Kent Haworth Playwriting Contest looking for imaginative short plays

Sharpen those pencils, exercise those keyboard fingers and fire up that imagination. The annual Kent Haworth Playwriting Contest is once again looking for submissions of plays ranging in length from 15 to 30 minutes from current undergraduate students at York.

Established in 2002 and originally called Out of the Archives, the contest is designed to encourage creativity and awareness of York’s archival collection – the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections in York’s Scott Library – and to use the historical information housed there as the basis for new dramatic expression.

Left: Clara Thomas

The contest was renamed in 2004 to honour the memory of Kent Haworth, University archivist from 1994 to 2003 and a Stong College Fellow.

The theme, subject and style of the play are left to the playwright’s imagination, but must have been inspired by something specific in York’s archival collection, whether a name, a letter, an event, a photograph or an item. The student contestants must also visit the archives and attend a session there in January to be eligible to enter the contest.

The submission must also be accompanied by a personal statement explaining what the exact inspiration in the archives was, and how and why it impacted the playwright. This year’s winner and runner-up will be invited to put on a performance of their play in Stong College. The winning submission, to be announced at an upcoming reception, will receive $750, with $250 going to the runner-up.

All entrants must complete a registration form in person no later than Friday, Feb. 5, 2010, available from the Stong College, Master’s Office, 314 or 315 Stong College. Entries must be submitted in duplicate to 314 Stong College no later than 4pm on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010. Winners will be announced at a reception; the date and venue are to be determined.

The Kent Haworth Playwriting Contest is co-sponsored by the Office of the Master of Stong College, Stong College Student Government, York Libraries’ Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections and York’s Department of English.

To check out the Archival Research Tutorial, visit the York University Libraries Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections Archival Research Tutorial Web site.

The information sheet containing rules, regulations and judging criteria must be picked up from the Stong College Master’s Office, 314 Stong College or by contacting Kari Hoffman, academic adviser, at ext. 77307 or

For more information, visit the Stong College Web site.