New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest is accepting scripts through August 31, 2009 for new works that:

1) Enhance self-realization 
2) Support peace and social justice 
3) Foster new understanding of minority issues that focus on racial, ethnic and gender discrimination both in the United States and abroad 
4) Empower youth to build healthy inner foundations 
5) Educate to gain further insight into healthy social/emotional living 
6) Shed new light on religious, spiritual, and cultural differences and issues 
7) Build respect for cultural expression and identity in a world that is experiencing rapid globalization 
8) Explore the widening gap between the values this country was founded on and the values we present to the world today


For Guidelines and Application Form:


As a direct result of the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contests: 


  • “Arkadelphia” by Brett Williams was published in Best American Short Plays by

Applause Books.

  • “He Came Home One Day While I Was Washing Dishes” by Christine Rusch was     

            published in Best American Short Plays by Applause Books.

  • 2004 contest winner, Rudy Gray, is now a Resident Playwright of 13th Street

            Repertory Company-NYC

  • “Conversation with a Kleagle” by Rudy Gray was produced twice in NYC

Feb 16, 2006 – Apr 7, 2006   and also  Feb 6, 2009 – Mar 29, 2009

  • “Ruby's Story” by Ron Osborne was produced in NYC May 13, 2004 – July 3, 2004

            and will be produced again June 12, 2009 – July 19, 2009.

  • “Interview” by Valerie Killigrew, was produced in NYC Nov 2 – Dec 2, 2006.
  • “Cry Wolf” by Deborah Mulhall was produced in NYC Oct 7 – Nov 27, 2004.  
  • “Shades” by Paula J. Caplan received a free development workshop

            June 28-July 2, 2004.

  • Eleven finalists and five scripts that were not finalists received a free reading.


Since January 2002, Sandra Nordgren, the founder of the contest, has been responsible for the offering of over 150 readings, 36 productions, 16 development workshops, and two theater playwriting residencies, all in New York City at no cost to the playwright. 


As writers, we have been given a precious gift. Let us use that gift to create powerful, heartfelt new works that not only entertain, but also educate, enlighten and uplift humanity.


You were recommended for this group by either requesting to be a member or through a recommendation from a colleague or industry professional. 

Please note that your information and email address will not be shared with anyone and that you will receive no more than 4 emails a year.  If you wish to be removed from this list, simply write Unsubscribe in the Subject line and upon receipt, your email address will be promptly deleted.   

We look forward to receiving your script!



Merit Theater and Film Group, Inc.

The Literary Staff

New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest