Here is a summary of some of the thoughts that people offered at the end of the Lucid Open Space event for writers. The conversations on the day covered a lot of ground, however themes did seem to reoccur in different conversations throughout the day. A common thread was ‘the middle bit’ of the writing process; writers seemed to feel all at sea during this part of script development e.g after a first reading/workshop but before production of play – it seemed unanimous that more support/development/reflection times was needed for writers at this part of the process. There were also some lively debates about whether writers are over reliant on companies to provide all opportunities for them – should they just go and do it for themselves?
Exciting connections and conversations emerged from this – including several writers in the group wanting to set up a co-op or network to support themselves through the stages of writing. Good stuff!
Thoughts from the day:
– Creation of a writers’ co-operative so that writers’ can hear their work. A structured, limited membership and committed group who use their own contacts to stage readings etc. A development model that doesn’t need Literary Manager/Company involvement but allows a direct and free dialogue with actors. The people in the space are chosen by the writer – addressed ‘the middle bit’ of a plays process where there is often a development gap.
– SPACE – for writers to work, gather, use etc. Example of Bristol Old Vic, which publishes when rooms are free for artists to use.
– The Middle Bit – what happens here? Often part in script development where there is a huge gap in support and input for the writer.
– What is new writing? Work that has yet to be performed? What about new writers, how do they learn the standards for performance, where to go next etc?
– NETWORKS – where are opportunities for writers posted in Wales? Existing services are separatist and don’t cover all writing forms together. Where can you find out about work opportunities e.g. running workshops etc?
– New writing/script slam/try outs needed for short work – more of this.
– Information not reaching people on existing courses e.g. the Sherman young writers group has no links with the University.
– SPACE – for writers to write? Rent an office as part of a writers collective? Workshare house/café groups, approach organisations as a co-op for space? Find a wealthy sponsor! Freelance Fridays in Cardiff venues, Academi Glyn Jones Centre, Drama Associate of Wales space.
– Why aren’t we banging on the doors of London theatres? Some of us are! Writers need to be proactive and seek opportunities, stop relying on company commission process for every aspect of their development. At least London theatres have quick reading and rejection process! Can be frustrating to wait for a response.
– What is the future of new writing in Wales? No worse than anywhere else, harder for non established writers to break through, bilingual, writer may not be at the centre of making work anymore e.g. devised/collaborative, writer as collaborative artist, more site specific work?