Young playwright making her mark

For Julia-Rose Lewis, NIDA Writers Studio developed her craft and her professional networks.
Young playwright making her mark

Applications are now open to the NIDA Writers Studio. Photograph by Maja Baska, Copyright NIDA 2014.

As emerging playwright Julia-Rose Lewis makes her mark on the Australian theatre landscape, she said that the NIDA Writers Studio significantly shaped her journey.

‘I’d recently quit my job working as an arts administer in Queensland and was planning to move to Sydney to pursue my writing more closely. I had almost no connections or networks in Sydney so, for me, it was about having a place to start building that network; a network which would encourage and support me with my writing,’ she said.

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For budding writers looking at following in Lewis’ footsteps, NIDA is welcoming mid-year intake applications to the Writers Studio: Screen, a two term intensive where students learn the craft of screen writing, explore elements of genre and storytelling, and produce a short screenplay.

Lewis said the course structure helped her to complete the first draft of a script, while tutors let students set their own pace and project requirements. ‘Without that support I imagine it would have been a very different play.

‘We had a wonderful range of teachers all who all had a very different skill set and range of experiences. I’ve been able to maintain contact with several of the tutors, which has been lovely.’

Since completing the NIDA Writers Studio, Lewis has worked on a number of theatre and film projects, including the forthcoming presentation of new play Samson at the Playwriting Australia 2014 National Play Festival.

An Australia Council JUMP Mentorship recipient, Lewis has penned and collaborated on projects with Brisbane Powerhouse, La Boite Theatre Company and The Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe.

For anyone considering an application to NIDA Writers Studio, Lewis said the experience would provide an amazing opportunity to connect with like-minded writers on a weekly basis. ‘The group was incredibly supportive, and had participants at all different levels of expertise and all age ranges.

‘The course gave me a wonderful foundation for my writing ambitions. I’ve been very busy since we finished up, and all of it has been writing work, so the course certainly was a positive experience for me,’ she said.

‘I’d encourage anyone looking to take their first step as a writer, to have a look at the Studio courses and consider applying.’

Visit the NIDA Studio website for more information including course details and application deadlines.

Troy Nankervis

Thursday 5 June, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis