What we are
looking for:

Plays that are challenging.

Plays that exhibit fearlessness.

Plays that are not mainstream.

Plays that exude passion.

Plays that are relentlessly truthful.

The American Playwriting Foundation encourages submissions by first time playwrights, women and playwrights of color.


The author of the Relentless Award-winning play will receive $45,000.

The winning playwright will have the option to have the winning play published by the Dramatists Play Service.

The winning playwright will have a week-long residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artist residency program housed on a working organic farm in Brewster, New York. The author can elect to have a director, a dramaturg and actors join him or her while in residence on the farm.

The selected play will have a national roll-out through the Ed Vassallo Relentless Reading Series, established to help bring to life and develop the winning play by presenting a series of staged readings at some of the top theaters across the United States.

When the winning play is selected, three runners-up will also be named.


The May 16, 2016, deadline has passed. Submissions are no longer being accepted for this year. The winner, finalists, and semifinalists were announced in October, 2016, here.

Eligibility/Criteria for Submission:

Any unproduced play written by a United States citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) is eligible for The Relentless Award.

Each play must be submitted with a letter from a theater professional recommending the play. “Theater Professional” is defined as anyone who has worked in theater in any artistic capacity for a minimum of four years.

Plays with a producer, producing organization or theater attached are not eligible.

As much as we love them, one-act plays, musicals and plays for children are not eligible.

The author must be at least 21 years old.

How to submit your play:

Use the form below to submit your play and accompanying letter of recommendation to The American Playwriting Foundation. (The May 16, 2016 deadline has passed. Submissions are no longer being accepted for this year. )

NOTE: please DO NOT have your name or other identifying info (email/phone number) on any of your manuscript pages. Please also exclude agent info, development info, and dedications. This will preserve the author's anonymity for the judges.

Please provide your script file in pdf (rather than Word documents), with the title format: TITLE OF PLAY.pdf. Do not include your name in the file script title.

You'll receive confirmation that your script and accompanying materials have been received. As submissions are processed manually, please allow up to two weeks to receive this confirmation.



the relentless award

The Relentless Award, established in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman and his pursuit of truth in the theater, is the largest annual cash prize in American theater awarded to a playwright in recognition of a new play.


© 2015 The American Playwriting Foundation