If you have written a play that you think would be a great fit for the Octagon, we would like to hear from you. However, due to the very small size of our literary team, we are not able to accept script submissions all year round. From 1 - 31 January 2021, the Octagon’s script submissions window will be open. We will prioritise writers living in, or with a strong connection to, the North West region. The Octagon especially welcomes submissions from playwrights from underrepresented groups whose voices and stories aren’t often told on stage.  

We are currently particularly interested in:

  • North West stories
  • Stories that speak to a South Asian experience
  • Adaptations of books/television/films (writers must have the rights to adapt these works; please include further details in your submission)
  • Family work

We are not currently looking for:

  • Incomplete plays/first drafts
  • Scripts from writers living outside of the UK

When the submissions window is open, please send your script as a Word or PDF attachment to literary@octagonbolton.co.uk along with this cover form

We are also asking all writers submitting their work to complete an equal opportunities form available here. Please note - the information entered on this page will not be taken into consideration when reading your work and is for anonymous statistical monitoring purposes only. 

We will only read your script if this cover form is also submitted. This is to help us keep track of all submissions in an efficient way and therefore give us more time to read even more plays! We only accept scripts via email, rather than paper copies, for environmental reasons. Please don’t send your script to us before or after the dates above. We are currently only able to read one script per writer.

Please note that due to the volume of submissions we expect to receive, we will not be able to offer individual feedback to every writer. If we would like to take your play further we will be in touch with you to discuss the next steps of support that we can offer.

To book a ticket as an audience member for one of our upcoming First Bites readings, please visit our What’s On page.

If we are able to take your play further, we may invite you to participate in one of the following ways:

  • Further discussions about a possible full production of your script, or discussions about commissioning/seed-commissioning a new play from you. The Octagon’s commissioning opportunities include scripts for our Creative Engagement department, including our youth theatre groups, scripts for our studio and our main auditorium.
  • Invite you to take part in our First Bites play reading series, and have a public reading of your script. This is an annual series of script-in-hand readings of new plays, with professional actors. The readings allow audiences an opportunity to experience new work and gives writers the benefit of the reactions and feedback from these events.

We will aim to get in touch with all writers who have submitted work by summer 2021.

If you have a show that you’d like the Octagon to consider programming, please visit this page.

We’d like to thank all writers who express an interest in the Octagon. We appreciate that writing is not easy, and demands great skill, passion and perseverance as well as talent.  Even if your play is not the right fit for us here at the Octagon, we encourage you to keep writing and to submit your work to other theatres – particularly those with large literary departments.