New writing at the Octagon

"The play’s the thing!"

Hamlet, William Shakespeare

We are passionate about telling stories at the Octagon and at the beginning of many of the greatest stories is a piece of paper, a pen and, most importantly of all, a writer.

Theatres need new work to thrive and grow, and we believe that participating in writing has the power to enrich and change lives for the better. We develop talent across all levels of writing, from our proud tradition of commissioning new work in our main auditorium to encouraging local novice writers to share their scripts for the very first time.

Best of Bolton

Photo credit – Ray Jefferson, Bolton Camera Club
Photo credit – Ray Jefferson, Bolton Camera Club

We are seeking writers to submit poetry, stories and short plays to be performed across two Best of Bolton showcases on Sat 11 November 2017. 

Writers can be of any age and live anywhere; professional or beginner. There are no rules on content, themes or the language in which submissions are written – we are eager to hear new voices and welcome diversity.

All work will be read by the Artistic Team at the Octagon and the winning entries will be performed by professional actors in the Octagon’s main auditorium.

Please submit your work marked Best of Bolton by email to by Sat 8 July 2017.

National Octagon Prize

The Octagon National Prize is a competition celebrating new and original writing for the stage.

Every year we ask for submissions from writers with any level of experience. The submissions are then reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges and the winning submissions will be performed in the Octagon Studio by professional actors. 


For the inaugural year of the prize we asked writers to submit monologues of any genre. From hundreds of entries from across the globe we have selected 3 winning monologues that will be performed in our studio in July 2017, alongside Alan Bennett's legendary monologues Talking Heads in the main auditorium. 

Wed 21 Jun - Sat 8 Jul 2017

First Words - A Season of New Writing


For the second year, in celebration of the Octagon producing one of the most famous duologues in the theatrical canon Jim Cartwright’s TWO, entrants this year were invited to submit duologues. 

Selected from hundreds of submissions we have selected two new powerful plays will be performed for the first time in our studio for our 50th anniversary season.

Thu 22 Feb - Sat 10 Mar 2018


Thu 29 Mar - Sat 14 Apr 2018

All I See is You