Submit A Play

Welcome! We seek challenging, entertaining plays and musicals that are appropriate for teen and younger actors and/or audiences, as well as shows that have the potential to cross over to universities or community theatres. Please read all guidelines on this page carefully and browse our website to learn more about us before submitting.

 

Prospective Authors (19 and Under): We are currently closed to submissions, but we expect entries to reopen for the New Voices One-Act Competition for Young Playwrights on January 1, 2025.  (Scroll to the bottom to read the full guidelines from 2024!)

Prospective Authors: US-based BIPOC playwrights only may submit one unsolicited script (please wait for a submission decision prior to submitting another script). Other authors may email a query (instructions below) about a single play. You may query again when you've heard back from us on your current query or submission.

Current YouthPLAYS Authors: Log in first. Only current YouthPLAYS authors may submit multiple scripts.

 

Submission Guidelines

We accept unsolicited submissions of full scripts only from current YouthPLAYS authors, US-based BIPOC authors age 20 or older (one script onlyplease identify yourself as BIPOC in the Note the Publisher) and for the New Voices One-Act Competition for Young Playwrights (scroll to the bottom and make sure to read the full submission guidelines PDF carefully before submitting!).

All other authors may email a query (no scripts, please) about a single play to [email protected]. Please make sure the query includes all of the following in the body of the email (no attachments):

  • The play's title.
  • A brief synopsis.
  • The approximate running time.
  • A cast breakdown (e.g., 2 males, 4 females, 8+ any gender). Please address specifically whether the play contains any significant young (teen or younger) characters.
  • The producing groups for which you think the play is most appropriate (e.g., high schools, middle schools, TYA theatres, etc.).
  • Production/development history.
  • Any encumbrances (e.g., some part of it is published in a non-exclusive anthology). Also, please disclose any agency representation at this time.
  • Why you believe this play is a fit for our mission.
  • Again, do NOT include the script, in whole or in part, with your query.

 

Other Important Submission Notes

  • If invited/eligible to submit a full script, please make sure it has complete contact information (full name, mailing address, phone number, email address) on the title page, as well as a Cast of Characters page with a full cast breakdown. Please make sure the body of your script contains page numbers.
  • We recommend that all works be produced prior to publication so that they can be road tested. In the case of musicals, we only consider shows that have been produced, and they must have a completed, digitized (i.e., PDF) score (with orchestrations, if applicable). Musicals for which musical tracks (both for performance and with vocals for rehearsal) are available are strongly preferred.
  • At minimum, the play must have had a developmental reading or workshop. 
  • Should your play have any encumbrances (e.g., some part of it is published in an non-exclusive anthology), or if it being simultaneously submitted to other publishers, please note that in the "Author's Note to the Publisher" section. Be advised that we only represent material for which we can be the exclusive licensing agent.
  • Script submissions through this page only. No emailed scripts (and, of course, no snail mailed scripts.)
  • Please, no phone calls.
  • Response time is typically 6-9 months on scripts (less on queries), but may take up to 9-12 months or longer (and sometimes it's much quicker!). We ask that you only follow up if you have another publication offer to report. In that case, we are happy to expedite consideration of your play so that you may potentially consider both offers.
  • If at any point your material becomes unavailable (e.g., because you accept another publication offer), please email us immediately so that we can devote our resources to material that is still available to us.
  • We do not accept submissions of previously submitted plays (either in whole or in part) unless we have specifically requested the resubmission.

 

Types of Material

  • Scripts that center younger (primarily teen/youth) characters, even if those roles are likely to be played by adults. We also consider scripts with strongly youth-friendly content and that have a youthful spirit (e.g., Melodramatics, which is an educationally valuable example of melodrama), even if there are no discernibly young characters.
  • One-act or full-length plays and musicals for schools and youth theatres. We particularly need one-act (and full-length) comedies for high school and middle school performers with large or flexible casts and lots of female roles, as well as mysteries and/or murder mysteries for that age group. One-acts that run 30-35 minutes and are suitable for competition are highly encouraged.
  • BIPOC plays and playwrights. We particularly seek plays that speak to BIPOC teens and youth, plays that deal with the concerns and interests of the Latinx, Black, AAPI and Indigenous communities, and bilingual plays (particularly English/Spanish) written by BIPOC playwrights. But we are interested in diversity of all kinds!
  • One-act or full-length plays and musicals in which adult actors or mixed-age casts perform for young audiences (TYA). It is important that the protagonist and preferably other important roles be young characters, even if they are played by older actors.
  • Short monologues (6-8 minutes) and plays for 2 or more actors (8-10 minutes) with teen/youth characters, particularly comedies.
  • Adaptations and parodies of well-known titles (please check our site to make sure we don't already have your chosen title). In the case of adaptations, please be sure you have all appropriate permissions (i.e., a written agreement with the underlying rights holder, if the material is not in the public domain) before submitting.
  • We do not accept screenplays, fiction or non-fiction prose (i.e., short stories, novels, essays, etc.), poetry (unless it's within a play), collections of unrelated stand-alone monologues shorter than what is described above (we believe monologues should exist within the larger context of a play) and plays for whom the primary market is college, community theatre or adult professional theatre (it's OK if a play is primarily for high school, for example, but might cross over and receive college productions).

 

The New Voices One-Act Competition for Young Playwrights

Congratulations to the winning entries in the 2023 competition! For the first time in the history of the competition, we had two winners!

Boy with Pearl Earring by Sophia Hall (winner)

A Girl in Haarlem by Hannah Nieuwveld (winner)

Dear Moonbot by Rainer White; The Girl in the Mirror by Yueqing Wu; Jiseung: A Play by Kate Choi; like son, like father by Lu YongQuan David; No Son of Mine by John Cross; Players, Staged by Penelope Letter (honorable mentions alphabetically by title)

The submission deadline was May 1, 2024 for this year's competition, and the record number of entries is being reviewed. Submissions reopen on January 1, 2025. Get writing!
 

Click here for full submission guidelines. Do not submit without reading these first!!!

Click here for a handy-dandy one-sheet, ideal for posting on bulletin boards.

Click here for our format sheet, which includes the title page (with all of the required info) and cast of characters page. Do not submit in screenplay format!

 

We strongly recommend you read Jonathan Dorf's blog, "Eleven Contest Winning Tips for Young Playwrights" before submitting. Want more playwriting insights? Check out his complete playwriting course in a book, Young Playwrights 101.

Want to read some of the plays that have been successful in past contests? Check out our New Voices anthology! This could be you!

 

Play Submission Form

Author Information

Already a YouthPLAYS author? Please log in before submitting your play.

Play Information

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Sometimes, we may believe that a play could be a fit for YouthPLAYS after dramaturgy. Are you open to receiving notes and potentially doing rewrites prior to a final decision?

Play Files
Please upload a PDF file only.
Please send complete score as a PDF (required for musicals) and any musical tracks (optional) as MP3 files. To upload multiple files, hold down CTRL (PC) or (Mac) and select all the files you wish to include. Uploads are limited to 50 MB.

Please press this button once only.