Co-sponsor of the Alberta Playwriting Competition. 

Co-sponsor of the Alberta Playwriting Competition. 

Monday, August 21 - At the annual Betty Mitchell Awards, APN President, Mr. Blaine Newton presented the Grand Prize to the winner of the 2017 Alberta Playwriting Competition, presented in association with Theatre Alberta.

The recipient was 

  • The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir
I haven't stopped thinking about The Blue Hour. It reminds me of Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town' - not the sentimental version one tends to see onstage, but the one that Albee called "tough & bitter & deeply moving". There's an aching lyricism in the play, but its true beauty lies in the expert delineation of characters set to collide. - Dr. Andrew Loman (Juror)

Thank you to our 2017 jury who read the 40 plus submissions to the competition.

Colleen Murphy - Playwright - Colleen Murphy was born in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec and raised in Northern Ontario. Her play Pig Girl won the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama as well as the 2014 Carol Bolt Award. The December Man / L’homme de décembre won the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the CAA/Carol Bolt Award and the Enbridge Playwrights Award. Other plays include Bright Burning (I Hope My Heart Burns First), Armstrong’s War, The Goodnight Bird, Beating Heart Cadaver and The Piper. Libretti include Oksana G., composed by Aaron Gervais for Tapestry Opera, and My Mouth On Your Heart, composed by August Murphy-King for Toy Piano Composers and Bicycle Opera. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and her distinct films have played in festivals around the world. She has just completed three years as the Lee Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Alberta. 
Upcoming world premieres: The Breathing Hole, Stratford Festival, summer 2017; The Society For The Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, Rumble Theatre, Vancouver, November 2017.

Kelli Fox - Actor/Director - Kelli Fox is an actor/director with 30 years experience on stages across Canada, and in the US, including 13 seasons with the Shaw Festival, and 3 seasons with the Stratford Festival. This season she joined the team at Globe Theatre as Artistic Associate. Directing credits include The Drowning Girls, Hound of the Baskervilles, Peter and the Starcatcher (Globe), Kitchen Radio (Blyth Festival), The Nerd (Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia), Boston Marriage and Man to Man (Headstrong Collective), and This Wide Night (Summerworks 2013). Currently at work on The Woodcutter and the Lion, (Sum Theatre), touring Saskatoon parks through July. Next season Kelli will helm A Christmas Carol, and I and You at the Globe, and in between will visit Calgary, directing Beverly Cooper's The Lonely Diner at Vertigo. Kelli has been recognized with a Jessie award (Keely & Du, Arts Club/Canstage), a Dora nomination (Top Girls, Soulpepper), a Capitol Critics Circle award (A Room of One's Own, Shaw tour), a Toronto Critic's Circle award (Penelopiad, Nightwood Theatre), as well as sharing a Dora with the Penelopiad ensemble. She was the 2016 recipient of the Gina Wilkinson Prize recognizing emerging directors transitioning mid-career.

Dr. Andrew Loman - Associate Professor, Memorial University - Andrew Loman is an associate professor in the Department of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the curator of 48 Months of Finasteride, a series of play-readings coinciding with the 48 months of the Trump Administration. His articles have appeared in PMLA, Journal of American Studies, ESQ, and Children’s Literature, and he has contributed chapters to Fueling Culture (Fordham UP, 2017), American Gothic Culture (Edinburgh UP, 2016) and The Rise of the American Comics Artist (UP Mississippi, 2010). His short fiction has appeared in Exile: The Literary Quarterly. He’s currently writing a novel about his father, a survivor of concentration camps in WW2 Indonesia. He lives in St. John’s.

The other shortlisted plays for 2017 were:

  • The Takeoff by Collin Doyle
The Takeoff travels through three generations of one family, following the couplings and un-couplings of new love, old love, and broken love. Doyle's writing is unsentimental yet moving as he deftly weaves a rich tapestry of contemporary marriage that details the beautiful mess of human desire - Colleen Murphy (Juror)
  • A Beginner's Guide to Floating by Nicole Moeller
Moeller crafts a simple story that will resonate with you for weeks. The characters are rich and flawed as they navigate the waters of selfless love and selfish love. There is so much being said in what is not being's an actor's and director's dream. Beautifully crafted. - Kelli Fox (Juror)
  • Easter Island by David van Belle
A profound, poetic, and imaginative work that looks far into the earth's future, and deeply into our present, examining questions of death and re-birth, existence and extinction. It is, at turns, disturbing, comforting alarming, and reassuring. - Kelli Fox (Juror)
  • Premium Content by David Walker
Premium Content is a bold, refreshing play about personal boundaries and breaching personal boundaries. What is free and what is not free? Rigorous in form and intellectually stimulating, the your characters in Walker's play live on the edge of their desires, bringing us in to a world that is as up to date as tomorrow. - Colleen Murphy (Juror)
  • Do This In Memory of Me by Catherine Walsh
This is a heartbreaking, sometimes enraging, often hilarious story of one girl's fight (with the aid of a cheeky 4th century saint) against the patriarchy of the Catholic Church. Genevieve is on of hose rare characters that absolutely demands to be heard and remembered. Incredibly richly drawn, gorgeous characters. - Kelli Fox (Juror)

And congratulations to our Novitiate Prize Winner (this prize is for the Outstanding Play written by a playwright who has never been produced). And the recipient of the Novitiate Prize is:

  • Becky MacDormand for her play - Dark Am I, Yet Lovely
MacDormand examines and explodes the 7 stages of grief and leaves in her wake a story of hope and redemption. A poignant play that shifts time & space, investigating love and loss.   

Becky will receive a dramaturgical analysis and workshop of her work as well as a staged reading. Congratulations Becky!!!

2017 Grand Prize winner & Shortlisted Scripts

To Download a PDF of the Perusal Scripts, click the links below

2017 Grand Prize Recipient  

The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir

2017 Shortlisted Scripts

The takeoff by Collin Doyle

A Beginner's Guide To Floating by Nicole Moeller

Easter Island by David van belle

Premium Content by David Walker

Do This In Memory of Me by Catherine Walsh

Novitiate Prize Winner

Dark am I, Yet Lovely by Becky MacDormand


 Rules and regulations

annual submission deadline - March 31

Failure to meet all rules & regulations will result in disqualification of entry.

1.     Entries must be original. If the work is an adaptation and not in the public domain, permission of the original creator or rights holder must accompany the entry.


2.     All manuscripts must be in English.


3.     Each entry must be accompanied by a non-refundable $50.00 processing fee and by a completed and signed Entry form. In the case of an online submission a $2.50 service fee will be added to the entry fee.


4.     Categories

  • The Grand Prize is open to all unproduced scripts by Alberta playwrights. Scripts may have had workshops, readings and/or other development, but cannot have been produced in any capacity or medium. (Production includes Fringe Festivals or other public events, such as regional or provincial theatre festivals.)
  • The Novitiate Prize is open to all unproduced playwrights submitting to the contest. The awarding of this prize is at the discretion of the jury.

5.     Eligibility

  • Open to ALL Albertans whose primary residence has been Alberta for at least one year immediately prior to the submission deadline.
  • All scripts must not have had, nor will receive, a public production prior to March 31st submission deadline.  Plays produced at Fringe Festivals or other public events are NOT eligible for this competition. 
  • Paid employees of Alberta Playwrights' Network are directly involved in the administration of the competition and are therefore not eligible.
  • Musicals are eligible though will only be judged on the text.  No supporting materials (scores, recordings, etc) will be provided to the adjudicators. 
  • There is no minimum or maximum running time.
  • Winning plays from previous Alberta Playwriting Competitions are NOT eligible. However, re-submission of non-winning plays is allowed, provided the play meets all other eligibility criteria.

6.     Judging, Announcement, and Recognition

  • An independent panel of qualified jurors performs the adjudication. Their decision is final. To ensure the integrity of the Competition, all entries are judged anonymously through a double-blind process: the identity of each playwright is withheld from the jury and the identity of the jury is withheld until the final decision is made.

  • The Jury will select, from all the eligible submissions a shortlist of plays. From this shortlist of plays, the winning play will be selected.

  • The names of the shortlisted plays and playwrights will be announced in advance of the announcement of the winner. The shortlisted plays and playwrights will be announced via APN’s website, Press Release, and email to APN’s membership shortly after adjudication is complete. At the time of that release, a date will be set to announce the winner. The winner will be announced via APN’s website, Press Release, and email to APN’s membership.

  • The shortlisted plays will be published in draft form on our website and shortlisted playwrights will be asked to submit their work to the Theatre Alberta E-Scripts program.
  • Winners agree to permit the use of their name and title of their play in any promotion by Alberta Playwrights' Network. Winners are obligated to acknowledge Alberta Playwrights' Network and the Alberta Playwriting Competition in any publication, or production program of the winning script.

7.     Prizes

  • The Grand Prize winner will receive $5000.00 and a potential workshop/reading of the play.
  • At its discretion the jury may select an additional play from an unproduced playwright and offer the Novitiate Prize. This prize will include dramaturgical assistance from APN to that playwright in the form of an ACT ONE service or complimentary participation in one WORDSHED session.

8.     Rules for Submission

  • Hard Copy submissions must be postmarked or received in the APN office by the competition deadline of March 31, 2017. (Alberta Playwrights’ Network - #208 – 331 – 41st Avenue NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 2N4) Entrants must submit one copy of their script unbound and quality-printed with the entry form and entry fee.
  • Scripts must be typewritten or word-processed on white paper, one side only of 8 1/2" by 11" paper.
  •  The play title and page number must appear on each page.
  •  Pages must be double-spaced between speaking parts.
  • The title of the play only must appear on the cover page. 
  •  Any appearance of the playwright's name, initials or other identifiable mark on any part of the script (including the cover page) other than the entry form or workshop information will disqualify the entry.
  • Entrants submit their material at their own risk.
  • Each submission must be accompanied by a completed Entry form.
  • Each submission must be accompanied by a Non-refundable Entry Fee of $50.00 (cheque or money order payable to Alberta Playwrights' Network for hard copy submissions) or a non-refundable Entry Fee of $52.50 ($50 Entry Fee + $2.50 Service Charge for Online Submissions).


For further information, contact Trevor Rueger, Executive Director

(403) 269-8564      Toll free:1-800-268-8564

Notable Winners:

  • Mary's Wedding by Stephen Massicotte (premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects' playRites in 2002/Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play)
  • Apple by Vern Thiessen (premiered at Workshop West in Edmonton/Sterling Award for Outstanding New Play in 2002)
  • The Last Train by Daniela Vlaskalic and Beth Graham (premiered at Shadow Theatre in Edmonton 2004)
  • Blood by Meg Braem (Canadian premiere at Sage Theatre in Calgary 2010)
  • Super 8 by Mark Hopkins and Charles Netto (Canadian premiere at Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary 2012)

The Alberta Playwriting Competition is presented in association with: