The Previously… Seed Fund for New Scottish History Plays

Previously… is launching a new initiative to foster the development of brand new Scottish history plays! We’re offering one playwright a cash grant of £500, research and dramaturgical support as they write their first draft, and a rehearsed reading at our 2018 festival. 

Got an idea you’ve been wanting to develop? See below for our guidelines and instructions on how to submit!

What are you looking for?

A pitch for a brand new Scottish history play.

What are we counting as Scottish?

Plays that are either set in Scotland or are set elsewhere but concern Scottish characters.

Do I have to be Scottish?


Are there any restrictions on material?

Not as such, but here are a few points to consider: 

  • We’re looking for plays dealing with the lesser-known areas of Scottish history, so if you pitch us something about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots or Bonnie Prince Charlie it’s probably not what we’re after. Not unless you have a really, really interesting take on them.
  • Recent history is just as welcome as the more distant past.
  • Mythological figures are part of our history and therefore valid subject matter, but we urge you to remember that we’re looking for the lesser-known…
  • We’re looking for original work rather than adaptations of existing pieces.

 Can I submit an idea I’ve already started working on?

Sssshh, don’t tell us! Just pitch it as if you hadn’t written a word yet. As long as it’s not something that’s already finished/developed/produced, it’ll be fine.


1 July – Submissions open

31 July – Submissions close

30 September – Shortlist notified

7 October – Winner notified

Announcement event to take place during the festival in November.

What does the selected writer receive?

£500 plus research and dramaturgical support. Research support will consist of access to Previously’s academic and heritage contacts to help the writer to find the resources they need to complete their draft. Dramaturgical support will consist of two script consultations with Previously’s Head of Drama, Jen McGregor.

Previously will organise and host a rehearsed reading of the writer’s completed draft as part of the festival programme in 2018.

 What is expected of the selected writer?

  • To be available for the announcement event in November 2017 (exact date TBC). Unfortunately Previously cannot pay travel expenses for writers coming from outside of Scotland. We may be able to explore the possibility of a video link should the selected writer be based further afield.
  • To deliver a completed draft of the proposed script by 30 June 2018.
  • To guarantee that the draft they deliver is entirely their own work and does not infringe anyone else’s copyright.
  • To notify Previously of any significant alterations to the proposed script along the way.
  • To be available for the rehearsed reading of their work at Previously 2018.

Does this affect my copyright?

No. The work belongs entirely to the writer.

What should I include in my submission?

A pitch (no more than one A4 page)

A sample of your previous work (up to 10 pages, unpublished/unproduced work is fine)

A completed monitoring form (download it from here).

Please ensure that your name does not appear on any of these documents! Send them to with SEED FUND SUBMISSION in the subject line.

If you have any questions that haven’t already been covered, please email and we’ll be happy to answer them.