Our playwriting programme brings together young people from towns across the North of England, in collaboration with Barnsley Civic, The Customs House (South Shields) and Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Our cohort of young writers have been meeting online in writing masterclasses, learning to write their own short plays.

In April, they came together for a writing residency in person at IOU’s Hebden Bridge Hostel, with two leading playwrights (Maria Ferguson and Sophie Swithinbank) and our Artistic Director, Laurie Sansom, where they developed characters for short monologues as well as duologues. The group shared their work with each other at the end of the week; it was inspiring to see their pieces come to life and wonderful for them all to meet in person!

“I feel very invigorated by it all. I finally feel completely unashamed in calling myself a writer. Coming from a place of being told I couldn’t be a playwright, this has been invaluable and path affirming. I felt comfortable and at my creative home from the get go.”

Residency Participant