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?

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May 5, 2008

Writing plays for kids

One of the perks of owning my own performing arts studio is getting to write original playscripts for our acting classes. 

With all the great plays out there you may be asking yourself, “Why go to all that work?”

I admit that I have utilized many fine resources as fodder for our acting kids.  There are tons of books out there with monologues, scenes, small playlets, one acts, full lengths, musicals, etc. etc. etc. 

But the trouble with using most of these for classwork is that it’s tough to find a play with exactly the right amount of girl/boy roles and numbers of performers registered in every class.  Our mandate has always been to let each child create a role, eliminating anyone from being a townsperson or one of the chorus.

Now I’m sure if we could afford to buy up every available script for all of our different age ranges, we could find something appropriate every semester.  But, with limited funds for such a vast library and ever changing class sizes, the writer in me decided to venture into the world of playwriting.

After all, when I was a child, I spent many a summer day creating scenerios to play with my friends and took it upon myself to cast parts, improvise lines, direct everyone and even act in some scenes myself.  So, somewhere along the road it was inevitable that I would desire to try my hand at playwriting.

The response to these original scripts has been fantastic and the children delight in giving input into subject matter and even plot features.  By writing the parts after meeting the individuals, I’m introduced to some great personality traits that I can use to develop my characters.

And the best perk of all is that I’ve managed to sell some of my playscripts to drama clubs, drama departments and children’s theatres.

The biggest challenge though is the time frame in which I have to produce the scripts.  The final registration is the day before the class begins, then I have exactly two weeks to work with the kids, get my ideas and draft a play that they will enjoy.  Now, multiply this by three different age levels having three different semesters/school year and I’m cranking out nine original playscripts between September and June.  So even in this challenge comes a perk:  I’m great with deadlines.

So far, my pirate musical, my hillbilly plays and my murder mystery have been the most popular but with each new semester and each new set of ideas, who knows what I’ll come up with next.

 

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