Theatre writers OWN their work. Know your rights before you sign a contract. 


The life of a dramatist can be tough. Despite the hustle, it all pays off when your work is brought to life. However, the contracts and agreements that come with production or licensing can be overwhelming. Our Department of Business Affairs is committed to shepherding playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists through the business and legal standards of the industry. Have an unsigned contract you have questions about? Send it to us, and we’ll review it as part of your membership.

In order to protect a dramatist's unique vision, which has always been the strength of the theatre, you need to understand this single fundamental principle: you own and control your work. The Guild maintains a Bill of Rights to ensure ownership and control. You are not alone. You have over 100 years of standards and community behind you. 



Access live stream, Broadway, industry contracts, and best practices.


Negotiate with an understanding of what the standards are. Because the Guild tracks national and worldwide trends, we are able to provide model contracts that reflect up-to-date industry standards. We encourage playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists to use these models to educate themselves and use as a guide when entering into productions or collaborations. In addition, to help theatre writers navigate new uses of their work, we offer a new model Livestream Addendum agreement to revise prior agreements to include such “digital rights.”



Member News

Sep 15, 2020

Banned Together 2020: Highlighting Writers Who Have Been Censored and Cut from the Theatrical Canon Due to America's Racial Prejudices

Copyright Advocacy Month
Sep 15, 2020

Upcoming Webinars for Copyright Advocacy Month

Arts Hero
Sep 13, 2020

#ArtsHero Town Hall

Sep 11, 2020

Major Copyright Victory for Dramatists with Court Ruling on "Jersey Boys" Lawsuit

Sep 10, 2020

September and October at The Dramatists Guild


Stay informed with Guild News

Industry Reports

Girl Listening to Music
Sep 22, 2020

Copyright Advocacy: Fighting With Teenagers - A Copyright Story

Illustration of Alice Childress
Sep 19, 2020

Copyright Advocacy: Childress v. Taylor

Dael Orlandersmith
Sep 18, 2020

NEWS: 2020 Doris Duke Artist Awards

Sep 18, 2020

Copyright Advocacy: The Varied Copyrights of Theatre

(Left to right, clockwise) NYC Ambassadors Kathleen Warnock, Yvette Heyliger, and Matthew Sowell; NYC Regional Representative Winter Miller.
Sep 18, 2020

Ambassador Report: New York City

Stay informed with The Dramatist

Videos & Podcasts

Find the right submission opportunity to support your work.


Submitting your play or musical is as necessary as finishing it. But the process of finding the right submission opportunity is work. This is why, for more than 20 years, the Dramatists Guild has compiled a submissions and opportunities database, and published an online directory of theatres, agents, festivals, contests, workshops, retreats, and other submission opportunities to help make the life of the dramatist a little easier. Let the Dramatists Guild simplify and expedite your submission strategy with our database of deadlines and resources.

Upcoming Submissions Deadlines

Jonathan Larson Grants

September 24

The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers

September 25

Theater Viscera

September 25

LSF Science Commission

September 26

City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest

September 30

FOREWORD: A New Works Series

September 30

Cape Cod Theatre Project

September 30

Eight 10s in Tuscon Ten-Minute Play Festival

September 30

Camargo Core Program Residency

October 01

Adirondack Theatre Festival

October 01


Get the latest submissions deadlines.

Upcoming Events

Write the script. Edit the script. Format the script. All are equally important.

Formatting your script correctly can mean the difference between making it to the next round of a writing competition or having your work disregarded. While playwriting is more liberal with form, there are industry standards that every dramatist needs to know. The DG provides members with a database of the most commonly used script formats, completely free.


A full suite of career services to enrich, inspire, and empower writers.

Being a part of the DG community is more than just access to legal help. From perks like free theatre to money-saving deals on necessities like writing software, members of the DG gain access to a long and ever-growing list of benefits. Additionally, your Guild membership allows you to receive benefits from other industry organizations like The Actors Fund.




Founded in 1882, The Actors Fund is a national human services organization here to meet the needs of our entertainment community with a unique understanding of the challenges involved in a life in the arts.

Services include emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling, senior care, secondary career development and more. As a member of the Dramatists Guild, you have access to their services.



For dramatists, seeing shows is more than just entertainment; it’s a necessity. Writers gain inspiration and inimitable knowledge by attending live performances. However, the price of theatre can be expensive.

Through Playwrights Welcome, the DG seeks to remove financial barriers that may prohibit dramatists from seeing shows When theatres participate in Playwrights Welcome, they commit to offering otherwise unsold tickets to professional playwrights free of charge.



The Dramatists Guild is thrilled to extend our services and community to Devised Theatre professionals through the launch of our new Devised Theatre resources page.

We now offer four contract models explicitly designed for Devised Theatre, and a Devised Theatre Resource Manual, which includes an explanation of legal principles, discussions about craft, a glossary of terms, and much more. Our Business Affairs Help Desk is open for members who may have questions about our Devised Theatre resources.


We advance together. Explore and engage with a community of writers.

At its core, the Dramatists Guild is about building a community of playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists who support each other at all levels of their professional careers. DG Community Resources are available for members to build bridges and create partnerships. Our website features ways to contact your regional rep, find a collaborator, and much much more.






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