Drama indie Kudos and The Royal Court Theatre have jointly launched a new writing fellowship to support emerging writing talent for both theatre and television.
Three writers will each be offered a £10,000 bursary, funded by Kudos, to enable them to focus purely on their writing for six months. During this time they will have the opportunity to  be supported by The Royal Court Theatre and Kudos.
The fellowships are specifically aimed at writers already establishing a writing career, but who perceive barriers in getting their work developed and produced in theatre and television because of class, disability, education, ethnicity, gender identity,  geography or any other barrier.

Martin Haines, Chief Operating Officer, Kudos said of the launch; “Television drama is booming and the demand for British scripted television has never been greater. To continue to connect with audiences and to deliver distinctive work, we need to nurture writing talent, surface untold stories and bring new and diverse stories to the fore. This fellowship is particularly exciting as it allows writers to take part in both theatre and television projects and allows us to begin relationships with writers we may not ordinarily have met.”

The three £10,000 bursaries will support writers for a period of six months from January 2019. During this time, they will be able to challenge and take part in the work of the Royal Court and Kudos. There will also be opportunities to see productions, meet other leading writers in theatre and television and have ongoing artistic conversations with staff at both organisations.
Diederick Santer, Chief Executive Officer Kudos said; “I’m pleased that the writers on this scheme get access to and time with the teams at both the Royal Court and Kudos.  Great emerging writers, and two best-in-class creative organisations – we will all be learning loads from each other.”
Applicants need to submit a theatre script and additional supporting information including details on why this opportunity would be life changing by 16th November 2018.
All entries will be considered by a team of readers at the Royal Court who will create a longlist. These will then be read by a member of the Royal Court’s artistic team who will shortlist ten writers. This shortlist will be read by the Royal Court and Kudos teams and each writer will meet with key members of both organisations including Vicky Featherstone (Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre) and Sarah Stack (Head of Development, Kudos). The final three writers, considered most likely to make a significant contribution to theatre, TV and the cultural life of the UK and beyond, will then be selected.
Writer Stacey Gregg said; “Starting out as a writer is daunting for anyone, but the extra anxiety of being away from home and without a financial safety net can mean the difference between taking that risk or opportunity you might otherwise pass on. This bursary buys time and head space to get that draft written, to take meetings, to stop worrying about the next train fare, allowing you to build the connections and understanding of an industry that might otherwise remain behind a veil.”
Writer Dennis Kelly said; “We often talk of the barriers that writers who are starting out encounter, but for many of us there are things to be overcome before we even start putting pen to paper. Whilst our theatre is in great shape, and there’s some fantastic work out there that’s genuinely pushing back boundaries, I do worry that if I were I to be starting out today I wouldn’t see myself reflected on our stage and I’d think ’that’s not the place for me’. This isn’t about rejecting the work of today, but if we want to ensure a plurality of voices we need to make a real and concerted effort to address the socio-economic hurdles that make potential playwrights self-select and edit themselves out of the story of our theatre. This bursary is certainly a step in the right direction – it’s something that will make a very real difference to three people who are out there right now, wondering whether they should continue.”
Writer Jack Thorne said; "I think every writer thinks their generation has it the hardest, that the generation before had chances or opportunities that they lacked, but I’ve got to say I think right now – at a time when we need new writing the most – breaking into the “arts" feels like an impossible task, particularly if you’re not able to be supported by the bank of Mum and Dad. I was lucky, my brother let me stay cheaply at his place in Croydon and I was able to get some teaching work, but even with that I got very good at knowing when the different supermarkets marked down their foods for the day. When I look at writing for theatre and TV – yes, I realise I’m part of the problem here – I do find the names I’m see become depressingly familiar. That’s the reason why these Kudos scholarships are so important – for writers not only who see barriers entering the profession, but barriers writing a little at all. These fellowships will bring vital new voices to the fore and let them sing whatever songs they want."

Jon Creamer

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