Kernodle New Play Award

The University of Arkansas Department of Theatre administers the Kernodle New Play Award, a national playwriting competition named for George R. Kernodle, beloved U of A theatre professor and author of "Invitation to the Theatre". The award recognizes full-length plays that invite the audience’s imagination and are inherently theatrical.   

2018 Kernodle Submission Information

Eligibility: Please understand, due to staffing levels (and a desire to keep submissions free), we advertised that unsolicited submissions to the Kernodle New Play Award were limited to the first 100 submissions.

On Nov. 27, 2017, less than four weeks after opening the submission window, we have reached our limit and can no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts. Any unsolicited submission received after Nov. 27 will not be considered.* We regret not being able to read your work, but we also have to work within the realistic capabilities of our reading staff and decided it was better to read 100 with care than 300 with haste.

Please do not send us your unsolicited materials after November 27, 2017, but do plan to apply early next year. We will review our unsolicited submission policy again after this year, and open the submission window again in Fall of 2018.

*Playwrights whose work has been directly solicited, and playwrights who currently reside in, or are originally from, Arkansas are welcome to apply until December 16, 2017. Please follow the process below, and when filling out our online form, please indicate in the “message” field, either who solicited your work or your ties to Arkansas.

Submission Materials:

  • Complete the Online Submission Form.

  • 10 page sample from the script you are submitting

  • A brief synopsis and history of the script

  • Resume

  • Full-length manuscript (70+ minutes)

  • Please combine all documents in a single PDF or Word file, and email submissions to We can no longer accept mailed manuscripts.

  • Plays submitted in previous years will be not be accepted.

  • Plays must be unpublished and cannot have been professionally produced (previous workshop OK). No plays for young audiences, or musicals please. Adaptations considered if rights are clearly secured or source material is in public domain.

  • One submission per writer

  • Please allow 3-6 months response.

Award: There is a single prize of $500. One or two “special commendations” may also be awarded. Winning plays will be considered for public readings by the University of Arkansas Department of Theatre and/or for inclusion in the Arkansas New Play Festival, produced in Fayetteville by TheatreSquared.   

Submission Fee:  None.

  Emailed submissions must arrive between Nov 1 and December 16, 2017.

Announcement of Awards
:  April 2018


If you have any questions, please contact us at or (479) 575-2953.
We look forward to reading your scripts!

Read about our 2017 winner, Barbara Hammond, and her play Visible from Four States in our archive.