Writers offered chance to win paid commission and have their work staged

Ellie Robson (inset) explains the exciting new competition which has come to Norwich

Ellie Robson (inset) explains the exciting new competition which has come to Norwich - Credit: Bill Smith/Submitted

Entries are coming in for a new writing competition that will give winners the opportunity to have their work staged at Norwich Arts Centre later this year.

City-based charity Colton’s Acre Trust, in association with the National Centre for Writing and the Young Norfolk Arts Trust, announced a competition for new writers based in Norfolk called An Acre of Stories.

Competition producer, Ellie Robson, said: "The project is quite unusual in that the competition has paid commission involved.

"This isn't super common for people when writing their first piece.

Ellie Robson, producer of An Acre of Stories

Ellie Robson, producer of An Acre of Stories - Credit: Ellie Robson

"It's important to reach people that usually wouldn't get this kind of opportunity.

"The commission gives them the opportunity to take the time away from work or other projects and focus on the piece they're writing.

"We're hoping to reach a new demographic, people that maybe wouldn't think that an opportunity like this would be for them."

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The competition brief is inspired by the story of Colton’s Acre Trust.

Ellie explained: "In the 1400s John Colton, who founded the charity, was walking home.

"It was really stormy and he got lost.

"He heard the bells of St Giles church which guided him home. 

"In his will, he bought an acre of land around the parish of St Giles to make sure that the church will always be there and that the bell would always ring.

Entries for An Acre of Stories close at 6pm on Friday, May 6

Entries for An Acre of Stories close at 6pm on Friday, May 6 - Credit: Aimee Hayward

"We're not necessarily looking for a historical interpretation, people can be inspired by any part of his story that they like."

There’s no restriction on format or genre of submissions but it has to be able to be performed live by a cast of no more than three members and be no more than 15 minutes in length.

The four winning entries will each be awarded a bursary of £1,000 to create a new piece of theatre and will be mentored by playwright and screenwriter and UEA professor of scriptwriting Steve Waters.

The completed work will be staged at Norwich Arts Centre in November.

Entrants must be 18 or over, live or work in Norfolk and have no previous professional credit in theatre.

Entries must be submitted to acre.stories@gmail.com by 6pm on Friday, May 6.