Entries open for creative writing competition

Co-founders of the Imbewu Trust, Paul Griffiths, left, and Samantha de Romijn, right, with one of the 2016 winners, Nokuzola Zoe Bikwana, whose winning entry, No Christmas for Us, was part of the 2017 Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre.

Entries for submissions for The Imbewu Trust’s 2017 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition open on Friday March 31.

Now its sixth year, the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition is a platform for South African writers to develop their work. The national competition has evolved every year, with the objective of providing the winners with the most appropriate support they need to grow their work.

Prizes include having a script produced for a professional run at a Cape Town theatre; mentorship programmes and engaging in feedback sessions with audience members at staged readings of the script by professional actors and a director. The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.

One of the 2016 winners, Nokuzola Bikwana, had her play No Christmas For Us, staged at this year’s Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre, directed by Thami Mbongo. The Imbewu Trust also provided support for the run of the other 2016 winner, Milton Schorr’s The Heroin Diaries, at Alexander Bar, directed by Fred Abrahamse.

Previous entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings and some on to further professional runs. Scripts must not have been previously produced, nor have existing future runs plans of being produced. Other criteria are that the scripts should be in English, no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes long and with a maximum of five cast members. Entrants must be over 18 years old.

The Imbewu Trust and judges are again looking for original content of outstanding quality that explores the diverse range of South African stories. The closing date for entries is Monday July 31.The shortlist of entries will be announced at the end of August, with the staged readings taking place in the last week of September.

“The response to the format of the competition and the staged readings has grown every year,” says Samantha de Romijn, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust.

“Writers, as well as the directors, actors and audience members have commented how constructive and engaging the readings are. We are delighted that the Zabalaza team was part of the staged readings last year, and as a result, wanted the opportunity to bring the script alive on stage.

“It is these connections of helping to develop a writer’s work in the theatre environment, that we strive to achieve.”

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established by Paul Griffiths and Samantha de Romijn to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts and to help showcase it on an international stage.

For more information and the entry form visit www.imbewuarts.com