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EPHEMERAL – Short Scripts for Performance

Deadline is Sunday 8 May 2022 at 23:59 BST


Ephemeral (adjective) lasting for a very short time. From the Greek word ἐφήμερος meaning ‘lasting only one day’.

New Wolsey Theatre and Wolsey Writers are inviting creative writers across Suffolk UK to contribute to a showcase of original work for live performance in June 2022. We are looking for diverse, thought-provoking responses to the theme: Ephemeral. This is a chance to share your writing with an audience, even if you’ve never written for one before. It’s free to submit.

Do we notice the content we are consuming every day? After we’ve watched, read or listened to a piece of ephemera – do we give it a second thought? If it has a short shelf life, we probably don’t take it seriously. But perhaps we should. A song lyric, for example. A ticket. Or the events of a single day. Some ephemeral things last longer, and mean much more, than they were ever supposed to.

All submissions must, in some way, be a response to the theme ‘Ephemeral’. Possible interpretations can include, but are not limited to:

  • Pop Culture – disposable content. Consider pop songs, fashion, celebrity, hairstyles, television, audio, leisure, brands, sport, entertainment etc.
  • One Day Only – an occasion that starts and ends on the same day. Consider days out, bank holidays, meetings, significant dates, family gatherings, community events, festivals etc.
  • Ephemera – objects that are used briefly, then discarded. Consider printed ephemera: tickets, postcards, greetings cards, newspapers, magazines, packaging, receipts etc. Consider digital ephemera: websites, social media, influencers, streaming, texts, voice notes etc.

All submissions must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. 500 Freestyle: A piece of writing to be read to an audience. Flash fiction, spoken word, other prose forms (including non-fiction) and poetry are all eligible. 500 words max.
  2. Monologue: A script for 1 actor in live performance. 1,200 words max.
  3. 10 Minute Dialogue: A script for 2 actors in live performance. 10 minutes max performance time (approx. 10 double-spaced script pages or 1,200 words.)
  4. 20 Minute Dialogue: A script for 2 or 3 actors in live performance. 20 minutes max performance time (approx. 20 double-spaced script pages or 2,500 words)

A curated selection of new writing will be chosen from the eligible submissions. All submissions must be made via email to katie@katieward.co.uk Enjoy the creative process. Write what you love.

Please save the dates to ensure you are available for this participation opportunity. Details may vary.

  • Submissions DEADLINE - Sun 8 May at 23:59 BST. Emailed to katie@katieward.co.uk Ts & Cs apply.
  • Feedback & Redrafting - Mid-May. Redrafting is an essential part of the creative process. Scriptwriters shortlisted for the Ephemeral Scratch Show on Sat 25 June will receive individual feedback on their work. A new deadline will be set in May for your final draft monologues and dialogues to be handed in before rehearsals. By invitation only.
  • Ephemeral Rehearsals - June. Led by Tony Casement, New Wolsey Theatre Creative Communities. By invitation only.
  • Wolsey Writers LATE Café - Fri 24 June. Time TBC. Upstairs bar, New Wolsey Theatre. 500 Freestyle. An evening of short pieces on the theme Ephemeral read by the authors or volunteers (500 words max). Curated and hosted by Katie Ward. Join us for a drink.
  • EPHEMERAL Scratch Show - Sat 25 June. Time TBC. NW2, New Wolsey Theatre. Short scripts in performance. We hope to showcase 4 short plays by new writers in Suffolk. Book tickets via box office to support them.
    • 1 x 20 Minute Dialogue.
    • 3 x 10 Minute Scripts (monologues or dialogues).

Instructions and Terms & Conditions:

  • Put ‘Ephemeral - Your Name in the subject line of the email.
  • Include your full name (as you wish to be credited), the title of your work, and word count. State which category you are entering e.g. ‘10 min dialogue for 2 actors’. 
  • Include your contact phone number, address, and a 30 word bio about you, the writer.
  • Attach your submission as a Word file .doc or .docx (not pdf).
  • The submitted work must be entirely yours and not published or performed anywhere else.
  • Remember that you are writing for performance at New Wolsey Theatre and that writing for theatre is a collaboration. Selected scriptwriters will be expected to respond to feedback; your work may be edited e.g. for brevity; your work may be interpreted and developed for performance by the actor/s and director. If your work is selected, you will be consulted in this creative process.
  • The decision of New Wolsey Theatre Creative Communities is final.
  • This free participation opportunity is open to creative writers who live and/or work in Suffolk UK. Minimum age 18+ years (or 16+ years with express written consent from a parent or guardian).
  • By submitting your writing, you are agreeing to the full Terms & Conditions on this website.

Creative writing workshops are deep-dives into a theme; includes groupwork, focused writing time, support, and inspiration.


Free, informal meetups for writers and creatives in the upstairs bar. Peer support and special guest authors.

Facilitated by Katie Ward, an award-winning Suffolk author, published in the UK and US. Wolsey Writers is suitable for adults & young people age 16+ with a commitment to creative writing.

New Wolsey Theatre, Civic Drive, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 2AS
Tel +44 (0) 1473 295900
Email tickets@wolseytheatre.co.uk

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