(Deadline – 4th December 2016 at midnight)


First Stage 2017 is a series of staged rehearsed readings of new short plays or extracts from longer plays for one to six actors, to be presented on Sundays, 15th, 22nd and 29th January 2017 at 7pm each evening, followed by an opportunity for audience feedback.


Scripts (which must adhere to our formatting requirements and include an extra file with the submission form below) should be e-mailed to submissions@writeon.org.uk (we cannot accept scripts by post). Scripts must be received by midnight on Sunday 4th December 2016.



You must be a paid-up WRiTEON member to submit. There is no additional submission fee. Membership is £20 for the year (concs £15). To join or renew your membership, go to:





  • Scripts need to be written for the stage.
  • Scripts may be for any number of actors from one to six.
  • Scripts can be as short as you like, but not longer than 20 minutes playing time.
  • If you are submitting an extract of a longer piece, please, choose one that makes sense in isolation (allowing the creative team and the audience to enjoy it without necessarily knowing the rest of the play).
  • Any one writer may submit a maximum of three scripts.
  • There are no limitations on genre, theme, writing style, plot etc.
  • By submitting, you confirm that you are the sole author of the submitted script (if shared authorship, please make this clear in the submission form, you hold the performing rights for the script and agree for the script being to be staged script-in-hand by WRiTEON as stated below.



  • Please, send us your script in MS Word or similar text editing format.
  • The layout of the script needs to follow the example of the layout published on our website here:

Example of a Layout

  • Please, remember to number your pages.
  • The file name containing the script should be the title of the play (only).
  • Please, make sure that your name or any other personal details that could reveal the author’s identity are NOT INCLUDED IN THE SCRIPT OR FILE NAME.



  • A completed SUBMISSION FORM must be included with your submission AS A SEPARATE FILE attached to the same e-mail. Please make sure that all the information you need to give is included on the form, rather than in a covering e-mail. You can find the form here:

First Stage 2017 Submission Form

  • You should receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours of submitting your script. If you do not, please feel free to e-mail again to check that it has been received. A list of scripts selected to be performed will be published our Facebook page and website shortly after 14th December.


  • All eligible scripts will be read by a reading panel and our selection decisions will be based on the quality of the writing and the script’s suitability for our season as well as our staging circumstances. The reading panel’s selection will also follow WRiTEON’s core aims and ethos of developing new writing for the stage and by that we mean developing the work and/or the writers.
  • If your script is selected, you will also be sent an e-mail from a different address to confirm performance date and other details so check your Junk/Spam folder.
  • Unfortunately we cannot commit to contacting the writers whose scripts were rejected as we simply do not have the man/womanpower.
  • The reading panel’s decision is finite and unfortunately we are not able to enter a discussion about the rejected scripts, however you are welcome to submit your scripts for our Acting Up! workshops where you can get constructive feedback and practical writing or rewriting advice.




  • WRiTEON is an open collective of writers, actors and directors; including professionals, former professionals, aspiring professionals and amateurs. We exist to provide a service to writers, enabling them to see how their work translates from page to stage and to offer valuable experience to directors and actors in working with new writing.
  • Selected scripts will be cast as appropriately as possible from our pool of available actors.  We reserve the right to withdraw scripts if suitable actors cannot be found (though in our more than a decade long experience this has never happened). We are not able to cast children or young people under the age of 16. We are also not able to have animals perform on stage.
  • Writers are welcome to attend the casting sessions as observers (or potential actors). Casting sessions will take place on Thursday December 15th 7-10pm and Sunday December 18th 10am-12 noon (location tbc). Please, see our Facebook page to find out the details.
  • Scripts will typically have 2-3 rehearsals with a director before being presented as script-in-hand staged or table readings. At the end of each evening, audience members and creatives will be asked to give feedback. The writers are encouraged to attend the rehearsals and offer input (whilst allowing the directors and actors to do their job in the limited time available).
  • Writers whose submissions are accepted are expected to attend the staged reading and will be allocated one complimentary ticket. Additional tickets may be purchased for friends and family online (details will be published on our website and Facebook page) or on the door on the night of the performance (subject to availability).
  • The performing space (upstairs function room at The Boathouse, 14 Chesterton Rd. Cambridge CB4 3AX) seats 50 and has a small, slightly raised, uncurtained stage, basic lighting and sound system. There is room for minimal set and simple side wings will be provided to allow entrances and exits. Sound effects, if used, should be kept simple, likewise, there isn’t a large scope for lighting effects.


Submission deadline is midnight on 4th December 2016.