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Playwriting Festival

Coe College Playwriting Festival

Biennial Contest:
Deadline November  1, even years
Residency: April, odd years

We seek a new, full-length, original, unproduced and unpublished play in its final stages of development that would benefit from a week-long workshop at Coe. No musicals, adaptations, translations or collaborations will be considered.

This is an excellent development opportunity for emerging, professional playwrights. Spend a week in residence workshopping your play with a professional director, faculty, students and community theatre artists.


  • For the playwright: We want to provide you resources, time and space with which to develop and experiment with your work. In addition to helping you take your play to the next level, we also will give you some teaching experiences, as you will conduct master classes with our students. Finally, you'll have some networking opportunities to learn about and connect with theatre professionals in eastern Iowa.
  • For our students: This is an opportunity for our students to meet and interact with a working playwright, and to observe how plays evolve. Our students will be involved with the workshop either directly as participants, or indirectly as observers.


  • One new play will be selected for a week-long rehearsal and workshop that will culminate in a public staged reading by students, faculty members, or individuals from the community. The winning playwright will receive an award of $500 plus travel, housing and food for a week-long residency at Coe.

The Winner of the 2023 Coe College Playwriting Festival is Westminster by Brenda Withers. The playwright will be on campus during the week of March 20.


Any playwright with U.S. citizenship is encouraged to submit plays for consideration. Only one entry per playwright, please. To submit, please send the following:

  • One clean, bound script
  • A resume
  • The play's development history
  • A statement of development goals for your play (one page)


Scripts will be accepted between October 1 and November 1. Notification by January 10.

Send entries to:

Susan Wolverton
Chair, Dept. of Theatre Arts
Coe College
1220 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402