Open Script Submissions
'As a new playwright the
Traverse is a fantastic place to be. Every play was a new play
once, every writer a new writer. I think the Traverse, perhaps more
than anywhere, understands, nourishes and respects that.' -
In 2015 a brilliant play called Milk by Ross Dunsmore
arrived in the Traverse office, sent in during our open submissions
window. We read it. We loved it. We developed it. We presented it
on our stage as part of Traverse Festival 2016, resulting Ross
winning the Tom Erhardt Award.
This year we asked for YOUR bold, brilliant, innovative new
play. We want to know what you have to say about the world now -
where we're going, what consumes us, what matters. Provoke us,
entice us, move us and give us a story that could only be told on
Submissions are now closed for Open Script Submissions
From 1 August to 30 September 2016 writers from
accross the UK & Ireland sent us a record number of plays, and
our reading team are now working their way through the
If you have questions about Open Submissions, the answer may lie
We cannot accept:
- plays that have already been produced elsewhere.
- adaptations, poems, novels, short stories, or television, film
or radio scripts.
- musicals, historical dramas or bio-plays.
- short plays (scripts must be over 30 minutes in length).
- more than one play per writer per year.
- redrafts of previously submitted work, even if retitled.
- plays by writers based outside the United Kingdom and the
Republic of Ireland.
We know that powerful stories, exploring big ideas, work best on
our stages. We look for stories with as much heart as head, for
writers that have something new to say about the world today, or
something new to say about theatre.
Open Script Submissions introduce us to writers who are new to
us, as well as encouraging submissions from those with whom we have
an existing relationship. Please make sure you feel the play you
submit best represents your work to date and familiarise yourself
with some of our recent work (Swallow by Stef Smith,
Quiz Show by Rob Drummond, Spoiling by John
McCann) and, if you can, with our spaces: the expansive Traverse 1
and the intimate Traverse 2.
To ensure an unbiased response to your play, all scripts
received through Open Submissions are read anonymously. Please
remove your name and contact details from the script itself, and
check that your play is clearly formatted, with page numbers, cast
list and potential cast doubling noted before sending it to us.
What happens next
We receive hundreds of scripts each year and endeavour to
provide a response to all plays within 6 months. Unfortunately, our
resources do not allow us to provide feedback to all writers. Our
priority has to be generating work for the Traverse. However, if,
after reading your script, we find your voice particularly
compelling, we will provide brief and, hopefully, useful
The Open Script Submissions are managed by the Traverse Artistic
team. If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Makin,
And there's more…
If you're interested in the Traverse Open Submissions and would
like to build further experience in playwriting you might be
interested in looking into some of the following upcoming
Playwrights' Studio, Scotland: Mentoring and New
Tron Theatre: Write Tron & Progressive