Stage Write Playwright Development Programme

Led by Liverpool’s Royal Court Stage Write team with the help of professional writers and directors, this programme aims to develop your writing skills and guide you towards developing a full-length script for stage.

Meeting two evenings a month for nine months the programme is completely free and is open to writers living or studying in Liverpool City Region. The course is facilitated by Karen Brown, a professional screen, stage and radio writer and is aimed at writers who have some experience, but are looking to move to the next level.

There have been a number of success stories since the course began in 2020. Three writers have had productions in the Royal Court Studio and one in the main house. This year Chrissy Jones won the prestigious Alfred Bradley Bursary Award for the play that she developed on the course. EJ Fisher was runner up in the Evening Standard Story Awards. SWPDP writers were also well represented at Channel 4’s New Writing North Awards 2023 with Joe McNally and Liz Redwood picking up two of the three Writing for Television Awards. Several alumni have also gone on to secure work in theatre and TV, or have been signed up by literary agents.

Applications for the 2024 course have closed. The 2025 course applications will reopen in autumn 2024.

Contact for more details.

Here is what some past participants had to say:

I can highly recommend this course, which transformed my approach to play-writing.
From the very first session, I felt that the Royal Court was investing in us all and keen to develop our potential as writers. It was instructive to hear professional writers sharing their knowledge of their craft and to learn how to put into practice the skills required to join their ranks.
It was good fun to be in such a supportive and cohesive group, but hard work, too, with numerous deadlines to meet – as would be expected of a professional writer.
In addition to learning the skills required to write plays, we were also given very useful, practical guidance on how to pitch what we had written, to achieve the ultimate objective of seeing our work performed.
Nick Broadhead

As a new writer, I found the course and all the advice I received along the way to be truly invaluable. It was really great getting to hear from people who work in the theatre industry, fellow writers and the other members of the programme on what they thought of my own writing and having the opportunity to discuss their work in a truly supportive group of peers. To sum it all up in Scouse, the course was BOSS!
David Holmes

I learned a lot on the Royal Court’s SWDC and met some lovely people too. Highly Recommended!
Carl Edwards

I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity and most definitely feel that I gained a great deal from doing the course. Having the opportunity to read others work and exchange feedback really has been invaluable to me, so thank you.
Laura Lees

Immensely proud to be given a place on the Royal Court’s Playwright Development Programme. The teaching has been invaluable. Really opened my eyes, and it has been great to work with other writers and break the monotony (though I love it) of working alone.
Ian Carroll

The SWPDP course challenged me to think seriously about the types of stories I wanted to write and to be more objective and constructively critical about my writing. I appreciated being pushed to be the best I could be and learning how to improve on structure, theme and not be too precious about my writing.
Joe Matthew Morris

Thank you all so much. What a wonderful opportunity. I was thrilled when I heard I’d made it onto the Liverpool Royal Court script writing course. I am even more chuffed that at the end of it I have a full length play, made possible by the support and encouragement of you all. The course structure and Karen’s teaching approach was challenging but inspiring. I feel the course has elevated my writing to a higher level and allowed me to explore new territory.
Pauline Morris

An excellent and in-depth course that covers all aspects of play writing. Hugely supportive during a difficult year.
Ste Mc

I learned a lot and gained the confidence to write a play I had been thinking about for some time. The structure of the course is helpful, giving you the motivation to make sure you actually get writing done in your free time. Classes always had stimulating discussions and debates, and Karen’s teaching is invaluable.
Matthew Hirons

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