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.

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, playwrights of color, and playwrights of all gender identifications.


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

• 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.

• When the winning play is selected, Finalists and Semifinalists will also be named. Here's a list of past Relentless Award winners, finalists, and semifinalists.

• The Relentless Winning play, along with Finalists and Semifinalists, will receive development opportunities through the Ed Vassallo Relentless Reading Series, a series of staged readings at some of the top theaters across the United States.


The submissions deadline for 2019 has passed (it was June 15, 2019). Please check back next year to submit your play.

Eligibility/Criteria for Submission:

• Play must be unproduced.

• Authors must have either United States citizenship, possess a green card, or currently reside in the United States and have lived here for at least four years.

• Plays with a producer, producing organization, or theater attached for future production are not eligible.

• 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:

When the next submissions period opens in 2020, there will be link to at the bottom of this page that you can use to submit your play.

• NOTE: please DO NOT include 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 our readers.

• 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 from APF leadership that your script has been received. As submissions are processed manually, please allow several weeks to receive this confirmation.

For even more information:

Please see our FAQ here.

© 2015 The American Playwriting Foundation