Box of Tricks and Sky Studios’ Innovation Hub based in Leeds have teamed up to announce the launch of the Screen/Play Award to discover exceptional writers from the North of England.
The project is focussed on finding talent from communities currently underrepresented on stage and screen offering two writers with no TV writing experience a bursary to write a new play for Box of Tricks, and to open doors to the world of screenwriting by forging a development partnership with Sky Studios throughout 2021.
The award is open to Northern writers, aged over 18, with no professional TV experience, from the following communities: D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent writers, LGBTQ+ writers, writers of colour, first generation migrant writers and writers from a low socioeconomic background.
Manchester based company Box of Tricks and Sky Studios are seeking stories with the scope and ambition to be realised on both stage and screen.
Applicants for this new award will be asked to submit a sample of their writing along with a 500-word pitch about how they envisage developing their story into a both a play and a short screenplay. Each submission will be read by a diverse pool of readers representative of the breadth of stories the Award aims to recognise.
Shortlisted writers will be announced in December and five finalists will meet an industry panel to pitch their ideas in January 2021. Following these interviews, the panel will select two writers to develop their ideas and write their scripts with support from Box of Tricks and Sky Studios throughout 2021.
The Screen/Play Award industry panel includes Wert End star Mina Anwar, playwright Chris Bush, actor and advocate for disability on screen/stage Melissa Johns, actor David Judge, Donna Metcalfefrom Sky Studios,Box of Tricks Joint Artistic Director Hannah Tyrrell-Pinderand actor/writer Temi Wilkey.
“With so much uncertainty still ahead, we face the very real prospect of losing a generation of talent, so it is vital that we seize every opportunity to support, nurture and promote new voices in the North – especially those whose stories are too seldom heard on our stages or seen on our screens. It’s time to make a change for the better,” say Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder and Adam Quayle, Joint Artistic Directors, Box of Tricks. The submission window opens on Monday 19 October and the deadline for all applications is 5pm on Friday 6 November 2020. Submissions made outside this window will not be considered.
Further details about the Screen/Play Award are available at: www.boxoftrickstheatre.co.uk/screenplay. Interested writers are advised to join Box of Tricks’ PlayMakers Network via the website or on Facebook for up-to-date information and additional content.