Play Submissions

The following competition has ended.

Check back in February 2020 for guidelines on submitting to the next Stage Writers Festival.


Domestic Violence Awareness Playwriting Competition

Brighter Tomorrows is hosting a playwright competition in October of 2019 to promote awareness and prevention of domestic and teen dating violence to the North Texas community. This event is designed to bring collaborative efforts of the arts community into work with the violence prevention industry in North Texas. We believe that education is the way to change our community and save lives.


  • All plays, meeting the guidelines outlined below, will be read by a panel of judges. The top three to five (3–5) plays will receive a staged reading at the "Purple Playbill" event in October 2019. The plays performed at the event will be voted on by the audience. The playwright who wrote the one (1) play that receives the most audience votes will be awarded a $500 cash prize. Prizes will be awarded at the live reading performance event in October.

  • This play will then be promoted on a local, state and national teen dating domestic violence forum for use in middle schools, high schools and college campuses. The winning acting team will receive $500 as well. (This is to be divided as the team internally determines.)

  • Writer will retain full ownership of play while Brighter Tomorrows will promote the use of play/script through its outreach channels. Play will be made available to local schools for use free of charge for five years from date of award. All copyrights remain the author's.


  • Playwrights must reside in North Texas (check link for a full list of eligible cities).

General Guidelines:

  • Plays must be original works submitted by the playwright(s).

  • Plays must be written in the English language.

  • Plays may run no longer than 15 minutes.

  • Cast should be limited to two to six characters/actors (though doubling is acceptable).

  • Plays must have a definitive beginning, middle, and end. Excerpts from full-length plays will not be considered unless they can stand on their own.

  • Previously produced plays are accepted.

  • Playwrights may submit only one script.

  • There is no submission fee.

  • Winning plays will be performed as dramatics readings.

Additional Guidelines:


  • Plays must be appropriate for high school age students. Therefore, plays with graphic violence, language, or nudity will NOT be considered. No sexual assault scenes are permitted within the script/play though events leading up to and events afterwards are acceptable.

  • Story originality will weigh heavily in play selection. Typical or clichéd domestic violence stories will not impress the judges.

  • Scripts that focus on educating the audience to the red flags, warning signs, safety planning, escaping violence, healing from or the process of receiving resources are best. Education of both teens, young adults, teachers and parents is the focus. Violence prevention and safety is the overarching goal of this project.

  • NOTE: October is Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention Month. The theme color for DV prevention and awareness is purple. We will be focusing on the teen dating violence and domestic violence/intimate partner violence aspect of the work that Brighter Tomorrows does. Though, reference to the full scope of our work in your play is welcomed. (ie. sexual assault prevention and post trauma services, shelter, anti-bullying, healthy relationship education, batterer intervention prevention education, etc.)

  • Brighter Tomorrows serves all people, regardless of color, race, nationality, background, religion, sexuality or age. Yet, plays that focus on the population as a whole and do not zero in on one population will have a greater impact and will be scored higher.

  • Brighter Tomorrows MISSION: To empower victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing emergency safe shelter, transitional housing, support services, and partnering with stakeholders to raise awareness of domestic violence in our community.

Required Format:

  • Scripts must be no longer than 15 pages (not counting the title page & cast page) and no more than 3,000 words.

  • All plays should be submitted as a PDF file in standard play format.

  • Standard Play Format:

    • Title Page includes play title, playwright’s name, address, and email address.

    • Cast Page includes name & description of characters, along with setting information.

    • The script, itself, begins after the title and cast pages.

    • at least 1-inch margins.

    • 12-pt, Times New Roman or Courier font.

    • Character names should be capitalized and centered above lines of dialogue.

    • Stage directions should be clearly distinguished from dialogue.

    • Be sure to include "End of Play" or an equivalent variation.


  • Plays must be submitted prior to 11:59pm (central time) on Friday, August 16, 2019. No late entries will be accepted.


  • Three to Five (3–5) plays will be selected to receive a staged/dramatic reading at the "Purple Playbill" event in October 2019.

  • Winning plays will be announced at our monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

  • Winning playwrights will be invited to attend the festival and participate in rehearsal, but attendance is not mandatory.

  • The playwright who wrote the one (1) play that receives the most audience votes will be awarded a $500 cash prize. The other plays/playwrights will not receive any monetary rewards.

  • Actor teams will receive a $500 cash prize to split between themselves, as they determine.

How To Enter:

  • Be sure to read all of the above guidelines, and contact us with any questions.

  • Email submissions to: [competition has ended]

  • Confirmation of receipt will be sent within 48 hours.