The Squint Playwriting Award- a paid playwriting programme designed to support East London artists

In partnership with Theatre Royal Stratford East, Hackney Empire, Applecart Arts and Arts Council England Squint is a paid playwriting programme designed to support East London artists from low-income backgrounds for whom money is currently a barrier to professional development.

The six-month programme enables ten participants to develop their writing across sixteen workshops, culminating in an industry showcase of original scenes and short plays. Following the showcase, one participant will be awarded a full commission to develop an original play with Squint.

Every participant will be paid London Living Wage for all contact hours throughout the programme as well as travel expenses. Bursaries for access costs are also available.

Participants must be 

  • From a low-income background and currently in a position where money is a barrier to professional development.
  • Over the age of eighteen at the start of the programme (no maximum age).
  • Living, studying and/or working in East London.
  • In the early stages of a playwriting career.
  • Ready to develop playwriting practice through a sustained period of professional development.
  • 10 Participants from low-income backgrounds who live, work and/or study in East London and are ready to write a first full-length play.

The six-month programme includes:

  • 10 Workshops led by Squint Literary Associate Lee Anderson and Artistic Director Andrew Whyment (3 hours each).
  • 3 Masterclasses led by established artists from low-income backgrounds (3 hours each).
  • 3 Q&As with leading industry figures (1 hour each).
  • 4 Mentoring Sessions with experienced playwrights (1 hour each).
  • An Industry Showcase at Theatre Royal Stratford East presenting scenes or short plays written by the participants and performed by professional actors.

The Squint Playwriting Award presented to one participant to write their first full-length play; this includes a Writer’s Guild of Great Britain one-act play commission (£6110) and dramaturgical support from Squint.

The programme is free of charge and financially supported for all participants in the form of:

  • London Living Wage (£11.95/hour) for all contact hours.
  • London Travel Expenses for all sessions.
  • Access Bursaries where necessary.

The programme dates are as follows:

  • Workshop 1 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 5th July.
  • Workshop 2 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 12th July.
  • Workshop 3 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 19th July.
  • Masterclass 1 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 26th July.
  • Workshop 4 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 2nd August.
  • Q&A 1 – 18:30-19:30, Monday 7th August.
  • Workshop 5 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 9th August.
  • Masterclass 2 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 16th August.
  • Workshop 6 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 6th September.
  • Workshop 7 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 13th September.
  • Q&A 2 – 18:30-19:30, Monday 18th September.
  • Masterclass 3 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 20th September.
  • Workshop 8 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 27th September.
  • Q&A 3 – 18:30-19:30, Monday 2nd October.
  • Workshop 9 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 4th October.
  • Showcase Rehearsals – Saturday 28th October-Thursday 2nd November.
  • Showcase Performances – Friday 3rd November.
  • Workshop 10 – 18:30-21:30, Wednesday 22nd November.

This is a pilot year of what they hope to be an annual programme.



8pm on Monday 8th May.

Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been shortlisted by Thursday 11th May.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a selection workshop and interview on either Friday 19th May or Saturday 20th May.

Published on:
11 Apr 2023
Opportunity deadline:
08 May 2023


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