Creating Space Writers' Group

Traverse Theatre Company

Applications open til Fri 22 Jul

Apply now


Creating Space Writers' Group is a new initiative that recognises the need to create a safe, supportive, and inspiring environment for writers of the Global Majority to develop their work.

We’re looking for Scotland-based writers of the Global Majority aged 18+, with a new play idea, who we can support.

Creating Space Writers' Group has been developed in collaboration with Scottish BPOC Writers Network.

Who is it for?

Do you want to dig deeper into your artistic process? Do you want to experiment with your craft in a supportive setting? Do you want to be encouraged, and encourage your fellow writers, to write stories you’re excited about?

This is a group for writers with some experience and who are ready to take a new play to the next stage of development. Maybe you’ve written a full play. Maybe you have scraps of scenes sitting in a drawer. Maybe you feel confident in your writing abilities, but want support navigating the playwriting process from first flash of an idea to your standing ovation.

By 'writers of the Global Majority' we refer to writers of the following backgrounds; African or Caribbean heritage, South Asian heritage, East Asian heritage, West Asian heritage, Central Asian heritage, South East Asian heritage, East Asian and South East Asian heritage, Middle East and North African heritage, and those who have experienced racism. By the term ‘those who have experienced racism’, we are referring to individuals who have experienced discrimination based on the colour of their skin, race and/or their culture.

This definition has been informed by the work of #BAMEOver.

What can I expect from the group?

  • Over 10 weeks, acclaimed playwright Mariem Omari will guide you through a series of online and in-person workshops covering the playwriting process, industry mentorship, and feedback on your writing.
  • A range of exciting guest writers and artists, including guest facilitator Shilpa T-Hyland, will offer their advice and mentorship throughout the course.
  • We’ll also be providing Traverse Write-ins: a weekly zoom session for you to dedicate time to writing your play.
  • At the end of the ten weeks, you will have an opportunity to hear an extract of your play read by actors. You will also have a bespoke one to one meeting with one of the Traverse artistic team.
  • The sessions will run from September to November and we’ll kick things off with a group meet up during this year’s Fringe.
  • All travel costs incurred by participants attending the in-person workshops will be covered by the Traverse.

How do I apply?

The application form is simple to complete, there are no trick questions – we just want to know a bit about you and your idea. It asks for your contact details, your answer to three short questions, and a writing sample of up to three pages. The writing sample can be any form (prose, play, poetry). If you’d prefer to submit a video application please tick that option and provide a link plus your writing sample.

Apply through the link below. Applications close on Fri 22 July, 5PM.

Got questions?

We want to hear from you! If you have any questions about the group, the application process, or accessibility needs please get in touch with us at

About your group leader, Mariem Omari

Mariem Omari worked across the Middle East and North Africa for five years, and during that time worked with refugees and survivors of violence. She has since committed to promoting stories that are not often heard to advocate for greater equality.

Her first play, If I Had A Girl..., on honour violence in Asian communities in Scotland, sold-out in Glasgow in 2016, and toured nationally in 2017. She was one of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Starter for 10, selected to develop her play, One Mississippi, which showcased at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2017, and toured Scotland in 2022. She had three plays commissioned in 2019 – The Trojans, performed by Syrian Refugees; her first children’s play, Paper Memories, part of the 2019 National Puppetry and Animation Festival; and Walkin’ the Line as part of SMHAF 2019. In 2021 she was commissioned by BBC Scotland to create Breaking Point - a series of five short monologues for radio and digital platforms.

Her new play, Revolution Days, premiered in November 2021, accompanied by her new short film, Revolution Days: A True Reflection. She is Artistic Director of Bijli Productions, Inaugural Company in Residence at the National Theatre of Scotland.

About your guest facilitator, Shilpa T-Hyland

Shilpa is an Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre.

For the Traverse: Shilpa has directed audio piece We’ll Meet in Moscow (2021), associate directed Still (2021), and assistant directed Crocodile Fever (2019) as a recipient of the JMK regional bursary, funded by the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarships Fund.

Other recent directing credits include: Oscar (Play, Pie, Pint), Revolution Days (Bijli), Roxana (Paisley Book Festival/Renfrewshire Leisure), How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found (Royal Conservatoire Scotland), Listen to Me a Scenes for Survival (National Theatre Scotland), Miss Julie (Horsecross) as the inaugural winner of the Horsecross Trust Young Director Award. Associate Directing credits include: Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of) (Blood of the Young, The Lyceum Theatre & others), and The 306: Dusk (NTS, Horsecross).

Shilpa a script reader for the National Theatre Scotland, and has worked on development readings for Imaginate, Playwrights’ Studio, and the Traverse. She is a board member for Tortoise in a Nutshell. Shilpa is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal Conservatoire Scotland (part time).

Creating Space Writers' Group has been developed in collaboration with Scottish BPOC Writers Network.


Your donation will help us to discover and develop creativity in those who tell stories we all want - and need - to hear.
  • A gift of £100 could pay for an actor to bring the script alive during a script development session and to hear how the words translate from page to stage.
  • A gift of £50 could cover a one-on-one dramaturgy session, providing developing writers with bespoke feedback.
  • A gift of £15 could cover our monthly Zoom subscription, allowing us to host live online creative writing workshops, reaching participants from across the UK.