Q&A with Michele Lee
Winner of QPDA 2016-17 for RICE
1. What other opportunities opened up for you after winning the QPDA?
RICE went on to win the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Drama and the 2018 AWGIE for Stage, and was a finalist for the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Nick Enright Prize. These are awards I could only enter with a produced script.
So, awards are great, they make your CV sound impressive, they recognise the work you put into your writing (although I think all my plays could all do with more work!)…but as always with awards, plenty of great, moving, awesome plays miss out.
2. From a national perspective, why is the QPDA important?
It’s the only award that leads to production – as RICE was my first mainstage show, it was a big learning experience too. I could only learn by seeing the work go into rehearsals and production (and from reading the varied reviews!).
3. What advice would you share with other ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ artists considering entering the QPDA?
Write what you want to write about, whether or not that has anything to do directly with being not white.
4. As an assessor on the QPDA 2020-21 panel, what tips would you give to anyone looking to enter the Award?
As with a lot of other applications, let me hear your voice when you’re talking about the project. You don’t need to be overly formal.
…But use clear and active sentences
On another note, personally I like application processes, as the questions for each thing I’m applying for always get me thinking more about the work itself. So with the all-too-familiar rejections – if that is what happens for you in this process – I can take away useful thoughts I had about the work from going through the application process.