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Writing Competition

The DLI/ADCI Playwriting Award 2024

in association with

The Ramor Theatre, Virginia


Inspiring excellence in writing plays

To promote, support and encourage improvement in playwriting on the one-act circuit in Ireland.

Entries for the competition for original new plays which have not been performed in public before 2024 should be received before Wednesday 18th September 2024.


Eligibility criteria

Amateur playwrights who were born in Ireland, have gained Irish citizenship or who have lived in Ireland for a minimum of three years.  

An original one-act play which has not been performed in public, and which has not received any other funding. The competition is not for translations of other works. 

The Play does not have to be entered for the One-Act Circuit.



The judging panel will be made up of 3 members selected by the Joint Committee of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland (ADCI) and the Drama League of Ireland (DLI).

There will be an independent chairman, a member of DLI and a member of ADCI who will oversee the judging of the competition. The panel for the 2024 competition will be: Chair Walker Ewart, Mary Newman representing DLI and Trisha Keane representing ADCI.

The panel can only judge one play per entrant.  



Judging the plays

The play will be judged solely on the quality and potential of the writing.


There will be 4 categories judged and it may help you to consider them as you review your writing:

Development of character: 40%

Situations/scenes creating dramatic tension: 35%

Lighting/Sound/Technical: 15%

Overall appeal: 10%


An area that needs more attention is that of Lighting/Sound/Technical. Is there a particular effect you would like the Director to achieve within your play? What guidelines can you give on the technical side of things? Any specific music/sound effects?


As well as an overall winner and a first and second runner-up, at the discretion of the judges some plays may be ‘highly commended.’

The judging panel will provide each playwright with general points culled from the competition and short feedback on the individual play.


The award

The winners will be announced on the final night of the All-Ireland One-act Finals, which generally take place during the first weekend in December.  

The winner will be awarded a week’s residency in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan sponsored by the Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Co Cavan. S/he will be expected to present a short report and some evidence of the work done during their residency.  

The panel reserve the right NOT to award the prize where the overall quality is deemed to be not sufficiently good. 

A copy of the play, of whichever draft, should be forwarded by e-mail to Walker Ewart ( .  by Wednesday 18 September 2024. Please see the attached notes to aid your application. 

Guidelines on the Presentation of Entries to the Play-Writing Competition 2024. 



It is permissible to send a draft of the play which may change as rehearsals go forward.

All entries should be typed in Arial size 12.

Please ensure that there is a complete list of cast members.

There should be a clear delineation between the lines of each character, with any stage directions either in brackets or italics.


Front page

The front page should have the title of the play with the name of the author.

At the bottom of the page please have the name of the group which will be performing the play and, if known, the festivals entered.


Introductory page (optional)

It would be useful for the panel to have: 

some background to the author (e.g. member of a particular group? How long writing? Any other published pieces? First time attempt?); and some information as to the themes explored within the play and why you chose to write it. 


The Winners of the 2023 DLI/ADCI Playwriting Competition in association with the Ramour Theatre, were announced at the All Ireland One Act Finals in Castleblayney in December, 2023.


Congratulations to all the winners!


WINNER: Clarity At Last by Charles McGuinness

1st RUNNER UP: Rolling Stone by Frank Houlihan

2nd RUNNER UP: Bye, Bye Budda by Irene Yore & Lovely People by Niall Hunter

Highly Commended:

An Agreement by Freda Donoghue

Against All Odds by Vanessa Galligan

Are You Right Folks, Please by Simon Cunningham

If by Alice Lynch



The DLI/ADCI Playwriting Award in Association with The Ramour Theatre, Virginia