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Designated a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs, a Top College and University by Military Advanced Education, and a Best for Vets College by Military Times, Salem State values our military connected students and their families and the sacrifices they have made for our country. Salem State is committed to supporting Veterans’ voices on and off campus. The arts create unique and powerful opportunities for individuals and groups to share experiences and constructive dialogue. As such, Salem State is proud to announce its sixth annual Veterans Playwriting contest which will culminate in staged readings of selected plays in November 2024

All playwrights, regardless of military affiliation, are invited to enter Salem State University’s 10-Minute Playwriting Contest. However, preference will be given to those with a direct military connection. This includes active-duty military, reservists, National Guard, Veterans, and direct family of any of these.

The theme of the play should directly touch on military service and/or how military service affects a community. The contest and festival look to recognize and celebrate those that have served and currently serve. We are looking to bring together a variety of voices exploring both the challenges and the victories and positive influences that Veterans have on our community.

Judges will select finalists, whose plays will be part of a series of staged readings in November 2024. 

Important Dates

June 30, 2024 - Entry deadline

August 15, 2024 - Notification of finalists

November 2024 – Staged readings with post-performance discussions. Additional details forthcoming.


Contest Rules

  • Only submissions through Submittable will be considered.
  • One submission per playwright.
  • Only original plays, not-yet produced or published, are eligible.
  • All plays are judged blind. Do not include any personal, identifying information anywhere on your submission.
  • Musicals and adaptations are not eligible.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed. If your play is accepted elsewhere, please let us know immediately. If your play is chosen to be performed, you agree to withdraw your play from all other places where it is under consideration.
  • By submitting, you agree to allow Salem State University to produce the first staged reading of your play.
  • Scripts meeting the rules and submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by judges.
  • Judging will be done by SSU faculty and members of the SSU Veterans’ community.

Judging Criteria

Story

  • Plot seems fresh, intriguing and original
  • Something happens; sufficient conflict and tension throughout the play
  • Plot is active, vital and dramatic on stage
  • Story moves along; pace is engaging

Voice

  • Strong, interesting writing style
  • Clear viewpoint that’s well integrated into the play

Characters

  • Interesting and compelling characters
  • Characters seem credible and real
  • Main character evolves or develops through the course of the play

Dialogue

  • Dialogue suits the characters
  • Dialogue sounds natural and credible for the plot and location
  • Each character has own unique voice
  • Dialogue seems fresh and compelling (not dull, boring, or generic)

Appropriateness

  • The  play can be staged in the 10-minute time allotment in a black box theatre with limited set, sound, and design.

Overall effect

  • Play is transformative and memorable

Submitting Your Work

The script must be in standard playwriting format with 12-point Courier font. Use double spacing when changing from one character to another. Use single spacing everywhere else. If you are unfamiliar with standard playwriting format, please check out this example.

PLAYS THAT FAIL TO MEET THESE CRITERIA WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

Questions: email arts@salemstate.edu


 
 


 


 

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We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.