From the Desk – April 2018

WHY WRITE?

With the closing date for submissions for our Season 2018 just around the corner – 5pm on 30th April is the deadline – some of you may be working on a monologue for The Melbourne Monologues, or a short play for Six Degrees in Melbourne. For each of these shows, a total of six pieces will be selected, with the selections announced on this website on 15th June. After this date, many of you will be the owners of finished, original scripts that will not be presented by MWT this year. What you do with that unused script, and where it ends up, will be defined by a set of factors:

(1) Your tenacity for researching script markets and identifying potential homes for your work
(2) Your belief in what you have written – do you indeed love it enough to search for a home for it?
(3) Your preparedness to do the extra work required to make your script home-ready – how many more drafts are you really willing to write? Two? Three? Five?
(4) The ability to look long and honestly at your script. If you feel it’s just not strong enough to re-draft, re-work or even rewrite … don’t. Put it aside and start on something new.

As writers, we have to be champions for our work but we also have to admit when something is not working. Good writing requires both confidence and humility. At  this moment, someone in a far-flung corner of the world, and perhaps your neighbour, is writing a play that will not be produced. Production is a desirable outcome for every playwright, but it is not the only by-product of the writing process, and in some cases it is not the most important product. You had something to say and you said it – the words are out there now, and no one has said them in exactly the way that you just did. Beyond the specific criteria contained in submission guidelines such as those for Six Degrees in Melbourne and similar theatrical presentation opportunities – but also within the parameters of such criteria – you presumably had something you were burning to say when you sat down to write your script: a question to answer, an emotional experience to explore, a story to tell. If you weren’t burning but instead wrote your play luke-warm, it’s time to sit back, and think about what really excites you: this is what you need to write about next time. If, on the contrary, you were passionate about your idea and it just didn’t end up playing out on paper the way it did in your head … well, this can happen. But the world becomes a richer place when we breathe fresh new ideas into it, and we improve as human beings. And you cannot buy the pleasure or the creative escape that writing that script gave you, so you just got something for free. Your second purchase was the original script you produced. Your next purchase is something you will determine.

Submissions for our Season 2018 opened on 1st February and will indeed close on 30th April, so if you are burning to write, there is still time. Full details and Submission Guidelines may be found at:

https://melbournewriterstheatre.org.au/submissions-now-open-2018-season/

Beyond this season, we remind you to keep us up-to-date with other plays you may be working in or involved with. We are always happy to flag our members’ achievements, spread the word about forthcoming shows, and promote you in other ways. Tell us what you need.

Sincerely,

Clare Mendes
Company Manager
Melbourne Writers’ Theatre