Mississippi Writes Original (MWO)



The Bay St. Louis Little Theatre Presents…

Mississippi Writes Original



One-Act Originals by Mississippi Playwrights

March 24-25, 2017




The Bay St. Louis Little Theatre (Bay St. Louis, MS) announces a Call for Submissions of original one-act plays written by Mississippi residents. Works may be submitted from June to early September 2016, with final selections announced at the start of BSLLT’s 2016-17 Season in late September 2016. Auditions and rehearsals occur in early 2017, with the plays then featured as a cohesive collection on-stage at the historic Bay St. Louis Little Theatre in the spring of 2017 — in an “MWO” event dedicated to original Mississippi drama. The performances will be followed by a Chat-with-the-Cast experience, where the writers of the performed works will join cast and crew for extended interaction with the audience. Submit your original dramatic one-act for this opportunity to join the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre in celebrating the creative, inspirational, and undeniable reality that Mississippi Writes Original.




June – September 10 (midnight), 2016: Submissions accepted

September 2016: Review-process concluded and selected works announced

October 2016 – January 2017: Consultations with authors; initial production

February 2017: Audition and Casting for each selected work

March 2017: Rehearsals and production of selected works

March 24-25, 2017: “Mississippi Writes Original — One-Acts” Performance




  • Only the works of Mississippi residents are eligible for final selection
  • Only original, previously unpublished works are eligible for final selection
  • Multiple submissions from the same writer(s) are acceptable (each requires separate entry fee)
  • Co-written works (2 or more writers) are acceptable (where other eligibility requirements are met)
  • Writers whose work is selected must be able to attend the event on April 29, 2017




(1) Insight (substance of content, whether educational or cultural or psychological, etc.)

(2) Creativity (innovative or original perspective, story-line, character interplay, issue-dynamics, etc.)

(3) Craft (artistic command of large and small aspects of the work)

(4) Economy (cast-size, set & costume & prop requirements, run-time, etc.)

(5) Engagement (attraction- and/or entertainment-power; the “compelling” factor of the work)

(6) “Mississippi” (Mississippi-centric people & issues & content & situations, etc.)


Selection-Criteria Notes:

  • Thematic content is open, but substance of “Insight”, even where presented lightly, is strongly encouraged and will be given priority in the selection-process
  • Involvement of Mississippi history, folklore, culture, creativity, people, etc., is strongly encouraged and (as noted above) stands as a distinctive selection criterion. Dramatization of contemporary people, situations, relations, dynamics, issues, etc., in Mississippi (i.e., creative exploration of the “now” of the Magnolia State) is even more strongly encouraged here.
  • Performance-production will essentially be minimalistic, if not entirely abstract, in respect to set, costumes, sound, etc. (note “Economy” criterion above and further notes below)
  • Cast-size: 5 maximum, with 2-3 encouraged
  • Page/Word-limit: Open (30-page maximum strongly suggested: see next note)
  • Time-limit: 20-25 minutes maximum for total run-time is ideal; slightly longer (30-35 minutes) and of course shorter submissions will be considered


Selection-Process Notes:

  • The selection-committee consists of 7 accomplished artists and leaders from the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre and Bay St. Louis community. The committee is co-chaired by Ms. Cheryl Grace (President of the BSLLT) and The Honorable Mr. Jim Fraiser.
  • Writing original work for actors and audiences as diverse as Mississippi itself, writers of any age, race, creed, religion, sex, or other significantly distinguishing characteristic, and from any region within Mississippi, are strongly encouraged to submit their original work for consideration: see also next note
  • Submissions that serve to promote or celebrate (etc.) any evidently racist, sexist, vulgar, violent, or similarly dehumanizing themes or positions (etc.) will not be considered
  • Submissions are reviewed and selected on the basis of their dramatic content through a “blind-review” process guided by the selection-criteria. Submissions are distributed by the Event Coordinator to the selection-committee by numeric- and title-designation, i.e., without their cover pages.




  • All entries must be typewritten, minimum of 10-point font
  • All entries must be e-submitted in the standard word-document formats: .doc or .docx
  • All entries should be submitted with the 1st page as a COVER PAGE that provides:

(1) Writer name or names (if pen name is used, legal name must also be included)

(2) Writer residential address(es)

(3) Writer contact information (phone & email address[es])

(4) Title of work

(5) Page- and Word-count of the work (excluding Cover Page content)

(6) Creative Statement (250 words or less): why the work was written; its primary insight(s); its appeal- and/or engagement-factor(s)

  • Writer name(s) must NOT appear on the submitted work after page 1
  • Pages 2+ of the entry should consist of the work itself, with:

(1) Title at the top-center of page 2

(2) Cast List (names required; descriptors optional) underneath this title on page 2

(3) Title of play & page number clearly delineated at top-right on page 2 and all following pages

  • Beyond these requirements, formatting of the work itself (pages 2+) need not follow any particular style or convention, but it should minimally be clear, coherent, and consistent




Only electronic submissions are accepted; i.e., no hard-copy or “paper” submissions will be reviewed

< Input “MWO Submission” into Subject Line

< ATTACH works (in .doc or .docx form) to the email: do NOT paste into the body of the email

  • Submit $10.00 entry fee for each work submitted before midnight on September 10, 2016, in one of the two following ways:

(1) By credit card or Paypal:

< Include the TITLE of your submitted work with your payment

(2) By check to: Bay St. Louis Little Theatre / ATTN: MWO / 398 Blaize Avenue / Bay St. Louis, MS  39520

     < Pay to the order of: “Bay St. Louis Little Theatre”

     < Write the TITLE of your submitted work on the check AND “MWO Submission”

* Works that cannot be identified with the corresponding fee-payment will not be considered

* No refunds will be made in the case of unidentifiable entries

* Checks must be post-marked no later than September 10, 2016




  • Notifications will be sent out in September 2016, prior to the official announcement at the start of BSLLT’s season-opening, to the email address provided by each writer. All submittants will receive notifications.
  • Final selections and related announcements will also be posted on the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre website
  • Selected works are subject to editing based on production requirements for the overall event as well as at the discretion of the director/producer team for each work. Consultation with chosen writers following selection-announcement (in September 2016) includes thorough, open, collaborative review of individual works as portions of the MWO event in its entirety.
  • The Bay St. Louis Little Theatre extends this heartfelt encouragement and support to all submittants: “Mississippi writers of all ages, types, sizes, kinds, backgrounds, situations, wherever and however you may be writing: your work will be reviewed carefully and gratefully. Whether your work is selected or not, you are encouraged to continue to write, to create, now and always. Mississippi Writes Original.”



Any and all queries concerning this BSLLT-event should be directed (only) to the MWO Event Coordinator, D.W. Hartford, at MWO.bsllt@gmail.com or 214-529-8902. Calls or emails to the theatre will not receive responses.