Playwrights Canada Press publishes new plays. We are looking for well-written literary works with engaging dialogue, interesting characters, and strong themes that incite discussion and analysis, and that focus on contemporary issues. We publish both dramas and comedies and we encourage playwrights who are thinking of submitting a script to take a look through the books we’ve published in the past to see if we’d be a good fit for your work.
Playwrights Canada Press is committed to representing equity-seeking communities and strongly encourages submissions from Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers of colour, from Deaf artists and those with disabilities, as well as playwrights from underrepresented regions.
We have an open submission policy and welcome submissions that meet the following criteria:
- The playwright must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- The play must have premiered in September 2020 or later.
- The play must be unpublished. We do not accept submissions of plays that have been previously published.
- We ask that playwrights submit only one play for consideration. We are not currently accepting proposals for anthologies by individual playwrights.
- While we do accept one-act plays for consideration, we recommend that the piece have a running time of about an hour as shorter plays tend to have too few pages to successfully bind into a book. If you're unsure about the length of your play please contact the publisher, Annie Gibson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There is no specific script format to follow for laying out your submission.
- Manuscripts must be submitted electronically either as a Word document or as a PDF.
Once you’re ready to send in your play, please click here for our submission form.
Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:
- All plays published by Playwrights Canada Press must be produced. The rehearsal and production process refines the script and prepares it for publication.
- Playwrights Canada Press accepts submissions of plays that premiered in digital formats as well as those that premiered on traditional stages.
- This includes plays that were performed online through a video or streaming service, or through software like Zoom. Audio premieres will also be accepted.
- Plays that were created specifically to be performed online/digitally can be submitted.
- Playwrights Canada Press only accepts submissions during specific windows of time. These windows are built around reading periods to give us time to read and assess submissions, ensuring a more timely response for you.
- Here is an outline of when submissions will be open in 2023:
- April 11 – June 30, 2023
- September 11 – October 27, 2023
- November 20 - December 20, 2023
- We are currently only accepting plays that premiered in September 2020 or later. Given our publishing timelines (we’re currently selecting work for publication in 2025 and beyond), we’re looking for more current plays to publish.
- If you are looking to submit a play and the window is closed please mark your calendar with these dates! (We won’t be sending out reminders when submissions reopen.)
Anthologies of Plays
- In general, we are looking for anthologies of plays that highlight current trends in Canadian theatre. Please note that we only publish only one or two anthologies each year and tend to schedule these up to five years in advance.
- We are not currently looking for anthologies of plays that highlight the work of an individual playwright, theatre company, or geographic region.
- If you would like to edit an anthology of plays, please send an email to the publisher, Annie Gibson, at email@example.com.
- Please include:
- A sample of an introduction including a solid idea for the book’s thesis. This will allow us to assess the quality of your writing.
- A wishlist of plays you’d like to include that support your thesis.
- We can include a maximum of six plays but prefer three-play anthologies right now.
- The prospective plays must have been produced but not previously published.
- We do not recommend including your own work among the list of prospective plays.
- A biography or CV that highlights why you would make a good editor for a book on the topic.
Non-Fiction / Anthologies of Essays
- At this time Playwrights Canada Press is not accepting submissions of works of non-fiction or collections of essays.
- Playwrights Canada Press publishes plays written in English or in English translation.
- To submit a work in translation, either the original play or the translation must be produced. If the English translation has not been produced we require that the script has been through a development process, perhaps including a workshop or readings with actors. Please note: if the original play has been produced it must have premiered in September 2020 or later.
- Both the originating playwright and translator must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- For the purposes of the submission form above, the submitted script must be written in English. (Short passages written in other languages are fine, as are plays that are completely bilingual.)
- If you would like to propose an English translation of a play written by a Canadian author, please contact the publisher, Annie Gibson, at firstname.lastname@example.org with a synopsis of the play you would like to translate and a short biography or CV that highlights your experience as a translator. Proposals for translations must be for plays that premiered in September 2020 or later.
- We are not currently looking for adaptations of classical works of literature or drama.
- If you are looking to submit an adaptation of a more contemporary work (published after 1990), please send an email to the publisher, Annie Gibson, at email@example.com with a synopsis of your play.
- Playwrights Canada Press does not commission adaptations.
Some Things to Consider
- Reading a play is a different experience than seeing it live on stage. If there were things in the production that were communicated to the audience through costumes, lighting design, or staging it is useful to include notes or stage directions in your submission manuscript script so those things come across to readers as well.
- Instead of simply describing how things looked or people moved on stage we suggest telling the reader what those elements meant. Move beyond the technical and provide context.
- If your script includes material that you did not write (for example song lyrics, quotations from poetry, excerpts from other books, or transcripts from live events) please keep in mind that you will need to acquire permission to include those pieces in any publication.
Staff at Playwrights Canada Press read every play submitted to us. Due to the high volume of scripts we receive, you can expect a response in ten to twelve months from the date of submission. Please be advised that we are currently selecting plays for publication in 2025 and beyond.
We ask for your patience once you’ve submitted your play. We aim to respond as soon as we can but we receive hundreds of submissions and it will take us a while to get back to you. Please do not call or email to check on the status of your submission. We will answer you as promptly as possible. If you haven't heard from us it means we haven't yet read the play!
We do accept simultaneous submissions (where the script is sent to more than one publisher at the same time). If the play is accepted elsewhere please notify us promptly.
If you have questions about our submission procedure or criteria, please contact the publisher, Annie Gibson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.