Playwriting Competition

TheatreBC-Screenwriting-Contest-LogoCalling all Playwrights!

Our Annual Playwriting Competition is seeking submissions from all British Columbian authors.


Theatre BC has been a parent organization for community theatre across the province since 1932. It annually hosts Mainstage—a competition amongst community theatre companies each July. Mainstage, this year held in Kamloops, is the largest provincial theatre festival of its kind in Canada.

The Provincial Playwriting Competition is open to original scripts of drama or comedy, either full-length or one-act. Deadline for entry is December 31 annually. Independent jurors will decide upon winners in each category with a prize of $1,000 awarded for the chosen full-length, $750 for the one-act, and $500 for a script of special merit.

Finalists will be notified when the jury process is complete in May, and details posted on the Theatre BC website. Winners will be notified in June and will also be celebrated at our Annual Provincial Theatre Festival “Destination Mainstage” Awards Ceremony (July).

The Canadian National Playwriting Competition & New Play Festival

Since 1989, Theatre BC had sponsored the Canadian National Playwriting Competition and its subsequent New Play Festival. The competition attracted between 100-200 entries each year and was open to Canadian-resident playwrights for non-produced, unpublished stage plays. These competitions; The Canadian National Playwriting Competition and New Play Festival; were discontinued in 2010, mainly due to funding cuts. The current Board of Directors has recommended that the Playwriting Competition be resurrected but the focus shifted to a BC Playwriting Competition.

Click here for past competition winners of the Canadian National Playwriting Competition

Click here for the the


Failure to meet rules and regulations will disqualify entries.

  • The competition is open to full-length and one-act drama or comedy plays written by permanent residents of British Columbia.
  • Entry is limited to one submission per author.
  • Entry deadline is December 31. Entries must be postmarked or received by Theatre BC by December 31.
  • The script must be written in English.
  • The script must be original. Adaptations of other works will not be accepted. Musicals will not be accepted. Copyright remains with the author.
  • The script must be accompanied by a non-refundable $75.00 entry fee ($50.00 for Theatre BC members).
  • Entrants who would like a written adjudication of their entry must include a $25.00 non-refundable written adjudication fee.
  • Theatre BC is committed to accessibility to the provincial playwriting competition. The entry fee may be waived upon the request of an entrant if the fee is a major hurdle to entering the competition. A request to waive the entry fee must be received by staff of Theatre BC by October 31.
  • The competition is open to all permanent residents of British Columbia who have been permanent residents of the province for the past 12 months.
  • Scripts that have been entered in other playwriting competitions are eligible
  • Scripts that have been previously entered into a Theatre BC Playwriting Competition are NOT eligible (including revised drafts, reworks etc.)
  • Scripts that have gone through a workshop or been given public readings are eligible.
  • Scripts that have been produced professionally are NOT eligible. Plays that have been commissioned are NOT eligible. (Any public performance, in which production members were paid beyond an honorarium, will be considered a professional production).
  • Staff of Theatre BC and those involved in the administration of the competition are NOT eligible.
  • Adjudication will be completed by three independent jurors. The jurors’ decisions are final. All scripts will be judged anonymously. Identity of the playwrights is withheld from jurors until final winners are decided.
  • Winners will be notified when the jury process is complete. Winners will announced at the Theatre BC Mainstage Awards Ceremony and details posted on the Theatre BC website (
  • Winners agree to allow Theatre BC to use their name and play title in promotion of the Theatre BC Annual Provincial Playwriting Competition.
  • A prize of $1000 will be awarded for the winner of the full-length play category.
  • A prize of $750 will be awarded for the winner of the one-act play category.
  • A prize of $500 for will be awarded for a play, full-length or one-act, of special merit.
  • The script must be received by deadline.
  • The script must be accompanied by the Theatre BC Annual Provincial Playwriting Competition entry form.
  • The script entry form must be accompanied by a CHEQUE or MONEY ORDER payable to Theatre BC (DO NOT SEND CASH BY MAIL), or by VISA or MASTERCARD for all fees unless another arrangement has been made with the Theatre BC administration office.
  • One copy of the script is to accompany the entry form.
  • Scripts should be:
    1. Unbound—NO Duotangs, Report Covers, Plastic, Staples or Coil Binding etc.
    2. Single-Sided Pages—NO duplex copies
    3. Typewritten—on White 8.5 x 11 inch paper, Portrait format, NO Booklet or Landscape formats
    4. Arial, Times Roman or similar font style
    5. Font Size 10 to 12 picas
    6. Play Title and Page Number must appear on the top of each page
    7. Text should be double-spaced between speaking parts
    8. No Images should appear anywhere in the script
  • No reference to the playwright should appear anywhere in the script—including TITLE or COVER PAGE.
  • Scripts accompanied by a properly weighed and pre-paid self-addressed envelope will be returned to the playwrights. Scripts without a properly weighed and pre-paid self-addressed envelope will be destroyed following the competition.
  • Any written adjudication will be returned at Theatre BC expense separately from the script.
  • Entrants assume full responsibility for the submission of the script and Theatre BC accepts no responsibility for a script until it is received.

For further information, contact Theatre BC at 778-471-5620 Toll Free: 1-888-202-2913 or E-Mail: