Information for Writers

At the CRS, it’s all about the writers! We bring both established and up-and-coming writers out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight. The CRS provides an ongoing community space where artists come to share their work, connect with one another, and create more. It is both a supportive and challenging environment for writers.

We program all kinds of writing: excerpts from feature-length plays and screenplays, short films, one-act plays, TV pilots, webseries, monologues, radio plays, prose, anything. If it’s good, we want it.

What’s in it for you? Hear your words come alive!

When your script is chosen for the CRS, we cast professional actors on the spot to bring your words off the page in front of a live audience. From the audience’s reaction, you know exactly what’s working and what needs tweaking.

No rehearsals, this is live.

Since it’s a cold reading, the actors don’t have time to rehearse your scenes. They’ll read exactly what’s on the page and you get to hear if it’s working. It’s an invaluable part of the script development process.

The best way for writers to get involved with the CRS is to come down and check it out. You’ll see the kind of writing that works best in our venue, and how the CRS works.

Ready to Submit? Visit the Submission Guidelines for details.

Still unsure? Check out these writers’ testimonies about the Cold Reading Series.

Michelle Muldoon, Deadfest (June 24, 2011)

Having your work read publicly is both a frightening and exhilarating experience. Vancouver is fortunate to have The Cold Reading Series, an event that brings together actors, writers, and musicians, for a wonderful night of shared creativity…

Last night, The Cold Reading Series read the first twenty pages Deadfest. This script is a dark comedy that takes us on an odd journey through the smallest, and possibly, worst film festival on the planet. The characters are all a little, shall we say, “off”. I always thought it was funny, but I come from a family that laughs at its own jokes, so what do I know.

I walked to the venue last night thinking, “What if no one laughs?”. A quick lager and lemon when I got there, and I was starting to feel better. We heard a very funny short script, and the Deadfest doubts were creeping in again. Well, thanks to a fabulous cast, I’m happy to say, laughter ensued. To add to the feeling of success, several people asked me if the CRS would be reading more of the script. For me, that was the best compliment of all. Much thanks to everyone involved for a fabulous evening. You made my script come alive, and slayed my fears that Deadfest might end up dead in the water.

Elissa Vann Struth, Me and Bruce Lee (August 7, 2011)

Last week, the first thirty pages of my feature script ME AND BRUCE LEE were performed as part of the Cold Reading Series…

It was great – the actors did an incredible job reading and the narrator kept the stage directions crackling along. It’s really a wonderful service for the writer – to hear your words come up off the page and out of the mouths of people as your characters is amazing. I noted some slow spots and a few lines where the actors swapped words around to make the lines sound more natural. The only excruciating part was when I had to get up before the reading and answer a few questions – ack! Painful but thankfully brief. If I ever do it again, I’m going to write a scene where I’m interviewed and just hand the page over to be acted out by the appropriate personnel.

I highly recommend submitting your work-in-progress (play, screenplay, radio play, etc.) After the reading, hang out in the pub and ask the actors for feedback.