At Plays Inverse, we believe that playwriting can be taught, but a unique voice can't. We also believe that cross-pollination within the arts is critically important in fostering new forms of writing and performance. Some of our favorite monologues of the last year were in the form of poems, and some of our favorite dialogue from selections of prose. As a press, we want writers from all genres to consider the unique advantages of dramatic writing, and we want them to know that Plays Inverse is dedicated to supporting experimentation within the form.
We also realize, however, that writing a first play can be a very intimidating process.
That's why we've decided to hold our first contest—the Plays Inverse "Unemerged Playwright Contest." While other contests celebrating emerging playwrights already exist, we're interested in identifying writers writing in other genres whose talents could—with guidance and encouragement—push theatre in new and exciting directions.
The contest's rules are simple:
- CAN'T have published or produced a play before.
- CAN'T submit a script as your writing sample.
- CAN'T submit a piece you'd like to "adapt" into a play.
- CAN submit previously published or unpublished work.
- CAN submit one long piece or multiple poems/chapters/essays/etc. (within the 10-15 page limit)
- CAN submit work from any genre and/or work from multiple genres (excluding drama)
The winner will work with Plays Inverse Editor Tyler Crumrine to develop a new play from scratch.
They'll receive free professional editing, dramaturgy, and production support from Plays Inverse
, as well as a workshop and staged reading of the new work in 2018
Submissions open February 1, 2017 and close May 31, 2017, with a submission fee of $5. All fees raised through this contest will be added to a standing fund for the production of new play readings and workshops.
A winner will be selected based on the dramatic potential of their writing sample(s) on August 1, 2017 or sooner.
A NOTE ON RIGHTS
: All rights to the new work (and any writing samples) will remain solely in the possession of the playwright.
Plays Inverse will help develop, promote, and produce the work, but publication is not a part of this contest
. The playwright will be welcome to submit their script to Plays Inverse following its development—and an ongoing relationship between Plays Inverse and the contest winner would obviously be ideal—but we will continue to support the writer if they decide to take the play elsewhere or if the play is a better fit for another press.A NOTE ON FEES: None of the submission fees from this contest will be used to pay Plays Inverse staff (including Tyler Crumrine).
We've been looking for ways to ethically raise additional funds to help produce work we believe in, and The Unemerged Playwright Contest is an attempt to do so while identifying and encouraging new potential playwrights at the same time. We're also committed to keeping our book-length submissions free of charge, and encourage writers to email any to us directly.