MPF Submissions

Surprise! Inc. by Nolan Ellsworth & Shannon Wade
MPF 2023

The Maine Playwrights Festival is starting its 22nd year of nurturing the development of new scripts by Maine writers. The festival is centered on developing and honing short plays, from submission through staged readings, rewrites, and culminating in a series of public performances. The productions will feature collaborations between Maine-based directors, actors, dramaturgs, and designers during a focused rehearsal period in March and April 2023. 

The 2024 Festival will be performed in-person on two weekends of fully staged performances of short plays (8-30 minutes in length). Each selected script will be performed on every show night during the festival. The plays will be performed in Portland in April, 2024 (specific dates to be announced soon).

Playwrights may each submit one script, 8-30 minutes in length, for consideration in the 2024 Festival.

Playwrights whose work is selected to be part of the MPF will receive broad exposure for their piece through Acorn’s marketing of the festival, and will retain full rights for future performance of scripts. Playwrights will take part in public work-in-progress readings with the other selected writers, and will be an integral part of their play’s rehearsal process working with the director, dramaturg, and actors. Several playwrights whose work is not selected for inclusion in the full festival will be recognized as semi-finalists: invited to develop their plays through a by-invitation-only rewriting workshop with the Playwright-in-residence and have them shared in an evening of dramatic readings held at the start of the festival week.

We anticipate making decisions about script selections by mid-January, 2024.

The Submission Deadline for the 2024 Maine Playwrights Festival is:

Monday, November 27, 2023

The festival’s preferred format for submissions is to e-mail a .PDF document of your script. Hardcopy submissions are no longer accepted. See below for complete submission guidelines, and click to fill out a Submission Cover Sheet for the 2024 Maine Playwrights Festival

Guidelines for Submission

  1. Scripts must be written by playwrights whose primary residence is in Maine;
  2. All plays submitted must be written in one-act, with a running time of between 8 and 30 minutes.
  3. Plays entered for consideration in previous years will not be accepted;
  4. ENTRIES MUST BE E-MAILED BY NOVEMBER 27, 2023. The festival’s preferred format for submissions is a .PDF document. Hardcopy submissions are no longer accepted. If you are unable to send us your script via e-mail, though, please contact us at and we can work out a solution.
  5. Because we use a “blind reading” process for selection, PLEASE ENSURE YOUR NAME APPEARS NOWHERE IN THE .PDF DOCUMENT OF YOUR SUBMISSION OR THE BOUND SCRIPT, including on the script’s title page. Your name should ONLY appear in the body of the e-mail you send to us and on your Cover Sheet (see below)
  6. Place the title of your play and the page number at the top and/or bottom of each page of your submission.  Please contact us at with any formatting questions;
  7. All playwrights must also fill out a Submission Cover Sheet with basic information about the playwright and script using the Google Form on this page. Plays submitted without the cover sheet will not be read.  To insure proper matching of your Cover Sheet with your script, please include your name and play title (with the same spelling as used on the Cover Sheet) in the body of the e-mail when you send us your script.
  8. Preference will be given to plays without music and that are primarily aimed at adult audiences;
  9. Consider production elements appropriate to a festival production.  Preference will be given to plays that don’t have multiple scene breaks or excessive technical requirements;
  10. Scripts must not have received a professional production prior to submission to the festival (submitted scripts may, however, have received staged readings and/or workshop productions). If your script receives a production between submission & acceptance into the festival, please notify us.  For any questions about script eligibility, please contact us at;

Please e-mail a .PDF of your script to us at and also complete the Cover Sheet Google Form by Monday, November 27, 2023. 
We will confirm receipt of your script by return e-mail within one week of receiving it.

Click to fill out a Submission Cover Sheet for the 2024 Maine Playwrights Festival