GAWIE Step-Up Commission
(Entries Now Closed!)


We will be looking again next year for an exciting, ambitious wordsmith ready to take a step-up in their career. Will that be YOU?

So, what is the Step-Up Commission?

The Step-Up Commission, a partnership between GAWIE and the House of the West Wind, offers mentorship, funds and support to an emerging wordsmith performer – storytellers, poets, comedians, spoken word artists – if you work with words, we want to hear from you!

We want to help you develop an exciting new performance piece – a ‘wow’ showstopper to be the centrepiece of the GAWIE festival – as well as the means for you to take it on further.

Okay, but how will the Step-Up Commission help me?

If you’ve got a great performance idea and the drive to make it happen, we are offering:

  • £1000 to give you time to work on your idea
  • Mentoring with internationally renowned storyteller Shonaleigh Cumbers and dramaturg Amelia Armande
  • Opportunity to perform at Get a Word in Edgeways Festival 2023 and East Anglia Storytelling Festival 2024
  • Publicity to help get your piece out into the world

I’m interested! How do I apply to the Step-Up Commission?

Send us a proposal of your idea with a brief summary of your art-form and experience by Monday 28th November.

Proposals should be in the form of:

  • One written side of A4 or
  • A 3-minute max video or audio file sent by to

Important Dates

  • 28 November 11:59pm 2022 – Initial Proposal Deadline
  • 13 December 2022 – Shortlist candidates announced
  • 28/29 January 2023 – Free workshop for shortlist candidates in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. You must be able to attend this workshop to apply
  • 5 February 2023 – Commission artist announced
  • 13-15 October 2023 – Commission performance at Get a Word in Edgeways festival. You must be able to attend the festival to apply.
  • May 2024 – Commission performance at East Anglia Storytelling Festival (dates TBC)

Any questions?

For more information, please contact Amy Douglas at

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