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 Monday 23rd January    All playwrights
PWA Lab Monday 27th February Artists, collectives and companies
Play Development Submissions #2 Monday 24th July All playwrights
Ignition Monday 1st August Producing companies

In 2017 we will reserve development opportunities for Western Australian playwrights, in partnership with the Department for Culture and the Arts, WA.  The full WA Program will be announced in early 2017.

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.

Please note; submissions for the New Play Development Program are now closed. They will re-open in June.

Download Submission Guidelines

Please ensure you download and read the full guidelines for detailed information on eligibility, acceptable script format and development notes required. The following information will be requested to complete your application:

  1. Contact details and demographic information
  2. Two copies of your script uploaded, including one ‘clean’ copy
  3. Play synopsis (max 250 words)
  4. Development Notes (between 500 – 1000 words)
  5. Additional Info – your/ the playwright’s bio and any creatives attached to the project.

If you have any questions about your application, please email before the closing date.

How to apply

Online Applications  

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Please apply online when possible. All applications must be submitted no later than 5pm on the closing date.

Mailed applications

Download and fill out the PDF Application Form.

Mail it along with all the relevant attachments to: Playwriting Australia Level 3, 10 Hickson Road Sydney NSW 2000

Mailed applications must be post-marked on or before the closing date.

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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