Playwriting competition – what’s your story?

Pitchy Breath aims to nurture new writing talent and tell stories in innovative, provocative and fearless ways. Our theme is limitless possibility, putting experimentation at the centre of our process to gain fresh perspectives on old themes and inspire new thinking around stories yet untold.

We’re holding a playwriting competition for residents of Horsham, Surrey and Sussex to submit short plays (max 25 mins each) for performance at the Capitol Theatre in Horsham and other touring venues in November 2019. At least four plays will be selected for the tour, using the theme of ‘Past, Present & Future’, Horsham Year of Culture’s November theme, and we’ll award cash prizes to the winning playwrights.

‘Past, Present & Future’ aims to encourage new ideas as well as reinterpretations of classic works – we’re open to all ideas. Writers should bear in mind that Pitchy Breath productions tend to use minimal set, props and technical requirements and staging potential will be considered when selecting winning plays.

The competition opens on Monday 4 February and the rules for entering can be found at – deadline for all entries is 23.59 on Sunday 30 June 2019.

Terms and Conditions of Entry

1.  To be eligible to enter you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be aged 18 or over as of 1 September 2019.
  • You must not be on the judging panel for this competition. 
  • You must be resident in Horsham, Sussex or Surrey at the time of submission of your script. You may be a non-British-born writer residing in the UK. If you are currently living overseas, only consider submitting your script when you return to the UK or Republic of Ireland.
  • The rights in the script submitted must not have been optioned or acquired by anyone else with a view to producing it professionally and the script must not have been professionally produced.

Proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested at a later date.

2.  Entrants must submit via email to by 23.59 on Sunday 30 June 2019:

  • A complete original English language script that is no longer than 25 minutes.
  • All entries must be written primarily in English. Any part of the entry not written in English must be accompanied by a translation.
  • The script should be legibly typed and formatted and submitted as a PDF document.

If you require assistance with submitting your script, please email Please note, the team may be busy with enquiries near the deadline date and may not be able to assist at this time, so please submit ahead of the deadline to ensure your submission is complete before the window closes.

3.  The submission window for entries opens Monday 4 February 2019. Entries received before the submission window opens will not be considered.

4.  The submission window for entries will close at 11am on 23.59 on Sunday 30 June 2019. Submissions received after the window closes will not be considered.

5.  Entrants may enter more than one play but winning entrants will have no more than one play selected for performance.

6.  All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe the rights of any other party. Pitchy Breath Theatre Company accepts no liability if entrants ignore these rules and entrants agree to fully indemnify Pitchy Breath Theatre Company against any claims by any third party arising from any breach of these rules.

7.  Original ideas must be suitable for performance by Pitchy Breath Theatre Company at any showcase events.

8.  Entrants retain the copyright in their script but on being selected will grant to Pitchy Breath Theatre Company a licence to perform and use their entry across all media, including stage, screen and any online or social media platforms.

9. As with any new script, Pitchy Breath Theatre Company may require further drafts and revisions of the winning scripts. Winners must be willing and able to undertake redrafting and revision work in conjunction with Pitchy Breath Theatre Company. By submitting a script the entrant agrees that Pitchy Breath Theatre Company may in its sole discretion edit, adapt or abridge it.

10. By entering this competition, entrants warrant that they have legal capacity to enter the scheme and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

11.  Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the competition theme of ‘Past, Present and Future’.
  • Originality of the script.
  • The strength of the story and structure.
  • The writer’s ability to write believable dialogue.
  • The writer’s skill in inhabiting the characters and developing convincing relationships between them.
  • The writer’s ability to write for minimal set, props, costume and technical requirements.

12. Entries will be judged through the following process:

Stage One

All entries will be reviewed by a team of Pitchy Breath Theatre Company judges, who will perform a first sift by reading the first ten pages of each script, assessing them against the criteria outlined above. Pitchy Breath Theatre Company reserves the right not to read all ten pages if it is clear that the quality of the writing or subject matter is unsuitable or is in breach of any of these terms and conditions.

Stage Two

Longlisted scripts will then be discussed by the Pitchy Breath Theatre Company judges and at least four plays will be selected as winners. The judges may select more than four plays if one or more winning entries are substantially shorter than the maximum length of 25 minutes.

Stage Three

The winning writers will be contacted by Pitchy Breath Theatre Company on or before Wednesday 31 July 2019. Shortlisted writers will be allocated a director to work on their play and will be invited to meet with them to discuss further.

13.  All winning entrants will win a pair of complimentary tickets to the performance of their play at The Capitol Theatre on Saturday 9 November. Winning entrants will receive a cheque and certificate at the performance.

14.  The names of winning entrants will be made public. Entrants must agree to take part in any post-competition publicity if required.

15.  Pitchy Breath Theatre Company’s and the judging panel’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

16.  Pitchy Breath Theatre Company reserves the right to disqualify any entry which breaches any of these terms and conditions or may bring Pitchy Breath Theatre Company into disrepute, including any entries which profit from criminal activity.

17.  Writers currently serving a term of imprisonment in the UK are ineligible for entry.

18.  If the submitted script has been through a development process with a production company, agent, training scheme etc then this must be declared upon submission.

19. Pitchy Breath Theatre Company reserves the right to cancel or alter the competition at any stage, including members of the judging panel if deemed necessary in its opinion, and if circumstances arise outside its control. In this event, a notice will be posted on

20.  Pitchy Breath Theatre Company reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any stage, including changing or substituting the selection process and script development opportunities. In this event, a notice will be posted on

21.  These Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales