Kirsty Taylor announced as 2024 Kay Mellor Fellow

11th January 2024

Written by:

Jade Jones, Development Executive

We are delighted to announce Kirsty Taylor as the recipient of the 2024 Kay Mellor Fellowship.

The Fellowship was created in partnership with the award-winning Leeds writer Kay Mellor in 2019 and was first awarded to Bradford writer Kat Rose Martin in 2020. It continues in memory of Kay, who passed away in 2022, with a new three year investment from BBC North, Leeds City Council, Rollem Productions and Leeds Playhouse. 

Through her poetry and spoken word, Kirsty has always been a champion of her home city of Bradford, showcasing and giving voice to its unheard stories. Her work champions those traditionally underrepresented on stage and screen through humour, drama and exploring non-traditional form. She was part of the team who helped Bradford  win the coveted  Year of Culture for 2025. Her debut play Cashy C’s: The Musical was performed in a non-traditional theatre space – a former frozen food store in Bradford city centre – and was set in a recreated cash convertors, exploring the multiple lives of those who passed through the shop.

During her Fellowship, Kirsty will explore stories of adoption and severance from the perspective of birth families, working with local birth mother groups to research and develop both a play and TV pitch which tells the stories of how and why children get taken into care, with authenticity, intricacy and integrity.

Being awarded this fellowship feels like a massive and timely next step for me. The opportunity to develop my ideas through the legacy of Kay Mellor feels really special. Buzzing! ”

Kirsty Taylor

Kirsty is the first of three Fellows over the next three years. Each will receive a bursary and spend their year on attachment with Leeds Playhouse and Rollem Productions to develop their own script and TV Pitch, as well as receiving a place on the BBC Writers Voices writer development programme.

The Kay Mellor Fellowship is part of our commitment to supporting and nurturing new writing talent in our region

Kirsty's work shone through during the application process and her playwriting has the ability to portray often gritty and dark subject matters with warmth and humour, much like the work of Kay. We will be welcoming her into the Rollem family with open arms and can't wait to transfer her incredible playwriting skills into the world of television ”

Gaynor Mellor, Creative Director of Rollem Productions

In addition to the Fellowship, Leeds Playhouse launched The Kay Mellor Fund in 2023, to raise money to nurture local writers – something that was always very close to Kay’s heart – through its industry-leading Furnace Artist Development programme. This fund will support locally rooted writers through bespoke investment, mentoring and training opportunities.

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