Emerging Writers Table

Alongside the ATC Youth Company and Youth Associates programmes, the Emerging Writers Table offerplaywrights the opportunity to create a full-length work over the span of 10 months.

This programme offers six emerging playwrights a guided process across eight curated writing sessions from February to November 2024. Each participant will create a full-length play for performers aged 16-25. This group provides an opportunity to reflect, learn, hear feedback from peers and gain deeper understanding of the playwriting craft and creative process.

Going beyond the basics of ‘writing a play’, these sessions will push participants to question, collaborate, and gain a deeper understanding of the playwriting landscape locally, nationally and internationally. We’ll touch on the basics and delve into what makes a great play tick. What’s worked for writers of the past? What’s working for writers today, now, in this moment of our own theatrical culture? And what works for you? This group is a space to figure that out (or at least get a damn sight closer).

The key focus of this program is to identify and support playwrights who have the potential and ambition to make work at scale, to be programmed as part of ATC’s Youth Company programme in 2025.

If this sounds like something you’d be into, read on for how to apply, and for some basic answers to questions you might be wondering about.

Workshop Dates

1pm-5pm Sat 10 Feb
1pm-5pm Sat 9 Mar
1pm-5pm Sat 20 Apr
1pm-5pm Sat 22 Jun
1pm-5pm Sat 3 Aug
1pm-5pm Sat 14 Sep
1pm-5pm Sat 12 Oct
1pm-5pm Sat 23 Nov

Submission Instructions

Submissions for the 2024 Emerging Writers Table closed on 1-Feb '24 5pm. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

What the heck is a Writers Table?

Every month we meet together and (you guessed it), sit around a table. That’s basically it.

We talk about our work and how the writing process is going. Writers Tables are an opportunity to share in the creative process alongside your peers. You’ll have the opportunity to share your progress, ask for feedback, listen to what’s working (or failing catastrophically!) and learn from one another's talents to inform your own. There will also be guest sessions with leading industry professionals, as well as regular guided discussions from Tāmaki Makaurau based dramaturg Dan Goodwin.

Do I need to be under 25 to apply?

Nope! You can be an emerging writer at 15, 25 or 55! 

Children? Do I have to write for under 25s?

No. You do not have to write a children’s play. But you do have to write a full-length play for performers aged 16-25.

The work will be performed by the ATC Youth Company, and you should keep this in mind. Youth Company actors are more than capable of playing mature roles and working with big themes. They’re a talented bunch of young creatives who’ve auditioned to join the company. They can hold demanding work with skill, responsibility and rigour. 

Do I have to have written a play or been produced before?

Nope! We’re looking for passion, exciting ideas, and a desire to delve into playwriting over a long form and in-depth process. If you’re new to playwriting, tell us why the form excites you. If you’ve ventured into writing before but gotten scared off, let us know. More than anything we want to support emerging artists who are excited about the craft. We don’t want to let anything get in the way of your enthusiasm or potential. If you can show us you’re excited to write a play, then we’re excited to hear from you!

Do I need to be available for all of the dates?

Preferably, yes. However we understand that 10 months is a long time, and that life happens. If there is anything you think would stop you from attending one or more of the sessions, please reach out to us and we’ll see what we can do!

What do we mean by full length?

Full length = ‘Complete’! 

As a guideline, we're looking to support works of substance, and the works should be at least 45 minutes in length.

A play is as long as it needs to be. Throughout the 10 months we’ll spend time focused on the editing process, looking at word economy, rhythm, and efficiency amongst other facets of shaping a script. Generally speaking however, every story needs its own amount of time to get from start to end. When a play feels ‘too long,’ it’s often not about the length, but instead how long it’s taken to get to the point!

We’re here to help you figure out the shape of that journey, no matter how long takes.

Application Instructions

1. What you’ve written beforehand, including a title and a one sentence description. 

Include anything and everything. Songs, poems, that absurdist play you wrote when you were 10. What are you most proud of? What sort of worlds do you want to create?

2. Why you’re excited by playwriting.

What does it feel like when you’re in the zone? What does playwriting allow you to do or say like no other artform can? Or if you’re new to the form, why does it entice you? What makes you curious about playwriting? Got an idea you think can only be told on stage?

3. A synopsis of your idea. 

Try to get us as excited by the idea as you are. We’re not so much looking for what we think is the greatest, most creative idea. We’d much rather know what you think is fascinating. If you think your stamp collection is the *greatest thing on earth* and *definitely* needs a play written about it, let us know why!