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Write Room - Wellington Screenwriter's Residency

Job details

Toi Pōneke Arts Centre
22 Mar 2019
Work type
Awards, grants & residencies
Work classification
Screen & Sound


CALL FOR ENTRIES - Wellington based screenwriters - Submissions Due: 22 March 2019


WRITE ROOM - Wellington Screenwriter’s Residency

Dates: 24 June – 15 Sept 2019 (12 weeks)

WRITE ROOM is a Toi Pōneke initiative in partnership with Director Rob Sarkies (Scarfies, Out of the Blue, Consent ) and Vicky Pope (Savage, Gardening with Soul, Two Little Boys). This year we are pleased to welcome producer Desray Armstrong as the guest selector and mentor for the 2019 programme.

Desray has produced documentaries, factual series, music videos, web series and award-winning short films that have screened at prestigious festivals around the world. She produced Dustin Feneley’s highly acclaimed debut feature Stray that had its international premiere at the Moscow Film Festival in 2018 and went on to win numerous awards including Best Actor at Moscow and Best Feature Film at Rivne International Film Festival.

Recently awarded the 2018 SPADA Independent Producer of the Year, Desray has served on the boards of industry guilds Nga Aho Whakaari (Maori in Film & Television) and Women in Film & Television and is passionate about creating pathways for more women and Maori to step into key creative roles within the feature film landscape.

Write Room 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 project at a stage that will benefit from focused development towards completion of a draft of the script.

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.

With support from Toi Pōneke, the successful candidate will undertake a 12-week residency. The screenwriter will be provided with a studio space, $490(incld GST) per/week stipend, and experienced creative support from Producers Desray Armstrong (Stray, Ellen Is Leaving, Meathead) Vicky Pope (Savage, Gardening with Soul, Two Little Boys) and Director Rob Sarkies (Scarfies, Out of the Blue, Consent ) who make up the selection & mentoring panel.

We expect the chosen writer will spend a minimum of 25 hours a week committed to writing during the residency but this is flexible and can fit in around other work commitments.

At the completion of the residency the candidate will be required to provide a report and feedback on their residency.


  • Undergraduate students are ineligible to apply.

Applicants must be:

  • Over the age of 18 years.
  • Emerging screenwriters, established screenwriters, or writers transitioning from other writing disciplines into screenwriting, who are looking for a Producer for their screenplay.
  • Wellington-based New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.


What’s on offer

-       A 12-week screenwriting residency from 24 June  – 15 Sept 2019.

-       A free, sole-use studio space to write in at Toi Pōneke, with 24-hour access.

-       A stipend of $490.00 (incld gst) a week for 12 weeks.

-       A feedback and planning session with members of the panel at the commencement of the residency.

-       A work-in-progress discussion with members of the panel at the 6-8 week mark. 

-      An assessment of the draft at the conclusion of the residency, with advice on next steps to take.

-      A read-through with actors (up to 4 x paid actors) at the end of the residency.



     Submissions due by 22 March 2019 at 5pm.

-      Successful writer announced 26 April 2019.

-      Residency dates: 24 June  – 15 Sept 2019.



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

Selection criteria will include:

  • Strength of idea, intention, and vision for the screenplay;
  • Clarity with intended next steps to develop 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: Sascha Perfect -  sascha.perfect@wcc.govt.nz

How to apply

For an application form please e-mailsascha.perfect@wcc.govt.nz

Please send all of the following to sascha.perfect@wcc.govt.nz by 22 March 2019 at 5pm

-      First 15 pages of your feature film script.

-      Synopsis/summary of project (max. 3 pages).

-      Self-Introduction (max 1 page.)

-      Completed application form

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants must be currently living in Wellington to be eligible to apply.  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.

Written by

Wellington City Council - City Arts

12 Feb 2019

Interests Wellington City Council aims to make it easy for all Wellingtonians to access and participate in the arts. It does this by supporting the arts through funding, arts programmes and advice and by providing venues and facilities such as Toi Pōneke, Wellington Arts Centre.