please love me

©2012 Brian M. Doyle

Like almost every writer in the world, once I’ve finished* a work, or at least when I deem it submissible, I get to be a marketer, a pr professional, a saleswoman, a copy editor, everything but what I love about writing.

Just about every book on playwrighting has a chapter on submissions.  Half the questions I get asked have to do with how one finds submission opps.  I’m currently heading up a committee to choose a candidate for a prestigious fellowship, for which candidates must answer two essay questions and – you got it – submit a play.

The terrific flowchart graphic attached to this post – by Brian M. Doyle – makes deciding to whom to send your play much simpler, but who’s to say that your play is ready to be submitted?  I’ve been a reader for a number of festivals and frankly, my dear, most submitted plays don’t have a lot to say for themselves.

How do you fix that?

Be ruthless.  With yourself and your work.  I’m not advocating being mean to yourself – EVER – but brutal honesty is the most loving thing you can do.

And not only for you.

Because of Internet submissions, the opportunity to go after awards, readings, workshops, fellowships, and productions has exploded, mathematically.  Which means that every Tom, Darla, and Henri(etta) can throw their play into the ring.

But who reads these plays?

Which brings up the question of *how* to read a play, a skill not shared by most play-readers.

Lordy, I am all over the map.  And you know what that means: a series of posts.  Apologies to those who find this post unsatisfying.  I mean to do you proud in the coming days.

*when is a work finished? that’s the question that spawned my first straight play, THE CONSEQUENCE OF IMPRESSION.


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