Frequently Asked Questions: Playwriting Advice: Script Submissions

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions regarding asking Alan Ayckbourn for playwriting advice or to read scripts. If you have any other questions, please contact the website via the Contact Us Page.

Does Alan Ayckbourn read scripts / Can I submit a script to Alan Ayckbourn?
No. Whilst Alan Ayckbourn was Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre between 1972 and 2009, he read scripts and offered advice to playwrights. When he retired in 2009, he decided that - after 37 years - it was time to pass the baton on. As a result, he no longer accepts script submissions nor reads submitted scripts. Please do not send scripts to Alan Ayckbourn for advice or for reading as they will not be read, passed on nor returned.

Does Sir Alan Ayckbourn offer advice on playwriting / script improvement / directing?
No. As above, since his retirement in 2009, Sir Alan has chosen to concentrate on his own writing and directing. He also feels that he has very little to offer that he hasn't written about in his book The Crafty Art of Playwriting, in which he offers extensive advice on both playwriting and directing. He feels everything he has to say of use on the subject is contained in this book. The Crafty Art of Playmaking is published by Faber and available in the UK here.

Does Sir Alan have links to the Stephen Joseph Theatre Literary Department?
No, Sir Alan has no links to the SJT Literary Department and cannot offer any advice regarding submitting scripts to the department. It should be noted that as of summer 2022, the Literary Department is being restructured and is no longer accepting open script submissions.

Can you provide any advice as to where I can submit scripts / get playwriting advice?
Sadly, this is beyond the remit of this website which is predominantly a research resource relating to Alan Ayckbourn and his plays.

Why can't / won't Sir Alan Ayckbourn read scripts or offer advice?
Sir Alan spent more than four decades years actively encouraging playwrights, reading scripts and offering advice from 1965 to 1970 as a Radio Drama Producer for the BBC and then - for 37 years - as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre. He estimates that over four decades, he read several thousand scripts and offered advice to hundreds of writers. As a result, when he retired as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 2009, he decided it was time to concentrate completely on his own writing and directing and to pass the baton of script-reading / advice to the next generation. He also feels that with regard to advice, everything he has to say, he wrote in his book The Crafty Art of Playwriting.

Does Sir Alan have links with any other theatres / literary departments he can point me to?
No. Since retiring as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 2009, Sir Alan has become increasingly separate from professional theatre and maintains links to only several theatres and those purely as a guest writer and director. He has no knowledge of or links with any literary departments or theatres which are actively promoting / encouraging new writing.

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