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NJ Young Playwrights Contest & Festival

2014 is the 31st year!
NJYPP Main Page    Contest Overview     Guidelines and Play Submission 
Revolutionary Plays for 2014 Category Living With Disabilities Category  NJ Rep Young Playwrights Project Category Roxbury Young Playwrights Project Winning Plays    NJ Young Playrights Blog


For 31 years, the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival has been deepening the writing experience for young writers by providing detailed feedback from theatre professionals about students' plays. For the 8th year in a row, winning plays will be presented during the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival, a partnership between Playwrights Theatre and Premiere Stages at Kean University. 

Through a series of rounds, a team of readers may select plays from each division to be honored as statewide winners. These plays will receive a staged-reading performance by professional actors during the Festival. Date to be determined. This is certain to be a must-see event!  

For information about the Festival, please contact Jim DeVivo, Director of Education at Playwrights Theatre, (973) 514-1787, ext. 14 or

Plays are accepted in the following Divisions:

Elementary (Grades 4-6)
Junior High (Grades 7-9)
High School (Grades 10-12)


There are also three new categories added to the contest this year:

Revolutionary Plays (Grades 4-12) For plays written to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the founding of the State of NJ. Cash prizes may be awarded to selected plays in the Revolutionary division only. Find out more information about this new division by clicking here.

There may be up to two winners in the Elementary and Junior High divisions and up to three winners in the High School division. High school winners receive a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, cosponsored by the NJ Arts Education Partnership and the New Jersey Department of Education. Winning playwrights who individually write their play (i.e. without a co-author) may be eligible to receive a scholarship to attend Camp Premiere, the summer theatre program at Premiere Stages.

All winning playwrights receive Certificates of Achievement. A statewide press release will publicize these student awards.

Living With Disabilities Category This category is open to both Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12). Plays in this category can be written by a person with or without a physical or other disability as long as the play is about a disability or contains an important character or characters with a physical or other disability. Plays written for this category will also be entered in the general NJ Young Playwrights Contest, and Playwrights Theatre may choose one play from this category to be a part of the NJ Young Playwrights Festival. Playwrights Theatre will also help all writers entering this category to enter into the National VSA Playwright Discovery Competition. Click here for more information.

New Jersey Rep Young Playwrights Project. We are also accepting submissions for this project run by NJ Rep in Long Branch, NJ. This exciting program (for High School Students living in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy only) will provide six writers a nine-week playwriting program at NJ Rep that culminates with a public reading with professional actors at NJ Rep's theatre in Long Branch, NJ. You do not have to submit a play to be considered for this program (see guidelines). Writers can enter both the New Jersey Rep Young Playwrights Project and the NJ Young Playwrights Contest, but in order to do both, the author must submit a play that meets the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest Guidelines (and pick a ten-page section for the NJ Rep contest to consider).

Roxbury Young Playwrights Project  Open to all submissions, grades 7-12, several plays will be selected by the committee for participation in the program which will take place at the Roxbury Performing Arts Center in Roxbury, NJ. For four weeks in July, students from the Roxbury area will work together with the writers to further develop the submitted play for a final production at RoxPac. See the specific guidelines on the Roxbury Young Playwrights Project page.

The New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival is a project of Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. Funding is provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

® New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival and New Jersey Young Playwrights Program are registered to the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission.


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