JANUARY 4, 2016

Are you 18 or under? Have you written a play?  Started a play? Thought about writing a play? Do it! (There are tips and exercises you can use to help you write your play here and here.) 

Young Playwrights Inc. wants to hear your voice, and share it with others. Enter our National Playwriting Competition and your play will be read and evaluated in writing by a theater professional. Selected writers will also be invited to New York, expenses paid, for our Young Playwrights Conference to work with some of this country’s most exciting professional theater artists, and to hear their plays read in our Off-Broadway Readings Series.

Mail plays, postmarked on or before January 4, 2016 to:

Young Playwrights Inc. NPC
Post Office Box 5134
New York, NY 10185


Email a PDF to:


  • You must be 18 years old or younger on January 4, 2016.  In other words, all writers born on or after January 5, 1998 are eligible to submit their work.
  • You must be a US citizen or US resident. Please note: at this time we are unable to accept international entries that do not meet this criteria.
  • Style, subject, and length are up to you, but collaborations of more than three writers will NOT be accepted.
  • Original plays only.
  • No screenplays, musicals or adaptations.
  • You may submit more than one play.
  • Scripts must be typed, with numbered pages. If you submit a hard copy, scripts must be stapled.
  • Scripts must be submitted by the author, not by a teacher or parent.
  • The title page must list your name, date of birth, home address (including zip code and apartment #), email, and phone number. Click here for a title page template we encourage you to use.
  • Please keep your original script and submit a copy or email a PDF. Mailed scripts will not be returned.
  • Please do not send the following types of mail:
    • Registered or Certified Mail, Return Receipt, Delivery or Signature Confirmation

Those services cost you more AND require authorized signatures that will delay our receipt of your mail.


So you’ve written a play and decided to submit it to Young Playwrights Inc. Congratulations! But what happens once you click send or drop your precious package into the mailbox? 

When your play arrives, it is logged into our system. You should get confirmation that we have received your play after this step.

Then your play is given to a reader who works for Young Playwrights Inc. Readers are theater artists with experience with new plays, who have been trained in reading and responding to your work in writing. 

After your play has been read and evaluated, it is returned to our office with a one-page evaluation for you. This evaluation will include feedback on what the reader found to be strong in the play, and suggestions about questions to consider or areas to focus on as you revise your play. The reader also includes a recommendation for our literary department: either the play should be read again or it should not advance in the competition. We hope that whether or not you advance in the competition the feedback you receive will spark your imagination and you will keep writing!

The top 20 to 25 percent of plays go on to be read by the members of a four-person group called the Evaluation Committee. These plays are discussed and committee members advocate for the plays they feel are the strongest and most artistically exciting. These discussions continue until all submissions have been read and the committee narrows the field to no more than 25 plays to be Finalists in the competition. Once the Finalists are selected, the evaluations are sent out to all playwrights. For the 2016 competition, we will be mailing the evaluations the week of June 6, 2016. Please email us at if you have not received your evaluation by June 24, 2016.

The plays advancing to the final round are read by the Selection Committee, which is composed of distinguished playwrights, dramaturgs, and directors (including many amazing YPI alumn!) and chaired by our Artistic Director. This committee chooses up to ten winners, who will be invited to participate in the Young Playwrights Conference and receive professional staged readings in New York in January 2017. Winners of the 2016 competition will be contacted by the end of June 2016. Once all the winners have been notified we will announce them on our website.