To further interest in community theatre, encourage playwriting as an aspect of community theatre and promote the production of new plays by community theatres, CTAM holds an annual play writing contest open to Michigan playwrights. An independent panel of judges, who will determine the winning entries, adjudicates all submissions.

First Prize: $500
Second Prize: $250
Honorable Mentions: $50

The play must be unpublished, written by a Michigan playwright and cannot have been given a public performance by a professional company.  

Plays should be of a suitable length for a full evening performance. Two or more one-acts on a theme could fulfill this requirement. Playwrights may submit more than one play.  

No musicals or children’s plays will be considered for this contest.

A play adapted from other material (such as a short story) not in the public domain must be submitted with a written statement from the author or his agent, giving permission for the adaptation and agreeing to the terms of the CTAM contest.

A $20 registration fee must be submitted for each entry.

A letter of acknowledgement from a CTAM member group must be sent for each play submitted. This means that one of our CTAM member groups writes a letter indicating that they know you are submitting an entry. It does not mean that they endorse the play, its subject matter, quality, or its entry.  With this requirement, CTAM strives to make playwrights and community theatre groups aware of each other. The membership list of the Community Theatre Association of Michigan can be found here or by contacting Pat Paveglio (see below). Acknowledgement letters may be sent electronically to

Entries should be submitted in an electronic format. There must be no mention of the author’s name, address or any personal information in this format.

Email script(s) to Pat Paveglio at and include authors name, address, phone number and email address in the email but not in the attached script.

A committee of at least three judges will select winners, and their decision shall be final. CTAM reserves the right to award only one prize or no prizes at all, depending upon the scoring results provided by the judges. The judging criteria are listed below.

Entry Deadline is May 15, 2018

Public announcement and presentation of awards will be made at the annual CTAM Fall Conference, held in either late September or early October.

Authors of the first and second place winners’ plays agree their plays will be offered to CTAM member groups for the first two (2) calendar years following the contest without charge for royalties.

Mail a $20 check for each play submitted. Checks should be made out to The Community Theatre Association of Michigan. Mail checks and a letter of acknowledgement from a CTAM member group to:

CTAM Playwriting Contest
Pat Paveglio
767 E. Garfield Street
Cadillac, MI 49601

It is strongly suggested that you have someone proof-read your entry and that you use an easy to read format and font.

Questions? Contact Pat Paveglio at (231) 779-6116 or


Judging Criteria

The judges will score each play on a 100 point scale based on the following criteria:

Feasibility: Could this play be staged by a community theatre group considering sets, costumes, lights, number of characters, subject matter and language? (5 points)

Essentials: Does this play have the essentials for dramatic development? Is there a protagonist? Is there an antagonist? Does this play have a protagonist who has a clear and compelling goal and who is involved in a central dramatic conflict? Are there obstacles to these goals? Are the obstacles believable? (20 points)

Mood and Genre: Have the mood and genre been clearly developed? Can the reader/audience believe their first intuition as to the ‘type’ of play they’re going to be witnessing? Are there clues early on that tell the audience that they will be seeing a comedy or a melodrama or a psychological thriller, etc.? If it starts out funny, does it stay funny? If not, do you think it is intentional on the part of the playwright to heighten the drama? Did you feel tricked? (15 points)

Characters: Have the protagonist and his/her goals been clearly defined and developed? Likewise, the antagonist? Are all characters necessary to the play? Is the dialog believable and are the character reactions appropriate and believable? When the resolution of the conflict comes, have the characters been revealed enough along the way so that the outcome makes sense? (15 points)

Structure and Plot: Is the play structured so that it moves well from beginning to end? Does the action of the play move forward and develop at a comfortable, consistent rate? Is each scene important and relevant? Is there a resolution to the conflict? Is it satisfying? Is the plot interesting enough to hold an audience? Does the play start where you think it should and end where you think it should? Can you picture the arc of the plot? Does it make sense? (15 points)

Overall Rating: Is the dramatic situation involving the protagonist and his/her conflict interesting for an audience? Did you enjoy reading the play? Did you like the characters and find the resolution worth having invested the time? Were you comfortable with the setting, situation, dialog, pace, and resolution? Did you develop some mental pictures of this play being performed on the stage in your
mind? (30 points)