Open Script Submissions

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.' - Ross Dunsmore

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 our stage. 

Submissions are now closed for Open Script Submissions 2016.

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 scripts. 

If you have questions about Open Submissions, the answer may lie within these FAQs.  


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 feedback.

The Open Script Submissions are managed by the Traverse Artistic team. If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Makin, Artistic Administrator.   

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 opportunities:

Traverse Masterclasses

Playwrights' Studio, Scotland: Mentoring and New Playwrights Awards

Tron Theatre: Write Tron & Progressive Playwright

Catherine Makin

Catherine Makin

Contact for more info


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