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A national competition gives all young playwrights an opportunity to be heard
by Greg Landgraf

Have you always considered yourself the next William Shakespeare, August Wilson, or Suzan-Lori Parks? Young Playwrights Inc.’s National Playwriting Competition is a great way to try your hand at writing—with the possibility that your play will be produced in New York.

The competition is open to plays of any style, subject, and length, as long as the author is 18 years old or younger on January 3, 2011, the deadline for entries. Up to ten winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to experience an off-Broadway staged reading of their plays. And everyone who enters will have their script critiqued by a theater professional trained in evaluating new plays.

Based in New York City, Young Playwrights Inc., is the only professional theater in the United States dedicated to producing shows written by people 18 or younger. It was founded by Tony- and Grammy-winning composer Stephen Sondheim, who composed music for shows like A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, and Sweeney Todd, and wrote lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

Of course, maybe you’re not interested in competition, or you want to write stories or poems, or you just want to write for yourself. Your local library is a terrific resource for books on writing—as well as tons of samples of great literature, since great writers start out as voracious readers. Many also offer writing programs or seminars for teens or for all ages.


Women Who Write Plays: Interviews with American Dramatists edited by Alexis Greene

Arthur Miller: His Life and Work by Martin Gottfried

Stephen Sondheim: A Life by Meryle Secrest


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