Digital 24 Hour Playwriting Contest

Supported in memory of Penny Arthurs

2021 Writing Dates: 5:00pm on Saturday, March 20 to 5:00pm on Sunday, March 21.

This contest challenges new and experienced writers to create a script in 24 hours while incorporating four secret elements that will be announced shortly before the contest begins. New this year, we will accept submissions from small groups or collectives, so sign up with your creative BFFs and start to hatch your plans! It’s a great way to (digitally) connect with the friends you haven’t seen much of this year.

What it is: The winning script will be offered a live, digital staged reading as part of the Fringe Primetime series during the 2021 Digital Toronto Fringe Festival, as well as prize money of $500. If your script is selected, Fringe will also hire and compensate the creative team needed to perform your script (actors, directors, etc.).

Who it’s for: Writers of all ages and experience levels.

Registrations: Are now closed. Thank you to all who applied.

Cost to register: Pay What You Can. New this year, Fringe has waived the $35 registration fee to this contest. Registrants may decide to select a donation level when applying. Funds collected will be used to administer the programs.

How it works: The 24 hour writing period starts at 5:00pm on Saturday, March 20 and finishes at 5:00pm on Sunday, March 21. On writing day, registered participants will receive four secret elements that must be incorporated into the script. Participants have 24 hours to write a new play making sure to incorporate all four elements. Once the 24 hours are up, participants submit their script for adjudication. In the following weeks, a team of jurors will read the scripts and vote on the winner.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Open to all playwrights/writers who are permanent residents of Canada.
  2. More than one entry per playwright is not permitted.
  3. The submitted script must have been written fully in the 24 hour contest period.
  4. There is no minimum or maximum duration for your script.
  5. Playwrights/writers who enter the contest may also enter the Digital Fringe Lottery later this spring.
  6. If your script is selected, Fringe will arrange for a live staged reading of it as part of the Fringe Primetime series of the 2021 Digital Toronto Fringe Festival.
  7. The winning production will be required to recognize the Toronto Fringe and "Supported in memory of Penny Arthurs" on all their marketing materials (program, posters, brochures, press release, website, etc). Specific details of this recognition to follow.
  8. The winner must provide a short post-festival report on the contest, production, and festival experience.

How to Register: Applications are now closed.

The Toronto Fringe is committed to equality, diversity, and prioritizing accessibility. We warmly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities, 2SLGBTQ+ identified persons as well as Deaf, Mad and disability-identified persons.

If you require any accommodations please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne at