Scriptwriters’ chance of a lifetime
ARE you a budding scriptwriter whose play is destined to set the stage alight?
Then a local competition in search of the country’s next big writing sensation is looking for you.
After a five-year break, the Festival of Reading of New Writing is making its return.
The festival, which is the brainchild of the Performance Arts Network of Southern Africa (Pansa), is once again hoping to provide a platform for new, emerging or experienced writers.
Although only one scriptwriter will be crowned the winner and will receive a lucrative subsidy to take their play forward, Pansa’s national administrator Michael Britton said others who enter also had a chance of being discovered by prospective producers.
He explained that another entrant, Nicholas Spagnoletti, didn’t win the contest, but he was scouted during one of the phases of the competition and his play London Road went on a local as well as international tour.
“The exposure from this prestigious competition can set off the careers of many scriptwriters,” he added.
Britton explained that the first phase of the competition involves South African-based scriptwriters submitting their entries by February 12, 2017.
The script must be an original work for the stage and must not have been previously produced in any form.
Britton said the scripts would be judged by a panel that would use stringent criteria to select the best writing.
Those who excel in this stage will be invited to a regional reading where a winner in the region will be selected.
Britton said these readings were usually held in four provinces across the country, namely Gauteng, KwaZuluNatal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
He explained that the reason for this was because this was where they usually got the most entries from and where they would have resources to host a function and co-ordinate the event.
The regional winners will each receive prize money, including R20 000 for the best writer, R10 000 for the runner-up and R5 000 for an honourable mention.
These winners will then battle it out in the national competition where the overall winner will receive a R75 000 subsidy for the full production of the winning script.
This year’s competition will be financed through a grant of R1.8 million from the National Lotteries Commission.
Those who are interested in entering should do so by downloading the application form and reading through the competition rules on www. pansa.org.za/competition
Britton said that although the Festival of Reading of New Writing is being run for the sixth time this year, it had been running for the past 16 years.
He said this was because they didn’t always have the finances to host the competition.
Meanwhile, Pansa is also inviting writers to attend a scriptwriting workshop which is designed to assist writers to develop and hone their craft.
Those wanting to enter are urged to do so by Monday.