Want to develop your voice and writing skills?

The Traverse Theatre is passionate about supporting the new. New ideas, new conversations, new writers.

Traverse Young Writers is a 10-week entry-level programme, designed for young people aged 18-25 who want support to find their own voice, experiment with new writing styles and try new things in a dynamic group setting. With sessions held online, the course is open to writers living anywhere in Scotland.

Our Spring course, beginning in late March and now open for applications, consists of guest workshops hosted by leading playwrights and culminates in a scratch sharing of the participants' work, created in collaboration with professional actors and directors. If you'd like to see what last years Traverse Young Writers created, watch their Scratch Performances.

Who should apply to Traverse Young Writers?

Maybe you’ve never considered writing for theatre before. Maybe you’re sitting on a story that’s about to burst out of you but you don’t know how to make it come alive on paper. Maybe you aren’t seeing yourself represented in Scottish theatre. Traverse Young Writers is for you.

The stories we stage at the Traverse are by anyone and for everyone. Traverse Young Writers is our commitment to discovering and developing the next generation of Scottish playwrights. Graduates from the course have gone on to have professional commissions from the Traverse and other leading theatre companies.

"Taking part in the Traverse Young Writers programme has shaped my career as a playwright. The opportunity to work with generous professional playwrights has helped me to understand my own creative processes as well as learning new skills and ways of working, which has ultimately made me a better writer. The group has introduced me to a number of friends and colleagues and one of the reasons I feel so at home in the Traverse Theatre.

Being part of the Young Writers group led me to apply for and receiving a commission to write one of the Breakfast Plays for the 2019 Festival season, this opportunity is one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had and the support from the Traverse made the whole process much less daunting."

- Diane Stewart, Traverse Young Writer a

Hear from three previous Traverse Young Writers participants about their experience on the course. After participating in Traverse Young Writers, Amy, Rebecca and Jamie went on to be commissioned by the Traverse and presented their work as part of Breakfast Plays: New Tracks.

Course and application information FAQs

Applications for Traverse Young Writers close Tue 9 March, 11.59pm.

How many spaces are available on the course?
There are 28 spaces available in this session of Traverse Young Writers.

When will the course take place?
Writers will be split into two groups, one beginning on Mon 22 March and the next the week after on Mon 29 March. The course will last 10 weeks.

How long are the workshops and where will they take place?

The workshops will last two hours. They'll be hosted on Zoom.

How much does Traverse Young Writers cost?
The fee for the course is £90, which covers roughly 25-30 hours of workshops and feedback on drafts and preparing for the scratch performances. We have a number of bursaries available, covering the full cost of the course. Bursaries are available to anyone for whom the cost of the course is a barrier to entry.

Who can take part in Traverse Young Writers?
Anyone aged 18-25 based in Scotland with a passion for writing. We want our Young Writers group to be representative of the young talent in Scotland today. As the Traverse Theatre is an equal opportunities organisation, we try to make sure the people we work with are representative of our diverse community.

How do I apply?
When applications open, please complete the online application form at the bottom of this page. The application form lets us get to know you and what you’d like to get out of the course. We ask you to submit a 1-page writing extract to get a feel for your style and how Traverse Young Writers could help develop your skills and voice. Don’t overthink it too much, we’re not looking for something perfect! We want to get a feel for your voice and something that shows us what you’re about. You can submit any kind of creative writing, this can be a monologue, short story, poem, an extract from a larger work etc.

I have a question that isn't answered here, who can I talk to?
If you have any questions about the course or would like more information about Traverse Young Writers, please contact Eleanor White, Literary Associate, at writing@traverse.co.uk.

We would like to thank The Dr David Summers Charitable Trust, The Nimar Charitable Trust, The Russell Trust, The Teale Charitable Trust and The William Syson Charitable Foundation for their generous support of Traverse Young Writers.