Playwriting Competition

Power Plays as a title is intended to act as provocation for thinking about where the power dynamics lie in the town with a view to enacting change. We want to hear your stories!

Between 45-75 minutes in length. (As a rough guideline, one page of text at 11pt font with 1.5 line spacing is equal to one minute of performance)

Suitable to be performed by 4 actors or less. (You can have more than 4 characters but you will need to demonstrate how cross-casting can work in practical terms in your summary sheet)

Thematically linked to Blackpool. (Your play does not need to be set in Blackpool, nor have characters from Blackpool included but needs to actively connect with the current experience of living in, growing up in or regularly visiting Blackpool. We will be most excited by writing that explores this theme beyond pure nostalgia or misery.

Your submission should be an original play written by you which has not been performed anywhere else nor submitted to other competitions or for other consideration during the entry period 17/5/2024-17/6/2024.


Submit your work as a written PDF document using the online submission form. We cannot accept submissions in any other format nor receive them in any other ways than via our website.

Submit your writing anonymously ensuring that all personal details have been removed including your name, address and any other identifying details.

Create a cover page that includes:

  • The Title of your play
  • A summary of your play using no more than 250 words that includes how your piece links to Blackpool
  • A full character list with cross casting suggestions if your play has more than four characters

Complete all sections of the cover sheet. Information included in this form will be kept separately from your writing. This information will not be accessed by our reading panel when considering your work within the competitive process.

Not submit your work to other competitions or for other consideration during the entry period 17/5/2024-17/6/2024.

When you submit an entry as described above, you agree to these rules and you accept that the judges’ decision is final.

All winners will be notified by 12noon on Monday 17 June 2024.

One play will be selected by the reading panel of judges to be the winner plus a maximum of 4 runner up plays. The winning play will be workshopped and cast for rehearsing to become a production which plays to public audiences and invited industry professionals on Saturday 27 July 2024. The runner up plays will be workshopped to a seated/scratch/script-in-hand read through open to public audiences and invited industry professionals in July 2024 – exact dates tbc.

The Old Electric will subsequently work with the writer of the winning play alongside producers, funders and venues to support production touring aspirations for 2025.

Selected scriptwriters will be offered 1:1 mentoring by industry professionals – full details TBC

No writers will receive payment in return for performances.

Submissions will be accepted from 12 midday on Friday 17 May 2024 to 12 midday on Friday 31 May 2024.

We will not accept any entries which are received after this time.

We cannot enter into dialogue about your submission prior to or after submissions have been made.

All winners will be notified by 12noon on Monday 17 June 2024. You should receive an automated acknowledgement of your submission via email to the email address you submitted.

You do not need to buy anything or pay an entry fee to participate in this project.

It is not our fault if your entry is lost or cannot be submitted for any reason. We will not accept screenshots of the website as proof of submission and we will not be responsible for any technical failure or for any event that may cause the project to be disrupted or corrupted.

Please be aware that the prizes described above are subject to change if any event or problem occurs which means that the project or the awarding of the prize is not possible. If something happens which is outside of our control, we may need to change the project entry requirements and/or the prizes available and we will not be responsible for any issues or costs in such circumstances. If a winner of the project is unable to take up a prize for any reason, we reserve the right to award that prize to an alternative winner, in which case the first winner chosen will not be eligible for any share of the prize.

You can only submit one entry to the project, either individually or as part of a joint entry.

The project is open to both professional and amateur participants.

By participating in the project you agree that The Electric Sunshine Project cic (the legal entity who leads on The Old Electric) will have the right to perform, publish, broadcast, stream and otherwise share the winning entries through different formats and mediums. We acknowledge that copyright of the writing remains with the entrant but you agree to grant us appropriate rights in respect of publishing and performing your submission.

We will not share the personal details you give to us as part of participating in this project with anyone else. We will only use those details to contact the project winners and for evaluation purposes. Where you have elected to receive such communication, we will provide updates, resources and invites to workshops and relevant marketing communication in connection with the The Old Electric.

We will ask winners to participate in some media activity relating to the project, but we will ask your permission before publishing your personal details.

We will not be responsible for any costs or fees associated with the prize and you cannot ask us to repay any fees you must pay in order to benefit from the prize (eg., travel costs).

These terms and conditions which govern the project are subject to English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction in any dispute which arises.


Meet the judging panel:

Since graduating from Goldsmith’s College, University of London, with a BA (Hons) in English and Theatre Studies, Melanie has worked with young people…

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Nick was an actor and then a teacher. He left teaching when he got his first commission from Nottingham Playhouse. He has written over 30 plays…

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Dr Frank Peschier is the literary manager of Headlong and a freelance dramaturg, critic and lecturer from South London, based in Liverpool.

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Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin it is a British-Bruneian theatre artist. He is an Associate at Headlong Theatre and the Joint Artistic Director of Ellandar…

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Martha Pailing is a writer, spoken word and performance artist. Her writing often blends personal material with fictional characters to create absurd and tender

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