Theatre Oxford’s 10-Minute Play Contest

You have 10 minutes to tell a story. What will it be?

TO’s annual 10-Minute Play Contest draws new works from all over the world. The grand prize is $1,000 plus production in arts-loving Oxford Mississippi, a town beloved for its literary history. Second and third place winners also receive a cash prize, and all finalists are considered for production in our annual 10-Minute Play Festival.

David James Hamilton and Miranda Tate in "The Hitchhikers" by Joseph B. Atkins and directed by Suzanne Atkins for Theatre Oxford's 2023 Ten-Minute Play Festival
David James Hamilton and Miranda Tate in “The Hitchhikers” written by Joseph B. Atkins, 2023.


Deadline: August 31, 2024

Submission fee: $12 (U.S. dollars).

Please see guidelines below.

Good luck and thank you for your work.



  • Only original plays, never before produced, are eligible.
  • The play, exclusive of title and cast pages, may be no more than 10 pages.
  • Play should have 2-4 characters and minimal props and costumes.


All authors agree to permit Theatre Oxford to produce their contest-entry play if the theater should wish to do so. Furthermore, winners and finalists agree to permit Theatre Oxford to publish a limited run, print or electronic edition (100 or fewer copies) of selected plays from our festival. Permission does not guarantee publication. Authors will retain copyright and full ownership of their plays.


Script Assembly

Please help our reviewers by assembling the script as follows:

  • First page: Title, cast of characters, time and place information.
  • Second page: First page of the script. The other pages of the play follow.
    • If you are unfamiliar with the formatting for the body of a play script, you can find standard rules HERE.
  • Include the Title and Page Number on the header of every page of the script (pages 2-end).
  • Remove all author information (including your name) from text body, headers, and file name, and document properties. Removal ensures an anonymous review process.


Each play submitted must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee.

  1. Go to the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council website to pay the $12 submission fee:
  2. After paying your fee, you will receive a link via email to submit your play. Please allow up to 24 hours during the week and 48 hours if sent during the weekend. Check your junk/spam folder if you do not see a message in your inbox.
  3. Fill out the online submission form that appears after you open the link. You must fill out all required fields.
  4. Upload the manuscript as a .docx, or .pdf file.

Once you have submitted your play, you will receive an automated confirmation via email. Please allow 24 hours for the message to generate. Keep in mind, the email may be directed to your spam/junk folder. If you have not received a confirmation after 24 hours, contact the contest coordinator:

Winner Selection

All plays are judged anonymously over multiple rounds with multiple reviewers who will select finalists and the three winners. Every author who submits will be notified of final judging results.  Winners will be contacted by January 2025.

  • LW Thomas Grand prize: $1,000 plus production
  • Second prize: $250
  • Third Prize: $100

Thank you and have fun!

Questions? Please email

“Patients” by George Kehoe starring Bud Fanton and Rebecca Jernigan, 2023 Festival
“Dead Man” by Chuck Smith, with Kate Lechler & Jake Hocutt, 2023 Festival
“Lunch Break” by LaToya Faulk featuring Temekia Trotter, Theatre Oxford’s 2023 Festival

10-Minute Play Contest FAQs

Why do you ask for (optional) demographic information?

This information is entirely optional; however, we appreciate your help. By filling out demographic information, you will be helping Theatre Oxford understand our contestant base and whether any groups are underrepresented in our submissions.

What is your reading process? 

Round #1: A pool of readers score each play based on established criteria. Each reviewer receives approximately 15 plays. The top three ranked plays from each reader move to the next round. One reader reviews each play in this round.

Round #2: A smaller pool of readers review 5-10 plays each. Each reader ranks their plays in order of recommendation. Our coordinator selects 5-10 finalists based on the reviewer rankings. Three readers review each play in round two.

Round #3: A committee formed from the Board of Directors reviews the plays that reach the final round. Each committee member ranks the plays from 1-10. The committee consolidates the rankings to determine the three winners of the contest.

How do we choose the plays for the festival?

We will produce six to eight 10-minute plays during our festival. Theatre Oxford guarantees a production of the winning play. All other contest finalists are entered into a pool of potential plays to produce. The selection committee chooses from the pool of potentials based on a variety of criteria, from playability (“does Theatre Oxford have the resources to actually produce this?”) to fit (“does this work well with the other plays we’ve committed to producing?”) to audience (“do we think our audience will like this play?”).