Woodward/Newman Award

The Woodward/Newman Award is an exclusive honor offered by Bloomington Playwrights Project, started through the support of Joanne Woodward, Newman’s Own Foundation, and the Newman family, celebrating Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward’s tremendous history of work on stage and screen.

It presents the best unpublished play of the year with a cash prize of $3,000 and a full production as part of BPP’s Mainstage season, along with travel reimbursement. Submissions for the 2022-23 competition must be submitted by Dec 1, 2021.

Guidelines for Submissions

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2022-23 Woodward/Newman Award. The winner and finalists will be announced by June 2022. The winner will be awarded $3,000 and a full production.

  1. “Full-length” plays should have a complete running time of between 1 hour 15 minutes (75 minutes) to 2 hours 15 minutes (135 minutes).
  2. Plays submitted must be unpublished at the time of submission (independently published is acceptable).
  3. Each submission should be sent to BPP via email. Send your email to [email protected]
  4. Your email should include the following:
    1. Tell us your name, phone number, and the name of your Play
    2. Tell us how you are satisfying the $10 administrative fee
      1. Agent submitted scripts require no fee.
      2. If via Dramatist Guild membership, attach a copy of your DG card to the email
      3. If you have paid via Paypal on our website, indicate your confirmation number and the email address used.
      4. Paypal is preferred, but if you can’t pay on-line, you may send a check or Money Order, (must be from a US bank). Tell us the check or Money Order number. Make it payable to “BPP” and mail to BPP, 107 W 9th ST, Bloomington, IN 47404
    3. Attach a SINGLE PDF file containing your script with the following information included in the following order:
      1. Title page with author name
      2. Synopsis (1 page or less). Please list the genre at the top (comedy, drama, etc.)
      3. Character list/breakdown
      4. Production history for the play—Include readings and productions
      5. A brief bio of the playwright,
      6. Full Script
      7. Submissions that fail to include all requested information in the order listed will be disqualified from the contest.
      8. Plays submitted in previous years will be accepted.
      9. Two separate submissions per playwright per annual competition are allowed as long as each submission has all the required materials.

Pay Reader Fee

2020-21 Award


Congratulations to our 2020-21 Woodward/Newman Drama Award Winner:

Queen Bee by Sharyn Rothstein

When her yacht is highjacked by Somali pirates, Belinda Bischoff, a witty, well-kept American woman in her late 50s, develops an unlikely friendship with the young Somali translator responsible for holding her captive. But as Belinda’s isolation forces her to re-live the bad choices that led her to sail around the world with a man she barely knew, she realizes the only way to help her new friend is to face the life she left behind. Funny and heart-breaking, Queen Bee is a play all about human communication and miscommunication in a rapidly shrinking world.


  • Choices by Robert Peters
  • Fireflies by Tina Esper
  • Coping with Autumn by Megan Ann Jacobs
  • Dragons in the Crease by Joseph Vitale
  • Marblehead by Hannah Hartmann
  • Righteous Among Us by Amy Tofte
  • The Terminal Event by Richard Willett
  • Listen by Brigid Amos

Past Winners

  • 2019-2020 The Absentee by Julia Dolittle
  • 2018-2019 To Quiet the Quiet by Christy Hall
  • 2017-2018 Out of Orbit by Jennifer Maisel
  • 2016-2017 Happily After Ever by Laura Zlatos
  • 2015-2016 You Remind Me of You by Matthew Capodicasa
  • 2014-2015 Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsay Ferrentino
  • 2013-2014 Sequence by Arun Lakra
  • 2012-2013 Lemonade by Mark Krause
  • 2011-2012 Three Views of the Same Object by Henry Murray
  • 2010-2011 Miles Away by Christine Whitley

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