call out for submissions to lotus first draft

call out for submissions to lotus first draft

Playwriting Australia is now calling applications for the next phase of our Lotus program, Lotus First Draft, taking place between 2015-2016.

The Lotus Asian-Australian Playwriting Project is a Playwriting Australia initiative in partnership with Performance 4A, proudly supported by the Girgensohn Foundation, which is aimed at unearthing, nurturing and developing Asian-Australian playwrights and embedding them within the Australian theatre culture.

Lotus began in 2014, with over 70 writers participating in our introductory playwriting workshops and more than 25 taking part in the Salon Program, a three-month course on the craft of writing for the stage. With the support of our state-based partners La Boite, Playlab, Sydney Writers Festival, Malthouse Theatre and Writers Victoria, we presented a collection of twelve incredible new stories as part of our Salon Readings in 2015. Read more here.

Lotus First Draft

Playwriting Australia is now seeking applications from aspiring Asian-Australian writers based in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to be considered for the next stage of the program, Lotus First Draft.  

Up to 12 playwrights will be selected across the three cities to undertake an intensive playwriting mentorship and other script development opportunities over a six-month period. The Lotus First Draft participants will receive:

  • Monthly one-on-one tutorials with a playwright mentor;
  • Monthly group masterclasses and craft discussions with mentors and guest artists;
  • A weekend/weeklong intensive in 2016 bringing all Lotus playwrights from around the country together to workshop their play ideas and scene;
  • A potential showcase opportunity at the National Play Festival 2016, Playwriting Australia’s major annual event celebrating new Australian works.


PROGRAM SCHEDULE (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne)

  • October 2015: Group and individual meetings begin and continue until March/April 2016
  • January 2016: Weekend intensive for all Lotus playwrights (interstate writers will be provided airfares and accommodation to attend).
  • July 2016: Potential showcase at the National Play Festival 2016



Applicants will be required to provide the following information to be considered:

  1. Personal contact details
  1. A copy of your play (complete or incomplete draft) or a sample of your writing if you are planning to explore a brand new idea.   
  1. Play Synopsis/Idea – a complete synopsis or treatment of the intended work (max. 250 words); 
  1. Background – we ask you to provide some context about your project to date. We want to know your premise and intention; what’s the context? Why are you writing it and what are you exploring? What are you pleased with in the current draft and what isn’t working? 
  1. Your reasons for applying – Tell us why you are interested in participating in the Lotus program and what do you hope to achieve through this mentorship opportunity? What kind of support are you looking for as an emerging playwright? And, what do you wish to further develop in your work?
  1. Additional Information
  • Short biographical details: please include a summary of your writing credits;
  • Details of any support the play has so far received, including funding, mentoring or dramaturgy, and any future support currently planned, if applicable;
  • Details of any current commissioning and/or option arrangements, if applicable;



1. Download and Complete the Application Form – Word Form or PDF Form

2. Email your completed Application Form and attachments to by or before the published closing date.

Closing date
Monday 7 September, 2015


More information

Eligibility, Assessment Process, Terms and Conditions


  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents and over the age of 18.

Eligible proposals:

  • must be the writer’s original idea
  • may be of any style and written for any cast size; however, it is highly unlikely that adaptations (unless it is of your own previously unproduced work) will be selected.
  • will not be musical theatre works or work that requires musical dramaturgy
  • must be unproduced, and not scheduled for production before 31 July 2016.


  • All submissions will be read by an independent panel of readers and will be include PWA artistic staff.
  • Shortlisted playwrights may be contacted to discuss their application in further detail.
  • All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their submission within 6 weeks of the closing date.
  • The assessment process remains confidential and no further details of readers’ assessments will be provided to playwrights.


  • Applications should be submitted via by the published closing date
  • Late submissions or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Submissions will be acknowledged by email upon receipt.
  • Playwriting Australia may contact you to request additional information in connection with your submission.
  • Successful applicants will be announced on Playwriting Australia’s website, social media sites and e-news bulletins.
  • Successful applicants are required to acknowledge Playwriting Australia and Performance 4A’s support in future presentations of the work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit a completely-written but unproduced play?

The Lotus program aims to support the development of new plays in their early draft form with a view to provide critical craft training for emerging playwrights. If you have a complete draft of a play which has not yet been produced, and are looking for a script development opportunity, please contact Teik-Kim Pok at to discuss.

I do not identify as Asian-Australian but have a strong Asia-related story to tell. Can I submit something to Lotus?

This program invites submissions from early stage playwrights who identify as Asian-Australian residing within Australia. Our definition of Asia is based on the Asialink 2013 Index, which comprises: ASEAN (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines and Myanmar) South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bangladesh), East Asia (People’s China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Macau, Mongolia, East Timor) North East Asia (Korea [South Korea], Japan)

Do you accept screenplay-based ideas?

No, the Lotus program is intended to support new writing for the stage.

The following questions only apply to previous applicant and participants in Lotus:

I was not successful in my submission for last year’s Lotus. Am I still eligible?

Yes you are. While we are inviting submissions of a new range of stories and plays we will still consider applications from participants of the Salon as long as you can demonstrate how the work has evolved. It is unlikely that we would consider a submission identical to either the Salon Workshop or the Readings.

I took part in both the Salon and/or the Readings last year- am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Please have a discussion with us about your idea. Contact Teik-Kim Pok by email or by phone on 02 8274 0904.

If you have any questions, please email Teik-Kim Pok at or call 02 8274 0900.

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