Literary Department

Bola Agbaje Kwame Kwei-Armah Malorie Blackman Roy Williams

Talawa has a history of nurturing and collaborating with outstanding writers such as Michael Bhim, Roy Williams, Derek Walcott, Jackie Kay, Trish Cooke and Malorie Blackman.

Our Literary Department is energetically engaged with new writing and supports writers that give voice to the Black British experience. We not only aim to find and develop the best scripts but help build the next generation of diverse writers to create equally diverse British drama.

We offer three key services to assist writers at all stages:

The Script Reading Service accepts complete theatre scripts. Each script is referred to a reader and, on their recommendation, scripts can be further considered for development or production. All submissions receive a reader's report for useful feedback. We read all collected scripts at three points in a year.

The Script Development Programme assists writers to explore an existing script by teaming them with a dramaturge to create a more polished draft. We also support the development of writers through full commissions and seed commissions.

Through Talawa Firsts, we run regular seasons of developmental workshops and play readings showcasing the best in new diverse writing and all in our studio.

"Writers' Group; challenged my ideas and, not only did I form a strong bond with the group, I built a lot of confidence in my own beliefs and abilities."
Writers' Group participant 06/07

"Talawa allows different types of stories reflecting the Black experience to be heard and developed. This freedom has meant there is no need for me to compromise my voice as a writer."
Writers' Group participant 05/06

"The most encouraging thing for me was hearing many young writers articulating ideas that really chimed. No longer the old idea: 'I'm a writer, not a Black writer.' Instead, many of the young guys are proud to write from their cultural 'lens', not seeing Black as something you needed to drop in order to succeed or not be ghettoised. Indeed, many saw their cultural specificity as an avenue to absolute universality."
Kwame Kwei-Armah on Unzipped 08

"I am very grateful for the workshop as it came at a time when I was starting my new play. All the knowledge I got from the workshop will be very helpful in the process I'm about to take."
Omphile Molusi, South African New Playwriting Programme (SANPWP) 2010