New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest 2007

TITLE: New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest 2007
1st Place Award: $300 and a reading as indicated below.*
2nd Place Award: a reading as indicated below.*
3rd Place Award: a reading as indicated below.*
30 Jun 2007


As a direct result of the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest:

2006 Contest Winning plays will have readings April 1, April 15, June 17, 2007.

2004 Contest Winner, Conversation with a Kleagle by Rudy Gray was given an 8 week production in NYC in 2006. An excerpt from the 2/16/06 review:

“The program notes that this play won First Prize in the 2004 New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest. After seeing it performed, I can certainly appreciate the reason for this distinction.”

2003 First Prize – Ruby’s Story – by Ron Osborne, was given an 8 week production in NYC in 2004.
2003 Third Prize – Interview – by Valerie Killigrew, was given a 5 week production in NYC in 2006.
2003 Honorable Mention – Cry Wolf – by Deborah Mulhall, was given an 8 week production in NYC in 2004.

For information about all Contest Winners, Finalists, and Plays of Honorable Mention, kindly click on the link at the end of this page.

New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest accepts and encourages exciting new works that:
1) Enhance self-realization
2) Support peace and social justice
3) Foster new understanding of minority issues that focus on racial, ethnic and gender discrimination both in the United States and abroad
4) Empower youth to build healthy inner foundations
5) Educate to gain further insight into healthy social/emotional living
6) Shed new light on religious, spiritual, and cultural differences and issues
7) Build respect for cultural expression and identity in a world that is experiencing rapid globalization
8 ) Explore the widening gap between the values this country was founded on and the values we present to the world today

** While recognizing the obvious intentions in the categories above, examples of the following premises should be applied to all the categories as well:
A play about the hardships and horrors of war IS a play that supports peace.
A play that exposes social injustice, without the intent of making a statement FOR social justice, IS a play that supports social justice.

We, as writers, have been given a precious gift. Let us use that gift to create powerful, heart-felt new works that not only entertain, but also educate, enlighten and uplift humanity.

1st Place Award: $300 and a reading as indicated below.*
2nd Place Award: a reading as indicated below.*
3rd Place Award: a reading as indicated below.*

**All readings will be presented at theatre venues in Manhattan, among them Thirteenth Street Repertory Theatre. New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest will make every attempt to provide a mutually agreed upon reading date, the reading to occur within 10 months of the contest’s winning announcement. Venue, directors and actors for the readings will be chosen at the discretion of the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest.
Certificates of Honorable Mention will be given for noteworthy scripts of merit.

SCRIPT EVALUATING PROCESS: Script evaluators include published and produced writers, theatrical producers, artistic directors, individuals in the Graduate and Masters Theatre Programs of universities including New York University, the New School University, and Vassar. Each script will receive up to four evaluations before 3 – 5 finalists are selected. Director of Literary Services and Founder of the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest, Sandra Nordgren (see biography link below), will oversee all script evaluations.


Submission post-mark deadline is June 30, 2007.
Target date to announce winners is December 31, 2007.
Winners will be notified by mail.
Contest results will be posted on this site.

ELIGIBLE SCRIPTS: Original full-length (no longer than 2 hours or 100 pages U.S. Standard Format) and one-act stage plays including children’s plays. Please note: scripts having received a workshop, staged reading, or non-professional production are also eligible. Plays submitted must be the original work of the author and meet mission statement criteria (see above).

INELIGIBLE SCRIPTS: Musicals, published scripts, scripts that have received a professional production, adaptations, collections and scripts that do not meet mission statement criteria (see above).

1) Application (click on the Application Link below.)
2) Prefer U.S. Standard Format, though this format is not required. (you can get that format in a google search)
3) Script should be securely bound (no clips).
4) Full contact information on the cover/title page.
5) Brief synopsis of the play, no longer than half a page, bound into script. **
6) Brief character descriptions, bound into script. **
7) Script pages must be numbered.
8 ) If the play has accompanying film sequences, please submit a video or DVD of them.
9) To verify script receipt, submit a SASP. Please write the name of the play on the postcard. We will return this postcard to you with the play’s Roster Intake #.
10) If you want the play returned, submit a SASE. The play, with it’s jacket, must fit into the envelope. Otherwise we will not be able to return it. Scripts will be returned or discarded when the evaluation process for the script is over.
11) Include a small SASE for script evaluations.
12) Send a CERTIFIED CHECK OR MONEY ORDER ONLY as indicated in the “Payment Method & Address” link at the bottom of this page.

** Please be sure to include a bound synopsis and bound character description.
Any paperwork NOT bound into the script will be filed with the Application form and will not be considered in the evaluation process. You may staple them to the back of the cover page if you do not have another way to fasten them.


FEES: Submission fee per play: $25.00.
Fees are used to pay stipends to play evaluators and administrative personnel.

One Evaluation …. $25 + $25 submission fee
Two Evaluations … $50 + $25 submission fee

Some comments about the Evaluations from playwrights who entered the contest: 2003 Ron Osborne – winning script for Ruby’s Story: “extremely well done, in fact superior to those provided by other competitions.”
2003 Jeff Elwell for Fenced In: “one of the most in-depth, explicit evaluations I have received as a writer and most helpful regarding rewriting the script.”

2004 Kim L. Slack for Indignity Let Us Go: “Thanks for your very insightful comments. You focused on what I’ve found most challenging in writing about Africa—how to give audiences a sense of the complexity without confusing them. I now have some very concrete descriptions of the problems in the play that I think I can address.”

2005 Mary Anne Pope for Saviour
“These evaluations are excellent.”

FOR PAYMENT METHOD & ADDRESS: Please refer to the “Payment Method & Address” link at the bottom of this page.

Sandra Nordgren
(917) 363-2369

More Info Here:

Discuss about this contest here

Signing off for now..

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