In partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Ayrshire-based multi-media theatre company, The Grey Hill has announced its first scriptwriting competition winner. Sarah Hauck, a 19-year-old student from Aschaffenburg, Germany, who is studying History and Literature and is in her first year at UHI in Inverness, has won with her play Star Crossed, which won 55% of the public vote.
Founder and Director, The Grey Hill, Barry Robertson, said: “The partnership between the University and The Grey Hill was to invite a new generation of writers to explore new stories. The stories in the finals were so varied and incorporated different parts of Scottish life. Star Crossed was one of these, focusing on the younger generation and what it was like to perform in a school play. At The Grey Hill, we recognise that theatre is about connecting with audiences and making it accessible to everyone. With Sarah’s production being produced and added to our portfolio, it will be distributed internationally as part of the organisation’s distribution network.”
Competition winner, Sarah Hauck said: “From not writing anything to writing something and getting the validation is not bad, especially as English is not my first language. To have won this competition is a great personal achievement. I have so many people to thank, in particular the people who voted for me. I truly appreciate it.”
Sarah will now become a published playwright through The Grey Hill, and her play will be published both as a book and an audio drama, which be sold internationally online.
The Grey Hill scriptwriting competition started as an idea by its founder, Barry Robertson. He felt he was hearing the same stories and ideas and he knew he had to find new writing outside of the central belt. From having initial conversations with UHI, he was delighted that the University loved the concept and wanted to become a partner. For Robertson, he wanted to reach a new generation of writers, who came from outside of the central belt. Through the organisation’s existing audience and free membership, the competition was very successful. The public connected with the work and the filmed videos and podcasts has reached an international audience.
Doctor Lesley Mickel, Programme Leader for Drama at Inverness College UHI said: “Working with Barry Robertson on the joint UHI and The Grey Hill scriptwriting competition has provided students across our programmes with an invaluable opportunity to grow an industry-relevant skillset relating to dramatic writing and performance for an audio platform. The competition has nurtured some significant new talent and contributed to the flourishing community of creative practice across the Highlands. We are looking forward to an even bigger competition next year!”
Barry Robertson added: “We have already started conversations about next year’s competition. The feedback that we have received has been phenomenal. We know there is interest to support and nourish more creative writers through our organisation and we are already stepping up to be the home for new online writing in Scotland.”