Plays are distributed to readers, all of whom are professional theatre artists. First-round readers select scripts to advance to the next round. Depending on the number of scripts to be read, the process continues at least through a second round until roughly 10 to 15 scripts remain in each division. These scripts are sent to a panel of theatre professionals and/or Writers Theatre administrators. The Panel reads each script, meets to discuss each play, and nominate Finalists in each division. First and second-round readers provide written feedback to each playwright.

All plays are read twice by professional theatre artists, who provide written responses and recommendations. These are collected and sent to every writer by e-mail. If your play was submitted in a group of plays by your teacher or teaching artist, the comments will be sent to that teacher for distribution.

The playwrights whose scripts reach the Final Round of judging will be given two (2) weeks to revise their plays based, in part, on the feedback provided by the Contest readers. These revised scripts will then be judged by the Selection Panel who will make the ultimate decision about the plays that will be developed during the Festival. This revision request is an important part of the determination process, as it lets us know whether the writer will benefit from the development and rehearsal process.

Finalists will be contacted by email (and confirmed by phone, if necessary).