A 'Don't Miss' Creative Opportunity For LGBTQ+ Writers

'We really want to push boundaries, explore diverse perspectives, and give voice to the underrepresented in our community'
April 27, 2023

The acclaimed and creative LGBTQ+ theatrical team behind the 2021 hit #BeMoreMartyn Hive North - have announced this week that submissions are now being taken for their annual new writing competition - OutStageUs. Now in its sixth year, this exciting and important artistic initiative is designed to nurture and showcase the best new writing within and about the LGBTQ+ community. It offers a much need creative platform for writers who identify as queer – both emerging and more established – to tell their stories and to shed a spotlight on the issues, experiences and themes that are important to them. Up to ten of the best new submissions will be staged for two nights at The Lowry on July 14 and 15.

Submissions for consideration need to be received by 23.59 on Thursday 11 May. To guarantee a fair and unbiased selection process, all scripts will be read blindly by a team of readers, who will not have access to the writer's identity. All submitted scripts will be read, and feedback will be offered to a long list of shortlisted writers – announced on 19 May. They will then be offered the opportunity to Zoom with the producers to further discuss their script. Up to 10 of these long-listed scripts will then be chosen and announced on 26 May as the winning entries to be subsequently staged in July at The Lowry - following a tailored development process working with industry professionals. The successful writers of these selected scripts will also be paid a fee of £350.

Entrants are welcome to submit scripts that are already in motion but cannot have been entered or performed elsewhere. All theatrical writing is welcome, from monologues, to duologues, to short scenes and spoken word pieces. However, all scripts must adhere to the following rules:

1.   Number of Characters: 1 - 4.

2.   Length: Maximum 10 minutes.

3.   Only one script per writer is permitted.

4.   Scripts submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

5.   Writers must be based within the UK

6.   Scripts must be anonymised.

7.   Title pages should contain only the script title.

8.   Scripts must not have been performed previously.

Hive North and OutStageUs are particularly eager to receive submissions from Global Majority writers, neurodiverse writers and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, as they continue to celebrate and champion diversity. Of particular interest are scripts that entertain and challenge perspectives; work that explores a variety of themes within the LGBTQ+ community and writing that brings fresh, underrepresented stories to light. The competition is open to all ages.

OutStageUs is about stimulating thought-provoking discussions and inspiring creativity in others. With this in mind, OutStageUs and Hive North are looking for writers who really want to embrace the development process and work with a dramaturg to refine their work prior to the final performances.

OutStageUs played at The Lowry's Aldridge Studio in 2022, and presented 11 scripts selected from over 200 entries. "They" by Alice Hancock and "If Being Gay Was A Choice" by Nejmi Usta were among the final scripts exploring LGBTQ+ themes. 

Hive North Founder and Artistic Director, Adam Zane comments: “We are absolutely thrilled that OutStageUs is able to go ahead again this year with the support of funding from Arts Council England. We're on the lookout for bold, innovative scripts that push boundaries, explore diverse perspectives, and give voice to the underrepresented in our community. This is the time for storytellers to bring us their most compelling, authentic LGBTQ+ narratives. OutStageUs is a testament to the resilience and creativity of our community, and we’re excited to see what submissions we get for this year’s event.”

The winning entries from this year’s OUTSTAGEUS LGBTQ+ new writing competition will be performed on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 July at The Lowry. The winning plays will be announced on May 26. Tickets go on sale shortly.

For Script Submissions Please CLICK HERE