For Writers:

Take the StayAtHomePlays.com Playwriting Challenge

Guidelines

StayAtHomePlays.com is looking for great plays for children ages 8-17 that can be read at home during quarantine restrictions. Plays will be made available for children to download on this site free of charge. No one on this site is making money, and there is no compensation for anyone involved in this project. The plays are for home use only. You may submit any type of work to us including:

  • A play that has previously been produced (as long as you retain rights).
  • A play that has not been produced.

  • A story or play in the public domain that you have adapted for kids.

  • A new work you have written specifically for StayAtHomePlays.com

 

We accept multiple submissions.

 

Length:

We are seeking plays for student actors from 8-17 years of age. Plays should be 10-20 pages long but that is not a hard and fast rule. We will make exceptions.

 

Cast and Production Requirements:

Younger children are often developing their skills as readers, therefore, reading levels are a factor in creating a play that they can read themselves, particularly at the elementary level. For more about reading levels and writing for children, see the links, below.

 

Ideally, your play should be simple enough that it can be done in a child’s living room using basic props and costumes. It should be a small cast of 2-4 people.  

Check out a sample play The Tiny Whale here. 

 

Formatting:

Your submission should include the following:

  • First page with your name, title, character descriptions, setting, short list of props. Please do not include any contact information on this page.
  • A one-paragraph biography to be published on our site, and sent to us in the body of your email.

  • A one sentence summary of your play, in the body of your email.

  • Your contact information, also contained in your email.

The Process:

If your play is right for us, you will be asked to sign our release and return it to us.  Your play will be posted on this site along with our recommendations as to grade level, cast requirements and length. We also may devise additional activities (such as a vocabulary list) to go along with your play, should the need arise.

Language:

We welcome plays in languages other than English. Please provide us with a translation so we can review your script before posting it.

 

Writing For Children:

If you have not written for children, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • There can be no sexual content whatsoever.  
  • Romance is okay but it tends to make younger children uncomfortable and may limit whether or not a child chooses your play.

  • No references to drugs whatsoever.

  • We love funny plays and find that our students do too.  

  • Violence as a source of humor is fine for Bugs Bunny but not here.

  • No cursing. “Darn” not “Damn”. 

  • We are a non-denominational site and will not be publishing religious plays.

  • Our students come from many cultures and we hope our plays reflect that.

  • Please try not to project gender, class or racial stereotypes in your work.

 

Your Privacy and Student Safety:

You will never be placed in a situation where you have direct personal contact with the children who use this site. Your email and contact information will not be made available to students. If for any reason a parent, teacher or student contacts you directly, please do not respond but forward it to us so that we can vet this correspondence for you.

To submit work or to contact us with specific technical questions:

StayAtHomePlays@gmail.com

 

Helpful links:

We have assembled a few links about children’s writing here but this is not a complete list, nor are we completely committed to any of these views:

 

https://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/6-tips-on-writing-for-children

 

https://www.freelancewriting.com/creative-writing/when-writing-for-children/

 

https://www.writing-world.com/children/stages.shtml