Dramaquill's All Things Writing

September 22, 2008

Where to get your play published

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In my spare time, when I’m not teaching music and drama, revising my adult suspense novel or writing new plays for our drama classes, I’m always looking at opportunities to get my plays published.

I’ve written a couple of articles about different aspects of playwriting. Watch for my “The Business of Playwriting”, coming out in Writer’s Digest’s newest market book, “The Screenwriter’s and Playwright’s Market, 2009”, available at amazon.com, amazon.ca and chapters indigo:

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/The-Screenwriters-and-Playwrights-Market-Chuck-Sambuchino/9781582975528-item.html

Here are some great links I want to share. Just remember to thoroughly research any potential publisher and always follow their guidelines to the letter when submitting your work.

For women playwrights, this is a great resource site:
http://www.womenplaywrights.org

International Centre for Women Playwrights

To me, this company is synonymous with plays but beware, they only take the BEST!
http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/play_submission.php
Samuel French

For women playwrights, screenwriters and artists, check out this site and sign up for the fabulous newsletters. You won’t be sorry.
http://www.womenarts.org/fund/EmailNewsletterSign-Up.htm
The Fund for Women Artists

Not sure how to submit to this one but check out their website for more info:
http://www.broadwayplaypubl.com/
Broadway Play Publishing Inc.

Another BIG company:
http://www.dramatists.com/
Dramatists Play Services

Lots of plays for children accepted here:
http://www.pioneerdrama.com/
Pioneer Drama Service Inc.

This one takes all the usual types of plays but also has a large religious play section:
http://www.bakersplays.com/store/play_submission.php?osCsid=b33b43de923a133328df9f5cf7a4460d
Baker’s Plays

Here’s another tradition publisher of plays:
http://www.playscripts.com/about
Playscripts Inc.

This one takes all sorts of plays except musicals:
http://www.brookpub.com/Submission_Guidelines.php
Brooklyn Publishers

And just a few other resources:

Drama Geeks – a place where you can download lots of different plays by
masters like Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde
http://www.dramageeks.com/

And for those budding screenwriters, check out Drews Script-o-rama for downloadable movie and TV scripts:
http://www.script-o-rama.com/snazzy/dircut.html

If you’re going to contact one of the bigger, well-known companies, it isn’t likely that you’ll even get them to take a look unless your play has a proven track record of productions. Often you’ll have to submit a program and general history of ticket sales etc.

My advice: As with any publishing endeavour, try the smaller presses first. We all have to get our start somewhere, right?

September 16, 2008

Writing Plays for kids – Look around, inspiration is everywhere.

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I love my job!  Part of what I do involves an aspect of writing that I thoroughly enjoy – writing plays for our drama department.  This means that during any given school year I’m likely creating 6-8 original scripts.

But after a while, coming up with new ideas that I know will appeal to our students can become a daunting task. 

So where do I turn for inspiration?

The kids, of course!

Just being around all the different ages of students who come through our doors can provide me with tons of new material.  Kids love to share and they have great stories from what they did on summer vacation to something that happened at school to their fears or their hopes and dreams.  That’s when I write a play about a subject they can relate to because it’s likely gone on in their world.

But the kids don’t always want to play kids.  They love to be creative and become something other than who they are and that’s when I turn to some other very accessible sources.

TV shows provide great fodder.  Reality TV is huge right now so writing a play about a type of “Survivor”, but with a twist, proved to be very successful with our intermediate class.  If the students know it from TV, they will relate to doing their version on the stage.

Who hasn’t read a great suspense novel or watched a mystery or ghost story movie?  Our teen class had a blast with a murder-mystery we wrote where one of the girls actually had to play twins and our juniors did a comical haunted house theme that had the audience mesmerized until the end.

Songs can also be a great source of inspiration.  I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with our littlest children in the “intro” class this semester and the song “Lollipop” just gave me a great idea.

We’ve all played board games.  Why not write a play where the kids are inside the game?

Hot topics of the day are also great choices, especially if you’re trying to write a play with a message that could be used to help kids deal with an issue, like bullying or self-esteem.

Look around!  Inspiration is everywhere – you just have to know where to look.

September 10, 2008

Help – my computer died!!!

Filed under: Writing — dramaquill @ 2:18 PM

My computer died – three dreaded words no writer ever wants to utter.

Yes, as we speak, this has happened to me.  Last night all was fine.  Today the system won’t boot up.  So I did what any self-respecting writer would do.  I panicked!!!!!

Then, I called and got my computer into a technician who promises only one to two days and I’ll have it back.  Whew!

In the meantime, I can’t just sit at home and fret about all the critiques I owe and the revisions I was going to do on my novel.  But somehow I feel slightly crippled by my lack of connection to the outside world.

That’s when I decided to go to my local library.  They offer an hour of free internet service with your library card and I’m writing this short blog post from the library computer.  I’ve checked my emails and done a bit of research and am feeling quite calm now.  Maybe I’ll head to Starbucks for a coffee after this.

Do you back up your data?  I do.  I have a USB device and several disks.

So, I may be inconvenienced by not worried.

See you soon when I’m back on my own computer again.

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