Canadian Playwriting Competition

Calling all Playwrights!

Our Annual Playwriting Competition is seeking submissions from all Canadian authors. Please read through this page carefully – our script entry submission form is now online – read through these rules and regulations and enter using the payment options below. You’ll then be taken to our script submission form.



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 is the largest provincial theatre festival of its kind in Canada.

The Canadian 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. In addition, one of the three winning plays may be chosen to be workshopped at Theatre BC’s Mainstage festival in July. This choice will be made at the discretion of the judges.

There are three rounds of judging and writers will be notified of the results of each round. All scripts successfully passing to the next round will receive brief notes from the judges. Finalists will be notified when the jury process is complete in May. Winners will be notified and will also be celebrated at our Annual Provincial Theatre Festival “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competition attracted between 100-200 entries each year and was open to Canadian-resident playwrights for non-produced, unpublished stage plays.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. For the past several years, the competition has been open to British Columbia playwrights only. In 2016, it was reopened to all Canadian playwrights.

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


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 Canada.
  • Authors may enter more than one script but each script must be accompanied by a separate entry fee and web form.
  • Entry deadline is December 31. Entries must be 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 except for adaptations of works that are in the public domain (for instance a contemporary adaption of a classic Greek tragedy) or adaptations of works to which the author holds sole copyright (for instance a short story that the author wrote and holds copyright).
  • The script must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee: $35.00 for Theatre BC members and $70.00 for non-members. Note that the cost of an individual membership to Theatre BC is $28.00. By joining Theatre BC prior to entering a script, authors can save $7.00 and help Theatre BC build community theatre opportunities across the province. See our website at for more information on how to become a member.
  • Entrants who would like a written adjudication (350 to 500 words) of their entry must include a $35.00 non-refundable written adjudication fee at the time they submit their script.
  • Theatre BC is committed to accessibility to the Canadian 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 November 30.
  • OUR ONLINE ENTRY FEE PAYMENT WEB FORM IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. Once payment has been received, you will be automatically sent to our script-submission page.
  • The competition is open to all permanent residents of Canada who have been permanent residents of the country 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 unless the work has been substantially rewritten since its previous entry.
  • 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 be 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 Canadian 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.
  1. One electronic copy of the script is to accompany the web entry form. Entries must be either a PDF or a Word document. All others document forms will be rejected.
  2. The script entry form must be accompanied by entry fee payment via PAYPAL, VISA or MASTERCARD for all fees unless another arrangement has been made with the Theatre BC administration office.
  3. The script must be received by deadline of December 31.
  4. Scripts should be formatted properly. There are a number of acceptable formats and writing programs available. An improperly formatted script is difficult to read and may be rejected. If you are unfamiliar with proper formatting, please keep in mind the following guidelines:
  • Text should be double-spaced between speaking parts.
  • Speakers names should be isolated from their dialogue in some manner.
  • Stage directions need to be clearly distinguishable from dialogue by the use of italics or other similar manner.
  • No Images should appear anywhere in the script.
  • Text should be in 12 pt. font.
  • See below for a sample of acceptable format in Word.
  • No reference to the playwright should appear anywhere in the script—including TITLE or COVER PAGE.
  • Written adjudications will be sent to the author by email.
  • Entrants assume full responsibility for the submission of the script and Theatre BC accepts no responsibility for a script until it is received.
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For further information, contact Theatre BC at 778-471-5620 Toll Free: 1-888-202-2913 or E-Mail: [email protected]