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WRITE ROOM, Screen Writing Residency 2018 - call for submissions


16 April - 8 July 2018

WRITE ROOM is a Toi Pōneke initiative in partnership with Director Rob Sarkies and Producer Vicky Pope. This residency recognises the challenges for New Zealand screenwriters to create space in their lives to write and find a place to do their work. This opportunity is for a Wellington-based screenwriter with a feature film script at a stage that will benefit from development.

With support from Toi Pōneke, the successful candidate will undertake a 12-week residency and commit to a focused block of writing on their screenplay. The screenwriter will be provided with a studio space, stipend, and experienced creative support.

Funded by Toi Pōneke Arts Centre and working with the support of Producer Vicky Pope (Gardening with Soul, Two Little Boys, Trouble is My Business) and Director Rob Sarkies (Scarfies, Out of the Blue, Consent), the aim of this residency is to help the chosen writer to get their screenplay to the stage where it is ready to pitch to a producer or find further development support.

At the completion of the residency the candidate will be required to provide a report and feedback on their residency to Toi Pōneke, Rob Sarkies, and Vicky Pope.


Applicants must be:

  • Emerging screenwriters, established screenwriters, or writers transitioning from other writing disciplines into screenwriting.
  • Wellington-based New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.
  • Note that students or artists within one year of finishing under-graduate study are not eligible to apply.

What’s on offer

  • A 12-week full time screenwriting residency from 16 April -8 July 2018.
  • A free, sole-use studio space to write in at Toi Pōneke, with 24-hour access.
  • A stipend of $450.00 (excluding gst) a week for 12 weeks.
  • A feedback and planning session with Vicky and Rob at the commencement of the residency.
  • A work-in-progress discussion with Vicky and Rob at the 6-8 week mark. 
  • A read-through with actors (up to 5 x paid actors) and an invited audience at the end of the residency.


  • Submissions due by 16 February 2018 at 5pm.
  • Successful writer announced 19 March 2018.
  • Residency dates: 15 April-8 July 2018.

How to apply

Please send all of the following to by 16 Feb 2018.

PLEASE NOTE: One application per writer will be accepted. Submit the project you most want to work on. If available, shortlisted writers may be asked to supply a full draft of their screenplay and/or meet to discuss their work prior to selection.


Vicky Pope, Rob Sarkies, and Toi Pōneke Arts Centre will select the successful candidate.

Selection criteria will include

  • Clarity of idea, intention, and vision for the screenplay;
  • The quality of the writing;
  • Ability to commit to the residency and achieve the goal of delivering a completed draft;
  • Potential of the project to attract either producer or other investment interest in the longer term.

Rights and confidentiality

All details of the project will remain confidential. The writer retains all rights to their screenplay.

Terms and conditions

Successful applicants will be required to

  • Sign the Toi Pōneke - WRITE ROOM Residency Agreement;
  • Agree to the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre Terms and Conditions;
  • Complete a Toi Pōneke Arts Centre Artist Studio Application;
  • Agree to the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre Artist Studio Agreement.
Any questions please email the Toi Pōneke Public Programmer Jane Yonge
Earlier Event: January 13
Later Event: January 22
sound art residency - public workshops