The 2015 Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition

Competition opens – November 15, 2014. Closes - January 15, 2015

ABOUT THE Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition:
This biennial nation-wide open competition, named to honor the Canadian pioneer playwright Herman Voaden, is judged “blind”. The judges select the Winners and Honorable Mentions without knowing the names of the playwrights.

Herman Voaden (1903-1991), Canadian playwright, director and theatrical innovator, was a lifelong champion of Canadian culture. "It gives some satisfaction to know that the crusade I have helped to lead has made it possible for the dreamers and innovators of today's theatre to follow their dreams and continue their innovations."

This competition, made possible by a generous bequest from Mr.Voaden's estate, is dedicated to his memory and honors his goals to develop a distinctively Canadian art of the theatre and to encourage the writing of Canadian drama.




In addition to the monetary award, through the auspices of the Thousand Islands Playhouse of Gananoque, Ontario, the First- and Second-Prize-winning plays each receive a week-long workshop and public reading with a professional director and cast, held at Queen's University in January 2016 as part the Department of Drama’s annual programming.

Honorable Mentions receive short written critiques from the final judges.

1. Open to any Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.
2. Only one play per playwright.
3. Only full-length plays in English. Legal clearance of adapted material not in the public domain is the responsibility of the playwright.
4. Plays cannot have been previously produced, published, contracted or commissioned by a professional theatre.

1. Submissions must be accompanied by an Entry Form. See below.

2. Entry fee $45. Credit card information may be included on the Entry Form, sent by e-mail to or by telephone to 613 533 6000 ext: 74336.

3. Submit one PDF copy of the entry. The playwright's name must not appear anywhere in the text of the entry, only on the Entry Form. The preferred font is Times or Courier in 12-point size. The pages of the document should be numbered with the title of the play in the header or footer of each page. The PDF copy should be saved with only the title or the first words of the title, excluding articles and punctuation, as the file name (e.g. AllsWellThatEnds.pdf or MidsummerNightsDream.pdf). Entries should be e-mailed to:

4. Entries involving music in an integral way must be accompanied by a MP3 file of the recorded music and lyrics.

Entries are handled with care, but the Drama Department cannot assume responsibility for lost or damaged files. Receipt of the entry will be acknowledged by email.


All plays will be read. There will be three rounds of judging.

The Honorary Judges for the final round of the 2015 Competition are Damien Atkins and John Murrell.


Entries must be received, by email, no later than 11:59 p.m., January 15, 2015.


The announcement of the names of the two winning playwrights and the titles of the plays, as well as the name of the entrants receiving Honourable Mentions, will be made in early June 2015.

QUESTIONS: Contact email: