It's a tricky time for everyone - we've tried to make things a little easier and gather up some resources on the support available for your finances and mental health, as well as some creative opportunities currently out there.
Please be kind to yourselves in this time and let us know if there's anything we can do to help. You're not alone. Love and solidarity.
Please get in touch if you are aware of any other resources that you think others may find useful at this time.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR COVID-19
A collated list of funding opportunities to help writers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The RTF/Fleabag Fund is reopen for applications - it will provide one-off £2,500 grants for those struggling financially who have worked in the theatre industry, prioritised by financial need. More information on how to apply here
A scheme set up by Paul Taylor-Mills and the Turbine Theatre to support freelancers in the theatre industry. If you need support, simply email with a few sentences about your situation – grants are given on a discretionary basis. Alternatively, if you can provide support, please donate here.
Information on how to apply for Universal Credit is found below.
Free legal advice.
Some useful information on the government plans to ban evictions of social or private renters. If you cannot pay your rent, you should in the first instance, speak to your landlorad and try to arrange a new payment plan
Writer's Guild Welfare Fund for playwrights facing financial difficulties during the Covid-19 crisis
Find a local foodbank (Trussel Trust website)
The Theatre Helpline is a free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry. Trained staff are available to offer support and signposting on any topic which affects your wellbeing, including: bullying or harassment; physical health; mental health and wellbeing; injury and mobility problems; issues with employment or unemployment; career issues, including professional development and training; retirement and care in later life; debt and financial issues. Phone: 0800 915 4617.
TheatreSupport.info by SOLT and UK Theatre (among others): support and advice for theatre industry, including signposts to funding covering workers and actors impacted by illness
TheatreMeansBusiness.info by SOLT and UK Theatre: a live database of digital learning resources, including workshops and webinars, for all off-stage theatre professionals
Theatre Skillshare Database: Set up by Nic Connaughton, Head of Theatre at the Pleasance, this document includes a tremendous list of theatre professionals who have skills to offer during this time. You can get in contact with them or add your own skills offer here
Facebook group: UK Theatre Industry Coronavirus Support
Slack (instant messaging) group: London Theatre Community
Business Skills training for creative freelancers: Free resources by FEU Training
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
A guide from the government on mental health and wellbeing.
How to access mental health services.
Visit the link above if you need urgent support.
Mental health support for artists
Some useful tips on looking after your mental health during coronavirus. If you need to speak to someone, call them free on 116 123.
Shout is a24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help, text 85258.
How to Fail (recommended podcast) - special episodes tackling the coronavirus:
Article: Coronavirus and your wellbeing by Mind
The Writer's Guild have also compiled a list of mental health resources, click here to access
During this difficult time, there is absolutely no need to feel like you have to be productive, that you have to come out of isolation having written your masterpiece – for those who want to, this can be a quiet period for rest, reflection and re-setting. For those who are keen to get creative, see some opportunities we have found below.
Royal Court Theatre Introducing to Playwriting Groups - CLOSES JULY 31ST
An opportunity for writers with little or no experience and lots of raw talent to think more deeply about writing for theatre alongside a group of their peers, guided by experienced produced playwrights.The group meets one evening per week for eight weeks and the content of the sessions is determined by the particular passions of the playwright leading the group. Two groups will be run between September 2020 and March 2021. Each group is a space for writers to think about their voice and see it in the wider context of theatre, past, present and future. Apply here
Common Ground: Season for Change Commissions - CLOSES JULY 30TH
A programme of four £10,000 commissions for artists, makers or creators, and a professional development programme focused on cultural climate leadership. Application form and more info here.
Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award - SUBMISSION WINDOW 7TH AUGUST - 7TH OCTOBER
The Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award was created with the aim of finding the next generation of playwrights who want to explore the big issues that affect our lives today. Open to UK-based writers, with the chosen winner receiving £9,500. Read all entry criteria here
CSRC Writer in Residence Applications - CLOSES AUGUST 3RD
Pentabus are looking for an emerging theatre artist to become their third Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity Writer in Residence. The £10,000 Bursary supports a professional playwright in the early stage of their career, giving the recipient the opportunity to spend up to a year at our base in Bromfield, which is just outside Ludlow in South Shropshire. During their time with Pentabus, the recipient will write at least one new full length play or piece of theatre.
Box Of Tricks Theatre: PlayBox 2021 - SUBMISSION WINDOW OPEN FROM JULY 6TH - AUGUST 31ST
Three North West-based selected playwrights shall be paid £1,000 each to take part in a year-long talent development scheme, during which they will write a new play with dramaturgical and production support from Box Of Tricks
Trinity & Cambridge Junction Micro-Commission - CLOSES AUGUST 14TH
Trinity and Cambridge Junction have come together to offer a £3000 commission to a D/deaf or disabled artist to create work for an online audience. As well as the fee, they will also provide the selected applicant with producing support, marketing and digital content support and a platform for sharing their work.
BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition (TV Comedy) - CLOSES SEPTEMBER 10TH
The BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition is a platform for aspiring screenwriters to have their work showcased and a fantastic opportunity to take their writing career to the next level. Selected script extracts are performed by a professional cast to an audience of industry professionals, as well as feedback and mentoring. Entrance fee bursaries available. More info here.
Part of the Grid is Part of the Main’s programme of affordable theatre tech, design and producing workshops. With the theatre industry on pause, they are holding affordable Zoom workshops designed to provide artists with opportunities to train and create. 20 Bursary spaces for Black artists available. Browse the programme here
HighTide have introduced The Lighthouse Programme, offering a diverse range of support to writers during this time – check out the Script Reading Service, Playwright Crisis Support Programme, Write That Play, 40 Plays/40 Nights and the Cancellation Catalogue.
BBC Writer's Room's live database of writing opportunities
Currently seeking submissions for finished scripts without substantial previous life, available to then be accessed by theatre producers and investors
Free digital advisory sessions for artists from Artsadmin.
Create to Connect creative challenges by 64 Million Artists.
Resources for writing plays for younger audiences by Theatre Centre
How to support Black Lives in the UK: A fantastic resource document collated by @perkin_amalaraj on Twitter
UK Actions and Resources: A comprehensive collection of petitions, fundraisers, organisations, readings, and protest guides, put together by @Divya_M_P on Twitter
Black Lives Matter Carrd: Ways you can support the movement in the USA, including donations
Change.org: Justice for George Floyd
Change.org: Justice for Tony McDade
Change.org: More protection for Black trans women in the UK
Change.org: Justice for Shukri Abdi
Change.org: Suspension of UK exports of riot gear to the USA
BlackLivesMatter.carrd - a huge collection of petitions for individuals' justice
UK Donation Pages:
GoFundMe: BAME Covid-19 bereavement fund
GoFundMe: Black Protest Legal Support UK
GoFundMe: Black Minds Matter UK
GoFundMe: Belly Mujinga fund
GoFundMe: Jennie Sablayan fund
GoFundMe: Trevor Belle fund
USA Donation Pages:
BlackLivesMatter.carrd - a donation page for fundraisers accepting international donations, including a collection of bail funds across all 50 states for protestors
Consider sourcing texts from Black-owned bookshops - you can find a list here
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
It's Not About the Burqa by Mariam Khan
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coats
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Anglou
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale
Reading Towards Abolition: A Reading List on Policing, Rebellion and the Criminalisation of Blackness
When They See Us
Queen and Slim
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
More Than a Month
Slavery By Another Name
I Am Not Your Negro
The Kalief Browder Story
Black Britain on Film
12 Years a Slave
Strong I Stand
Dear White People
POD Save the People
How to be an Antiracist
You're Pretty For A...