking support to develop a new theatre work? Over 9 x 2 hour sessions*, a leading workshop mentor will guide 5 Western Sydney playwrights, (or writers in other mediums interested in writing for the stage), from idea to story outline. With industry guests and mentoring, the selected playwrights will connect and pitch their work to NToP for further consideration.
PROGRAM DATES: March – June, 2022 (specific workshop dates will be communicated to selected participants).
OPEN TO: Western Sydney, NSW applicants only.
Erin Thomas Playwright Fund | Supporting regional playwrights
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED: Click here
The Erin Thomas Playwright Fund commemorates playwright Erin Thomas’ optimism, her creative talent and furthers her generous contribution to the arts by helping emerging regional writers to pursue their dreams.
With the support of the Thomas family, the Fund can support regional playwrights either:
- via a travel bursary to connect with the wider Australia theatre industry to occur between; or,
- to pursue a deep creative connection over a period of time with a mentor dramaturg or development director as the playwright develops a new play.
The maximum support per playwright is $2,000. We can support 2 –3 playwrights in this EOI callout.
PROGRAM DATES: March – September, 2022.
OPEN TO: National applicants living in a regional area, priority focus on early career playwrights.
ERIN THOMAS: Click here to learn more about the Erin Thomas Playwright Fund.
Max Afford Playwrights' Award | Supporting young playwrights 18-40yrs
The Max Afford Playwrights’ Award is an initiative of the late Thelma May Afford, whose will established a fund to offer a periodical prize in memory of her husband. The Awards are offered by Perpetual, as Trustee, and Australian Plays Transform.
The award is $30,000, which includes $15,000 in prize money to the playwright and up to $15,000 towards creative development with a director, dramaturg and a cast of actors facilitated by Australian Plays Transform. The creative development workshop will be scheduled between April and November 2022.
The full eligibility guidelines and information about the award are available here.
Open date: 29 November 2021 | Close date: 6 February 2022
Program dates: Commission and development activity to be completed within 12 months of contract.
Open to: National, playwrights aged 18 to 40 years old.
APT has a focus on expanding the presence of Australian plays on the world stage.
Our developing International Strategy will involve expanding the international reach of APT’s definitive online catalogue of Australian plays and forming productive partnerships with organisations in other parts of the world.
Some of our plans include:
We are developing partnerships with two key international digital platforms:
- New Play Exchange, the world’s largest digital library of scripts by living writers.
- Drama Online, the leading UK digital collection of plays.
- We are developing a partnership with India’s Atelier Theatre in New Delhi through the inclusion of Australian plays in Atelier’s seven-city Indian tour of ACT (Campus Theatre Festival), the world’s largest student theatre festival.
- We are seeking a partnership with New Delhi’s Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the annual international theatre festival of India and the largest theatre festival of Asia dedicated solely to professional theatre. APT will aim to broker Australian plays in production and contribute to BRM’s World Theatre Forum.
- We are working on a pathway for Australian productions and presence at Bharat Rang Mahotsav, February 2023.
We are developing an idea for a translation and exchange project with the Shanghai Theatre Academy to coincide with the China Shanghai International Arts Festival in 2023.
Submitting for Publication
APT‘s catalogue is the world’s largest online showcase and searchable database of the best Australian playwriting. The plays of the catalogue are either published by one of our partnering publishers or by APT itself.
From 1 January 2022, APT’s publication slate will focus on scripts developed through APT’s play development programs and our key partnerships will be considered for publication. APT will not be calling for Submissions in 2022.
Unsolicited scripts will not be read.
If my play is published, what about distribution?
Distribution through APT involves a simple agreement authorising APT to sell the script and associated photocopy licences. Full copyright ownership rests with the playwright.
What about production enquiries?
APT does not offer Production Licensing Services. If you are a Producer seeking a License, you can click on the Production Enquiry tab on the play you are looking at and an email will be sent to the Playwright, their Agent or their Estate manager. A response will be provided to you directly from the playwright or their representative.
What is the royalty structure?
Playwrights receive the following royalties and payments from APT:
- Script sales – 30% of the selling price
- Copy licences – 50% of the fees received
Royalty payments for script sales and copy licences are calculated annually and paid in the first quarter of the following year. If $25 is not reached in one year, the amount is carried forward into the next year.
APT does not handle Production Licensing or Production Fees.
Awards and Prizes
Here is an evolving list of awards and prizes available to Australian playwrights. If you know of others, please let us know.
- Max Afford Young Playwrights Award is a $30,000 biennial award and development workshop for a playwright under 40. The Award is managed by APT. A call for entries will be in late 2021 for the 2022 Award. The Award is funded through Perpetual Fund Managers for the Thelma Afford Trust.
- The Erin Thomas Fund supports emerging regional playwrights to take up opportunities that will assist their artistic development. The Fund was established by the Thomas Family and Playwriting Australia to commemorate Erin’s optimism, creative talent, and to further her generous contribution by supporting emerging writers.
- Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award – this annual $20,000 award provides financial assistance for playwrights during the writing or development of a play or a project, and might include workshops, dramaturgical support, production costs, publishing or touring.
- The Rodney Seaborn Playwriting Support Fund – provides grants for up to $5,000 to assist playwrights and others working in the area to advance knowledge and appreciation of play writing as an art form.
- The $30,000 Mona Brand Award is presented every two years to an outstanding Australian woman writing for the stage or screen. An Early Career Writer Award of $10,000 for a female writer who is in the early stages of her career is also offered.
- The Patrick White Playwrights Award offers a cash prize of $7,500 for a full-length unproduced play of any genre written by an Australian playwright over 18 years of age. The readers and judges assessing the scripts seek a work that is original and ambitious with strong theatrical potential.
- The Patrick White Playwrights Fellowship is a position for an established Australian playwright whose work has been produced professionally in Australia within the last four years. The winning playwright receives a total prize package of $25,000 which includes a year-long Fellowship in recognition of their excellent body of work, and a commission to write a new play.
- The Griffin Award recognises an outstanding play or performance text that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice, with the winner receiving a $10,000 prize.
- The Philip Parsons Writers Lab for Early-Career Playwrights is offered by Belvoir.
- The Balnaves Foundation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship is offered by Belvoir.
- The AWGIES – the Australian Writers’ Guild offers numerous awards for produced and unproduced scripts across multiple genres and formats.
- The AWG’s David Williamson Prize is comprised of: (i) a $20,000 prize awarded to the playwright of the most outstanding theatre script of the given year; and (ii) an $80,000 grant awarded to the theatre company which staged the winning theatre script, for the purposes of commissioning, developing and staging a new Australian work.
- The Martin-Lysicrates Prize – a competition for plays written for adolescents that are modelled on the ancient Greek tradition, but with a modern twist. Australian playwrights submit the first act of a new play and the three finalists’ entries receive a staged reading.
- The Noosa Arts Theatre National One-Act Playwriting Competition – offers a total prize pool of $8,000 cash.
- Canberra Youth Theatre’s Emerging Playwright Commission offers an emerging playwright a professional commission to develop a full-length work that brings the voices and stories of youth to the stage. Playwrights under 35 from across Australia are eligible to apply for the $16,500 commission, supported by Holding Redlich. The successful applicant will develop a full-length script suitable for performers aged seven to 25.
- The Nick Enright Prize (part of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards) – this annual $30,000 prize is offered for a play or a work of music drama given its first production in Australia during the prize period.
- Prize for Drama, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards – this $25,000 annual prize is administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria.
- Queensland Premier’s Drama Award – an initiative of Queensland Theatre with the support of the Queensland Government, open to all Australian citizens and permanent residents who have an unproduced live-performance text requiring further development towards its production debut. The eventual winner receives a full professional production in Queensland Theatre’s mainstage season.
- Queensland Theatre’s Young Playwrights’ Award – annual award for high school aged writers (years 9 – 12). The winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to Theatre Residency Week (valued up to $1500), dramaturgy sessions with Queensland Theatre and a professional reading of their work.
- Jill Blewett Playwrights Award – $12,500 is awarded for an unproduced play of any genre written by a professional South Australian playwright.
- The Flinders University Young Playwrights’ Award – State Theatre Company South Australia’s major award for the encouragement and support of new writing talent.
- University of Tasmania Prize (The Premier’s Literary Prizes) – this $5000 prize is for the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer.
- The Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship – this $60,000 Fellowship is designed to assist a Western Australian writer, of any style or genre, to develop their writing practice and give them the time to create new work in a one year time period.
- The Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer – this $15,000 is for the first published work of prose, poetry or narrative nonfiction, in any genre, by an author or authors residing in Western Australia.
- ATYP Foundation Commissions – two Foundation Commissions, one for 10-13-year-old performers and one for 14-17-year-old performers, are awarded each year to playwrights of any age. Both plays are published by Playlab and produced as part of ATYP’s season.
- The annual Queer Playwriting Award is a collaboration between Melbourne’s Gasworks Arts Park and Midsumma Festival, is part of the Midsumma Presents Program.
- The Silver Gull Play Award is for a playwright resident in New South Wales. The total prize money for the award is $5000.
- The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. The UK’s biggest prize for playwriting. An International Award of £8,000 is open to international playwrights invited to anonymously apply via their named international partners, which in Australia include Belvoir Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company.
- Susan Smith Blackburn Prize – given annually to recognize women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. The Prize currently awards $70,000 annually to the Finalists. Each year, a specified list of professional theatres throughout the English-speaking world is invited to submit plays for consideration.
- Theatre503 International Playwriting Award – the winner receives £6,000 and a world premiere production at Theatre503 after a year’s support and development, with their play published by Samuel French Ltd. For emerging playwrights.
- The Yale Drama Series Prize – annually invites submissions of original, full-length, English-language plays by emerging dramatists from across the globe. In addition to the publication of the winner, the play is given a professional staged reading at a prestigious venue, and the playwright receives the David Charles Horn Award of US$10,000.