Scratchpad Series opens The Realm’s doors to early-career playwrights from around the country. Participants will spend a week in New York City for a developmental reading of their play with top-notch professional collaborators—director, cast, and The Realm’s artistic staff. If the playwright is based outside of New York, The Realm will provide travel and housing or per diem.

Find out more about Scratchpad Series!
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. The culminating event of the program is our INK'D Festival, which features public readings of each Fellow's play.

Find out more about the Writing Fellowship!

Applications are now closed - thank you to all that applied!


Can I apply to both the Scratchpad Series and the Writing Fellowship?
Our process allows you to apply to both programs with a single application. However, The Playwrights Realm accepts only one play per applicant, per season, across all programs. This means you may not submit separate scripts for the Writing Fellowship and Scratchpad Series.  

It is also important to note that for Scratchpad, preference will be given to playwrights or projects that can’t be served by the Writing Fellowship (ie musicals, playwrights who do not live in the greater NYC area, etc.)  

May I apply to the two programs with different plays?
No. While you may apply to more than one program, we accept only one play per applicant, per season. 

How do I decide which program to apply for?
While you can apply to both, they are very different programs and you may find that one process would serve you and your piece better than the other.  Here’s some comparison to help you understand the differences:

The Writing Fellowship:

1)  Is a much more time intensive process that provides not just a reading but also a writers group and professional development activities
2) Playwrights must live within commuting distance of Manhattan, and be able to make it to regular evening writers meetings, rehearsals, and events. Meeting generally occur twice a month plus rehearsals.  
3) Scripts should be non-musicals that would benefit from a nine-month, intensive development process.

Scratchpad Series: 

1) Is a much shorter rehearsal based process that is very flexible to the goals of the playwrights: work can focus on the whole script or only portions, reading can be purely internal or an industry presentation, etc.
2) Playwrights can live anywhere in the United States
3) Both Musicals and Plays are eligible.  Scripts can be anything from a rough first draft to a play that is close to production-ready.  

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. 

Are there any limitations on the length or type of work I can apply with?
Submitted scripts must be a full-length play. (A full-length play is a single play that constitutes a full evening of theater. For example, a 90-minute intermission-less play is a full-length play.) Plays being submitted for Writing Fellowship consideration should not have been produced outside of an academic environment. For Scratchpad consideration plays should not have been produced in New York City. All plays submitted should not be committed for production or another similar development process during the Realm's programs. At this time we don’t consider solo performance projects or one-person shows. We also don’t consider musicals for the Writing Fellowship, though they are eligible for Scratchpad Series. (See Scratchpad FAQ for specifics.)

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. It should also include any other relevant theater experience, education or affiliations. An example of a basic playwrights’ resume can be found here and we would strongly suggest you follow that format.  If you would like to include other pertinent, non-theatre information please list it at the end of your resume. Please note that a bio will not be accepted in lieu of a resume.

Will you let me know that you received my emailed application?
You should receive an auto-response e-mail confirming that your application has successfully been submitted via our online portal.

If I have had some contact with a Playwrights Realm staff member, would it be better to contact them directly with application questions?
No. Please direct any questions only to or
However, feel free to mention any contact with Realm staff in your email.