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Project information

The Nuffield Writers' Group

Learning and development are important to The Nuffield Theatre's ethos, in terms of professional development. As part of that process The Nuffield Writers' Group will support the development of individual writers through a range of mentoring and creative opportunities.

January 2012 - December 2015

Charity information: Nuffield Theatre Southampton

Nuffield Theatre Southampton logo
  • Need


    Talent development is an important focus of a number of arts organisations in the South East. Although the Nuffield Theatre has gained a reputation for the particular qualities it brings to the development of developing individual artists, we recognise we could do more to share and exchange our knowledge and experience to benefit even more emerging writers from around the region.


    Over the next three years we plan to raise the profile of our Writers' Group and to add to its value through the addition of a monthly masterclass run by a series of successful practitioners. We are also planning a new annual dramaturgy summer school targeting industry professionals as well as writers and a series of shorter workshops for younger ages run by an acclaimed writer/teacher.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Raise the profile of the Writers' Group and provide further opportunities for emerging writers


    » Run a series of monthly masterclasses by successful practitioners.
    » Run a new annual dramaturgy summer school targeting industry professionals as well as writers.
    » Run a series of shorter workshops for younger ages run by an acclaimed writer/teacher.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...attracting potential writers from across the region and impacting on and influencing their career development.

  • Impact


    The project will promote the work we do in nurturing and developing writers at the start of their career, as well as mentoring mid-career writers. We will demonstrate the success of this project by monitoring the number of writers who go on to write commissions, win awards and take on other writing projects etc.


    There is a risk that some of the practitioners we engage could pull out of delivering the activities we have planned. This will be dealt with by fostering strong links with all arts organisations and specialists in the region to ensure we are best placed to replace anyone who is no longer able to help with the project delivery.


    Donors will receive regular email updates on the progress and developments on past, present and future members of the writers' group. .

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £72,100

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £36,000 Practioner to pay for an experienced practioner for three years
      £24,000 summer schools three annual dramaturgy summer schools
      £8,100 masterclasses holding twenty-seven masterclasses
      £4,000 writing workshops holding a series of workshops for younger ages
  • Background


    Southampton is the largest city on the South Coast with a population of approximately 226,800 of whom about 39% are under 25 and 15% are over 65. It is a maritime city of diversity; Southampton has two Universities, and is one of the top five performing cities in the UK, yet despite its higher education and economic influence there are key areas of deprivation, low skill levels within the adult population, and lower than average educational achievement at school.


    Over the past fifteen years about eighty emerging playwrights have been trained through The Nuffield Writers' programme, with several going on to become professional playwrights including: Linda McLean, Deborah Gearing, Maggie Neville, Fiona Mackie and the late Kate Betts. We hope that many more writers, particularly at the start of their career, from across the region, will be inspired by the sucess of former members of the group.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Nuffield has a strong track record for creating new work with an average of over 80% of our work being created by living artists. In the Studio we present devised work by emerging artists and work created in the region. Whilst on the main stage we regularly present premieres of new plays. Our writers' group is also recognised as one of the only professionally led groups offering this sort of learning and development in the region.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John Burgess

    John is the Nuffield's Script Executive and was former Head of New Writing at The National Theatre 1989 - 1994 and founder of the NT Studio.