Besen Writers Group


The Besen Writers Group is an artist development program bringing together a small cohort of playwrights to explore the craft of writing for Malthouse Theatre’s stages. An offshoot of the Besen Family Artist Program, it's designed to support early career playwrights in developing their craft, exploring technical skills, and experimenting with their writing. 

The program is structured as a series of regular group sessions, led by New Work Manager Mark Pritchard. It’s a chance to build a common language around how plays work, explore different dramaturgical approaches, and start to apply them to our own practice.  

Each session will focus on a key element of dramatic writing, such as Character, Structure, Language, and Action. We read scripts, discuss different theories, and undertake some writing exercises to prompt discussion and exploration.  

Participants will be chosen through an expression of interest process. Applicants are asked to submit a brief biography, a 10-page sample of their work, and what they want to gain from the program.

We’re also asking you to write up to 300 words about an artist or artwork that inspires your practice, to help us understand your interests and influences. We're looking for early career writers with a distinctive voice, a passion for theatrical craft, and whose work aligns with Malthouse Theatre's taste and values. 

Participants will receive a basic stipend of $800 and will be asked to write a short report (300 words) on your experience of the program. The program runs from September through to December 2021, with regular meetings that work within the availability of the group. The sessions will take place onsite at The Malthouse.


  • The program is for early career playwrights who are based in Melbourne
  • You must be an Australian resident or be a permanent resident of Australia or have a valid visa that provides work rights

The program runs from September to December 2021, with regular meetings that we will schedule in conversation with the selected participants. 

Applications for this program are now closed. For updates on our Artist Development programs and what’s happening in the Engine Room, sign up to our monthly newsletter.

The Besen Family Artist Program is proudly supported by the Besen Family Foundation and Debbie Dadon AM.