The Literary Office is dedicated to finding exciting new plays that ask bold questions about the way we live now. We receive over 3000 unsolicited scripts a year from emerging and established playwrights, all of which are assessed and considered for development or production at the Royal Court.
If you are a writer and would like to send us a script for consideration, then the Literary Office is your first port of call.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
The Royal Court programmes original plays that investigate the problems and possibilities of our time. Occasionally, we also present revivals. We are looking for outstanding plays which are formally or thematically original and are unlikely to be produced elsewhere.
Before you submit a script to us, we suggest you familiarise yourself with the Royal Court; come and see the plays being produced in our Upstairs and Downstairs spaces, and look at the archive and reviews of recent productions. This should give you a better feel for what we are looking for.
We do not accept one act plays or multiple submissions.
Please do not send us screenplays, novels, collections of poems or radio plays as the Royal Court does not programme adaptations from other forms. We will not read historical and biographical plays unless these resonate strongly with contemporary life and are unlikely to programme new musicals unless these have been commissioned by us. Unfortunately, we cannot consider resubmissions or new drafts of plays we have read and responded to, unless we have specifically requested a new draft.
SUBMITTING YOUR SCRIPT
Please send scripts in hard copy (double-sided if possible), with a brief synopsis and covering letter describing any previous playwriting experience, to: The Literary Office, Royal Court, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS. Unfortunately, we cannot accept scripts by email.
Scripts sent without return postage will be recycled. We are unable to return scripts sent internationally so please do not send International Postage Coupons. Please use recyclable envelopes when submitting scripts to us.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
All English language scripts submitted to the theatre are booked in and distributed to readers, as appropriate, from the Literary Office. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your script, generally by email. The scripts are then read by a team of professional playwrights and directors, the senior in-house readers and/or the Literary Manager.
The reader’s report forms the basis of a recommendation to the Literary Manager and, where appropriate, may lead to consideration of the script by the senior Artistic Team at our weekly script meeting and/or additional support for play development through workshops, attachments or readings.
We read all scripts sent to us and will contact you to let you know whether or not we wish to proceed with the development of your play. The very large number of scripts submitted to the Royal Court means it may take 3 months to respond to you.
Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to provide critical feedback or enter into correspondence with playwrights whose work is felt to be unsuitable for further development or production at the Royal Court. However, where appropriate, we strive to secure the interest of other theatres and producers in plays we consider to be of particular merit, but which are not suitable for our own program.