Write From The Hip Submissions

Call for Submissions: 2020-21 Write From The Hip Program

Write From The Hip is a year-long script development program designed to support self-identifying emerging playwrights through mentorship, participation in a playwright’s unit, and one-on-one dramaturgy. Participants work towards the completion of a full-length play that culminates in a public reading with professional actors and a director as part of our Groundswell Festival. We are looking for women* (* including, but not limited to trans, cis), Two-Spirit, non-binary, and gender diverse playwrights who are emerging in craft. There is no age limit and playwrights may apply with a script at any stage in development. Participants will receive a $1,000 honorarium.

Please note: We accept applications from all regions. If you are accepted into our WFTH unit, we do ask that individuals attend the culminating day long workshop and public presentation as part of our Groundswell Festival. Meetings throughout the year will be attended using Zoom technology and possibly in person (public health measures permitting) in 2022.

Nightwood is committed to creating spaces that are trans inclusive and that recognize a multitude of intersectional identities, which include race, ability, sexual orientation, age, and gender identity among others. 

In addition to our script submission process detailed below, we hold a round of interviews with select applicants the week of June 21, 2021. This interview phase is an opportunity for artists to introduce themselves and their proposed script in whatever way best represents them.

If you are granted an interview, it is a conversation to discover if there’s a match between what the WFTH program can offer you as a writer, what your play needs in terms of development, as well as who you are as an artist and why you want to be a part of the WFTH program. Applicants who have applied (but not participated) in prior years are welcome to apply, but only with a new project.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET. There is no submission fee for this program.

In order to be considered for an interview your package must include the following:

  • The completion of the online Google Form.
  • Choose Option 1 or 2:
    • 1. A 10 page maximum PDF that includes: A one page letter outlining your background as an emerging artist, how you feel you/your project would benefit from WFTH, and a brief synopsis of your play, PLUS your script/writing sample (max 9 pages). Please note that the writing sample is a way for the selection committee to start to get to know your voice and writing style. It can be from any of your work(s) and does not necessarily have to be from the project you would like to pursue in the unit.
      • Your application must be submitted as a single PDF document, saved in the following title format: “Last Name_Title of Play”. Please submit your PDF application to: submissions@nightwoodtheatre.net  
    • 2. A video application – maximum 10 minutes: Your video should outline your background as an emerging artist, how you feel you/your project would benefit from WFTH, and a brief synopsis and sample of your project.
      • Please rename your video submission file to read “Last Name_Title of Play” and upload to our Google Drive via this link.

For more info or to access further supports please contact Naz Afsahi, Artistic Associate and Business Manager: For more info or to access further supports please contact Naz Afsahi, Artistic Associate and Business Manager: naz@nightwoodtheatre.net

Photo of Donna-Michelle St. Bernard by Graham Isador
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (aka Belladonna the Beast) is an emcee, playwright, dramaturge and agitator.  Her work has been nominated for the Siminovitch Prize, Governor General’s Literary Awards, SATA, Herman Voaden Playwriting Award, Enbridge PlayRites Award and Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play.  She has been engaged as a dramaturge for Pink Pluto, Native Earth Performing Arts, Factory Theatre, lemonTree creations and Humber College Drama Program.  DM is the artistic director of New Harlem Productions, emcee in residence at Theatre Passe Muraille, playwright in residence at lemonTree creations and coordinator of the ADHOC Assembly.

Program Support Provided By The RBC Foundation

RBC Foundation logo.

Young Innovators Submissions

Check back for more details on how to apply for our Young Innovators program!

Play Submissions

Dear Theatre Creators,

We so appreciate all that you do and all of the necessary reach outs you make to companies in hopes of your work being seen and produced. We want to get to know you and your efforts are recognized and valued.

In order to do our best as an organization, with an emphasis on thriving while working within our means, we have articulated a process for unsolicited scripts that we hope will enable continued introductions and access, while acknowledging our limits.

If you feel your work fits our mandate, the best way to ignite or continue a relationship with Nightwood is to submit your project/play through one of three processes:

  1. Apply to our spring deadline for Write From The Hip. Please join us at Groundswell, our annual Festival of new works for the readings of these exceptional new works.
  2. Apply for OAC RGTC (Recommenders Grants for Theatre Creators) in the fall.
  3. Reach out to Andrea at andrea@nightwoodtheatre.net with a one-page letter that details who you are, what you’re writing about, and where your project is at, and include a five-page excerpt of your play.

If your piece strikes our interest, we will ask to be kept abreast of its developments. If your voice strikes our interest, we will ask to be kept abreast your future works.

Keep doing what you’re doing. Plays need theatres and theatres need plays.


Join our newsletter!