2018 Spectacular Tournament of Playwrights
10-Minute Play Writing Competition

Important Dates

May 31

Entry deadline
Entries will be acknowledged by email as received or no later than June 5.

August 15

Notification of finalists
Six playwrights will be selected as finalists for staged readings of their plays.  

November 10
8:00 PM EST

Competition at the Acorn Theater
107 Generation Dr., Three Oaks, MI 49128


1st place

$300    (judges select)


$  75    (judges select)

People’s Choice

$  75    (audience votes)


Contest Rules


How to submit a script 

  1. Complete the online entry form:  https://goo.gl/forms/kyIFprCORAl9C8dy2
  2. Submit either electronic or printed scripts.

    Electronic submission: Email script (in pdf or WORD) to Playwright@acorntheater.org

    Or mail submission: Send one copy of the script. The envelope must be postmarked on or before May 31, 2018.  Or, you may deliver the script package in person to the Acorn Theater. The box office is open 2 PM to 5 PM on Thursdays and 2 PM until show time on all show days.   

  3. Entry fee of $10.   

    To pay by credit card (a small processing fee will be added), use our website: http://www.acorntheater.org/event/2277896ca9c95f407929e05374f4ff27

    Or, if you prefer to pay by check, send a check payable to the Acorn Theater.  On the memo line, please write 10-Minute Plays. Send the check to Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Drive, Three Oaks, MI 49128. 

General Rules 

  • The play should be no longer than 10 minutes in length when read or performed.  Typically, that’s 10 pages.  We start counting after the title page and character list.   
  • The play should have no more than 4 characters. Scripts with more than 4 characters will not be eliminated but are not encouraged.
  • Submit one play per playwright. Choose your best!  
  • Proof your script and be careful to send your final version.  Once submitted, we cannot accept an updated script. 
  • Only original plays, not-yet produced, are eligible. (Online submissions to other contests and publication on personal websites are fine.)
  • Plays not eligible:
    • Plays that have been published in a magazine, e-magazine or otherwise available in print 
    • Musicals
    • Adaptations of another author’s works 
  • All playwrights must be at least 18 years old.  
  • Playwrights will be notified of their finalist status by August 15, 2018. No scripts will be returned.
  • We will not comment individually on each script. 
  • Previous Acorn 10-minute play competition 1st place winners are not eligible to compete for five years. 
  • Submission of an entry authorizes the Acorn Theater to conduct a staged reading for the public with no royalties during the Spectacular Tournament of Playwrights on November 10, 2018. All subsequent publication and other ownership rights will be retained by the author.  

Assembling Your Script

  • The script must be in standard playwriting format with 12-point Courier font. Use double spacing when changing from one character to another. Use single spacing everywhere else.
  • Title page must include: playwright’s name, address, phone number and email address. This is the only place the playwright’s name should appear. 
  • Next page should contain a cast of characters and time and place information. Please include the title on this page. 
  • Next page is the first page of the script. The other pages of the play follow.
  • The title of the play and page numbers must be on every page, starting with the first page of the script. 
  • For paper submission, paperclip each script.  Do not use staples, binders or folders.  We will scan the pages into a pdf file.   

Judging Process

  • Scripts meeting the rules and submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by judges. All plays are judged blind.
  • Three judges will read the submitted plays and select the top six 10-minute plays as finalists. 
  • Each of the top six plays will be part of a public reading event at the Acorn Theater on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Each play will be directed, rehearsed and presented as a staged reading. Actors volunteer their time, and all are experienced stage performers.
  • We encourage the top six playwrights to attend the performance, but it is not required.    

Judging Criteria 


  • Plot seems fresh, intriguing and original 
  • Something happens; sufficient conflict and tension throughout the play
  • Plot is active, vital and dramatic on stage  
  • Story moves along; pace is engaging


  • Strong, interesting writing style
  • Clear viewpoint that’s well integrated into the play  


  • Interesting and compelling characters
  • Characters seem credible and real  
  • Main character evolves or develops through the course of the play  


  • Dialogue suits the characters
  • Dialogue sounds natural and credible for the plot and location
  • Each character has own unique voice
  • Dialogue seems fresh and compelling (not dull, boring, or generic)  


  • Family friendly (creative and successful without vulgar topics such as sex, racism, pornography and other similar topics.)  

Overall effect

  • Play is entertaining and memorable by the end  

10-Minute Play Writing Contact Information

Email: Playwright@acorntheater.org                         Acorn Theater: www.acorntheater.org