Heermans-McCalmon Competition for Dramatic Writing

You are here

Contest Guidelines and Rules

The Heermans-McCalmon awards were established at the bequest of Forbes Heermans (Class of 1878) and in memory of the late George McCalmon, Professor of Speech and Drama.  

The scripts must engage some aspect of American life.

Winning writers are encouraged to participate in the preparation and presentation of their work to whatever extent is practical.

The contest will award prizes in the following categories:

  • For the best 10-minute stage play
  • For the best 10-minute screenplay
  • For the best Solo Performance/Spoken Word monologue  

Awards

  • Two cash prizes for each category: $500 for first-place entries and $250 for second-place entries. 
  • The first-place entries will be presented as works in progress at an event to mark the achievement of the writers and to further the works’ development. This public presentation of material will be held at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts on March 20, 2020, at 4:30 p.m.
  • Guest artists will be invited to campus to participate in the event.
  • Winners will attend a celebratory dinner with the guest artists.

The judging committee reserves the right to withhold awards if no winning entry is chosen.

Submission Rules

  • The competition is open to any Cornell University undergraduate student who is registered for both Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters
  • Winners must be in good academic standing.
  • Submissions must be original work and may not be translations or adaptations.
  • Previously produced projects are not eligible.
  • All scripts should reflect the guideline that this is a 10-minute maximum, short-form competition.
  • Entrants may submit one script in each category but may win only one prize.
  • Scripts should be typewritten and appropriately formatted for the category.
  • A pdf attachment of the script should be emailed to pma-mailbox@cornell.edu along with a completed cover sheet form.
  • Paper entries will not be accepted.
  • Scripts must be submitted by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 27, 2020. To be fair to all entrants, there are no exceptions to this deadline.

All applicants will be contacted by email with the announcement of the winners.

Questions should be addressed to Pam Lillard at pam.lillard@cornell.edu or 607-254-2703.