EditorArticle, Arts NewsLeave a Comment

The Ryga Festival Society is holding a 10-minute new play competition and invites writers in the greater Okanagan Valley to submit their original, unproduced short plays.

There are cash prizes for the top three plays (first prize, $100) and winning plays will be performed at a showcase during the Ryga Festival in Summerland, Sept 1-4, 2017.

There are categories for adults, 18 years and up, and for youth, under 18. Deadline for submitting the play is May 31, 2017 and winners will be announced around July 15, 2017.

Writers must reside within the geographical area of the Okanagan Regional Library System, which extends from Princeton in the south to Golden in the north. Penticton, of course, is included.

Started in 2016 as the Marginal Arts Festival, the renamed Ryga Festival will take place in Summerland on Labour Day Weekend, September 1 – 4, 2017. Details will be posted on www.rygafest.ca.

For further information please e-mail Don Gayton at d.gayton@shaw.ca or
Peter Hay at peterbooks@gmail.com.


Eligibility: Residence within the Okanagan Regional Library service area.
Categories: You may compete in one of two categories:
Adult: 18 years and up or Youth: under 18
Prizes will be given in each category:
1st prize $100, 2nd prize $50, third prize $25.
Winning entries and some runners-up will be given a staged reading during the Ryga Festival.
The Competition will be adjudicated by three independent judges whose names will be published when the results are announced around July 15, 2017.
Their decision is final.

Plays must have parts for 2-4 actors, require minimal sets or props, and simple lighting. Playing time must be under ten minutes.
We are including a ‘writing prompt’ to get you started. You may choose to be inspired by the theme, ‘THE OUTSIDE,’’ – or include the phrase, “THAT’S WHAT THEY MEANT” in your dialogue.
Play must be unpublished, unproduced, and the original property of the author.
Each playwright may submit only one ten minute play to the contest. Co-written plays are acceptable, although there is a maximum of two co-writers per script. In the event that a co-written script is a winner, the cash prize will be divided equally between the co-writers.

Submission deadline: May 31st, 2017.
Please submit THREE hard copies of your script on letter-sized (8.5 X 11) paper.
Scripts should be maximum ten pages, not including the title page or the cast list. Each copy of the script must have a separate cover sheet with the title of the play and the name of the author. Author’s name, with contact details, only appears on cover sheet. Name of play appears on first page of the play. Pages are to be numbered.
Mail your submission to the Ryga Festival, P.O. Box 1217, 9525 Wharton Street, Summerland, BC, V0H 1Z7. They can also be dropped off at the Ryga Festival office in the Summerland Arts Centre at the same address.  

NB plays can now be submitted electronically (updated information May 9th)


Writers who want their scripts returned should include a self addressed stamped envelope with their submission, or make arrangements with the Ryga Festival office to pick them up. Scripts submitted without a S.A.S.E. will be recycled after the contest.
The Ryga Festival is not liable for any accidents that may occur as a result of the contest, or travel to the event. The Ryga Festival is unable to provide funds for travel, meals, or accommodations to the winning playwrights to attend the performance of their work, but they will receive free tickets to the event..

The jury’s decision will be made public and winners will be notified mid-July, 2017.

Some Tips for Writers
Keep the stage in mind. Write in the present tense. Dramatic writing is all about what’s happening in the here and now, not somewhere else at some other time.
Try to avoid writing short TV scripts with numerous little scenes or sequences.
Consider setting the play in one location. Focus on the conflict early in the action, develop it, complicate it, and resolve it by the end (perhaps even surprisingly).
Give your characters goals, needs, and action lines. Push them into taking action that will influence the outcome of the story.
Rewrite your play. Many playwrights have often said, “We don’t write plays, we rewrite them.” Keep at it until you think that your play will move the audience in the way you want it to move them.
There is no restriction in terms of the style of the play. It could be a comedy, a satire, a farce, or a hard-hitting emotional drama. We do suggest, however, that you write about what you know, what you believe, what excites you, or what you feel deeply interested in.

For further information please e-mail Don Gayton d.gayton@shaw.ca or
Peter Hay, peterbooks@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply