Sue Healy
Sue Healy

Finborough Theatre Literary Manager Sue Healy Publishes New Book On Literary Management

Sue Healy, Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre, sees her new book The Literary Manager’s Toolkit published by Routledge this month. This essential guide turns the spotlight on a key arts job, little understood beyond the theatre industry. It is an excellent resource for those working in the theatre arts, or those hoping to do so, and fills a much needed gap.
A theatre’s literary manager acts as a mentor to writers, a midwife for their plays and an advisor on their career advancement, in addition to administrating a literary department. In her new guide, Healy explores the varied responsibilities of this fascinating role, providing tips, tools and keen observations along the way. The guide further supplies insightful interviews and advice from literary managers associated with the Royal Court Theatre, the Abbey Theatre, the Royal Exchange Manchester, amongst other celebrated playhouses. Additionally, the book includes illuminating interviews with theatre figures including Simon Stephens and Simon Farquhar, who share their first-hand experiences of working with a literary manager and impart astute reflections on how literary managers can best facilitate and enable playwrights to thrive in their careers.
As a key responsibility of the literary manager is to foster, nurture and guide the early career playwright, this book is brimming with priceless direction, advice and resources for all writers, from every discipline. There are lists of funding opportunities, residencies, payment advice, employment tips and direction on getting your play commissioned and thoughts on how a writer can improve their work and make it more appealing to theatres.
Sue Healy says:
“During early lockdown, a colleague asked me to point him towards a book on literary management.  He wasn’t looking for a critical exploration of dramaturgy, there are many stellar books on that topic, rather he sought a practical guide on managing unsolicited scripts, fostering writers and systems for running a literary department. He couldn’t find any, and then neither could I. There was clearly a gap in the theatre publishing world that needed to be filled. As I mentioned, it was lockdown, so I used the time to write this guide. The result is this practical book that draws on my own extensive experience as a literary manager, but also as a playwright and lecturer. My goal was to craft an accessible, essential resource, I believe I’ve achieved this aim and hope the theatre world finds it useful and necessary.”
Sue Healy is Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre, and also a full-time lecturer in dramatic writing at the University of Lincoln, and holds a PhD in theatre history, specialising in the Royal Court Theatre. She is also a successful playwright, radio dramatist and screenwriter.

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