Submissions have closed for 2019. 

Playmarket with Auckland Live presents Playwrights b4 25

Change the world - write a play!

Playmarket is again searching for the best plays from young New Zealand writers. If you're under 25 and you have a new play, we'd love to read it.

We’re looking for writers under 25 who take risks and throw care to the wind, as well as those who write strong, conventional plays. Write about anything you like that matters to you in any way you like, for any kind of audience you like. There are absolutely no restrictions in style or content. Whether it's a full-length monologue or an epic for a cast of thousands, a comedy or a gritty urban tragedy, we're interested in what you have to say. 

Playwrights b4 25 has a proven track record of nurturing young writers to successful seasons of their work both in New Zealand and internationally – you could be next.

This competition is open to any New Zealand citizen/permanent resident aged 24 and under at time of application. 

Plays entered into this competition may have had a production – either amateur or professional.

Apart from this, there are no rules!

How to submit:

Email your submission to us with the attached submission form:

HOWEVER - If you have difficulty downloading the submission form, all you have to do is ensure you include with your script:-

  • A cover letter with a brief introduction to yourself  (a CV if you like) explaining briefly how you came to write your play(s).

  • a list of characters with brief description 

  • a brief synopsis

  • confirmation that you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident

  • confirmation that the play has not had more than one professional production (ask if you're not sure - it can be a grey area.)

  • confirmation that the play is all your own original work

  • AND - please ensure the pages are numbered.

Additional Info

You may submit as many plays as you like, with no limits on length or cast size.

Check some published playscripts if you need an idea of how to format your play. Formatting style is entirely up to you - as long as it is easily readable.

Don't worry too much if you feel your play isn't 'production-ready'. A near-final draft with excellent potential has just as much chance of winning.

Don't feel you have to copy any other writer or follow any 'expert' advice either. 

Also, check out this article from The Guardian: Michael Morpurgo's top tips for writing.

Michael Morpurgo, former children's laureate, author of more than 120 books, including War Horse, and judge of the Wicked Young Writers' Award, offers his top advice for writers of all ages


The winner receives $1,500 towards developing an idea for a new work. Auckland Live’s programming team will provide feedback and advice to the winner and work with them to advance and develop their idea/project.

A minimum of three plays will be chosen for development attention - what that is will depend on what your play needs, and the resources available where you live. Everyone who makes the short list will be eligible for some feedback on their work.



Peter Croft for Penalty

Highly Commended: Courtney Rose Brown for Running Late and Kieran Craft for 4 Nights in the Green Barrow Pub.

Shortlisted were Isaac Te Reina Cleland, Natasha Lay, Indigo Paul, Joel Ivan Thomas and Caleb Wells.


Finnius Teppett for Cannibal.

Highly Commended: Courtney Rose Brown for 72 Cambridge Terrace, Frances Chin for The Sunshine Airport Hotel and Kieran Craft for If I Love You.

Shortlisted were Henrietta Bollinger, Ella Hope-Higginson, Matt Loveranes, Rebekah Robertson-Yells, Cassandra Tse and James Cain.


Nathan Joe for Like Sex.

Highly Commended: Courtney Rose Brown for The First Time and Finnius Teppett for My Dad's Boy.

Shortlisted were James Cain, Andrew Gunn, Turene Jones, Timote Mapuhola, Albert Matene, James van Dyk and Ben Wilson. 


Nathan Joe for Hippolytus Veiled: Or, Eros Beware! and Cassandra Tse for Long Ago, Long Ago.

Highly Commended: Abby Howells for Benedict Cumberbatch Must Die.

Shortlisted were Sam Brooks, Rose Cann, Jess Sayer, Finnius Teppett and Ben Wilson. 


Jess Sayer for Hanged

Highly Commended: Finnius Teppett for Ushers and Andrew Gunn and Rosie Tapsell for God-Belly.

Shortlisted were Henrietta Bollinger, Sam Brooks, Adam Goodall, Fran Olds, and Isabella McDermott.


Sam Brooks for Queen and Jess Sayer for Elevator

Honourable Mention: Cassandra Tse for Right Dishonourable

Shorlisted were Ben Anderson, Adam Goodall, Patrick Hunn, Amber Snell and Finnius Teppett.


Sam Brooks for his three plays Mab's Room, The Sacred Prodigies and Auckland Shakes

Two Highly Commended entries were Honey by Joseph Harper and Like Smoke in Here by Ben Anderson.

Others on the shortlist were Feather Shaw, Guy Mulinder, Henrietta Bollinger and Kyo Won & Rene Labas.


Jess Sayer for FIX and Joseph Harper for The Boy and the Bicycle.  

Danny Aumua and Robyn Paterson were awarded some special development attention.

Shortlisted were Ben Anderson, Charlotte Greenfield, Eli Mathewson & Hamish Parkinson, Louise Blackstock, Matthew Arrowsmith, Ralph McCubbin Howell and Stevie Wildewood.


Kate Morris for Sketch; Martha Hardy-Ward for Silent Night; and Harry Meech for Plains

Shortlisted were Sophie Henderson, Kate Morris, Thalia Henry, Branwen Miller, Ashley Milne, Hannah McKie, Georgia Heard, Renee Maurice, Susan Jennifer Williams, Joseph E.Harper, Francesca Emms, Jonathan Riley, Hollie Sutton, James Wenley, Uther Dean, and Natalie Medlock.


Kate Morris, Harry Meech, Martha Hardy-Ward.


Ashley Milne, Thomas Sainsbury, Branwen Millar, Georgina Titheridge, Kate Morris, Thalia Henry


Zoe Deverick, Paul Rothwell, Thomas Sainsbury, Owen Winter, Robbie Ellis, Kate Morris


Benjamin Cleaver, Rochelle Bright, Thomas Sainsbury, Daniel Musgrove, Claire Van Beek, Miria George. Lisa Norriss, Sarah Robertson


Thomas Sainsbury, Tui Matelau, Kathryn van Beek, Dean Hewison, Sarah Anne Robertson, Robbie Ellis


Natalie Cannon & Aziza Simons, Ruby Brunton, Elsbeth Wood, Kerry Sheehan, Philip Braithwaithe, Anna Reveley