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Welcome to the Young Playwrights Map!

The Young Playwrights Map is a resource for finding contests, festivals, workshops, and other playwriting programs for children and youth around the world. The Map was first published by Jim DeVivo in 2015 as a research project in conjunction with his doctoral dissertation. The Map currently focuses on opportunities for young writers ages 18 and younger and includes programs from around the world. Please scroll below to read posts containing news and tips about playwriting for youth. To access the interactive Map, please use the link above. Thanks for visiting!

100th US Listing

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Today I'm adding the 100th listing for young playwrights in the United States! According to the theatre's website, the 10-10 Festival: Kids Edition is a special iteration of an annual new play program at the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre in northeastern Ohio.

The theatre boasts an active youth theatre program with acting and production classes for area youth, however, it is unclear if the scripts to be produced in August are the product of these classes, or an open call for writing. Hopefully, this will continue to be an opportunity for young writers for many years to come.

Congrats to the playwrights!

New Listing & Getting Into the Room Where It Happens When You Can't Actually Be in the Room

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About one week ago, I shared information regarding the Young Playwrights Map in a Facebook group for high school theatre teachers and directors. The positive response was wonderful! Also exciting was the information from Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Virginia (near to DC Metro area / Dulles / Gaithersburg) regarding The Cornfield Picks, a new play festival for young people ages 13-18.

The Cornfield Picks is open to youth writers from around the world and seeks plays built around an annual theme. The submission deadline for The Cornfield Picks is October 1. Submissions are being accepted throughout August and September. See the program website for details and contact information.

There are a number of opportunities like The Cornfield Picks with open submissions to youth across the United States and from around the world, but young writers often shy away from such programs because of the long distance. My advice is to submit to all programs for which you may be eligible especially if…

O, Canada!

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Another Canada Day is in the books, but the Map continues the celebration with the addition of the 6th youth playwriting program in the old dominion of Canada. According to an article in the Lake Superior News, the theatre's Young Playwrights' Challenge returned to the stage after a decade-long recess. The Thunder Bay-based program is open to writers 13-19 years old who have written an original script. Selected plays will undergo a development process at Magnus Theatre with performances at the site and at schools throughout the area. Cash prizes are also awarded.

You can access the Young Playwrights' Challenge via the Young Playwrights Map, or on the Magnus Theatre website.

Very Young Playwrights

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Finding new programs for young writers is always fun. Most playwriting opportunities are spread among the grade levels in upper elementary school to high school, I am especially excited to find project that include, or are specifically for, students in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade!

Last month, Stage Left Theatre presented the "Kid's Korner" program at their West 3rd Avenue space in Spokane, Washington. As described on the website, the plays were written by first graders and performed by students from the local community college. You can read a review about Kid's Korner published in The Spokesman-Review here. This program joins a handful of other young playwrights projects available to 1st graders already listed on the Map including the Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland (the oldest, continuously-running program for young playwrights in the United States), the Young Playwrights Festival Residency Program at CenterStage in Baltimor…

The Map is Expanding

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The addition of three more programs adds another in Canada (Writers' Bloc at the Young People's Theatre), Australia (The Young Playwrights Project at the Merrigong Theatre Company), and a new program in India (Traverse Theatre's Class Act Mumbai project). Those links will bring you directly to the program pages.
The Map's listings stretch across four continents now, but I know there are other programs out there yet to be listed. As always, please send any information to me by email, or you can fill out the submission form here.

Searching Canada and Different Terminology

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This morning I received a Google Alert announcing the selection of playwrights in the Coast Youth Playwriting Project produced by the Driftwood Players in Gibsons, British Columbia. The Map has only listed two other programs for young playwrights in Canada, but I have heard there are many more. A quick search also turned up the Scirocco Drama Manitoba High School Playwriting Competition run by the Manitoba Association of Playwrights in Winnipeg, the latter of which also has a 10 year anthology of plays! I love finding those and can't wait to check it out.

I know there are more programs in Canada, but am having some difficulty finding them. As I was researching program history for the dissertation, I often questioned whether the common term "young playwrights" exemplified programs beyond the influence of the national competition established by the Dramatists Guild in 1981. The popularity of that "young playwrights" program likely influenced the naming of subsequ…

Alpha and Omega: A Brief History at Listing #103

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This afternoon, I added a pair of programs in the UK that were not previously on the Map. One of these is the Young Writers' Group at the Royal Court Theatre in London. It is ironic that this would be the newest listing because, if I remember my history correctly, the Royal Court writing program for youth began around 1973. Gerald Chapman ran this program until 1981 when he was recruited by Stephen Sondheim and the Foundation of the Dramatists Guild to create and lead a national young playwrights contest in the United States. That competition grew rapidly and inspired the proliferation of similar programs across the country. Eventually, the contest sprouted the non-profit company Young Playwrights, Inc., which has administered the competition ever since (although the program has been on hiatus following the sudden death of long-time artistic director, Sheri Goldhirsch).

The addition of the young playwrights program at the Royal Court Theatre brings the total number of listings on…