The DLI/ADCI Playwriting Award 2023

Inspiring excellence in writing plays

To promote, support and encourage improvement in play writing on the one-act circuit in Ireland.

Entries for the competition for original new plays which have not been performed in public before 2023 should be received before Wednesday 20 September 2023.

Eligibility criteria:

Those amateur playwrights who were born in Ireland, have gained Irish citizenship or who have lived in Ireland for a minimum of three years.

An original one-act play which has not been performed in public, and which has not received any other funding. The competition is not for translations of other works.

The panel can only judge one play per entrant.

The play does not have to be entered for the One-act Circuit.

The length of the playing time should be no less than 20 minutes and no more than 55 minutes. The average page, unless there is very little dialogue, should take about 2 minutes to play.

The judging panel:

The judging panel will be made up of 3 members selected by the 6/6 committee, made up of members of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland (ADCI) and the Drama League of Ireland (DLI).

There will be an independent chairman, a member of DLI and a member of ADCI who will oversee the judging of the competition.  The panel for the 2023 competition will be: Chair Walker Ewart, Anne Mekitarian representing DLI and Trisha Keane representing ADCI.

Judging the plays:

The play will be judged solely on the quality and potential of the writing.

The judging panel will provide each playwright with general points culled from the competition and short feedback on the individual play.

As well as an overall winner and a first and second runner-up, at the discretion of the judges some plays may be ‘highly commended.’

The award:

The winners will be announced on the final night of the All-Ireland One-act Finals, which generally take place during the first weekend in December. The decision of the judges, overseen by the 6/6 committee, will be final.

The winner will be awarded a week’s residency in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan sponsored by the Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Co Cavan. S/he will be expected to present a short report and some evidence of the work done during their residency.

The panel reserve the right NOT to award the prize where the overall quality is deemed to be not sufficiently good.

A copy of the play, of whichever draft, should be forwarded by e-mail to Walker Ewart ( .  Please see the attached notes to aid your application.

Guidelines on the Presentation of Entries to the Play-Writing Competition 2023


It is permissible to send a draft of the play which may change as rehearsals go forward.

All entries should be typed in Arial size 12.

Please ensure that there is a complete list of cast members.

There should be a clear delineation between the lines of each character, with any stage directions either in brackets or italics.

Front page

The front page should have the title of the play with the name of the author.

At the bottom of the page please have the name of the group which will be performing the play and, if known, the festivals entered.

Introductory page (optional)

It would be useful for the panel to have:

some background to the author (e.g member of a particular group? How long writing? Any other published pieces? First time attempt?);and

some information as to the themes explored within the play and why you chose to write it.


The judging is based on the potential of the writing and not on how well the play does on the festival circuit. There will be 4 categories judged and it may help you to consider them as you review your writing: (a) development of character: 40%; (b) situations/scenes creating dramatic tension: 35%: (c) lighting/sound/technical: 15%; (d) overall appeal: 10%.

An area which needs more attention is that of lighting/sound/technical.  Is there a particular effect you would like the director to achieve within your play? What guidelines can you give on the technical side of things? Any specific music/sound effects?

To download a copy of this information click here – The DLI ADCI Annual Playwriting Competition 2023