Ottawa Little Theatre’s 76th National One-Act Playwriting Competition

The 2016  competition is now open for entries. Deadline is Monday October 17, 2016.

Call for Entries

The Ottawa Little Theatre is pleased to announce that it will begin accepting submissions for the 76th National One-Act Playwriting Competition starting on May 1, 2016.

The competition is open to original one-act plays in English, encouraging literary and dramatic talent in Canada. The competition is open to plays with a maximum playing time of 60 minutes, and a minimum playing time of 25 minutes. The play must be previously unproduced OR have been produced no earlier than in the current year, 2016. Plays written for all ages are welcome as there is a special award for the Best Play for Children or Young People. Guidelines for submission are below and entry form can be Downloaded here. The competition is open to all professional and non-professional Canadian playwrights residing in Canada, including landed immigrants.

Deadline for Entry: Monday October 17, 2016, by 5:00 p.m.
Winners will be announced in early February, 2017

Prizes

First Prize: Ottawa Little Theatre Award $1,000

Second Prize: Dorothy White Award $ 750

Third Prize: Gladys Cameron Watt Award $ 500

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

All winners are invited to attend (at their own expense) rehearsals and public readings of their plays during a special Playwrights Weekend from April 20-23, 2017 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.

History of the Competition

The Ottawa Little Theatre National 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.

Submission Process

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, 2016.

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: $25. 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 17th, 2016, (the Competition closing date) are required to submit a signed Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement Form along with the entry form.

6. CRITIQUE FEE: $25. The playwright may opt to pay an additional $25 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 May 1 to October 17, 2016. Those postmarked later than October 17, 2016 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

13. 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.

14. The Competition is open to professional and non-professional Canadian playwrights residing in Canada, including landed immigrants.