Theatre InspiraTO's 12th Playwriting Contest is now closed! Our next contest will open in July.


This year's creative challenge: Grow Up.  The theme "Grow Up" must be an integral part of the play.

You decide: Grow Up! Stop speculating, take action. Decrease your immaturity. Stop daydreaming. Become an adult.  

You decide: Grow Up! Aim for what society believes is adult behavior. Lose your child-like wonder. Become pragmatic, sensible and rational. Lose your curiosity.



The play must be a ten-minute play. You must submit online by November 20, 2016. There are no fees. Once you submit you will be taken to a page confirming that we have received your submission. You may only submit one play.

The contest is open to anyone (any part of the world) without geographic or age restrictions.

The story can be a comedy, a drama, a parody, absurd or anything in between (in English only). We accept any style except musicals (however, music/singing is allowed as long it's not the majority of the play).

The cover page should have the title of the play, the playwright's name and the list of characters. The pages should be numbered. The format should be easy to read. We accept previously produced plays (but not plays that have produced in InspiraTO before). The playwright must own the rights to the play up to June 10, 2017 (i.e. the script cannot be owned by a publisher).

We are particularly interested in scripts that aren't afraid to make bold choices: quality writing backed by imaginative staging. Only those playwrights whose plays have been selected will be notified by January 1, 2017 (more likely by mid-December).

The plays will be selected by a committee from the Toronto theatre community. If selected, your play will be performed in Toronto, Canada from June 1 - June 10, 2017. Between eighteen to twenty four, ten-minute plays will be selected and performed. 1st Prize: $500 CDN. Should your play be selected for inclusion in the festival, you are giving the non-exclusive right to Theatre InspiraTO to produce and perform the play in the 12th Annual InspiraTO Festival in Toronto (Canada's largest ten-minute play festival), in June 2017. The InspiraTO Festival will find the cast, crew and market your play. Authors retain copyright and full ownership of their plays.

What does a good play need?

The submission must be a play. A ten-minute play is distinct from a sketch, or a skit; it is a compact play, with a beginning, middle and an end. You need a character facing obstacles in pursuit of some specific goal. You need rising action, conflict, and a climactic moment and your play must tell a complete story.

Generally speaking, scripts (including the stage directions, character names and dialogue) that are over 1,900 words are more than ten minutes long on stage. This does not mean that all plays under 1,900 words are under ten minutes, so be wise: use Word Count and read the play out loud while timing the length (including all pauses). You don't want your hard work rejected because it was too long. 

Get inspired. See your story come to life!