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Kay Mellor Fellowship


Picture of playwright Kay Mellor
Kay Mellor

Yorkshire playwrights are being offered the career-boosting opportunity to become the next Kay Mellor Fellow.

The investment in new writing was created by Leeds Playhouse and Rollem Productions - the award-winning TV and film production company - in 2019 and continues in memory of Kay, the Leeds-born playwright and actor who died last year. The BBC and Leeds City Council are also partners in the fellowship.

Writers based in Yorkshire can apply for a 12 month paid fellowship which will give them the chance to work with leading stage and screen creative people from Leeds Playhouse, Rollem Productions and BBC Writersroom.

The Playhouse is also launching the Kay Mellor Fund, which will raise money to nurture local writers – something that was always close to Kay’s heart.

Three new fellows will be chosen over the next three years. Each will receive a bursary and a 12-month attachment to Leeds Playhouse and Rollem Productions to develop a script and TV pitch, as well as a place on the BBC Writersroom Voices writer development programme.

Kay's husband Anthony said: "Kay would have been thrilled with the continued investment and belief in supporting up-and-coming Northern writers over the next three years. This gives meaningful time to bring on new talent and hone skills. For Kay's legacy to endure feels very special."

On the fund, her daughters Yvonne and Gaynor Mellor added: "Kay was passionate about theatre so it's really fitting she is honoured in this way. She was determined to find ways to help the next generation of writers in Leeds and the fund will continue to support that mission."

The fellowship, which runs from January, is open to writers based in Yorkshire who have previously written up to three professionally-produced plays and have an idea for a new, full-length production. They should have an interest in writing for television, but have no prior credits as a screenwriter.

Applications for the 2024 Kay Mellor Fellowship will open in July. Applicants will be invited to submit one existing script for consideration, as well as a single-page synopsis of the idea they would like to develop.


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