Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Announces Open Submissions for 2018 National Playwrights Conference

Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Announces Open Submissions for 2018 National Playwrights Conference

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center announced today that is now accepting script submissions for the 2018 National Playwrights Conference. Writers may submit their new plays to the O'Neill's Open Submissions Process through Friday, October 13, 2017.

The National Playwrights Conference is the founding program of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and led by NPC Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg. The conference supports playwrights during the creation and development of new plays. Writers of selected works will receive a July 2018 residency with a stipend, housing, meals, and transportation to support an intensive rehearsal process and two script-in-hand public readings with a professional cast and creative team.

Submission Details

  • Apply at

  • Plays of any length or genre are eligible; however, to be included in the conference, the work must remain unproduced through July 31, 2018.

  • The submission fee is $35 and covers the cost of the process.

  • Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

  • No agent is required.

  • Both electronic and hard copy applications are accepted.

The O'Neill takes its mission for the discovery of new work and new artists to heart: approximately 1,400 scripts are submitted for consideration each year. Submissions are sent to readers across the country and read blindly, allowing volunteer readers to focus on each writer's voice and story, rather than a recognizable name or previous accomplishment. The large majority of plays developed each summer are drawn from these submissions; in fact, all eight plays developed at the 2017 National Playwrights Conference were found through open submissions. Most years, there might be one or two invitations for established writers or collaborations with other institutions; these help launch conversations with the larger national field.

Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg notes, "As we open the submissions for the 2018 National Playwrights Conference, I look forward to building on our immense artistic legacy and helping to nurture the most innovative and fearless storytellers of our time."

During Goldberg's tenure more than 70 works have gone on to world premiere productions. The 2016-17 theatrical season saw the world premieres of Alligator by Hilary Bettis (NPC '12) at New Georges, All The Roads Home by Jen Silverman (NPC '13) at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Leftovers by Josh Wilder (NPC '15) at Company One Theatre, Halftime with Don by Ken Weitzman (NPC '15) at New Jersey Repertory Company, and Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod (NPC '15) at Key City Public Theater and Black Super Hero Magic Mama by Inda Craig-Galván (NPC '17) at Trustus Theater; the Broadway productions of Significant Other by Joshua Harmon (NPC '13) and The Cherry Orchard by Stephen Karam (NPC '16); The New York Premiere of Basil Kreimendahl's Orange Julius (NPC '12) co-produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Page 73; and regional premieres of Mike Lew's Tiger Style! (NPC '14) at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Huntington Theatre Company. Other acclaimed projects from recent years include I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard by Halley Feiffer (NPC '14), Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield (NPC '14), Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino (NPC '14), Lost Lake by David Auburn (NPC '13), and The Nether by Jennifer Haley (NPC '11). Nomad Motel by Carla Ching (NPC '15), Running on Fire by Aurin Squire (NPC '16), and queens by Martyna Majok (NPC '17) are all slated to premiere in the coming season.

The O'Neill continues to build an endowment to support Open Submissions. Initiated in 2006 with donations made in honor of O'Neill playwright Wendy Wasserstein, interest income helps support the submission and selection process.

The O'Neill will also host two online Q&A sessions about the process on the O'Neill Facebook page:

  • Thursday Sep. 21 - 6pm EST with playwright Adam Douglas

  • Sunday Oct. 8 - 1pm EST with playwright Inda Craig-Galván

Visit for application and guidelines. Please direct any questions to the Literary Office at (860) 443-5378 ext. 227 or

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