Airplays – Calling all writers!

Air Play Call out!

Airplays is a brand new collaboration between BBC Radio Leeds and West Yorkshire Playhouse in association with Leeds College of Music that puts radio drama centre stage.

Do you have a story to tell about migration? We’re looking for Yorkshire writers of all backgrounds and all levels of experience to send us ideas for original 15 minute-long fictional radio plays. The theme is a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948. Plays will be produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse, performed live to an audience at Leeds College of Music and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds as part of the first ever Airplays event in October 2018.

Ideas will be chosen by a panel made up of representatives from the BBC, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds College of Music and members of the Playhouse’s Theatre of Sanctuary programme for refugee and asylum seekers.

What are we looking for?

You don’t need any previous writing experience to send us a proposal. All proposals must be for an original piece of dramatic fiction that hasn’t been previously published or performed. You can send us an idea as an individual writer or as a group, but you can only send us a proposal once.

We’re looking for stories around the theme of migration, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the landing of the Empire Windrush and the arrival of the first West Indian immigrants to the UK in 1948. We’re excited for writers to interpret the brief however they like – exploring modern migration stories as well as revisiting the stories of the past.

We actively encourage proposals to be sent to us by writers of colour; writers who identify as LGBTQ+; writers who are D/deaf and/or disabled; writers who are also refugees or asylum seekers and any other writers who are currently underrepresented on UK stages.

What’s the process if your proposal is selected?

All proposals will be read by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s experienced script reading team who will create a shortlist for the panel. The panel will select four proposals that will go on to be developed into full, 15 minute-long plays.

Each writer will be paid a fee of £1000 to develop their idea into a short play.

How will plays be developed?

The four writers will develop their proposals into short plays over the course of five months, working closely with West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Furnace artistic development programme and BBC Writers Room.

This development process will include a full day working with actors and with musicians from Leeds College of Music to test their dialogue out and redraft.

The four plays will be produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse and presented at Leeds College of Music in October 2018.

How do I send my proposal?

1. To send us a proposal, you must be based in Yorkshire.
2. Your proposal must consist of four parts:
  a. A story synopsis of up to 600 words in total, outlining the play you’d like to write as part of Airplays.
  b. A maximum of two A4 pages of previous fictional writing work. This could be drama, poetry or prose.
  c. A CV outlining previous relevant writing experience, if any.
  d. A complete Equal Opportunities form, which can be downloaded here.
3. Writers can send proposals via post or email.
4. If sending a proposal by email, it should be emailed to The subject line should be “Airplays – Story Proposal 2018”.
5. If sending a proposal by post or hand-delivering it, it should be sent/delivered to the following address:

Airplays – Artistic Planning Team
West Yorkshire Playhouse,
Playhouse Square,
Quarry Hill,
Leeds LS2 7UP

If you choose to hand-deliver your proposal, it should be between the hours of 10:00 and 18:00.

Proposals should be clearly marked on the envelope with: “Airplays – Story Proposal 2018
6. Proposals must be either printed out or in a suitable word processor file form (for examples .doc file) which is in English, legibly typed and suitably formatted.
7. Proposals must be original (i.e. not for a play that has been previously performed or produced).
8. In the body of the email or with the proposals, writers must provide their name, contact telephone number and confirmation that they have read and understood these terms and conditions.
9. If proposing an idea as a group, this must be made clear, along with all the names and confirmation that all in the group have read and understood these terms and conditions.
10. Proposals will be accepted from Wednesday April 11th 2018 at 10am until Thursday May 10th 2018 at 6pm. Proposals received before the opening date or after the closing date will not be considered.
11. Proposals submitted by any other method cannot being considered.

You need to be over 18 years old and based in Yorkshire to send us a proposal. Your entry needs to include your full name, a contact telephone number and confirmation that you have read and understood the terms and conditions.

For more information on how to send a proposal and for full terms and conditions, click here.


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