Pen Pals

Box of Tricks champions playwrights and empowers them to tell the stories they want to tell. We recognise that sometimes, these stories need to be told free from the pressures of a commission or competition deadline and that writers need a safe space for creativity and risk taking.

Our Pen Pals exchange programme will match pairs of playwrights to connect, share ideas and develop their craft. During the exchange, each Pen Pal will develop a full-length play – sharing thoughts and ideas along the way – and receive feedback from the Box of Tricks team.

Pen Pals: Cohort 1

September 2020 - March 2021

Overwhelmed with great submissions for our inaugural Pen Pals exchange, we're delighted to be launching not one but two Cohorts of Pen Pals in the coming months - doubling our number and offering creative support to 24 Northern playwrights over the next 9 months.

Our first Cohort, writing from September until March, are:

Molly Sweeney and Laura Homer
Karla Marie Sweet and Stefanie Reynolds
Francesca Waite and Josie Cerise
Nick Kirby and Steve Timms
Clare McNulty and James Harker
Kat Boon and Rachel Price

As pictured (l-r): Molly Sweeney, Laura Homer, Karla Marie Sweet, Stefanie Reynolds, Francesca Waite, Josie Cerise, Nick Kirby, Steve Timms, Clare McNulty, James Harker, Kat Boon and Rachel Price.

We'll be introducing Pen Pals: Cohort 2 (running from November 2020 - May 2021) soon. Watch this space!

Pen Pals

A 10-minute introduction to Box of Tricks' Pen Pals programme from our Joint Artistic Directors Adam and Hannah.***Window open 1 June – 15 June 2020.***

Posted by Box of Tricks Theatre on Friday, 5 June 2020


We will match 6 pairs of Pen Pals for a six month period.

Each pair will send each other work-in-progress and maintain regular contact through online meetings.

Box of Tricks will introduce Pen Pals online, discussing their ideas at the start of the process, and meet again for a midway catch-up.

At the end of each exchange, all 12 Pen Pals will send their drafts to Box of Tricks to be read ahead of a final debrief and feedback session.

Apply to be a Pen Pal

Submissions are currently closed. 

If you have any queries about our Pen Pals scheme, drop us a line at (with ‘Pen Pals’ in the subject line).