The Ottawa Little Theatre is pleased to announce that it is now accepting submissions to the 77th National One-Act Playwriting Competition.  Download flyer here

DEADLINE: October 31, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. EST


First Prize                            $1,000                   Ottawa Little Theatre Award

Second Prize                      $   750                   Dorothy White Award

Third Prize                           $   500                   Gladys Cameron Watt Award

Sybil Cook Award for a Play for Children or Young People $500



  • original one-act plays in English, encouraging literacy and dramatic talent in Canada
  • plays with a maximum playing time of 60 minutes, and a minimum playing time of 25 minutes
  • plays that are previously unproduced OR have been produced no earlier than in the current year
  • all professional and non-professional Canadian playwrights residing in Canada, including landed immigrants
  • also accept plays written for all ages as there is a special award for the Best Play for Children or Young People

Complete regulations for submission and entry are available at

DEADLINE: October 31, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. EST

Winners will be announced in February 2018

All winners are invited to attend (at their own expense) rehearsals and public readings of their plays during a special Playwrights Weekend from April 12-15, 2018 at the Ottawa Little Theatre. A guest dramaturg is also invited to this weekend and works with each winning playwright in a one-on-one session, providing guidance and feedback about their winning play.



The Ottawa Little Theatre One-Act Playwriting Competition is Canada’s oldest playwriting competition. It was first held in 1937 and has been won by a who’s who of Canadian literary luminaries. Past winners include esteemed Canadian writers and prominent playwrights such as Robertson Davies, John Murrell, Erika Ritter, Catherine Banks and Ken Mitchell, to name just a few.



  1. The play must be an original one-act stage play in English with a maximum playing time of sixty (60) minutes and a minimum playing time of twenty-five (25) minutes (playing time is estimated at one minute per typed, double spaced page, so your manuscript should be 25-60 pages long with a font size of 12.) The play must either be previously unproduced, OR produced for the first time during the current year, 2017.
  2. The manuscript must be printed on one side of the page only and double-spaced. A page showing only the title of the play and the author’s pseudonym (pen-name) must cover the manuscript. Include a list of characters before the first page of dialogue. Number the first page of dialogue page 1. Please submit two copies – unbound.
  3. A stamped, self-addressed envelope of an appropriate size is required for each play submitted if you wish to have your script returned. Otherwise, all scripts which do not place in the competition will be destroyed. Scripts which win one of the prizes will be placed in the Ottawa Little Theatre archive collection currently residing in the City of Ottawa Archives.
  4. Each entry must include a sealed envelope containing the entry fee and a completed entry form. Entry forms may be downloaded from the Ottawa Little Theatre’s website. ENTRY FEE: $35. Payable by cheque, money order, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express. Please include credit card information on the entry form. Please make all cheques payable to the Ottawa Little Theatre.
  5. Entrants who are under the age of 18 as of October 31, 2017, (the Competition closing date) are required to submit a signed Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement Form along with the entry form.
  6. CRITIQUE FEE: $30. The playwright may opt to pay an additional $30 which will entitle him or her to receive a written critique from the adjudicator about the play submitted. This is an optional service and is not a requirement to enter the competition.
  7. A contestant may make multiple entries of up to three plays, but must use a different pseudonym for each entry.
  8. The appearance of the playwright’s name or any other identification mark on the manuscript will disqualify the manuscript.
  9. Prize-winning plays in any previous year of the Ottawa Little Theatre’s National One-Act Playwriting Competition are not eligible.
  10. Musicals or any manuscript where song or dance is the focus of the material will not be eligible for entry.
  11. Manuscripts may be submitted from July 1 to October 31, 2017. Those postmarked later than October 31, 2017 will not be eligible for the Competition.
  12. Please address manuscripts and all correspondence to:

National One-Act Playwriting Competition
Ottawa Little Theatre
400 King Edward Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7M7

  1. The decision of the adjudicator(s) of the Competition is final. The identity of the adjudicator(s) will be withheld until the awards are announced.
  2. The Competition is open to professional and non-professional Canadian playwrights residing in Canada, including landed immigrants.