About New Writing Development Programmes

Coloured texts New Writing Development Programmes on a white background

The New Writing Development suite of programmes works directly with playwrights from beginner to early/mid-career phases to provide opportunities for exposure, writing-support, and professional development. Through these residencies and activities, we aim to advocate for the work of playwrights with the public and industry. The programme suite creates opportunities for playwrights to work closely with mid-career independent directors, dramaturgs, and other writers, as well as creating presentation opportunities to showcase their work.

Read the Media Release here:


View all

Research Phase

The suite of programmes is an outcome of a 6-month long research project mapping the new writing landscape in Singapore. This project was conducted in partnership with independent playwright Joel Tan and independent producer Shridar Mani, and supported by the National Arts Council's Self-Employed Persons Grant (NAC-SEPG), from Nov 2021 to March 2022.

As part of the research to understand the landscape and developments in the local theatre scene in the most recent 5 to 10 years, the project team conducted:

  • 18 structured interviews with new writing developers, presenters, and educators
  • 6 focus group interviews with 29 independent playwrights
  • literature reviews on international best practices / models


3 key challenges were identified from the scope of interviews collected:

  1. A wide gap continues to persist between the development space and the professional space for new writing/works (eg no feasible pipeline between developmental platforms and presentation platforms)
  2. Imbalance between development spaces that meet short-term script-specific development needs, and more long-term writer-development needs (eg many play/script specific platforms, but little writer-focused platforms)
  3. No sustainable and overt advocacy for (emerging) writers and their work to producing companies and presenters


With a desire to bridge some of these gaps, the project team modeled a suite of residencies centered around building an ecology of support for new writing development for playwrights, directors and dramaturgs. Discussions and consultations with practitioners were conducted to receive feedback on the feasibility of such programmes.

The New Writing Development Programmes was borne from this research. A pilot iteration will take place in 2022 - 2023, with the aim of refining the programmes for 2023 and beyond.

Participating Practitioners in Inaugural Programmes

From left clockwise: Some members of the reading team for New Scripts Residency, Residents of Pilot Playwright's Professional Development Residency and Writer-In-Residence.


Joel Tan
Creative Associate
Shridar Mani
Creative Producer
Michelle Tan
Writer In Residence 2022/23
Ahmad Musta’ain Khamis
A Yagnya
Danial Matin
Rachel Chin
Cherilyn Woo