2014 William Saroyan Prize for Human Rights / Social Justice ($10,000 prize, $20 entry fee)

The new revised mission of the 2014 William Saroyan $10,000 Playwriting Award invites stimulating new works that explore socially and politically charged themes about Human Rights /Social Justice. Their aim is to harness theatre’s ability to make a relevant impact on our global society today.

They are looking for insightful and engaging plays that imaginatively interpret this aim – stories on injustice, inequality, and those reducing the human and environmental cost of violence and those finding new ways of promoting a healthier and more peaceful, harmonious global community. They aim to find artists with courageous voices, imagination, and stories that uphold human dignity.

What to submit:  Their new guidelines have been refined to reflect our new direction. Please consider carefully whether your script is likely to meet the criteria.

1. Contest is restricted to original plays written in the English language.
2. Worldwide submissions accepted.
3. All Submissions must be submitted electronically in the form of a PDF.
4. Scripts must have received a professional reading and/or workshop, but not a production prior to submission deadline.
5. Plays must be full length (Min. of 60 mins.) and adhere to standard playwriting format.
6. No adaptations or children’s plays.
7. Plays must have Human Rights/Social Justice at heart.
8. Submissions not following exact rules as stated will be disqualified.
9. Only “invited” playwrights will be asked to submit scripts after sending in synopsis.

Works must examine Human Rights/Social Justice issues as a central and deliberate theme. They are unlikely to consider plays, for example, that deal with issues of personal freedoms without placing them in a wider political and social context. To be included in this contest, they suggest some thoughts to help determine whether your play falls within our parameters of consideration:

Play addresses issues that create barriers to social justice or dramatizes a social injustice:

• Supports life and dignity of the human person
• Influences attitudes of tolerance between and within racial groups
• Fosters new understanding and builds respect for cultural differences and identity
• Supports creative approaches to addressing issues of social justice/injustice
• Demonstrates the performing arts as a powerful tool and community resource for facilitating civic engagement and advancing social change
• Makes the audience bear witnesses to social injustice
• Inspires others to action against a social injustice
• Proposes solutions for social injustice
• Raises awareness of a little recognized social injustice or argues on behalf of an ignored human right

Play about horrors of war, torture, oppression, religious intolerance, racism, genocide, gender discrimination, bearing witness to suffering, abuse of human rights are plays about Human Rights /Social Justice.

What you pay:  There is a $20 entry fee if you are invited to submit to the competition (after initial screening of synopses).

What you get: 

  • 1st Place Award: $10,000, Staged Reading
  • 2 Finalists: Final Draft Software, ($350 value) Staged Reading
  • Armenian Excellence Award:  To continue fostering our previous mission of supporting scripts based on Armenian themes so that our stories are told, we propose a special consideration award to be given to the best script written on an Armenian theme.

How to apply:  Applications can be made via the contest’s website.  The submission process is as follows:

  • Submit a half page synopsis (200-300 words) of your play and a few sentences about how you think your play engages with a “Human Rights/Social Justice” theme. If the play meets the new criteria, you will be notified to submit your script. If invited to send in your play, please email 2 electronic PDF submissions to adaa@armeniandrama.org, first including your name and second without your name. (Any appearance of the playwright’s name, initials or other identifiable marks on any part of the blind script will disqualify the entry).
  • The cover page of first script must include – the title of the play, the playwright’s full name, address, email and phone number.
  • If you are invited to submit, please make $20 entry fee payment online at armeniandrama.org.
  • Each entry must include a completed entry form.
  • Submission deadline – June 15 – July 15, 2014.
  • Scripts must be in English and the original work of the author/s.
  • Scripts that do not meet submission guidelines will be disqualified.

Deadline:  15 July 2014

Source:  @Playwriting_UK

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