Emerging Playwrights Competition

The Phillips’ Mill Community Association Announces
the third Juried One-Act
Emerging Playwrights Competition
Performance Date:  to be determined
Submissions are closed, as we have received 50 entries!

The mission of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association (PMCA) is to promote the arts and preserve the artistic and cultural heritage of Bucks County. Consistent with this mission, the Drama Committee of PMCA is pleased to announce the third Phillips’ Mill Juried One-Act Playwriting Competition, to encourage the development of original new work for the stage by offering the opportunity for public performance.

The first 50 submissions received during the acceptance period (July 22 – September 30, 2020) will be considered.  If 50 submissions are received before the end of the acceptance period, notice of that fact will be posted on our web site.  Our judges will select as many as six winners.  Each winning entry will receive a cash prize of $100.00 and a public reading before a live audience at Phillips’ Mill on a date to be determined.

We are pleased to have a distinguished panel of judges who have agreed to participate in this year’s competition:

John Augustine is a writer, an actor and a director.  He is the author of Augustine’s Confessions, a short play collection, and his one-act play PeopleSpeak is included in in Shorter, Faster, Funnier, published by Penguin Random House.  In the 1990’s he wrote half hour comedy for Paramount/NBC and Fox Television.  He has acted in and directed plays Off-Broadway and in Bucks County.

Judith Hallberg has experience in film and on the stage as a writer, producer, director, actor and business manager.  She served as reader for the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s second Festival of New Plays and for the Vermont Repertory Theatre’s New Play Festival.  For the last six years she has been a reader and judge for the Firehouse Center For the Arts New Works Festival in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

James Schiffer is Professor of English at SUNY New Paltz, where he has often served as a judge for student writing contests.  While teaching at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, he organized and helped judge a state-wide, one-act-play competition.  Schiffer has published essays on various Shakespearean plays and poems and is the editor of Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Critical Essays and of Twelfth Night: New Critical Essays (both with Routledge); in addition, he wrote a monograph on contemporary author Richard Stern (Twayne/Macmillan).  He is also the creator and director of the stage show and short film Sonnet Variations, distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences.

Contest Rules
  • All work must be original, unpublished and not previously produced on a stage (other than in a workshop or educational environment). The playwright submitting the work must have sole and exclusive rights to publish and perform it.  The work must not infringe any copyright.
  • Playwright must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Playwright must currently live within a one hundred mile radius of Phillips’ Mill
        *****(THIS INCLUDES NEW YORK CITY!)****
  • Copyright of all works submitted remains with the author.
  • Musicals, monologues, children’s plays, adaptations, film and TV scripts are ineligible.
  • Playwrights may submit no more than two (2) scripts.  Each script is a separate entry, requiring a separate fee and using a unique entry number.
  • Entries must not exceed 5,000 words and should have a running time of 10 to 15 minutes with 1 to 6 characters.
  • Scripts should follow standard play formatting. At the least: one-inch margins, 12-point font, character names capitalized, stage directions in italics, and page numbers included.
  • Scripts must not include any form of identification, only the entry number provided by the playwright to our web site.
  • Scripts should include a character breakdown.
  • Please thoroughly proof-read and time your script.

Entry Fee:  A nonrefundable fee of $10 for each script entered (no more than two).  

Entries:  Entries must be received during the period July 22 – September 30, 2020 midnight.  

  1. Complete the online entry form below, and provide a six-digit number of your own choosing. This is your entry number. This insures that your work will be judged anonymously. The site will not process payment after fifty scripts have been received.
  2. Prepare your script as an Adobe Portable Document (.pdf) file, using the unique entry number as the only identification of the author and as the name of the .pdf file.
  3. Once ready, upload your submission on the form.
  4. Proof read your form and click on “Submit”. You will be taken to PayPal to pay your entry fee.
  5. Once the transaction is complete, you will receive an email confirmation of your entry details.  Please note:  If you do not receive your confirmation, please check your spam folder, in case it ends up there.

If you wish to enter a second script, come back to this page and fill in the form again with a different ID number.

Entries will not be accepted by postal service.  Questions?  Contact David Shenkle (davidlshenkle@gmail.com) or Valerie Eastburn (valerie.eastburn@gmail.com)

Awards:  Winners will receive a cash prize of $100.00 and a public reading of their work on a future date to be determined.  

The Mill’s street address is 2619 River Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938.

Scripts are evaluated by our judges, and their decisions are final.  No written or verbal critique will be required of the judges.  There will be a moderated “talk-back” after the performance.


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