Cold Writing

And the Cold Writing theme is…

As I type this, our latest batch of 6 Cold Writing writers are frantically writing a ten minute piece based upon a theme I sprang on them yesterday afternoon at Babble.Jar.

And that theme was ‘Watching You’.

If you want to see what our writers come up with, come along to Babble.Jar in ‘Stokey’ this Wednesday at 7.45pm.

Tickets are £5 on the door – £4 if you email asking to be on the cheaplist.

See you then.

Charlie of WBN

Cold Writing – Meet The Writers: Caro Dixey

It’s safe to say there’s been quite a bit happening at WBN in the last couple of weeks. And only 20% of it has involved heavy lifting. Which is, y’know, a positive step. But in the midst of All Of The Stuff the fact that next week – NEXT WEEK – we’ve got our first Theatre.Jar has crept up on us. But we do! In five days time! And, to hold back on the exclamation points for a sentence or two, in only two days time our group of intrepid writers will be taking part in the Cold Writing workshop and Charlie can stop being secretive about the theme and we can tell you all (I’ve been sworn to secrecy, even though there’s a moderately amusing story I want to blog from the theme-deciding committee meeting).

But, for now, we asked our writers if they’d like to write something for this very blog and (drum roll please) first up we have Caro Dixey, complete with something of an analogy first for this blog…

This is the second blog I have been asked to write about my writing and I can’t help pointing out the paradoxical nature of this task. I’m not sure how to write about my writing, my process, my experience as a writer. If I’m honest I’m dying to take the easy way out and tell you to come and see my work and you’ll know everything you need to know about me as an artist (and you should, come and see my work). But in the spirit of ‘doing one thing every day that scares you’ (advise that should never be ignored) I shall persevere if you will afford me the time.

Without sounding trite or “arty-farty” (for want of a much better word) what I’ve said above is true, anything you need to know about me you can find out from my writing. This is because I can only write with the voice, the opinions, the emotions I have experienced and the challenges I have faced.

That said what I write is not solely the concern of a 28 years old single woman, struggling in the arts. Of course not. I delight in transposing  the voice I have been given and the things I have seen, as best I can, into universal issues that will captivate an audience of 75 year olds just as much as an audience of 30 somethings. More over I was recently very flattered by an audience member at a recent play of mine who was most surprised the piece was written by a woman.

I started writing before I can remember: writing poems – “angsty” poems of an average “angsty” teenager. Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever share anything I had written, but now I even share my poetry on my blog.

I decided I had to write for the stage in my third year studying Music with Drama at Anglia Ruskin university as a result of reading  Sarah Kane’s Blasted for my contemporary writing module. Now I know that the hype for Miss Kane’s work has long since passed and she became so fashionable that she is now, in fact, terribly unfashionable.  However, the 21 year old me read Blasted, read about Blasted,  read about Sarah Kane’s dissection of form and content and I began to understand a new way of looking at the world through the theatre, and from then on, I wanted to write for the stage.

It took me a long time to have the confidence to share my writing with the theatre world – despite training as a dramaturg and championing the writing of others for years. I saw my first solo piece of writing at a London showcase last year and this was enough to break free from the shackles of my insecurity and push my writing in front of anyone who would watch/read.

The best piece of advice I was given at the time was:

“Don’t think of your writing as your baby, think of it as sperm – shoot out as much of it as possible and see what happens.”

On the back of this advice I launched a personal crusade (personal because no-one else seems to be getting on board) to submit a piece of writing to a different competition, theatre, agent, writing opportunity anywhere, every single Monday. This is fondly known to my facebook friends and twitter followers as #SubmissionMonday and since I have been religiously #SubmissionMonday-ing I have seen six pieces on my work staged at various London venues this year alone.

And that pretty much brings me up to date. Applying for Cold Writing with Write By Numbers was a #SubmissionMonday affair and I am itching to get started on it. Writing for a brief, to a tight deadline is tough (I recently did exactly this with the fabulous Pensive Federation) but in my experience it can lead to some of the most exciting, challenging and honest work you can imagine.  I just can’t wait.

My website is a great place to start for anything else you might want to know about me or my experience as a writer and dramaturg or you can follow me on twitter @carodixey. Otherwise just make sure you are there on 10th July at Babble.Jar – you’ll probably find me in the bar.

(And if you would like to join Caro – and probably the rest of us – in the bar you can get your name on the all important list by emailing and we shall let you in for £4, which works out at 67p per play)

Theatre.Jar: Cold Writing writers chosen for our first new writing event @ Babble.Jar

May I have a drum roll please…

(hear this in your head as appropriate)

After scouring through a very high level of applications and much deliberating and pontificating, the chosen writers for Cold Writing @ Babble.Jar are:

Mike Carter
Matt Cunningham
Thanh Dang
Caro Dixey
Olivia Furber
and Felix O’Brien

I can’t wait to work with this fine bunch of writing talent. I will give them a theme in a workshop on Sunday 7th July. And then I will give them just 24 hours to use all their craft and guile (who says writers don’t have ‘guile’?) to make us an awesome short play.

And then we will put them on. On Wednesday 10th July at 7.45pm @ Babble.Jar

Fancy tickets for £4 instead of £5 on the door? Email before Tuesday 9th July and get yourself on the cheap list. Numbers permitting. Obviously.

Charlie of WBN

WBN Presents…Theatre.Jar

We’ve been keeping this under our hats (or, in my case, my headscarf) for a little bit but to demonstrate that we’re doing other things than just creating elaborate visual structure patterns of Beneath the Albion Sky whilst eating biscuits we’ve got some exciting news to announce…

*drum roll please*

On the 10th July we’ll be doing our pop-up theatre thing at Babble.Jar in Stoke Newington. Babble.Jar’s an awesome bar (look! at! the! cocktails!) who are supporting lots of artistic ventures and, because we’re always up for doing something we haven’t done before, we’re exploring what a regular writing-theatre-night (Write By Numbers style) might look like with them. It’s probably worth noting that for once Write By Numbers style doesn’t include sub-zero temperatures, carrying hundreds of chairs, or fixing a broken toilet. Babble.Jar have all of those things in order (also, they have board games and table tennis – literally WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?).

We’ve christened the night Theatre.Jar (see what we did there?) and we’ll be launching in July with a specially commissioned version of our write-and-make-a-play-in-72-hours-without-collapsing-from-exhaustion strand Cold Writing. You can read our call out for writers here and, if you’re not panicked by over use of capitals and mild panic, you can also find out about what’s exactly involved with Cold Writing in our live blogs from Cold Writing: Reinvent and Cold Writing: The Forest.

Theatre.Jar will start at Babble.Jar at 7.45pm on Wednesday 10th July and you can find directions here. Tickets are £4 if, to borrow a phrase, your name’s on the list or £5 on the door. To get your name on that all important list send us an email to

And the upcoming Cold Writing theme is…

Due to the wonders of scheduled blogging, this post will be reaching the the world whilst I am in the middle of leading the workshop with our fine Cold Writing writers.

The theme of the festival should just be settling in with our writers now and (right now) I will be leading exercises with them as they explore the possibilities of the theme.

So without any further ado, I give you:


Yes, our third Cold Writing festival is to have the theme of ‘Reinvent’.

To see what our writers come up with, don’t miss Cold Writing: Reinvent at Jill, the Community Hub on Thursday 21st March at 7.30pm and Saturday 23rd March at 12.30pm and 3.00pm.


Cold Writing: We have chosen our Writers!

So it has been a bit of a slog through, and it has probably been the hardest choice yet due to the quality of applications we received, but we have finally chosen four writers to be involved in the upcoming Cold Writing Festival at Jill, the Community Hub in Sydenham.

These writers are:

Ella Ashman
Kymberly Ashman
Judy Upton
and Richard Walls

I can’t wait to run the workshop next Monday with these four fine writers, I’m even more excited to see what work they produce in just 48 hours and, I can’t deny, I’m intrigued to find out if Ella and Kymberly are related – or if it is just a coincidence that 2 of our final  4 share the same surname!

Stay tuned to the blog for when we reveal what this festival’s Mystery Theme will be (which will be approximately 5 minutes after I inform the writers as to what it is)

And stick in your diary the festival itself:

Thursday 21st March at 7.30pm
Saturday 23rd March at 12.30pm & 3.00pm

Charlie of WBN