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twenty(20) for 2020

A Playwriting Challenge and Contest 

aka “The QuaranTENs”



During this time of uncertainty and isolation, there are many artists who have lost work, income, and creative spirit. As presenters around the world struggle to maintain energies and find ways support their artists, we are excited to announce: 


TWENTY (20) for 2020 - A Playwriting Challenge and Contest aka “The QuaranTENs”


EVERYDAY, from April 6 to April 25, 2020, we will award a new short-form “10-minute” play with $100. Everyday. For TWENTY (20) days!

While we are a small company with limited funds, we wanted to do something to support artists and spur some creativity during this time.  You don’t have to be an established playwright or have an MFA to participate in the challenge or win the daily contest. Are you an actor who’s always wanted to write? Let’s do it!  Parent, teacher, mechanic, playwright, technician, cashier, … theatre critic? Everyone who has a story to tell is encouraged to play.


Write one short-form, “10-minute”, play each day for 20 days as you stay the fuck home and stop the spread of COVID-19. Challenge yourself to create your best work in your best sweats. 


ATC never puts limitations on artistic expression; therefore content, themes, styles, genres, imaginary technical elements, structures, and topics are up to you. Go somewhere happy or go somewhere dark. Go wherever it takes you. We encourage you to be unexpected, reckless, whimsical, outrageous, provocative, ridiculous, and unflinchinly experimental! 


Share the challenge and share it widely.



  • Each day a participating playwright writes a play. A new play exists! Mazel tov! 

  • They submit the new play via email (see “How To Play” below).

  • The play is blind-distributed to readers each day.

    • The readers are a private volunteer group of actors, playwrights, designers, directors, technicians, and theatre lovers. Blind-distributed means the readers don’t know who the playwrights are… they just read the plays. 

  • Readers score each work. The highest score wins the day. 

  • We’ll announce the winning work in a post on the TWENTY (20) WINNING WORKS page and the winner is sent $100 via Venmo.

  • Rinse and repeat for TWENTY (20) days. 

A maximum of TWENTY (20)  plays will be considered, in order as received, each day. Submissions over the maximum will be backlogged to another low-volume day. Participants who indicate that they plan to participate every day of the contest will be tabled a QUARANTENNER, which will ensure that their work is never backlogged (see “Rules, Eligibility, Remedies, and Fucking Fine Print” below).



Anyone!  Seriously.

We’re a DC based company, so we are focusing our outreach on DC area artists… but anyone in the world under quarantine can participate. Some rules apply (see “Rules, Eligibility, Remedies, and Fucking Fine Print” below).  


Share the challenge with your friends, family, and other creatives.



We understand people are not on extended vacation. This is a trying time. Some artists are having to take care of loved ones and/or continue to work from home, or are heroes continuing essential services to keep us fed, warm, and alive. We understand if not everyone can commit to writing twenty (20) plays.  It’s a heavy lift. Submit what you can. Your chances, however, of winning are better the more often you submit and you could win once or win everyday. But, it’s not about the money… we’re not making a big deal about that. It’s about making new shit. 


  1. Write a short-form "10-minute" play. 

    • A "10-minute" play is a piece that should take UNDER 10 minutes to perform.

      • If you're not sure how long your piece is try reading it out loud​​. 

      • If you think your work is too short; remember that, when performed, actors can suck up more time with acting than you might expect. 

  2. Package TWO (2) versions of the script as two separate PDFs. 

    • One with a title page with playwright name and contact information for publication, and 

    • One with just the name of the play for the readers. 

      • MUST be PDF! No other formats will be accepted.

    • MUST BE SUBMITTED BETWEEN 12:01AM and 1:01PM (EDT) on that day. (see “Rules, Eligibility, Remedies, and Fucking Fine Print” below

  3. IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL - Participants MUST indicate if they are planning on participating for every day of the challenge and are to be considered a QUARANTENNER (see “How It Works”).

  4. IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL - Participants MUST indicate that they have a Venmo account. 

    • DO NOT include your Venmo information in the email or title pages. If you win… we will contact you. Prize money will ONLY be distributed via Venmo.

  5. IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL - Participants MUST include a short bio or the words “no bio”. 

    • Optional: Please also include a few words about the play. You can describe the play itself, your mindset when you started working on it, or any thoughts that came to you after it was done. Please note: Readers will not see this information.

  6. Attach the TWO (2)  PDFs to the email and send to



  1. To be eligible on any particular day of the contest, the work MUST BE SUBMITTED, VIA EMAILED PDF, BETWEEN 12:01AM and 1:01PM (EDT) on that day. Only plays submitted during that window will be considered.

  2. A maximum of TWENTY (20) plays will be considered, in order as received, each day of the contest. ATC reserves the right to backlog plays that exceed the maximum and distribute to readers on the next low-volume day.

  3. Members of the reader community for the contest ARE eligible to participate and win cash prizes. READERS MAY NOT VOTE ON THEIR OWN WORK. In the event a reader’s work wins, after the contest is closed the reader will select, from ALL eligible submitted works, a special winner. The special winning work is subject to all terms and conditions of the contest.

  4. By participating, you are giving ATC the right to publish any work submitted on our website as part of documentation of the contest.

  5. By participating, you are giving ATC the right of first refusal (ROFR) to present any work submitted. 

  6. If your play is selected, and you accept the $100.00 prize money, the work is then considered work-for-hire and grants ATC unrestricted rights to present it (and any subsequent versions) at any time in the future, with no additional fee or royalty. The playwright retains ownership and all other publication and performance rights not reserved.

  7.  ATC must be credited in any published version of any work submitted and/or all forms of display, advertising, and publicity, including, but not limited to, program, fliers, signs with the following credit: Originally conceived and submitted as a participant in Annexus Theatre Company’s TWENTY (20) for 2020 - A Playwriting Challenge and Contest aka “The QuaranTENs” during the COVID-19 quarantine in the United States.

  8. If a winning work is adapted, expanded, or inspires a longer work of any kind, ATC reserves the ROFR to present and/or produce the adapted work. If ATC chooses to present the adapted work, ATC agrees to pay royalties not to exceed $25.00 per work, per performance or screening. For any other productions or presentations of the original or adapted winning work ATC is to receive “in association with” headline-billing no less than 75% of the presenting entity in all forms of display, advertising, and publicity, including, but not limited to, program, fliers, signs and marquees.  

  9. This contest may be extended, revived, repeated, or transferred at the discretion of ATC at any time.

  10. Submissions that do not meet the required submission items (see “How To Play”) or meet the required criteria (see “Rules, Eligibility, Remedies, And Fucking Fine Print”) will NOT be considered and may not be notified. 

  11. NON-ENGLISH SUBMISSIONS - Since most readers are English readers, to be eligible any work in a language other than English MUST be accompanied by a recording (attached or linked) of the work being read out-loud in the native language. A translation is not required. 

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