Student Writers Are Invited to “Play with Words”

October 2, 2022

Student Writers Are Invited to “Play with Words”

Youth Playwriting Challenge

Phillips’ Mill has announced an exciting playwriting competition for students, grade 6 to 12, with a “playful” name and a sincere intent. “We designed Play with Words to encourage young writers to create original works for the stage,” says Valerie Eastburn, Chair of the Phillips’ Mill Drama Committee. “We wanted to build on the success of our Emerging Playwright Competition by offering a similar opportunity for young writers to see their work performed on stage.”

Call for Submissions: 

Submissions for the competition open on October 15, 2022. Winning submissions will be read on the stage of the historic Phillips’ Mill on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 3 pm.

To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in a public, private, charter or home school located within a 25-mile radius of Phillips’ Mill. The first 50 submissions received during the acceptance period––October 15-December 31, 2022––will be considered. Winners will be selected in three (3) categories: grades 6-8; grades 9-10 and grades 11-12. Coauthoring is allowed, making this a fun opportunity for siblings, friends, drama clubs, scout troops, church and synagogue groups, and more. There is no entry fee for this competition.

Entries must not exceed 12 pages and should have a running time of 10 minutes or less with 2 to 4 characters. Scripts should include a character breakdown and use American Standard Playwriting format. Submitted works must be original, unpublished and not previously produced on a stage (except in a workshop or educational setting). All plays must be appropriate for a General Audience, PG-13.

Winners will receive a $50 cash prize in addition to having their work performed live at a staged reading at Phillips’ Mill. Authors of winning submissions may direct their work, if desired. Phillips’ Mill will select all actors and directors if the playwright chooses not to direct. 

Playwrights are required to be present at the March 12, 2023,  live reading event and to participate in a moderated discussion with the audience following the readings. The competition judges will provide expert commentary for all entries.

We will be posting the prospectus some time soon. Please check back for updated information.

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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus