September 15-16, 2017
Lexington, Kentucky

Playwriting Prize

Thanks to everyone who submitted to our biennial Prize for Women Playwrights during the most recent submission period of December 15, 2016 through January 15, 2017. We received over 150 scripts from all of the world. These will be reviewed and finalists selected by a panel of Lexington-area theater professionals, and a guest judge, a nationally renowned playwright tba, will choose the winning script. Eric Seale will produce and direct the winning script for a world premiere performance in Kentucky, tba.

Questions: kentuckywomenwriters@gmail.com.

The Kentucky Women Writers Conference awards a biennial Prize for Women Playwrights to bring more scripts by women to the stage, through a collaboration among our program, a partnering theater, and a guest judge. The winner receives a world premier production for a paying audience, with royalties, plus a cash prize of $500. The winning script may be workshopped prior to its production. If you would like to receive our bi-monthly listserv with updates about this contest and our other programming, please send your request to kentuckywomenwriters@gmail.com.

Producer and Director

Eric Seale, artistic managing director of Central Kentucky Community Theatre in Springfield, KY, and former director of Actors Guild of Lexington, will independently produce the winning script, with Jessica York as assistant producer. You can read more about Eric here and here

Guest Judge

Tba for 2017.

Eligible Playwrights

The competition is open to all women playwrights living anywhere on Planet Earth. There are no restrictions on age, experience, or residence. Co-authored scripts are eligible if at least 50 percent of co-authors are female.

Eligible Plays

One-act or full-length scripts in English, with a running time between 45 and 90 minutes, that have not been published or commercially produced as of the entry deadline or before the release of the KWWC production. We are seeking a new play that can be produced as a world premiere. Many kinds of preliminary productions, even those charging admission, do not disqualify your script, including:

  • an Equity or other showcase
  • a workshop production
  • a script-in-hand staged reading
  • a student lab performance

We place no limitations on subject matter. Scripts may be based on factual events, purely fictional, or adaptations. We are not seeking musicals or children's plays.To ensure an equitable judging process, please submit only a "blind" script, with all personal identifying information removed.  Limitations:

  • Reading time must be in the range of 45-90 minutes.
  • Casts must be limited to 8 actors (1 actor may play multiple roles).
  • The production will be in a small black box theater. Set, lighting, sound, costume, and prop requirements should be kept to a minimum.

 

Deadline and Timeline

  • Entries must be electronically submitted by 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2017
  • Winner will be posted on our Web site on March 15, 2017 (tentative)
  • Winning script may be workshopped.
  • Production will occur in November 2017 (tentative)

 

Judging Process and Criteria

All entries will be screened by KWWC staff for completeness and adherence to contest guidelines. Judging will consist of two rounds. In round 1, a diverse panel of theater professionals and educators will choose 5-10 finalists. In round 2 a guest judge will choose 1 winner. Judging will be guided by literary merit and theatrical potential.

 

Past Winners & Guest Judges

Naomi Wallace was our first judge in 2011 and chose Keliher Walsh’s play, Year of the Rabbit, produced by Balagula Theatre in Lexington. Kia Corthron was our next judge in 2013 and chose Jo Morello’s E.G.O.: The Passions of Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, also produced by Balagula. Carson Kreitzer selected in The Silent Woman by Lydia Blaisdell, independently produced by Eric Seale in 2015. The Silent Woman tells the strange, true tale of a painter living with an effigy of his ex-lover in 1919. It had its world premiere in Lexington, KY on Nov. 5 - 7, 2015 (press release).