Bristol Old Vic Open Session

THE OPEN SESSION at Bristol Old Vic is open!

Generously supported by The Ronald Duncan Foundation, and writers of the top five plays are eligible for THE RONALD DUNCAN PRIZE alongside Top 5 writers from previous years of The Open Session. Bristol Old Vic will award the prize, which is a fully staged production – at least two awards will be made by 2018.

The Top 20 submissions will receive full readers’ reports.


What they are looking for: –

  • Submissions must be from writers living and working in the South West. The Bristol Old Vic define this as writers based in the counties of Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Somerset, and the unitary authorities of Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly, Isle of Wight, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, South Gloucestershire, Southampton, Swindon, Torbay and Wiltshire. At the moment they are not able to consider work from writers who are based outside of the region.
  • An original script that has not been previously produced. Plays or musicals that have emerged from a developmental stage (e.g. rehearsed readings or workshops) will be accepted.
  • Plays that are complete. If it is much over 100 pages, it may benefit from editing.
  • Musicals that are complete, along with a demo of at least 3 songs; or Musicals submitted in the form of a Full Synopsis of the plot along with demo recordings of at least 3 songs. Demos do not need to be polished recordings; rough demos are fine.  Musicals that reflect Bristol and the West Country in their story or sensibility are particularly welcome in Open Session 2017 (though this is not compulsory).


Submission process

  • Scripts should be on commonly found document formats known to be readable by Word for Windows; or they can be pdf documents.
  • You may only submit one work for this round.
  • Demo songs for musicals should be submitted by including in your email a link to a website (such as soundcloud), or a web-based sharing site (such as Dropbox, YouSendIt or other Cloud storage) where we can hear or retrieve songs.  Please set any retrieval date for as long as possible.
  • Please do not send second drafts or resubmissions of works you have previously sent in to the Bristol Old Vic
  • Please do not send scripts for radio, film, television or adaptations of other work.
  • Put your name, your play or musical title and full contact details (address with post code, phone & email) on the covering email. On the script document itself only the play or musical title should be carried (not the writer’s name).  This is because all submissions will be judged with the writer’s identity anonymous.
  • Page numbers, character breakdowns and legible type/layout are required.



  • 5pm on Fri 30 June 2017. Plays will take approximately three months from the closing date to go through the reading system.  The announcement of the five selected submissions on the Literary Department’s section of the Bristol Old Vic website which can be found here:

For more information please go to

Published on:
27 Jun 2017


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