Leeds Playhouse joins forces with Kay Mellor to launch a new £10,000 fellowship

Playwrights based in the north are being offered a unique opportunity to work with two of Yorkshire’s key cultural players – Leeds Playhouse and award-winning writer/director Kay Mellor – as part of a ground-breaking year-long fellowship.

As well as receiving £10,000, the inaugural Kay Mellor Fellow will spend 12 months on attachment with Leeds Playhouse, developing their own script in the Writers’ Room, assessing scripts with the artistic planning team and experiencing as many professional productions as possible both in-house and at other venues.

Leeds Playhouse artistic director James Brining said: “Kay is a truly iconic figure: a distinctive northern voice who has been a passionate supporter of writers throughout her incredible career. We’re delighted to be collaborating with her – and her production team at Rollem – to champion talented local artists as part of this unique partnership. As an organisation, we’re always keen to encourage writers through our pioneering Furnace programme; to do so for both stage and screen through this dual development is an exciting new prospect. We can’t wait to see the work this important new fellowship generates.”

The successful writer will spend time with Rollem, providing feedback on TV scripts and pitches, visiting sets for behind-the-scenes filming days, and developing a fully-formed TV pitch for their own script.

Kay Mellor, writer/creator of stellar TV hits like Band of Gold, Fat Friends and The Syndicate, said: “It’s a complete honour to be partnering with Leeds Playhouse to create an opportunity for a local writer. Our mission is to find a new talent with a unique voice, perhaps someone who wouldn’t normally be considered in the literary world. I’m really excited to read the submissions and then start mentoring the successful writer in 2020.”

Applicants are now invited to submit one pre-existing script for consideration along with a single-page synopsis of the idea they would like to develop. The new fellowship, which runs from January-December 2020, is open to writers based in the north who have already written up to three professionally produced plays and have an idea for a new, full-length production. They should have an interest in writing for television but have no prior credits as a screenwriter.

Full terms and conditions are available on the Playhouse’s website. All submissions to be received by 21 October 2019.

TopicUK have a full interview with Kay in our next edition, ahead of the Band of Gold production at Leeds Grand Theatre. Edition out 31st October.