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Playwriting Rules

The Newmarket National Ten Minute Play Festival is seeking 24 short original plays to produce for our inaugural festival,

July 22-23, 2017.  The competition is open to all playwrights living in Canada or from Canadian citizens living abroad.

All entrants must follow the Submission Instructions.




1. We only accept electronic submissions in Microsoft Word. Please note that we do not accept pdfs.  Word allows us to make notes in the margins should we wish to discuss revisions with you before or as a condition of production.  If you produce your work on a Mac, please be sure that your document will open on a PC.   


2. When formatting your play, you may use any of the “Stage Play” or “Play Script” formats available on line.  Many offer templates in Microsoft Word where you merely have to fill in the blanks…so away you go!

3. We are looking for NEW plays. Please do not send us anything that has previously been produced or published.


4. Your play must contain at least two (2) characters, but no more than four (4).


5.  If you are new to the ten minute play format, there are excellent resources available on line or to purchase in print.  Simplest point to keep in mind is that your play should focus more on dialogue than monologues.  You only have ten minutes to make a lot happen.

6. Because plays are adjudicated “blind,” please place your name ONLY on the title page (along with all your contact information), and be sure your play title appears as a header on each script page. 

7.  Play rehearsals and/or performances may be recorded or photographed for archival purposes. 

8. Submitting your play grants the Newmarket National Ten Minute Play Festival all performance rights for the duration of the festival, with the only financial compensation to the author being the possibility of winning the grand prize for best play of $350; second place price of $100, or third place prize of $50.  It is our intention to  pay an honorarium to playwrights through a program called Playwrights Progress, sponsored by a local business.   As with any profit share, the amount of any honorarium is contingent on what the festival "nets."  

9.Submitting your play also grants the Newmarket National Ten Minute Play Festival the right to use your name, play title, video excerpts from your play, or photographs from your play for promotional purposes for the current festival, and in the promotion of future festivals.


10. Playwrights may submit up to THREE plays in any festival year, but may not resubmit any play that has been previously entered in the NNTMPF contest.  No more than one play by any playwright will be produced, regardless of the number of scripts submitted.


11. Keep your play to no more than ten minutes in length, approximately ten pages when using proper script format.  Read it aloud and time it before submitting it! Scripts should have minimal set and technical requirements.

12.  Playwrights should note that the NNPF reserves the right to use gender-neutral casting.

If you have any questions concerning the above rules, or wish further information, please contact connect@nationalplayfestival.ca