36th annual California Young Playwrights Contest accepting submissions


Playwrights Project will host its 36th annual California Young Playwrights Contest for California youth ages 18 and under. Playwrights Project’s 2019 California Young Playwrights Contest featured 561 plays submitted by students from 56 schools in 26 school districts across the state.

The deadline for contest submissions is June 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Students are encouraged to submit original, unpublished plays written individually or in partnership. There are no limits on subject, style and form. Scripts should be a minimum of 10 typed pages, using proper play format (see website for example); there is no maximum page suggestion. Students may submit multiple plays for consideration, as long as they are original and unpublished, and Playwrights Projects requests entrants disclose any past productions of their play.

All contest entrants may request individualized feedback on their script to consider for future revision. Previously submitted scripts are only eligible if significant changes have been made to the script in response to judges’ past comments.

Contest submissions are evaluated blindly by Rachael VanWormer (contest coordinator) and a pool of experienced theatre professionals. Scripts are stripped of all identifying information (name, age, gender, school, etc.) before sharing with Playwrights Project’s panel of evaluators. The top 50 scripts will be reviewed by Cecelia Kouma (executive producer), who works with the contest coordinator to select finalists, whose plays will be evaluated by a panel of final judges.

Contest finalists are honored at a special celebration and the contest winning writers’ workshop their play for production in Playwrights Project’s annual Plays by Young Writers Festival, to be held at a San Diego theatre in spring 2021. Selection criteria focuses on creative ideas, intriguing and authentic characters, fresh use of language, a story that is revealed through dialogue and action, and a script that would benefit from further development in the production process.

For more information and to submit online, visit