Playwriting Competition

Playwriting competition



Unheard Voices -
Untold Stories

OTG's Playwriting Competition 


The aim of the competition is to find an original new short play that will tour round Oxfordshire at local drama festivals. Oxford Theatre Guild is the county's largest non-professional theatre company and has been staging top quality theatre since 1955. We have a track record of bringing new writing to stages throughout our history. You can find out more about OTG and our values at

This is an opportunity for writers with a demonstrable connection to Oxfordshire to create a unique piece of theatre with the winning play receiving a full production with at least three performances at venues around the county.

The aim is to create a supportive atmosphere for writers to help them shape their work, so the top three scripts will receive public rehearsed readings and gain feedback from an experienced dramaturg/writer ahead of submitting a finished version for the final judging.

OTG will manage and fund the final production. They will appoint a director who will then audition to select the best possible cast from the region. The cast will be made up of non-professional actors. The winning writer will – if they so choose – have the opportunity to work with the director and cast in the rehearsal room.

Theme for 2020: Unheard Voices – Untold Stories

We want to hear voices that don't often get a chance to speak and/or see stories that don't always get the opportunity to be shared.


  • Authors must be over 18 years of age and able to demonstrate a connection to Oxfordshire (living, working, strong family connection)
  • Submitted play must be substantially new work – and should not have been performed or published on or before 31st October 2019


  • Script must have a performance time of between 25 and 40 minutes
  • Script must largely be in English
  • There must be a minimum of 2 actors.
  • Please bear in mind that the final performances will be at drama festivals with restricted opportunities for set and lighting.


  • 1st July 2019 – Competition opens
  • 31st October 2019 – Final date for submission of entries (6pm)
  • 20th November 2019 – Shortlist of 3 plays announced
  • December 2019 – Public rehearsed readings for shortlisted scripts
  • 18th January 2020 – Revised versions of shortlisted scripts submission deadline
  • 25th January 2020 – Winner announced
  • May/June 2020 – Performances of winning script

About the Drama Festivals

There are a number of one act play festivals in Oxfordshire – at the Kenton Theatre in Henley, the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon and the Corn Exchange in Wallingford. Each entry has an hour of stage time for their performance and all associated set-up and clear-down activities. The stages are made available prior to the start of each festival so that the tech can be prepared and actors experience the space. The winning script will have to meet the performance criteria set by the festival organisers. OTG has a long track record of success at the festivals and can help with any questions you may have about them.

Please note:

  • There is no prize money available for this competition.
  • Ownership of each script will remain with the author.
  • The winner author shall grant OTG the licence to perform their script at all related performances.

For any questions, please email

Download the Application Form.