High School Contests

Ten-Minute Play Contest

Eligibility for this annual playwriting contest is limited to students in the eleventh grade in the U.S. (or international equivalent of the eleventh grade). Each year a guest playwright serves as contest judge. Acclaimed playwrights Jiehae Park, Anya Pearson, Dipika Guha, and others have judged the contest in recent years.

To receive email updates about submission deadlines for the contest each year, please subscribe to our list.

General Contest Information

2024 Contest Deadline

The 2024 contest opens January 8, 2024. The contest will close when either 250 entries have been received or on Monday, April 1, 2024, at 1 p.m. (ET) — whichever happens first. 

Contest Guidelines

  • Applicants may submit only one play
  • Entries can be maximum of 10 pages — 1 page equals 1 minute
  • Eligible students are in the eleventh grade in the U.S. (or international equivalent of the eleventh grade)
  • Please note that we cannot provide critical feedback on submissions.

Prizes

  • First Prize – $500
  • Second Prize – $250
  • Third Prize – $100

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When and how will contest winners be notified?
Winners will be contacted by email in late spring.

When will contest winners be published?
After all winners have first been notified, the contest prize winners (and finalists or honorable mentions) will be published to the contest page in June.

Who is eligible for the contest?
Juniors in high school or equivalent to U.S. junior, which is the third year in high school (or international equivalent of the eleventh grade).

How will I know if/when the contest entry limit has been reached?
The number of entries submitted will not be updated on the contest page. The contest will close — the submission form will no longer be available on this page — when the 250th entry has been received. Please note that the 2023 contest closed prior to the time deadline; 250 entries were submitted earlier than the deadline date. Submit your work early to the contest!

I attend school at home. Can I still participate?
Yes. As long as you are studying at the 11th grade level, you are eligible for the contest.

Are late entries accepted?
No. We strongly recommend that you submit your work well in advance of the stated deadline.

Can I submit more than one play?
No, only one entry will be accepted per person.

Can my play be longer than ten minutes?
No, all plays must stay within the 10 minute guideline, which is a maximum of 10 pages (1 page equals 1 minute).

Can I submit a pre-existing play that I wrote?
Yes.

May I submit a play that has been entered in other contests?
Yes.

Can I collaborate to write the play, or can my friend and I submit a play we wrote together?
Yes, but only if both writers are juniors/in 11th grade in high school. Prizes are not awarded per person but would be shared among the writers.

Are there any themes that my play should focus on?
No, plays on any subject will be accepted.

Who owns the play after I submit it?
You, the writer of the play.

Do you censor plays?
No, we do not censor plays!

Can I submit a play written in any language?
The plays submitted must be written in English.

Can I use AI?
AI generated plays are not allowed.

Do you send critical feedback or return scripts?
No, we cannot provide critical feedback on any submissions.

May I mail in or email my play submission to the contest?
No, all entries must be submitted online on the contest page.

 

2024 Contest Entry Form

Student Name(Required)
Address(Required)
Please use this field if your personal or home phone number requires international number format.
I verify that I am a high school student in the eleventh grade in the U.S., or international equivalent of the eleventh grade. (The contest is only open to students in 11th grade, no exceptions.)(Required)

School Information

School Address(Required)
Please use this field if your school phone number requires international number format.
Name of School Guidance Officer(Required)

Submission Details

Please upload your play in PDF or Microsoft Word format.
Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 50 MB.
I grant my permission to Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts to publish my submitted work on their public website at arts.princeton.edu if my play is selected as a winning entry.(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

2022-23 Contest Prize Announcement

First Prize

Autumn, 1968 by Yahney-Marie Sangare

Second Prize

The Sillyad by Eli Ander-Biegelsen

Third Prize

Colt 1911 by Arianna Brar

Finalists

Alexandra by Grace Lee
Callas by Niveah Glover
You’ll be Okay by Emma Minnick
That Whole Kindness Thing by Emma Yan
One Such Beaming by Erica Lu
If The Dress Fits by Abigail McMullen
Reflections from the Bathroom by Alexis Tuchinda
Stalling by Imogen Russell
(whispers)lesbians by Etta Singer
Shutdown by Faer Son
It Goes Like This by Kate Rodriguez

Honorable Mention

The Tea of Forgetfulness by Aaron Chen
Angare Barse by Aarushi Gupta
The Heat That Burns Us All by Anna O’Sullivan
Breaking the Ice by Anna Schwartz
I’ll Wear My Pearls by Ava Noe
and the moon hangs lonesome tonight by Dechen Tamang
Critics by Isabel Davison
This Bullet Will Not Silence Us by Kathryn Poletti
NORA by Maia Gosselin
YAMS by Maria Bortei-Doku
Two Straight White Men Written by a Woman by Reese Jones
Sarajevo, Pieta by Sarah Graham
Gyopo by Stephanie Groves
Red Opal by Erin Erter

To request a disability-related accommodation to access archival PDFs of past winning poems, please email LewisCenter@princeton.edu.

 

Past Contest Winners

2022

First Prize: 1, 2, 3 by Rayan Afif
Second Prize: A Loi Ah by Audrey Lim
Third Prize: The Butterfly in an Electrocuting Moth Grid by Lok Yiu Cheung

Honorable Mentions:
Abraham, Isaac and Steve by Daniel Slater
Beyond the Belly by Celia Irving
A Jungle by Dylan Sherman
Lord, Give Me Strength by Annabelle Smith
This is Water by Clara Passarinho
Their Stories by Daria Volkova
A Deeply Disturbing Dive into the Family Dynamics of a Teen Rom-Com by Anka Chiorini

 

2021

1st place: Khan by Kiran Rajagopal
2nd place: It’s Only A Cardboard Moon by Anya Jiménez
3rd place: The Old Man and the Thousand Cranes by Hoonsun Lee

Honorable Mentions:
Big Sky by Miles Gantcher
Nephi by Danju Liu
Tasmanian Devils by Zachary Garfinkle
Things I Think About When We Say Grace by Phoebe Levitsky

 

2020

1st place:  Wafflehouse by Frances McKittrick
2nd place:  Train to Anywhere by Serena Suson
3rd placeDead Serious by Adam Soukup

Honorable Mentions:
Snake Story by Maia Siegel
The Cherry by Jordan Ferdman

 

2019

1st place: Viewer Discretion Advised by Alethea Shirilan-Howlett
2nd place: The Artist by Isabella Cho
3rd placeThe Carol Variations by Eka Savojol

Honorable Mentions:
Explanations by Emily Gil
Peanut by Gemma Hong
Just Ordinary by Erin Spake

 

2018

1st place: Bus Ride by Katherine Rooks
2nd place: Of Sound Mind and Body by Kate Fitzgerald
3rd place: God Makes a Hiring Decision by Shereen Lee

Honorable Mentions:
Platinum by Cayleigh Pine
Derailed by Jared Goudsmit
Untitled (Guinea Pig Play) by Patrick Kirwin

 

2017

1st place: Three Months by Jordan Oakley
2nd place: Sea Turtles by Jalexis James
3rd place: Ledgeside by Benjamin Connor 

Honorable Mentions:
Alone with Me By Your Side by Emily Trend
Drowning by Mia Nelson

 

2016

1st place: Odalisque by Jaelynn Walls
2nd placeSupermarket of Lost by Cassandra (Jing Thong) Hsiao

3rd placeDiscount Shelf by Cavan Bonner

Honorable Mentions:
Beatrix by Molly Littman
Thanksgiving Surprise by Betsy Zaubler

 

2015

1st place: An Unaware Bird by Kanishk Pandey
2nd place: For an Ocean by Emily Zhang
3rd place: The Boy Who Cried “Potato” and “Sally” by Alinah Vision

Honorable Mention:
Reflections by Emma Taussig

 

2014

1st Place: Packing by Catherine Valdez
2nd Place: Wide Eyed and Barely Six Years Old by Arya Sundaram
3rd Place: Liquid Gold by Eden Gordon

Honorable Mention:
Mother Dear by Kailey McLaughlin

 

2013

1st Place: Stalling by Anne Merrill
2nd Place: This Is Not A Play by Alexa Derman
3rd Place: Three Thousand Terajoules by Lauren Byrne

Honorable Mention:
Mother’s Orange Sorbet by Amelia Jane Nierenberg

 

2012

1st Place: Thirst by Kathleen Cole
2nd Place: Cupcakes by Isaac Dwyer
3rd Place: Hooked by Bianca Hunter

Honorable Mention:
This is How the Moslems Feel by Nathan Engel