Submission Deadline: May 15, 2019

The West Side Show Room is seeking submissions of new ten minute plays written specifically for the Rockford New Play Festival.

Six scripts will be chosen as official selections of the festival. Each play will be presented in a staged reading in Rockford, Illinois on September 20th and 21st, 2019 at 7pm CST.

The September 20th staged reading will be broadcast on Facebook Live.

Each of the six playwrights will receive a $200 commission for their play. As such, The Rockford New Play Festival expects your play to be written for our festival, in response to this year’s theme: “Over . . . The Edge”


We are interested in plays that explore society's artificial boundaries: the effect they have on the people of both sides— and those who risk everything to cross over.

Submit a new play that is bold, passionate, and which expresses your individuality.


There is no entry fee. Please follow these rules:

  1. New Play: We expect your play to be written in direct response to this year’s theme: “Over . . . The Edge.” Plays written prior to Feb 15, 2019, will not be accepted. (To be clear: we want you to take your time and write a new play for us— we don’t want you to submit a play you’ve already written.)

  2. One play per playwright

  3. One Playwright per play

  4. Language: Plays must be written for English speaking audiences.

  5. Format: Plays must be primarily dialogue and action. Original or copyright-free songs are okay, but cannot comprise more than 1 page of text total. No Musicals.

  6. Originality: Submissions must be original and playwrights must be the copyright holder. Translations, adaptations, or excerpts of longer works will not be accepted.

  7. Eligibility: Plays which have been professionally produced or published, or which are under consideration for production or publication, are not eligible. Plays which have been presented, or will be presented in other festivals prior to September 20, 2019, are not eligible.

  8. File Format: Plays must be submitted in PDF format.

  9. File Name: [Your Full Name] [Play Title].PDF (e.g. Paula Hendrickson Near Mint.PDF)

  10. Plays must have the following sections:

    1. Title Page [Play Title, Playwright Name and Contact Info]

    2. Character / Setting / Time Page: List characters in order of appearance with a short description

    3. Play Body: 10 Pages or less. Plays longer than 10 pages (not including Title and Character/Setting/Time pages) will not be accepted.

  11. Time: Plays should last approximately 10 minutes or less when read aloud at a normal cadence. Plays dense in single-spaced text or description will not be accepted.

  12. Plays must be in Dramatists Guild Modern Play Format. [Click Here for Sample ]

    1. Margins: Top: 1”, Bottom: 1”, Left: 1.5”,  Right: 1”

    2. Font: 12 point serif font: Courier, Times New Roman, or similar.

    3. Character Names: CAPITALIZED, first letter of name centered on page

    4. Dialogue: Begins on the line below the character name, single spaced

    5. Stage Directions: start at center of page, single spaced. No (parentheses) or italics

    6. Page Numbering: Upper right corner. Page 1 is first page of Play Body

  13. Headshot/Bio/Statement. Selected playwrights must agree to submit a high resolution headshot photo, a brief professional biography, and a playwright’s statement about your play. If you are unable to provide these items, we reserve the right to remove your play from the selection list.

  14. Facebook Live Video. Selected playwrights must agree to grant The Rockford New Play Festival permission to broadcast the staged reading of their play on Facebook Live. This video will remain available for people to watch after the live broadcast.

  15. Double-check these rules before making your submission. Any submission not following these rules will not be accepted.

Plays will be accepted until May 15, 2019 at 5:00pm CST, or until we reach 500 submissions, whichever comes first. Playwrights will be notified about the status of their submission no later than July 15th, 2019.

Have questions?  Please email us at Please note that we cannot accept play submissions via email.

Click the button below to submit your play.


Playwright royalties for the 2018 Rockford New Play Festival were made possible by a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.  

The mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is to serve as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for the current and future needs of the people of Northern Illinois. Since its founding in 1953, CFNIL has granted more than $65 million for charitable purposes in the region.


The 2019 Rockford New Play Festival is made possible by a generous grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council

The Rockford Area Arts Council supports, promotes, and develops the arts for everyone in the Northern Illinois region.


Charlyne Blatcher Martin

Mike Werckle

Rachel León

Sharon Nesbit-Davis, Nathan Alan Davis , Mike Werckle

The Rockford New Play Festival is in its fifth year.
Learn more about the 2018 RNPF...

The West Side Show Room believes in freedom of expression and we present all works in their entirety. We encourage people of all ages to expose themselves to a wide range of art, and to engage in critical discussions about the content they encounter. For specific information about the language, content, and effects in a particular production, please contact us.