Annual Kent Haworth Playwriting Contest on the hunt for plays

It’s time once again to gather a little inspiration from the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections at York to create a dramatic work for the annual Kent Haworth Playwriting Contest. Submissions of plays ranging in length from 15 to 30 minutes are currently being sought from current undergraduate students at the University.

The contest is designed to encourage creativity, to spark imaginations and nurture young playwrights and the creation of new dramatic works. At the same time, it is hoped students will gain a fuller awareness of York’s Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, housed in the Scott Library.

Left: Clara Thomas

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

Submissions must be accompanied by a personal statement explaining what the exact inspiration in the archives was, and how and why it affected the playwright. The winner will receive $750, with $250 going to the runner-up. Both will be announced at a reception, date and venue still to be determined.

Each contestant must go to the Stong College, Master’s Office, 314 Stong College, to complete a registration form in person no later than Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. Entries must be submitted in duplicate to 314 Stong College no later than 4pm on Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, along with the personal statement.

Established in 2002 and originally called Out of the Archives, 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 Kent Haworth Playwriting Contest is co-sponsored by the Office of the Master of Stong College, Stong College Student Government, Scott Library’s 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 website.

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 website.