International Thomas Wolfe Playwrighting Competition

This Competition has closed. To submit plays for consideration for PlayMakers’ season, see here.

“Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America—that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement.”

To celebrate 100 years of playmaking at UNC-Chapel Hill, PlayMakers Repertory Company is soliciting unproduced scripts that speak to the rich legacy of one of North Carolina’s most famous writers: Thomas Wolfe. The prize is named after the novelist whom William Faulkner called “the greatest talent of his generation.”  Wolfe’s writings reflect a largeness of spirit and an expansive vision of life, while anchored in what, where, and whom he knew.

  • The prize will be awarded to a writer who captures Wolfe’s mix of highly original, poetic language with personal stories rooted in geographic place. Plays that deal with Wolfe’s life and/or adaptations of his fiction are encouraged. Preference will be given to plays that synthesize all the above criteria in bold and exciting ways.
  • Submission period opens June 1, 2019 and closes September 15, 2019.
  • Winner will receive a $7,500 cash prize and development support from PlayMakers.


  • There is no entry fee.
  • The contest is restricted to plays written in English. International submissions are accepted.
  • Submissions must be original full-length plays written in English. Translations, children’s plays, musicals, and adaptations are not accepted.
  • Plays must not infringe upon the copyright of any other work, or violate any other rights (including but not limited to rights of privacy and publicity) of any other person, firm, corporation or other entity, or defame any person, firm or corporation.
  • One submission per playwright.
  • Plays should not be under option, commissioned, or scheduled for professional production at the time of submission.
  • Plays that have been professionally produced or published are not eligible.
  • Plays must be typed, must include page-numbers and in professional play formatting.
  • PlayMakers reserves the right to reject any submission for any reason.

Electronic submissions are strongly urged. Electronic submission will provide you with confirmation of a successful submission. All submissions will close at 12 midnight Sept 15, 2019.

Please enter the title of your play, your name and contact information (including address, phone number, and email address), and a brief biography where indicated on the electronic submission form.

The manuscript itself must be in PDF format and must include a title page that shows the play’s title, a 2–3 sentence synopsis of the play, and a brief explanation of how it aligns with Wolfe’s writing. A list of characters with relevant character descriptions is also required. If you are submitting your play electronically, please omit your name and contact information from your manuscript.

Submit online using this form.

If you are submitting a hard copy of the play you must begin with a title page that contains the play’s title along with your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if you have one); and a second title page with no identifying information that contains only: the title of the play, a 2–3 sentence keynote description of the play, and a brief explanation of how it aligns with Wolfe’s writing. A list of characters with relevant character descriptions is also required. Please include a brief biography at the end of the manuscript, on a separate page.

Send hard copy of script to:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art
120 Country Club Road CB 3235
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3235

Please do not send the only copy of your play. Plays cannot be returned after the competition.

The International Thomas Wolfe Playwriting Competition is administered by PlayMakers and sponsored by The Thomas Wolfe Society and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville. This is one-time-only event and NOT an annual competition.

Download a print version of the information above.