The Kay Mellor Fellowship is a collaboration between Leeds Playhouse, Kay Mellor, and Rollem Productions to support a playwright to develop their writing for stage and screen over the course of a year. The fellowship offers a writer the opportunity to embark on a dual-development process at Leeds Playhouse, developing an original idea for stage into a full length first draft and on set and in the offices at Rollem Productions developing an original idea into a pitch for TV.

The Fellowship will run from January until December 2020 and the writer will receive a fee of £10,000.


The Fellow will receive mentoring and support from:

  • Kay Mellor (Managing Director of Rollem)
  • Sian Palfrey (Head of Development at Rollem)
  • Amy Leach, Associate Director of Leeds Playhouse
  • They will also have the opportunity to build relationships with other members of staff in the New Work departments at both Rollem and Leeds Playhouse.

The Fellowship is primarily to support a writer’s time to write the first draft of a stage play and to develop a TV pitch. The Fellow will be expected to attend mentoring meetings as outlined above, and to meet regularly with the Literary Associate to discuss the progress of the work.

A fee of £10,000 for the year will be paid to the Fellow and they will be engaged by Leeds Playhouse on a freelance basis. This is not a full time role. It is expected that the Fellow will undertake other paid work outside of the Fellowship.

The Fellow will have access to desk space in Leeds Playhouse but will not be required to work there exclusively. It is expected that the Fellow will live within commuting distance of Leeds.

Other opportunities

The Fellow will be encouraged to immerse themselves in the life of Leeds Playhouse, and we will work with the Fellow to develop a programme of engagement with the Playhouse which feels useful, supportive and rewarding. This may include:

  • Attending rehearsals, final run-throughs, dress rehearsals and other performances
  • Reading and assessing scripts for the Playhouse’s Artistic Planning team.
  • Observing the workings of departments within Leeds Playhouse
  • Reading and seeing as many professional productions as possible of other writers’ work both in Leeds Playhouse & elsewhere.
  • The Fellow will also have the opportunity across the year to spend time with Rollem Productions engaging in activities such as: Observing filming days on set and reading and feeding back on TV scripts and pitches. There is no requirement to participate in the wider life of the Playhouse or Rollem, but they will strongly encourage the Fellow to do so.



The Kay Mellor Fellowship is aimed at writers whose work resonates with the programmes, productions and artistic sensibilities of Rollem Productions and Leeds Playhouse. They strongly encourage all candidates to familiarise themselves with this body of work before applying. They want to hear from writers who feel their writing belongs on the stage at Leeds Playhouse or on Rollem Productions’ Development Slate.

They encourage artists currently under-represented in dramatic writing, including artists who identify as female; artists of colour; artists who identify as LGBTQ+; artists who are D/deaf and/or disabled and artists from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to apply.


To be eligible for this opportunity, applicants should have written between one and three professionally produced, full-length plays for theatre.
For the purposes of this selection process, this means plays that:

  • are of 60 minutes of more in length and have been;
    o produced for a paying audience (including PWYC);
    o with a run of two weeks or more;
    o and were staged at a recognised professional venue or by a recognised professional company.
  • Writers need not have any prior screen credits or experience of writing or developing ideas for screen, though they ask writers to list all production and development credits.
  • Fellows will also be asked to demonstrate that they have the right to work in the UK.



21 October 2019 – Deadline for applications
Mid December 2019 – Announcement of Fellow
January 2020 – December 2020 – Fellowship period

Published on:
18 Sep 2019


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