Free Reads Scheme

Message on the wall Best Summer Ever for Marie Cooper Norwich Actor
Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

Been a tad busy this past week so #My500word challenge has been shelved for a day or few. Not that I haven't been writing. It's just that I haven't been doing the specific challenges. After getting an audition out of the way last weekend, I turned my attention to the Free Reads Scheme. 

The National Centre of writing is based in Norwich and they are the local partners for the Literary Consultancy who are running the Free Reads Scheme, supported by Arts Council England. The purpose of the scheme is to provide professional assessments of writing. A professional writing service that would be normally be completely out of reach to me. 

I hadn't really thought of looking into what was available at the National Writer's Centre. I think I looked at the website once, saw the cost of the courses and decided it was out of reach for me. However, discovering this scheme has given me hope that we do have support for the arts growing in this region and more thought is being given to people who are usually excluded and outside of the arts because of financial and social barriers.

The ultimate goal of my writing and getting into the habit of doing so, is to write material to perform. Trying to find work as a performer, that is valued and paid for, is extremely challenging, especially in this region. So, in an attempt to circumvent the financial barriers erected by the industry gatekeepers I began writing a play over summer. 

It was the best summer ever. I found my way back to the creative person who I locked inside, many years ago, as a young adult when, at some stupid point I decided to try to earn money trying to play the game, rather than being myself.  I had a deprived childhood and even harsher young adulthood, I wanted to get out, but that's by the by and another story. It made me a good actor, but I wasn't true to myself.


More importantly, I have found my way back full circle now. I took a workshop at the beginning of the year and the small scene I wrote, 'Abandoned Places' about urban exploring teenagers was included as part of a small community promenade performance in Norwich over summer.

I quickly gained confidence in my writing and and began researching on how to write a full play. It isn't completed as yet. I haven't had time to continue writing it since leaving uni, because I've spent so much time jumping through job-centre hoops, looking for work. 

However, a wonderful Career's Coach I met there, pointed out to me that my writing is as important and as much a means of looking for work through my self employment, as applying to roles that aren't supporting me in my career goals. So this week, I turned some of my focus back onto my writing and moved it up in my priorities because of the potential opportunity that arose with the Free Read Scheme.

I spent that last couple of days writing a letter and synopsis of my play and tidying up the first ten pages, which is the limit of the amount of script you can submit. I've done everything I can. Checked and double-checked and tried to ensure that the first ten pages make sense along with the synopsis.

All I can do now is hope that my writing is good enough. The deadline for the submissions is midnight on Thursday 15th November 2018, so there is still time to take part. Submission details are on the National Centre for Writing's website.


Popular Posts