Kalli Damschen

Bring Your World to the Stage with Playwriting Contests

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© Photo by christopher.durant on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

© Photo by christopher.durant on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

With the start of the new year approaching, there are many upcoming opportunities for new, young writers who want to hone their craft, connect with other playwrights and producers, or see their work performed on the stage. If you’ve been itching to write a play—or have already written one and are looking for a way to share it—check out some of these totally free opportunities below.

Theatre InspiraTO’s 11th Playwriting Contest
Deadline: 1 December 2015
Theatre InspiraTO is the largest 10-minute play festival in Canada, and each year they hold a contest open to playwrights around the world. Write a 10-minute play of any genre that shows some sort of shift. The winning play will be awarded $500 CAD, while the top 10 to 18 plays will be performed in June for the InspiraTO festival in Toronto. For more information about the competition’s requirements and how to submit your work, visit the Theatre InspiraTO’s website.

Criterion New Writing
Deadline: 1 December 2015
London’s Criterion Theatre is hosting free workshops for new playwrights to improve their writing, learn new skills and meet other writers throughout 2016. To apply, you only need to submit your CV, two references and a personal statement about why you want to participate in the workshops.

Hampstead Theatre
Deadline: 31 December 2015
The Hampstead Theatre in London allows new writers from the UK to submit their unpublished, original work. Plays should be at least 50 pages in length and must be submitted as a PDF via email. If your work is selected, your play will be performed at the Hampstead Theatre.

Theatre Trail Writers Competition 2016
Deadline: 31 January 2016
Each year, Drip Action Theatre Company presents the Arundel Festival Theatre Trail, which features eight short plays performed in different locations over eight consecutive days. Writers of any age are welcome to submit a play of 30 to 40 minutes, and the top eight plays will be selected by a panel of judges. Each of the winning playwrights will be awarded £150, while the best script will be awarded £250.

First Break Writing Competition
Deadline: 22 February 2016
The Oldham Coliseum Theatre is looking for short plays, lasting under 15 minutes and only requiring four characters, based on the untold stories of Oldham and Greater Manchester. Judges will select four plays to be performed at the theatre’s First Break New Writing Festival. Visit the theatre’s website for more information about what they’re looking for and how to submit your work.

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