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Competition Rules and Entry Guidelines

The 2023 Voaden Prize Competition Rules and Entry Guidelines

The Awards

First Prize: $10,000
Second Prize: $5,000

+ Up to eight Honourable Mentions – submissions are provided with written feedback by the final round adjudicators

  • Open to any Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Only one play per playwright
  • Only full-length plays in English will be accepted. Legal clearance of all adapted material not in the public domain is the responsibility of the playwright.
  • Plays cannot have been previously produced, published, contracted or commissioned by a professional theatre.
  • The First Prize-winning play will be given a professional three-day workshop in September, 2023 at Queen’s University, and a public staged reading, followed by a talk-back session, at Kingston Writer’s Fest. The winning playwright will be invited to attend and may be asked to appear as a guest in some classes offered by the Dan School of Drama and Music. The workshop will also be open to attendance by students of the Dan School of Drama and Music. By entering the competition, the playwright agrees to this provision.
  • The First Prize-winning play may be distributed to some classes at the Dan School of Drama and Music in the 2023 fall term to supplement the curriculum. By entering the competition, the playwright agrees to this provision.

1. Submissions will be accepted from November 15, 2022, to January 15, 2023. 

2. Prior to submitting your script for consideration, please pay the entry fee of $50 CAD (per submitted play) by Visa or MasterCard only through the secure payment system ePly.

3. Once the entry fee payment is confirmed through ePly, please submit one PDF copy of the play being entered. Scripts will only be accepted through email. Send entries to Amie Bello at belloa@queensu.ca and include contact information and the ePly confirmation number from each entry fee paid.

4. The playwright’s name must not appear anywhere in the text of the entry, only on the Entry Form. The preferred font is Times or Courier in 12-point size. The pages of the document should be numbered in the header or footer. The PDF should be saved with only the title as the file name (e.g. AMidsummerNightsDream.pdf).

5. We are no longer accepting musicals, but plays that include incidental music are welcome. Entries involving music should be accompanied by an MP3 file of the recorded music and lyrics. Sheet music will also be accepted, but please ensure that all reference to the composer, lyricist and/or playwright is excluded from the submission.

6. Entries are handled with care and confidentiality, but the Dan School of Drama and Music cannot assume responsibility for lost or damaged files. Receipt of entry will be confirmed by a reply email

All plays are read by an initial group of adjudicators appointed by the contest committee. A semi-final and final round will follow with a new group of adjudicators for each.

All entries must be e-mailed no later than 11:59 pm ET January 15, 2023.

The announcement of the names of the two winning playwrights and the titles of the plays, as well as the names and titles of the entrants receiving honourable mentions, will be made in June 2023.