Young Playwrights Festival

In order to participate, you must either reside in Chicago or be a student in a Chicago school, grades 7-12 as of the April deadline. Scripts may be written by one or more persons (but the fewer writers for one play, the better).

You must Submit your play via online submission (with only the play’s title on the cover page) AND fully complete the online Entry Form.

  • Scripts must be typed, page-numbered* and uploaded AFTER you complete the online submission. 
  • Scripts must be submitted with only the title of the play on the first page. Do not put any identifying information on your play (no names/addresses/schools/teachers name) – ONLY put this information on the Entry Form!
  • Fully complete the Entry Form: type your name, address, all phone numbers, E-mail, date of birth, grade, school name, school, phone number, teacher’s name, and parents names/email/phones.
  • Scripts submitted in previous years are not eligible without significant revision and teacher’s recommendation.
  • Monologues and screenplays are not eligible, nor are adaptations of other authors’ works.
  • Submit by following link on the following page, requesing link from your teacher, or by emailing

Things to Remember:

You get to WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT – there’s no censorship! Do remember, though, that the more obscenities your characters use, the more likely an audience will tune them out.

  • In plays, the story should be told through dialogue and action rather than just description (or stage directions). Try to avoid using a narrator and keep stage directions to a minimum.
  • Avoid using too many characters; we suggest 6-8 maximum.
  • In the theatre, unlike movies or TV, you cannot easily switch from one setting to another. Keep in mind that whatever you write must be able to be produced on a stage in front of a live audience.
  • As we discuss in our touring workshop, if your play includes all six playwriting elements, the more likely you will be to win the competition. Please review the six elements on the appropriate web-page.

Plays are typically submitted via your teachers between April 8-15 this year.

We will accept plays submitted by students, but you must submit it by accessing the online Entry and upload. For an access, see the next page,  or email:


Helpful hints:

To put page numbers in your script, open the document, go to ‘VIEW’ and select Header/Footer. The header will appear in the document; tab over to the right margin and click the # on the Header/Footer Tab; it will insert page numbering in the entire document! Close the header and save your document.

It’s not required, but we prefer scripts to be in Standard American Playwriting format. For a guide on how to do this, ask your teacher or email