Young South Australian Playwright Gemma Sneddon never expected to win Young Guns 7 Playwrights’ Competition in 2006, but has since gone on to see her winning play produced by Urban Myth Theatre of Youth.

Her play Reason was one of four plays selected to be part of Urban Myth’s 2006 Out of the Boot, an initiative that takes young playwrights’ work from the page to the stage.

Gemma, 19, said winning the script writing competition has given her confidence in her writing.

“Winning helped me to see that people think my work is worth encouraging,” Gemma said. “It also made other people aware of me as a writer. At the moment I’m writing for a FreshBAIT show that is being devised for the Fringe.”

Currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in professional and creative communication at UniSA, Gemma says young playwrights thinking of entering Young Guns should have confidence in their own work.

“The whole process was really supportive, especially the dramaturgy sessions with the actors and Michael Hill. Being treated as a professional artist is a very encouraging thing!” she said.

State Theatre Company Associate Director Michael Hill said Young Guns is about inspiring and acknowledging young South Australian writers.

“The competition is open to young people aged 19 and under and it gives them the opportunity to submit a script and have it judged by a panel of theatre experts. Gemma’s experience is a wonderful example of how Young Guns can shape and influence young playwrights,” said Michael.

“State Theatre Company is thrilled that the competition has had such a strong affect on Gemma.”

Young Guns is an annual script writing competition for young aspiring playwrights. Scripts must be the original work of the writer, not previously published or performed, and all entrants must be South Australian. Winners receive $500 and a series of dramaturgy sessions with State Theatre Company’s Associate Director Michael Hill and a team of professional actors.

Scripts for Young Guns 8 are due at State Theatre Company by Friday 13 April 2007. The winners will be announced in The Advertiser and their scripts will be performed during Come Out 2007.

Young Guns reflects State Theatre Company’s commitment to young people by assisting the development of their artistic talent.

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