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  1. We only require the opening twenty minutes for the initial submissions (use 18-23 pages as a guideline) however the full script should already be written. 

  2. The first page of the script must be the title page. The title page must include the play title, the your address, contact number and email address on the bottom left of the page. If you have  literary agent please include their contact details on the bottom right of the page.

  3. The second page should have the following:

    a) The premise (location, year etc)
    b) Story outline. No more than 30 words.

      b) Play genre. (No more than 2).

      c)  The main themes of the play (no more than 2)

      d) character list, if an actor is to play more than one
          character please make this clear i.e:       
          John 30 years, black/Barber, 25 years/Mike, Julie's
          husband 30 years.

4. The script must be written in professional play format; 12 font, Courier or Times New Roman and the pages must be numbered.

  • The opening twenty pages shall be read by two experienced script readers. Any script shortlisted by both readers will be shortlisted.

terms and



  1. Entrants must be 18 years or over and from an ethnically diverse background.

  2. Plays do not have to have any cultural or race-related context in the story.

  3. The protagonist will be cast with an ethnically diverse but race does not need to be specified unless it is important to the story's context.

  4. The play entered into the competition must not have already been professionally produced or performed beyond rehearsed reading or extract.

  5. You must be a resident in London. We do not cover travel expenses for writers based regionally and attendance for meetings, workshops (and rehearsals if your play is optioned) is vital.

  6. The full play must not require more than 4 actors but may have more than 4 characters.

  7. The full play must be no shorter than sixty minutes and must not exceed 90 minutes.

  8. Plays must be submitted as a single PDF document and by email only.

  9. The writer must own the copyright and all other related rights to the script.

  10. We do not accept scripts written by more than one writer.

  11. We do not accept absurdist/avante garde plays, musicals, pantomimes, children's plays, historical plays,  adaptations, historical biographies or classical plays for The First 20 Minutes.

  12. We do not accept plays that are currently under option or commission.

  13. It is free to enter.

  14. Plays must be set today or in the future.

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