For a brief account of what I did at writernet, you can click here.
As a champion of playwriting I have worked with both theatre and literature organisations. Theatres are playwrights’ natural homes; its where work is most often made, but the playwright has a largely discontiuous relationship with theatres (unless you are Ayckbourn, Godber, Barker or Hare…) Writers are bread and butter to literature organisations, so it has been necessary to cultivate both.
This has sometimes been an uneasy process. Literature can see itself as a poor cousin to those wealthy theatres (!) and close the drawbridge to those writing for performance. I have had to be a little Cato-like (no, stop thinking Peter Sellers, start thinking Punic Wars and Roman Senate) on getting playwrights properly included within the literature firmament
Nonetheless my colleagues at NAWE, NALD, Apples and Snakes, The Scottish Book Trust, Lapidus and Survivors in joining with writernet to grow literaturetaining showed great willing. You can spend 15 years quietly fighting the same battle, think you have won it and then see the impact cuts to funding make. Many of the playwriting agencies I helped develop during my time at writernet, are – like writernet itself – no longer there.