10-Minute Play Contest

Winston-Salem Writers’ 5th annual 10-Minute Play Contest is open to North Carolina residents only, including full-time students in a North Carolina school. Three winning plays will be chosen, and produced in a ‘staged reading’ format on April 17, 2015. We strongly suggest that each contestant reserve that date to attend the staged reading, should their play be selected as a winner. This event celebrates the author, and offers a forum for commentary that will develop the play and the playwright’s repertoire.

Script Requirement

  • Each entry must be original and previously unpublished.
  • The script should be presented in the format outlined below.
  • It can be a complete play or a segment of a play. It can be an adaptation of any other genre of writing or other art authored or created by the writer.
  • Run time of the script should not exceed 10 minutes.
  • There may be no more than five (5) characters.
  • Winning playwrights will chose their own director for the staged reading event. Winston-Salem Writers can assist in this endeavor if needed, by supplying names of local artists with interest or experience in directing.


The 2015 contest opened on November 3, 2014 and closed on January 16, 2015. A complete list of winners can be viewed at the Winston-Salem Writers Contest Winners page.

Entry Fees

Entry is free for WSW members this year! The fee for non-members is $20 which may be paid by Paypal below, or by check payable to Winston-Salem Writers at the following address:
WSW Treasurer, 3830 Whitehaven Road, Winston-Salem NC 27106


Steve Willis is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Speech at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. An award-winning playwright, his plays have been produced in Melbourne, Australia; at the National Arts Festival in South Africa; in New York City, Chicago, San Diego, Atlanta, and other US cities. He is a founding member of the Greensboro Playwrights Forum, and the recipient of a Playwrights Fellowship from the NC Arts Council; two Scholar in Residence appointments at New York University; a Fulbright-Hays Global Studies Fellowship to study in China; and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Southern Theatre. He received a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) degree in Acting/Directing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in English/Dramatic Arts & Speech from Averett University.


Tommy Trull’s plays have been produced all over the country, including recent productions in NYC, LA, Chicago, and DC. He won the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s New Play Award for his play HONEYBOY, which was published in Southern Theatre Magazine, and is a three-time recipient of the Mark Gilbert New Play Award.  He received his MFA in Writing from Spalding University, and he teaches at Greensboro College and RCCC.


The judges will select three winners. The 3 winning plays will be presented in a staged reading on April 17, 2015 at the Milton Rhodes Arts Center, downtown Winston-Salem. Each 10-minute play will be followed by a 15-minute discussion to be led by a facilitator, Nathan Ross Freeman (Scriptwriter, Filmmaker, Dramaturge, Creative Writing & Spoken Word Educator) with feedback from the live audience.

Required Entry Format

WSW requests a production format since it favors stage reading. (See sample below).

  • The entry should be submitted by email as a Word document attachment to Contests@wswriters.org . The email shall include the playwright’s name, mailing address, email address and phone number, as well as the title of the play. The body of the email serves as the entry form.
  • Playwright’s contact information shall appear on the email only, not on the manuscript.
  • The script consists of a spec. page and the script itself. Each page should include, in a consistent location, the title of the play and a page number, but no other contact information, so the entry can be judged blind.
  • The script must be in a black 12-point font, left justified. Courier New is recommended.
  • Dialogue should be double-spaced, and the stage direction single-spaced. Both should be laid out margin to margin.
  • Nothing should be italicized or underlined, but stage directions may be bold.
  • Each Act should begin on a new page.
  • Character names should be centered with the dialogue right underneath it.
  • When submitting to Contests@wswriters.org, you will receive confirmation of receipt by email.  Submit entry fee by Paypal, or mail your check to the address above.
  • Winners will be notified individually, as well as posted on the Winston-Salem Writers Contest page on or about Monday, March 10, 2014.

Sample Spec. Page

TIME: Hannah’s life from 1882-1904


Philadelphia: Hannah’s childhood home/tenement in the Negro quarter of “Quaker city” New York: Hannah’s  Central Park West mansion bedroom-office.


Hannah Elias: African American enchantress(17 – 39).
Cornelius Williams:
Hannah’s Lover, African American furnace tender (35 – 55)
Belle Marshall:
Hannah’s Irish head maid (35 – 55)
Hannah’s Japanese butler/valet/business assistant/servant-lover (25 – 35)

Sample Script Page

Hannah Elias – ©2010                                                                                   Page 49


Jesus make mercy! …Oh, Hannah, Hannah, Hannah Elias, please tell me good news. Tell

me it is …


(Looks towards the door)
Shhh!  It betta be a girl or I will kill it.  For now, while it grows here (Points to her

stomach)Its name will be Gwendolyn … Toyo … Elias.

(Kato falls to his knees and wraps his arms around Hannah’s legs.)

I will keep the weed alive!  So, we must find a rich last name.  Some rich father to turn’t the

weed into a flower; a bright yellow flower ta carry on my life make it alright.

10-Minute Play Contest Fee

The 10-Minute Play Contest fee for members is $0; for non-members $20. Click the button below to pay online via PayPal (or send a check to the address above).


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