Introductory Writers' Groups

Applications for the Introduction to Playwriting groups are now closed. Usually, applications open once per year in April/May; we recruit for all three groups from this annual application process.

As the building is in a period of precautionary closure due to COVID-19, we are reviewing when we will open applications this year.  We will update this page when more information is available.


The information below is reproduced to provide information about the groups.

An easy-read version of this information can be found here.


What are the Introduction to Playwriting groups?

This is a myth-busting introduction to theatre writing. Participants are encouraged to think about theatre in its three-dimensional reality, guided by the particular passions of the writer leading the group.  We assign places based on potential; writers are not expected to have extensive experience of writing for stage. Application is through a short extract of written work.

The groups are a friendly and supportive environment where playwrights at an early stage of their career can explore the possibilities of writing for live performance. The groups are led by playwrights we are currently working with and excited by. At the end of the group, writers are invited to submit a play they have worked over the course of the group, on which they can receive detailed feedback based on the notes from the playwright leading the group, the literary department and Royal Court readers. It’s perfect if you’ve got a strong interest in writing for the stage but little experience – none at all is necessary.  All you need to have is an interest in writing and the thirst to write a play.

When will the Intro Groups be?

From these applications, we will run three groups – one starting in August, one starting in October, and another starting in January 2020. If you could only attend a particular intake, you can tell us about this on the form. Each group runs for eight weeks with each session lasting 2 hours and generally starting at either 6.30pm or 7pm, depending on the availability of the lead playwrights. They generally take place on a Monday or Tuesday evening (again, this is not yet confirmed) and take place here at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square.

There is no fee to take part and is open to anyone aged 18 or over  who is based in the UK or Ireland. We are generally able to help writers from outside of London with their travel costs to the city.

How do I apply to the Intro Groups?

To apply, please download and complete an application form at the bottom of this page (or you can also submit via a video application). This needs to be sent along with a ten page sample of your writing. The sample can be from a longer play or a complete short piece – it doesn’t matter if it’s something that exists already or is something you have written specially, but it must be written for live performance (the guidelines below have more details). Please send your form or video application with your 10 page sample to [email protected]

If you’re unable to email your application, you can also submit your application form and writing sample by post to Literary Office, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS.

The closing date for completed applications is Wednesday 26th June at midday. We will let you know on or before Tuesday 16th July whether we can offer you a place. 

Some important points to note:

  • Your extract can be of any genre and feature any number of characters, but must be intended for the stage and not for film, television or radio. It should not be an adaptation of a story from another medium.

  • If you are sending your application electronically, please include your name somewhere in the document’s file names, i.e. firstnamesurnamesubmission.doc or firstnamesurnameapplication.pdf.

  • Please send your documents in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format.

  • Do not include any other materials (photographs, CVs etc).

  • You can send us an application if you’ve applied before, but please do not apply for this group if you have taken part in an introductory group at the Royal Court.

  • We will not be able to send you feedback on your submission and because of the volume we receive, we can’t take late applications (so send it in early!)

  • If you have already representation (i.e. an agent for your writing work), this is probably not the group for you.  Information about how to submit a play to us is here

  • You will receive an acknowledgement whether you send your script by email or post.

How we store your data
All details related to your application are stored securely on our server and will not be shared with third parties. All unsuccessful application forms and samples are deleted within three months of receipt. If your application is successful, we will send you further details on how we will store your data. Equal opportunities monitoring details may be provided in an anonymised form to our funders.