New Play Program, Writers Group

“Feedback, Friendship, and Occasional Champagne”: The Whys and Hows of Applying to the Seattle Rep Writers Group

Group shot
The group! Photo by Melissa Flower.

The following post was written by Artistic Associate Kate Kremer.

Now that the dust has settled after the grand ruckus of the SRT Writers Group Showcase, and now that the Inaugural Five have flown the nest, it’s time to select a new class of playwrights as we plunge ahead into the new season.

The Writers Group was formed in 2011 to be a forum for playwrights to challenge, encourage, and motivate each other through an extended conversation about their work.  Emily Conbere, Vincent Delaney, Al Frank, Elizabeth Heffron, and Stephanie Timm made up our initial class, and will remain part of the family as Writers Group alumni.

The program is designed to foster the talent of Northwest playwrights at all stages of their careers, from emerging new voices to established professionals—and playwrights of all stripes are encouraged to apply. Our only requirement is geographical: because we want group members to be able to take full advantage of the opportunities offered, we stipulate that playwrights be able to commute to the theater on a bi-weekly basis between September and June for group meetings.

Over the course of the two-year residency, playwrights have access to Seattle Rep resources, including a modest stipend, individual dramaturgical support from the artistic staff, access to meeting space, photocopying, complimentary tickets to Seattle Rep productions and events, and a staged reading of a full length play at the end of each year of the two-year term.

More importantly, playwrights have access to other playwrights. The two-year term of the residency and the bi-weekly group meetings enable group members to bounce ideas off one another, learn new techniques, and develop close working relationships with other Seattle writers—which, as one group member noted, can be rare, since “writing is such a solitary process.”  And, as group members have noted again and again, the looming presence of a fortnightly deadline is an excellent motivator. “It makes it much, much harder not to write.”

Perhaps playwright Emily Conbere phrased it best:

“The Writers Group offers feedback, friendship, occasional champagne…and deadlines.  I consider these to be essential ingredients for a playwright.  The festival of readings at the end of each year is also a nice culmination of all the focus each playwright has given to their play over the year.  It’s definitely a bonding experience!”

Sound like a group you’d like to join?  Applications, which include an application form, a professional resume, an artistic statement, and one full-length or one-act play, are due on July 31, 2013.

Visit our website for more details on the Writers Group program and how to apply.  And in the meantime, keep writing!

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