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Samuel French has been scouring the globe for the best new writing to publish for nearly 200 years, and the search goes on. If you've written a wonderful play, we want to hear about it. This page should answer your questions on the process of submitting a play to our Acquisitions department, but if you need any more help please do feel free to email us.
WHAT SORT OF PLAY SUBMISSIONS DOES SAMUEL FRENCH CONSIDER?
We read plays from both professional and non-professional writers, but we usually only publish new plays in connection with productions.
If you are a full time professional playwright we would be happy to consider plays at any part of the process and we welcome receiving them in advance of any intended professional production. You don't have to have an agent, but if you do, please ask them to approach us on your behalf.
If you write for amateur or youth groups, we can only consider plays for publication when they have been produced. Most of our groups expect this type of groundwork to have been laid, and we believe that it's crucial for new writing to have been tried out in performance. Please do not submit work to us if it has not yet been performed.
Please note, we only rarely accept submissions of:
✘ One-act plays under 30 minutes
✘ Pantomimes, holiday plays/musicals
✘ Adaptations of classic literature (e.g. Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, Cinderella, Treasure Island, Sherlock Holmes)
✘ Plays or musicals for one performer
The focus of the work we're looking to acquire can change from time to time, but this page will be kept up to date with any alterations.
HOW TO SUBMIT PLAYS AND MUSICALS FOR CONSIDERATION
Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we invite submissions only in the form of queries, and in the format outlined below. We can only accept submissions by email, and please note we cannot accept full scripts.
Your submission email
Subject line: Query Submission – TITLE OF YOUR PLAY, Your Name
eg Query Submission – A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, William Shakespeare
Body: Please include links to reviews, video clips, your website and social media (if you have them), and anything else you think we should know about the play.
In a single document attached to your email, please include the following:
✔ The title of your play, your name, and your contact information
✔ One-page synopsis of your play or musical including relevant information such as casting requirements, genre, plot, etc.
✔ Production history, beginning with the year the play was written
✔ List of upcoming productions
✔ Short bio for yourself, and contact information for you and your agent (if applicable)
✔ Ten-page sample of your play or musical
Naming this file: Please include your play title (without beginning articles such as a, an, or the) and your last name in the name of your file.
If your submission is a musical, please include links to online music clips if available.
If we are interested, we will contact you for a full script, but be aware that we can take up to 6 months to get back to you.
READY TO SUBMIT YOUR PLAY?
When your file is formatted and ready to send, please click here to email us.
HOW SHOULD SCRIPTS BE FORMATTED?
All text should be single-spaced, in a readable font - eg 11/12 point Times New Roman
When separating characters’ lines or longer stage directions, double space
All stage directions in italics
All character names in CAPITAL LETTERS AND BOLD
Please add a space between character name and dialogue
All song lyrics should be in ALL CAPS, with one indent. (Note that one indent is 12 spaces in Times New Roman)
We prefer continuous pagination (not resetting at the start of an act or scene)
The title page should never be numbered. Page one should be the first page of the play.
Please state essential and optional props/set/lighting/sound/effects information so it is clear how the play can be staged
Cast and Setting
After your cover page, there should be a brief cast of characters, with some details about the character if available, as well as time and place notes. Character names, ages, genders, and any short but important physical characteristics belong here. If doubling is possible, it should be mentioned here, as well.
If you are submitting a musical, a list of musical numbers should follow this page, including the song titles and characters who sing.
Acts and Scenes
Each new act and/or scene should be started on a new page and be centre justified. The act should be written in ALL CAPS and roman numerals, while the scenes should be in capital and small letters as follows:
You should include a description of the setting and activity at the beginning of each scene. These can be simply designated by the terms “Setting” and “At Rise.” An act or scene should be noted, with “Blackout,” “Curtain,” etc. The end of the play should also be noted
Simultaneous dialogue should be placed side-by-side, spaced to start and end at the same place on the page
Trailing off should be indicated with ellipsis (...) whereas being cut off should be indicated with a dash
Song/number titles are bold italics, indented as stage directions. Titles are capitalised. Additional information about the title is lowercase and separated from the song title by a en-dash
For example. SONG: “CAREFREE DAYS ARE HERE” - Reprise w/ Chorus
Other music-related/sound design directions should be listed as regular parentheticals
For lyrics, the character name is on a line by itself, followed by the ALL CAPS lyric style