Seven Tips for Getting Your Play Published

Theatrefolk's Table

After reading about a zillion play submissions, here is some advice to help you get your play published.

Research the Company

We publish plays primarily for high school and middle school students to perform. If you have written a drama about angst and ennui at a Senior’s Centre, you’re wasting your time sending it to us. It could be the world’s greatest angst-ennui-Seniors-Centre play on the planet, bound for Broadway and the silver screen, but it just doesn’t fit with our mandate. Have a look around any publisher’s website to see what kind of stuff they publish. If you don’t see anything remotely similar to your play then it probably isn’t a good fit.

Read the Submission Guidelines

All publishers should have a set of submission guidelines posted on their website (ours are here). Read them; they’re meant to help you, they’re your best friend.

Format is Important, Specific Format is Not

This might be the number one question we get: “How should the play be formatted?” The answer for us is, “Any format, as long as it’s legible.” Stick with one simple font (Courier/Times/Arial are all fine, decorative fonts are not) and one colour (black). Let the words themselves bring the colour and excitement.

Test the Play before Sending it to Us

Get a friend to proof the script for typos. Get some friends together to read the play aloud. This will highlight all sorts of things you never considered when you wrote it in your head. Get your school to stage it, get other schools in your area to stage it. Get it up on its feet where it belongs. Have faith in your script before asking us to have faith in it.

Write a Cover Letter

Nothing fancy, just a quick note that briefly describes the play and establishing how you think it would fit with our catalogue. We have actually received email submissions with no note, just an attached script without an author name.

Don’t Give Up

If we turn your play down, don’t give up. We’re not saying that the play isn’t good, we’re just saying that it won’t work for us. There are dozens of publishers out there and we routinely see plays that we turn down end up in other publishers’ catalogues. Likewise, we have published many scripts that were rejected elsewhere.

And if You’re Turned Down by Everybody?

We are no longer in an age where publishers are the gateway to the world. Anybody can put up an inexpensive website to promote and sell their own script. Look at the way the music industry is evolving. We’re only a couple of years behind them.

About the author

Craig Mason