The Playwrights Forum Home 
 

SEARCH STAGEPLAYS.COM
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PLAY DATABASE

  STAGEPLAYS BOOKSHOP NEW CYBERPRESS PLAYS PLAYWRIGHTING BOOKS PUBLISH MY PLAY AFFILIATE PROGRAM THE THEATRE BANNER EXCHANGE  
The Playwrights Forum > Markets & Marketing > Opportunities for Playwrights > Short & Sweet entries close July 31st

* STAGEPLAYS WANTS TO PUBLISH YOUR PLAY *
click here for details

 Moderated by: Paddy, Edd Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2   
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
Poll
Should competitions that charge entry fees be allowed to advertise on the Playwright's Forum website ?
1 5 (22.73%)
2 11 (50.00%)
3 1 (4.55%)
4 8 (36.36%)
22 votes
 Poll endedPoll ended
Short & Sweet entries close July 31st  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2006 08:36 am
  PM Quote Reply
51st Post
Readytobeslammed
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Hi Jon,

Thanks for your thoughtful and restrained comments. I agree pretty well with most of them but still prefer the idea of entry fee versus one entry per playwright. I'm in the search for the best plays - from writers willing to pay the entry fee ! - and I believe allowing writers to enter multiple plays gives me the best plays.

We may indeed miss some good plays by more experienced writers but we get some pretty good plays as is.

I'd be fascinated to know how Louisville assesses that many entries - qany idea ? - and of course it's only open to US residents so I can't enter. Funny that!

We are an international competion. Anyone in the world may enter. You know if we limited ourselves to just Australian plays we could probably do away with the entry fee - but then nobody in the USA would be able to enter.

I know you don't care about that but we do get entries from the USA. Should they be stopped from entering so we can give Australian writers free entry - none of who complain about the entry fee anyway.

And you answer - so don't charge entry fees ! And around we go again. "There's a whole in my bucket dear Liza, dear Liza"

Interesting your comments about assessment. How else should we assess plays then ? It's similar to what Project Greenlight does. We didn't copy them but it's interesting they use similar - without the category theatricality of course.

(And yes - I know it's a film competition.)

Interested in your come back on Louisville being just a USA entrant only competition. If there is one ? 

 

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sat Jul 15th, 2006 07:57 pm
  PM Quote Reply
52nd Post
jonplaywright
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California USA
Posts: 42
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
A few thoughts...

The Actors Theatre of Louisville competition, which launched the 10-minute form into its current state of popularity, gets well over 2000 entries a year (perhaps even close to 3000 now), and they have never charged a fee--so obviously it can be done.  I honestly doubt that--were there no fees--Short & Sweet would get anywhere near 10,000 entries.  And I also take issue with the idea that if playwrights were limited to one entry that the playwright isn't necessarily the best judge of what to send:  playwrights are constantly choosing what to submit.  That 's simply how it works, unless a particular script is solicited by a theatre company.

Personally, I tend to avoid fee charging contests (and at the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, we encourage our members to do the same) and will do so with this one.  Further, I disagree with the idea that $15 AU (around $11 US) is a reasonable fee for such a short piece:  extrapolating that figure, a one-act would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $40-50 US.  Alex is right in that the fee limits entries, but unfortunately that's more likely to exclude plays from better playwrights (who won't pay fees at all) in favor of those who are more desperate (and hence more willing to shell out money) to get a production.

Finally, while any contest can certainly have any assessment process it likes--it's their contest--I'm also not sure what I think of having to break down a play into components as if each of them (story, character, etc) is somehow unrelated to the others and give them numerical ratings.  But then again, what do I know.  And as noted earlier, I won't even be entering, despite the fact that Melbourne does, in fact, have quite a lovely performing arts centre.  I saw Doubt there in May.

Cheers,
Jon


Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Jul 14th, 2006 07:12 pm
  PM Quote Reply
53rd Post
stephen p.
Member


Joined: Sun Jun 11th, 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 26
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I think I remember only one or two US plays were represented last year, is that correct? I decide thren and there, that there appeared to be some what of a bias either in formatting or some other criteria.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2006 11:17 pm
  PM Quote Reply
54th Post
Readytobeslammed
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Hi Jig,

I wish I could but we just don't have the resources to deal respectfully and properly with the deluge which would follow from US playwrights.

Apologies.

 

Bw,

Alex Broun

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2006 02:38 pm
  PM Quote Reply
55th Post
Edd
Moderator


Joined: Sat Jun 10th, 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Posts: 1622
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I'd like to hijack Alex's thread for a moment.  Alex fully understands that the fact that his theatre charges a fee is not a popular practice, certainly in this forum.  I don't pay fees and I am known to encourage others not to pay fees.

HOWEVER, Alex has the right to post his call for submissions in this area of the forum whether you agree or not.  When you don't agree and have something to say, please be civil and respectful when you say it.  Paddy and I are duty-bound to remove offensive posts and offending members.  This will be strictly enforced.

Thank you 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2006 11:19 am
  PM Quote Reply
56th Post
jigsaw
Member
 

Joined: Sat Jun 10th, 2006
Location: Omaha, Nebraska USA
Posts: 2
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Alex,

A couple years ago you allowed one free entry from playwrights. Is that something you can do again, even if it's for a limited time?

Jig

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sun Jul 9th, 2006 05:38 am
  PM Quote Reply
57th Post
Readytobeslammed
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

Last edited on Sun Jul 9th, 2006 11:12 pm by

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2006 05:26 am
  PM Quote Reply
58th Post
Readytobeslammed
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Thanks Barbara for your feedback. Very thoughtful of you. Just to give you a little more background on how we assess plays at Short & Sweet I'll respond to each pount in turn. (My response in CAPS)

1)      Set very specific guidelines and ENFORCE them. Discard/do not read entries that do not obviously conform. Examples: length, cast requirements, deadlines.
THE ONLY REQUIREMENT WE HAVE AT SHORT & SWEET IS THAT PLAYS MUST BE TEN MINUTES OR LESS. THERE ARE NO OTHER RESTRICTIONS. PLAYS CAN BE OF ANY CAST SIZE ON ANY THEME, SET ANYWHERE. PLAYS CLEARLY OVER TEN MINUTES ARE RETURNED UNREAD. THE DEADLINE IS JULY 31ST AND NO LATE ENTRIES ARE ACCEPTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. SO ONLY ONES CLEARLY TOO LONG CAN BE DISCARDED.

2)      Have a two-tiered system for full length plays: request synopsis and 10 pages (or 15 or 20 pages). Eliminate those that don’t conform and/or ones that your readers don’t select and then request full script from “finalists.”


SHORT & SWEET IS A TEN MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL ONLY SO WE DON'T ACCEPT FULL LENGTH PLAYS. IT'S NOT REALLY FEASIBLE TO ACCEPT ONLY ONE OR TWO PAGES FROM A TEN MINUTE PLAY.


3)      For writers that submit multiple entries, ask them to note which should get preference. Only read second (or third) entry, if you have not found enough plays that you like to fill your schedule.

THIS IS POSSIBLE BUT COMPLICATES THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS A BIT. REMEMBER WE WOULD BE DEALING WITH A COUPLE OF THOUSAND ENTRIES. STILL NOT SURE A PROLIFIC WRITER - WHICH I AM ONE - SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED FROM MULTIPLE ENTRIES.


4)      Have a rating system for your readers. Only those that get a yes or maybe are passed along to a second or third reader. I know this is subjective, but if you trust your readers, why not?

WE DO HAVE A RATING SYSTEM WHERE PLAYS ARE ONLY READ BY EXTRA READERS IF THEY GET THROUGH VARIOUS STAGES.(SEE BELOW FOR FULL EXPLANATION OF ASSESSMENT PROCESS) ALL PLAYS SUBMITTED TO SHORT & SWEET ARE READ BY TWO READERS. AGAIN THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE WON'T WATER DOWN.


5)      Per the above, have guidelines for readers on exactly what to look for. Perhaps a sheet with specific questions to answer. Example: Are the characters and relationships clear? Is there a strong conflict in the play? Is the dialogue believable? Can the play easily produced by us? (that would depend on your facilities/budget/accessibility to actors, designers)

SHORT & SWEET HAS A STANDARD SCRIPT ASSESSMENT FORM FOR ASSESSORS TO FIL OUT SO ALL PLAYS ARE ASSESSED ON THE SAME CRITERIA WHICH FOCUSES WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR IN A TEN MINUTE PLAY.


6)      Finally, decide how many entries you can handle. Number them in the order you receive them, and only consider those that you can handle. Save the others for the following year or season. If this is noted in your guidelines, writers are alerted to be prompt and are aware their entry may be deferred for consideration to a later time.

THIS IS POSSIBLE BUT AGAIN DIFFICULT TO POLICE. TO BE HONEST WE CAN DEAL WITH AROUND 1000. WE WOULD GET 2000 PLUS SO THE EXTRA 1000 + WOULD ALREADY TAKE UP NEXT YEAR'S ALLOCATION.

HAVE ANY OF YOUIR FESTIVAL'S DEALT WITH SUCH A HIGH AMOUNT OF SCRIPTS ? DID YOU DEAL WITH THEM IN THE WAY SET OUT ABOVE ?

HERE'S SHORT & SWEET'S SCRIPT ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE: (Available to be downloaded at http://www.theartscentre.net.au

Short & Sweet Melbourne 2006 

Assessment Process

Assessment Panel

The Short & Sweet Assessment panel consists of experienced industry professionals based in Victoria drawn from the fields of dramaturgy, writing, directing or acting.

In all the panel consists of ten to twenty assessors who may read up to 200 plays each and are paid a small fee by the Arts Centre for their assessment of scripts.

The Assessment Process

Short & Sweet boasts one of the most thorough script assessment processes for any theatre company or playwriting competition in Australia.

Each play that is entered to Short & Sweet is read by at least two assessors. 

There are three stages to our assessment process:

Stage 1 – Initial Assessment

Once a script is received it will first go to a First Assessor who will read the script and then fill out a simple Script Assessment Form. 

On this form they will be asked to assess the play on the following FIVE (5) criteria:

Story, Character, Dialogue, Theatricality, Conflict

Based on these five criteria they are then asked to score the play out of a possible TEN (10) points with 10 being excellent, 5 average and 0 very poor.

The forms are then returned to Short & Sweet where the scores of each play are recorded on a central tally form.

Once a first score for the play is received the play is sent out to a Second Assessor who follows the same process and returns the Script Assessment Form to Short & Sweet and similarly gives the play a score out of 10.

Once both scores are received the combined scores are averaged and plays that average ABOVE 5 go through to the second assessing round.

Plays that average 5 OR BELOW are eliminated at this stage and not assessed further.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

- Score Discrepancy: Where it is clear two assessors have greatly varied on the quality of a play and the play receives a difference in score of 5 OR MORE from its two assessments (i.e.: One Assessor scores it a 2, another Assessor scores it a 7 or One Assessor scores it an 8, the other Assessor a 1) that play will pass through to Stage 2 for further assessment.

- Arts Centre Discretion: The Arts Centre reserves the right to select certain writers (whose work is familiar to the Arts Centre or who have been identified as writers with potential) and there work may be selected to pass through to Stage 2 assessing even if the play’s average scores are 5 or LESS.

PLEASE NOTE: All plays entered for Melbourne Short & Sweet are also automatically eligible for Sydney Short & Sweet. Once the assessment process is completed in Melbourne all scripts for Melbourne Short & Sweet are forwarded to Sydney Short & Sweet who then carry out their own assessment process to determine scripts for their festival.

Stage 2: Secondary Assessment

Plays that have passed through Stage 1 are then passed to a Third Assessor who once again assesses each script based on the above procedure.

They then forward back forms and scores to Short & Sweet.

These scores are then entered in to the Central Tally form and plays that average 7 OR MORE pass through to Stage 3 and are termed to be SHORTLISTED. Plays that average LESS THAN 7 are eliminated at this stage.

Again there are two exceptions to this rule:

- Score Discrepancy: Where it is clear two assessors have greatly varied on the quality of a play and the play receives a difference in score of 5 OR MORE from its two assessments (i.e.: One Assessor scores it a 2, another Assessor scores it a 7 or One Assessor scores it an 8, the other Assessor a 1) that play will pass through to Stage 3 for further assessment.

- Arts Centre Discretion: The Arts Centre reserves the right to select certain writers (whose work is familiar to the Arts Centre or who have been identified as writers with potential) and there work may be selected to pass through to Stage 3 assessing even if the play’s average scores are LESS THAN 7.

Once Stage 2 is completed writers are informed that there play has been shortlisted for Short & Sweet Melbourne 2006. Unsuccessful writers are also informed. The Arts Centre may also wish to publish a list of shortlisted plays at this stage.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the large number of entries received for Short & Sweet Melbourne it is impossible to give writers individual feedback on their script. However a GENERAL WRITERS FEEDBACK report will be emailed to all who entered as well as made available on the Short & Sweet website once shortlisting has been completed.

Stage 3 – Final Assessment

Scripts that have passed through to Stage 3 are deemed to have been SHORTLISTED for Short & Sweet.

These plays are then read by the Artistic co-ordinator who once again assesses the plays on the procedure outlined above. He scores all plays again out of ten and these scores are then added to the Central Tally Sheet.

A final average of the four scores is determined and the plays are ranked in order from the plays with the highest score to the lowest.

The top EIGHTY (80) plays on the list  – LESS ANY ITCs selected for the Top 30 or Wildcards - are then forwarded to the Short & Sweet Directors.

PLAY SELECTION

The final play selection for Short & Sweet is determined by our Short & Sweet Directors.

Once the Top 30 and Wildcard Directors are selected the final selection of plays  are then forwarded to them to read. 

Each Director then reads the plays and they inform Short & Sweet of their top FIVE preferences – in order – of the plays they would like to direct. 

Top 30 director’s preferences are allocated first followed by Wildcard directors. Where possible Short & Sweet will hope to give directors their first preference. 

Once all directors have been assigned plays the season will be finalised and Short & Sweet will programme plays in to certain weeks depending on director availability and overall composition of the festival (i.e. determining there is a good balance of theatrical styles in each individual program of plays).

Shortlisted writers are then informed of whether their play has been included in the final season for Short & Sweet.
 

Last edited on Sun Jul 9th, 2006 02:26 pm by Edd

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2006 05:06 am
  PM Quote Reply
59th Post
bkahn
Member
 

Joined: Sun Jun 11th, 2006
Location: New York, New York USA
Posts: 111
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Following are some suggestions for limiting the number of submissions that would not require those submitting to pay a fee. I have used them and/or worked with them in the past, as festival coordinator or reader.


1)      Set very specific guidelines and ENFORCE them. Discard/do not read entries that do not obviously conform. Examples: length, cast requirements, deadlines.


2)      Have a two-tiered system for full length plays: request synopsis and 10 pages (or 15 or 20 pages). Eliminate those that don’t conform and/or ones that your readers don’t select and then request full script from “finalists.”


3)      For writers that submit multiple entries, ask them to note which should get preference. Only read second (or third) entry, if you have not found enough plays that you like to fill your schedule.


4)      Have a rating system for your readers. Only those that get a yes or maybe are passed along to a second or third reader. I know this is subjective, but if you trust your readers, why not?


5)      Per the above, have guidelines for readers on exactly what to look for. Perhaps a sheet with specific questions to answer. Example: Are the characters and relationships clear? Is there a strong conflict in the play? Is the dialogue believable? Can the play easily produced by us? (that would depend on your facilities/budget/accessibility to actors, designers)


6)      Finally, decide how many entries you can handle. Number them in the order you receive them, and only consider those that you can handle. Save the others for the following year or season. If this is noted in your guidelines, writers are alerted to be prompt and are aware their entry may be deferred for consideration to a later time.


The above are suggestions based on my own experience over the years. They worked well in several situations—for annual festival, for grant applications, for a company looking for plays for their upcoming seasons and for another company looking to tackle a huge backlog of unsolicited mss.

Respectfully,

Barbara

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Wed Jul 5th, 2006 04:30 am
  PM Quote Reply
60th Post
Readytobeslammed
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 





HURRY! Entries for Short & Sweet, Melbourne close 31 July



 

Playwrights of the globe - you only have one month left in order to get your plays in for the 2006 Melbourne Short & Sweet ten minute play festival - the largest and most rewarded ten minute playwriting competition in the world.

Short & Sweet, a ten minute play festival and competition returns to the Arts Centre in late 2006. There’s $20,000 in prizes on offer, so if you have a good idea for a ten minute play - get writing - or have a good one already written - send it along ! Submissions can be entered via http://www.theartscentre.net.au/shortandsweet and the only rule is that the play needs to be ten minutes or less and must never have been staged in Melbourne, Australia! But HURRY entries close 31 July 2006.

All plays entered for Melbourne Short & Sweet 2006 are also automatically entered for Sydney Short & Sweet 2007 - so you can enter both competitions for the price of one.

The winning selection of plays will be presented in a season of 60 short-listed plays, which will be performed at the Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio from 27 November to 17 December 2006. Throughout the season the audience and a panel of judges will select finalists. The chosen plays will be performed at a gala awards night at the Arts Centre on Sunday 17 December 2006. 

Along with the playwrights, several hundred actors and 60 Victorian directors will be involved with Short and Sweet, making it a key component of the Arts Centre‘s commitment to developing Victorian artists and performers. Short & Sweet builds on other supportive Arts Centre programs such as TILT, Mix It Up  and the Wal Cherry Play of the Year award. 

If you think you have what it takes, we want you!

·         Plays can be submitted NOW at http://www.theartscentre.net.au/short&sweet

·         Entries close on 31 July 2006

·         Anyone can submit a script even if you have never written one before!

·         Expressions of interest for actors and directors to be involved can be submitted at the website

·         Administration fee is $15 per script entry 

Short & Sweet was conceived by Mark Cleary and first produced at Newtown Theatre.

 
NOTE ON ENTRY FEES:

I realise many playwrights on the Playwright's Forum are strongly opposed to entry fees so to answer a few questions - and to head off the more libellous accusations - I will try to answer the question why we charge entry fees.

Firstly Short & Sweet is an established and reputable competition that has been runnning in Sydney for five years and Mekbourne for two. Shorter & Sweeter - the best of Short & Sweet - has also toured to Sydney, Melbourne and most recently Singapore. 

We are not "a bunch of hustlers looking to rip struggling playwrights off." The Arts Centre is the most significant performance venue in Melbourne, which is Australia's second largest city - similar to the Sydney Opera House. 

There is one main reason we charge entry fees - and it's not to raise revenue. It's to limit entries to a manageable number.

We receive about 1000 entries a year. If there was no entry fee we would get 10,000 which we could simply just not deal with.

We get about 100 US entries a year - many no doubt from the playwright's forum - so I'm grateful for that as it brings in some good plays for us. We might get even better plays if we didn't charge the fee but we would also get 10,000 plays entered - as stated above - which we simply couldn't deal with.

We also prefer to limit that way rather than 1 play per writer as I don't think that's fair to writers as often they are not the best judges of their work. I will also not compromise Short & Sweet's assessment process which is very thorough.

I will acknowledge the entry fee does bring in some operating funds for Short & Sweet - it doesn't go to me, I'm just an Arts Centre employee - but it is very minimal part of the overall budget and is not used for prize money. That is provided seperately. It is merely a small part of an overall operating budget for Short & Sweet at the Arts Centre and in Sydney, some of which covers assessors fees which are minimal.


I realise the above will not be satisfactory to many who visit this site. And you won't be entering. Fair enough. There are some - like myself (I'm also a playwright) who don't mind reasonable entry fees being charged by established and reputable companies who offer a chance of a good production of my play - will enter. And I look forward to receiving their plays.

To those objectors you will no doubt point out the following:

- actors don't have to pay to audition

- directors don't pay to be considered as directors (Independent Theatre Companies do pay a fee however to enter submissions though, some which do include scripts)

- without playwrights there wouldn't be any plays for the festival (although some works are group devised or not text based)

- competitions such as Short & Sweet should be subsidising writers not charging them entry fees

- professional playwrights (which really there are very few of - i.e. a person who earns a major proportion of their income through writing plays) won't pay to have their work considered

- many playwrights are poor and don't have enough money to enter

These are all good and valid points. But if we were to do away with entry fees we would also have to probably limit the competition to entries from Australian writers only as if even if it was only one entry from US playwrights we'd still get a couple of thousand which is beyond what we can deal with.

Watering down the assessment process - which is another suggestion some forum members may make - is simply not negotiable. We are very proud of our thorough assessment process.

It would be sad to lose the US component in our festival but that is probably what would have to happen if we did away with entry fees. Incidentally no one seems to complain about the entry fee down here - in truth we hardly get a mutter.

Maybe you can organise a groundswell of disquiet about entry fees among Australian playwrights and I can assure you the Arts Centre would listen and respond to that. But the only complaint I receive about the issue is when I post on this website about the competition. No doubt that will make many members of this forum quite proud.

Anyway no doubt the blood is boiling by now for some of you so vent away - no doubt you'll upset me enough to get a response and the same old argument that gets argued every week on this site will be argued all over again and the Mana meters no doubt will drop.

I guess the real argument is should competitions that charge entry fees be able to advertise AT ALL on the Playwright's Forum. I don't mean on the Noticeboard - which of course is not allowed - but inthe Forum in entirety. In other words should the above post be allowed to appear in any form on the site. Hence the poll I have attached.

If you object strongly enough then you really should complain to Edd, Paddy and Paul who do graciously allow posts like this to appear for the interest of some playwrights on the site. They could take the step of banning all fee charging competitions from the site.

Alternatively like Paul has introduced the Manna meter maybe they could have a competition grading system where playwrights could get an idea of the worth of a competition and whether or not it's worth sendingt heir work too - fee or no fee.

Good luck with your writing. Please - in preparing your abuse - and as the moniker suggests - I'm ready for it - remember I am a playwright too. I'm just one who doesn't mind paying reasonable entry fees to enter reputable competitions.

Bw, Alex Broun

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

Current time is 11:04 am Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2     
The Playwrights Forum > Markets & Marketing > Opportunities for Playwrights > Short & Sweet entries close July 31st Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.1792 seconds (13% database + 87% PHP). 37 queries executed.