2013 Submission Recap

December 31st, 2013 donnahoke


I know there are too many year-end blog posts out there to read, and while I don’t want to add to your personal digital slush pile, providing a year-end submission recap seems in keeping with the work I’m trying to do with RIPP: Real Inspiration for Playwrights Project. I promise to keep it short.


In 2013, I submitted to 422 theaters, some with multiple plays (i.e. ten-minute festivals that allow more than one play to be submitted).  I think that’s a lot, and is probably about 100 more than my usual yearly average, simply because I spent more time this year trying to find appropriate theaters to submit to.


From those 420, I’ve so far heard back from 127 (mostly rejections, natch), but considering that it hasn’t even been three months for a lot of them, that’s not too bad.  Out this year’s 31 positive responses–and some may have been from 2012 submissions–I garnered two full-length productions and one reading, three requests for a full script (after which I heard nothing more), three publications of short plays, and 21 short play productions.


Was the effort worth the return? I think it might be fairly typical. But what you might find particularly relevant is that the two full-length productions were not a result of cold submissions. One came from a web inquiry, and the other came from a query following a ten-minute play festival–a request I made from following my own advice about using ten-minute plays as calling cards.


I doubt I will ever change my cold submission strategies because I’m just too OCD to see an opp and let it pass, but as a result of what I’ve learned through RIPP, I’ve already begun adopting other strategies as well, and I hope to have even better numbers to report in 2014.


I would love to hear a recap of your submissions for the year, what you may have changed and how that worked, as well as your strategies for the upcoming year. Please share below and happy new year!


I will resume RIPP once the new year is underway.


Until then,




Written by donnahoke


Dramatists Guild Council member and ensemble playwright-in-residence at Road Less Traveled Productions, Kilroys List and award-winning playwright Donna Hoke’s work has been seen in 46 states, and on five continents. Her full-length plays include ELEVATOR GIRL (2017 O’Neill finalist), THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (Princess Grace semi-finalist, currently in its fourth year in rep in Romania), SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), and BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List, Winner HRC Showcase, Firehouse Festival of New American Plays); she’s also authored more than three dozen short plays that have had hundreds of productions, and has been nominated for both the Francesca Primus and Susan Blackburn prizes. She’s also a two-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Best New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS).

Donna is also a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor; author of Neko and the Twiggets, a children’s book; and founder/co-curator of BUA Takes 10: GLBT Short Stories. For three consecutive years, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice, the only woman to ever receive the designation.

In addition, Donna is a blogger, advocate, and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook. Recent speaking engagements include Citywrights, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, the Dramatists Guild National Conference, Chicago Dramatists, Austin Film Festival, and a live Dramatists Guild webinar. Her commentary has been read at #2amt, howlround, the Official Playwrights of Facebook, the newly released Workshopping the New Play, and donnahoke.com.

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One Comment on “2013 Submission Recap”

  1. 1 Paul Woods said at 5:38 pm on February 2nd, 2014:

    Hi Donna,

    It was really interesting reading your blog about the submissions as I also did a recap of 2013 last week. Now i’m recording everything which i’m sending out which includes drama shorts and screenplays.


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