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About the Program
The Writing Fellowship is at the heart of what we do: helping writers write. Four early-career playwrights receive nine months of resources, readings and feedback designed to help them reach their professional and artistic goals. Over the course of the season, Fellows develop a single new play. Monthly group meetings provide a collaborative, energizing space for writers to share and refine their work. One-on-one meetings with The Realm’s artistic staff support each writer’s specific artistic process. Fellows work with a director, design consultant, and actors over the course of two readings to see their work come to life. Professional development resources are also integral to the program and are tailored to meet the needs of each Writing Fellow. Mentor opportunities, meet-and-greets, and professional seminars are designed to shed light on the business of theatre, and empower the Fellows to be active, informed participants in their own careers. The culminating event of the program is our INK’D Festival, which features a public reading of each Fellow’s play.

What We’re Looking For
Above all, we look for dedicated early-career writers who crave a long-term, rigorous development process. We value intellectual curiosity, imagination and bravery. We love plays with evocative language, plays that contemplate big, unanswerable questions, that embrace the complexity of life, and demonstrate an understanding of the possibilities of dramatic storytelling. And of course, plays that are inherently theatrical—that could never be anything other than a play!

As a playwright-centric company hoping to help create the next generation of successful playwrights, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that the playwrights and the stories we support fully reflect the diversity of the society we live in. As such, we encourage writers and stories with unique cultural perspectives, experiences and backgrounds.

Writing Fellows Receive
  • $3,000 Award
  • Internal reading
  • Public reading
  • An occasional hug

    Program Criteria
  • Playwrights must be able to attend meetings and readings in New York City approximately twice monthly from September 2017 through May 2018.
  • Playwrights should identify as early-career.
  • Those enrolled in an MFA program during the span of the fellowship are not eligible.
  • Plays to be considered for the fellowship should be complete drafts at a stage of development that would benefit from a nine-month rewriting and workshopping process.
  • Plays should have no commitments to other theaters that will limit their development with Playwrights Realm.
  • Plays going through another similar development process simultaneously, or that have had a production outside of an academic environment, are not eligible.
  • We are not looking for solo performance projects at this time.

    Writing Fellows Application Components
  • Completed application form.
  • Theatrical résumé listing all academic credentials and professional productions
  • Full draft of the play that you wish to develop as a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow. The script must be submitted in PDF format with your name and the play title on a cover page
  • A professional reference with contact information (optional).
  • Looking for info on our other open application program the Scratchpad Series? Click here.


    Can I apply to the Writing Fellowship if I don’t live in New York?
    Because many of the program activities and resources available to Fellows are in New York City, you must live within commuting distance to be eligible. Fellows script meetings occur on average twice per month in the evenings, and there are other meetings, play outings, rehearsals, and events on a regular basis. We have had fellows commute from other locations within the tri-state area, though we cannot offer additional funds to cover that travel. If you live further than 90 minutes away we will ask you to explain how you plan to make sure you can attend all the meetings Please note, we do not recommend moving to New York for this fellowship!

    Does enrollment in a graduate program have any bearing on my eligibility for the Writing Fellowship?
    Yes. You are not eligible if you will be enrolled in school during the 2017-18 academic year.

    Are there any limitations on the type of work I can apply with?
    At this time we don’t consider one person shows. We don’t consider musicals for the Writing Fellowship because this program focuses so heavily on script work but writers can apply with musicals to the Scratchpad Series, as long as at least half of the members of the team–lyricist, bookwriter and/or composer–identify as early-career.

    When can I expect to hear about my Writing Fellowship application status?
    We hope to announce the Writing Fellows by early September.

    Does whether or not I have an agent affect my eligibility for The Realm’s programs?
    No. We will read any script, regardless of your representation status.

    Is there an age limit for The Playwrights Realm’s programs?
    No, there is no age limit to apply to any of our programs. The only limitation is that applicants must be early-career playwrights. If you consider yourself early-career we welcome you to apply.

    How does The Playwrights Realm define “early-career”?
    If you would consider yourself early-career we encourage you to apply. We make our assessments about “early-career” status on a case-by-case basis but one benchmark we often look to is if a playwright has had a major New York Production.

    What kind of resume should I submit with my application?
    Your resume should list the plays you have written and any readings, workshops and productions they have received. Your resume should also include any other relevant theater experience. We would be glad to see a resume detailing your education or other work experience, though this is not required.

    Will you let me know that you received my emailed application?
    You should receive an auto-response confirming that your application has been received.