Heermans-McCalmon Competition for Dramatic Writing

*Please note that the Heermans-McCalmon Competition for Dramatic Writing in spring 2024 will now consist of writing workshops instead of a competitive format. 

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  


  • Two cash prizes for each category: $500 for first-place entries and $250 for second-place entries. 
  • Guest artists will be invited to meet with the winners via Zoom to offer one-on-one feedback.

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

Submission Rules

  • The competition is open to any current Cornell University undergraduate student.
  • 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 may be submitted at any time prior to the deadline of noon on Friday, January 27, 2023. 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 pma@cornell.edu.