new play development /

new play development

The widest range of opportunities for the creative development of new scripts.

Playwriting Australia is dedicated to working with writers at all levels of their career, offering them time, space and creative expertise to explore and refine their new plays.

Whether with a cast of actors in a full workshop setting or one-on-one with a dramaturg, our script development models focus on exploration and creative dialogue between artists, away from the pressures of performance outcomes.

If you’ve submitted your work to Playwriting Australia before, please read carefully as we’ve made some changes to our script development program.

We now offer a more tailored approach to the way we support new plays by offering three different development programs:

LONGFORM: six months of individual sessions with a PWA dramaturg

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A longer-term investment in your work. Selected playwrights will receive up to six months of on-going dramaturgical support from a member of the PWA artistic team or appointed artist. You might want big-picture feedback and analysis or assistance unknotting a particularly tricky problem. Meetings will take place in person or via Skype/phone for interstate artists.

RAPID FIRE: a day-long workshop with actors and creatives

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Our day-long Rapid Fire sessions give playwrights the chance to hear their play read by actors and receive immediate feedback from PWA’s creative team. This is a perfect opportunity to test a first draft or just a few scenes and interrogate the main landscape of the play with a team of experienced dramaturgs and actors.  All participants will be provided with a daily wage.

NATIONAL SCRIPT WORKSHOP: an intensive development workshop of one or two weeks

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The Workshop provides playwrights with one or two weeks of creative development, including time spent in conference with dramaturgs and directors, rehearsal time with actors and writing time. It is not intended that writers will produce a performance-ready script by the end of the workshop nor to conclude with a public reading, although this may be an option. Playwrights may apply individually, as co-writers or as part of a creative team. All participants will be provided with a weekly wage.

We encourage writers to take ownership of their creative process and tell us honestly what they think they need moving forward; this is the start of a conversation between you and PWA about your play and the most effective ways to advance it.   Don’t worry if you don’t know what program best suits your play, our expert panel will make a recommendation.

We invite submissions of unproduced drafts at any stage of their development with a view to providing a crucial and timely investment in the work. We strongly encourage applications from playwrights from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous and CALD writers, as well as those based in regional areas.

Playwriting Australia is a proud supporter of the #CreateDiversity pledge, for playwrights to include a statement, where appropriate, alongside the character descriptions, to encourage diverse casting.  Find out more about the #CreateDiversity pledge, an initiative of MEAA Equity Diversity Committee, and sign it today here.

Read the full guidelines for more information about submissions and our selection process.



APPLICATIONS Closing date Eligibility
Play Development
Submissions #1
Friday 22 January   All playwrights
Play Development
Submissions #2
Friday 26 August All playwrights.
CALD or Indigenous Play Nominations Friday 26 August Theatre companies and/or producers only.

In 2016 we will reserve development opportunities for Western Australian playwrights, in partnership with the Department for Culture and the Arts, WA.  The full WA Program can be seen here.

Additionally theatre companies and producers are invited to nominate a script by a CALD or Indigenous playwright for development in the second half of the year.

National Play Festival:
All plays developed through PWA’s script development programs will be automatically considered for the National Play Festival each year. See for more information.





Closing date
Friday 22nd January, 5pm

Submission Guidelines

If you have any questions, please email or call 02 8274 0900.

More info

Read more advice for playwrights applying to Playwriting Australia.
See project updates on the PWA Blog here.
Previous recipients: visit the Playography.


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