IASH/Traverse Creative Fellowship

This fellowship is now closed for applications. Interviews will be held on 16 December.

About the Fellowship

IASH and the Traverse will commission a play on or inspired by any aspect of the Institute’s current interests. The stipend will be £10,000 and the recipient will have a private office and full Fellowship at IASH, and contribute to the Institute’s events, including giving at least one work-in-progress seminar during the tenure of the Fellowship.  During the period of the fellowship the playwright will receive dramaturgical support from the Traverse’s Literary Department. The recipient must be Edinburgh-based for the duration of the residency, as their regular presence at IASH is expected and they will be encouraged to play a part in the artistic life of the theatre.

The tenure of the Fellowship will be between 6 and 10 months, by agreement, with the intention that the playwright will submit a complete play to the Traverse at the end of 2017.

The ideal candidate will be a writer who wants to engage actively with the Traverse and is eager to make the most of the unique environment that IASH provides to further their thinking and develop their work. You can find out more about IASH via the About page.

Previous Fellows

  • Jo Clifford (2010) and Linda McLean (2011) were both writing on some aspect of the life, work and legacy of David Hume as part of the 2011 celebrations to mark the tercentenary of the birth of David Hume. Jo’s play The Tree of Knowledge, written during the Fellowship, was performed at the Traverse Theatre in December 2011.
  • The theme for 2012-13 was “Difficult Dialogues”.  Pamela Carter was in residence in the autumn of 2012 and Iain Finlay Macleod in Spring 2013.
  • Clare Duffy was in residence from September 2014 to May 2015.

IASH is a precious island of intelligent, creative, and free discourse.  It's an intellectual community in the very best sense of the world: an amazing and astonishing space to write a play in... (Jo Clifford)

The work I've done here includes the final draft of Melody (produced by the Traverse Theatre); a rough first draft of a new play called The Gypsy Grave; an adaptation of an American novel I've titled Mancub and the first act of a play called If Destroyed True (Paines Plough commission) which is the most directly inspired piece from my time here. It's a lot of work, about double what I would normally achieve in the time frame. (Douglas Maxwell)

My time at IASH was extremely productive and memorable. A really special period when I rediscovered the process of writing a play at a desk, which just so happened to be exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. I really valued the cross-pollination process through the IASH structure of lunches and work-in-progress sharings and I felt that my place as a creative writer was of interest as well to the other fellows. (Clare Duffy)

The Traverse

The Traverse is Scotland's new writing theatre.

Formed in 1963 by a group of passionate theatre enthusiasts, the Traverse was founded to extend the spirit of the Edinburgh festivals throughout the year. Today, under Artistic Director Orla O'Loughlin, the Traverse nurtures emerging talent, produces award-winning new plays and offers a curated programme of the best work from the UK and beyond, spanning theatre, dance, performance, music and spoken word.

The Traverse has launched the careers of some of the UK's most celebrated writers - David Greig, David Harrower and Zinnie Harris - and continues to discover and support new voices - Stef Smith, Morna Pearson, Gary McNair and Rob Drummond.

With two custom-built and versatile theatre spaces, the Traverse's home in Edinburgh's city centre is a powerhouse of vibrant new work for, and of, our time.  Every August, it holds an iconic status as the theatrical heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Outside the theatre walls, it runs an extensive engagement programme, offering audiences of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to explore, create and develop. Further afield, the Traverse frequently tours internationally and engages in exchanges and partnerships - most recently in Quebec, Turkey and South Korea. 

‘The Traverse remains the best new writing theatre in Britain.’

The Guardian

For more information about the Traverse please visit www.traverse.co.uk


Interested applicants are invited to put in writing why they would like to take up this Fellowship and what they would like to explore in their commissioned play.  Applications should demonstrate an awareness of the work and ethos of the Traverse and IASH and a sense of how the writer and their work might fit into this. Applications are now closed. Interviews will be held on 16 December.