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Student Guide to Playwriting: Competition Winners #2

In the build up to the launch of The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting book on 9 May, here is the fifth in our series of blogs – this time introducing the winners of The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting competition.

Here are the final three winners:

  1. MUFARO MAKUBIKA, JOINT EMERGING WINNER:

Who you are:

My name is Mufaro Makubika. I’m a playwright living and working in Nottingham.

Why you started writing:

I really, really like stories. Hearing stories. Telling stories.

How you would describe your work:

That’s difficult to answer. It’s a lot of things. I try to tell the best story I can all the time. Sometimes I’m successful, other times not. The important thing is I keep trying. Maybe that’s what my writing is like. Someone trying to tell a story the best way only they can.

Why you entered the competition:

I entered the competition because it is a great opportunity to get your work out there and read. Also there was the chance to create a new piece of work. That’s the fun bit.

What winning the competition means to you:

It’s a great thrill to win the competition. It’s a nice pat on the back to keep going.

What you’d like to do in the future:

To write more stories and see them realised.

  1. MONIQUE GERAGHTY, JOINT UNIVERSITY WINNNER:

Who you are:

I am a London based writer who is originally from the North. I have enjoyed exploring storytelling off and on the stage. Taking acting classes with Kevin Spacey and RADA has equipped me with a double perspective on what drives the story.

My overseas experiences have led me to expanding my education in Australia. Since studying at the University of Melbourne and the renowned film and TV school, The VCA, I know feel more grounded in my craft.

My exploration into different forms of storytelling continues to flourish. I am now studying for a Masters at Drama Centre London where I am working on projects of a more digital nature. This year, collaborations have started to turn new corners, which include radio and film.

Why you started writing

I would have to say that my upbringing has played a big part in encouraging my imagination to flourish. According to my mum, when I was a kid I used to sit at the top of the stairs for hours on end listening to conversations. Just listening. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been fascinated by people and their stories. Who they are, where they’ve come from and what drives them.

How you would describe your work:

I guess I enjoy voicing the unvoiced. Exploring elements of humanity that perhaps go undetected or overlooked. Lifting the lid on something or offering a new perspective.

Why you entered the competition:

To explore the structure of telling stories for stage. From the acting workshops I have attended over the years, I often received feedback that I’d make a good playwright. The step by step guide from The Student Guide to Playwriting, has been a tool to update this exploration. It was great to apply the online classes to the short stories I have written.

What winning the competition means to you:

Hopefully it will be a spring board for future collaborations and commissions. I’m really glad that the importance of education is being staged. We are living in a time of change and the future of education is an important element of this change.

What you’d like to do in the future:

To collaborate with like minded directors and producers. I’m planning to make longer theatre plays and more digital forms such as video games and animation. At Drama Centre, tutor Richard Williams described my work as being great to direct as the narrative has a lot of scope for interpretation. I’d like to push collaborations of this kind further.

  1. MIRIAM BATTYE, JOINT EMERGING WINNER:

Who you are:

I’m a graduate hailing from Salford and now a theatre writer and director and currently residing in Bristol. I also make theatre work for and with children, a huge passion of mine. I also run a theatre company called Tap Tap Theatre.

Why you entered the competition:

I started writing through a playwright’s group at the Royal Exchange, and found the tutelage completely necessary for me to get anything down. As any writer will tell you, we’re always looking for new ideas and impetuses to help generate ideas and energy when writing. In more recent years I’ve abandoned methodology when I write, I just tend to just set off, but I thought it was time to try out a different approach, reminiscent of when I started writing.

What does winning The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting mean to you?

It’s a complete surprise and I’m just delighted someone like my weird little play.

The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting is about studying playwriting (via the lesson plans), why do you think studying’s important?

I want to be a really great writer, the best I possibly can be. I’ve been given sage advice to just read, read and read. It’s a foolproof way to get better. Studying is much the same thing. It’s just getting as much stuff in your head so you’ve got more thoughts to work with.

What do you think being a student or emerging artist in playwriting in the UK means today?

I think the most significant thing about being an artist right now is that no one particularly wants or needs you to do it, so you have to be doubley sure that you want it and also that you have something worth listening to, and if you don’t, you’ll work blinding hard to make something worth listening to. It’s a terribly arrogant thing, but you conversely have to be incredibly humble about it.

What do you think students and emerging artists in playwriting need?

Good ideas.

What are your top tips for other emerging playwrights?

No idea. I suppose, work hard and read a lot.

What inspires you?

All kinds of things, often other theatre work, stories I hear, telly, friends, my Mum. Sometimes when I’m angry about something bashing the keyboard with a play helps a bit. Sometimes an idea or a character will just hit me, sometimes it will be a real tooth and nail battle to form it. All I know is I feel really inspired when I see people at the top of their game doing absolutely stellar work where they really take care of the audience they are making it for.

Thank you for reading our blog series and we hope you enjoyed and found useful The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting competition. Meet the other winners here.

For more information on and to attend the launch of The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting book on 9 May click here. The event has now sold out.

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HF ArtsFest
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