LezFest honors excellence in storytelling by women-identified writers who present lesbian or non-binary characters and themes—past, present, and future—in a pivotal, positive way.

The LezFest Contest is open to playwrights and screenwriters who identify as women.

We want stories that elevate and celebrate us, refine and redefine us. We want to introduce audiences to writers whose work reflects, resonates with, and is relevant to their lives. We want stories that have a broad appeal, stories that will enable us to reach individuals of all ages and in all stages of life.

Scripts may be plays, screenplays, or teleplays. Only scripts that have not been professionally produced are eligible.

Scripts will be judged by a panel of industry professionals: directors, artistic directors, filmmakers, playwrights, producers, literary managers. Films are judged by a panel of film professionals and film fans.

Dramatists Guild members may submit one script exempt from the entry fee by using the code DGLP2022 on the payment page.

LezFest Writing Contest


The Contest is open to all writers who identify as women, regardless of sexual orientation, who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or the age of majority in the state/country/province in which they reside on the date of entry, and who are legal residents of, and physically residing in, one of the fifty (50) United States (excluding Puerto Rico, United States territories, possessions and protectorates, and foreign-based United States military installations), or one of the following countries:

Albania Hungary
Andorra Iceland
Argentina Ireland
Armenia Israel
Australia Italy
Austria Jamaica
Azerbaijan Japan
Bahamas South Korea
Belarus Latvia
Belgium Liechtenstein
Bolivia Lithuania
Bosnia/Herzegovina Luxembourg
Brazil Malta
Bulgaria Mexico
Canada Monaco
Chile Montenegro
Colombia Netherlands
Costa Rica New Zealand
Cyprus Norway
Czech Republic Poland
Denmark Portugal
Egypt Romania
Estonia Russia
Ecuador Slovakia
Finland Slovenia
France South Africa
Germany Spain
Georgia Sweden
Greece Switzerland
Hong Kong United Kingdom

Sponsor, employees of Sponsor, prize donors and all of their respective partners, parent companies, divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, trustees, franchisees, licensees, distributors, advertising, promotion and public relations agencies and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, independent contractors, representatives and agencies (collectively, the "Sponsor Entities") are not eligible to participate in the Contest and/or win the Prize (as defined below). Additionally, relatives of such employees and persons living in the same household as such employees (whether related or not) are not eligible to win. For the purposes of this Contest, “relatives” is defined as spouse, domestic partner, parent, in-laws, grandparent, brother, sister, children, and grandchildren.


The Contest is open to screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays (including performance art and spoken word).

All entries submitted into the Contest must be original. Scripts adapted from preexisting material will not be accepted, unless the author of the script is also the owner of the material from which the script is adapted, or can submit authorization documentation that they have the right to adapt the source material. All submissions must be written in standard script format, in English, and can be no more than 120 8 ½” x 11” pages in length for full-length stage or screen, submitted in PDF format. To avoid confusion for the judges, the name of your PDF should be the exact title of your script. Do not include your name in the title, or put any information on or in the script that would identify you and/or your co-author(s), including, without limitation, your name, your co-author's name(s), your contact information, or your co-author's contact information. Entrants will be judged only on their script. Entrants will not be allowed to rewrite or correct their scripts once submitted, unless they have advanced to the performance round of the LezPlay Contest. Do not submit anything with your script, including artwork, tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc. Any additional material accompanying the script will be discarded.

Scripts with identifying information in the title of the document, or included in any way in the text on a title page or otherwise, shall be immediately disqualified and the entrance fee will be forfeited.

Scripts that have no production history will be accepted. We will also consider scripts that have been supported with staged readings or workshops as well as scripts that at the time of entry have had one community theater, educational theater, or one non-Equity production (which ran for no more than 25 performances). Plays which have received Equity productions are not eligible.

Scripts which do not meet the above requirements will be immediately disqualified and entrance fee will be forfeited.

Be sure to retain a copy of your script(s), because Sponsor it will not be returned.


You can enter the Contest via the Internet only.

There is a fee to enter the Contest (the "Fee"). The Fee covers production expenses for LezPlay Weekend in the fall. It also supports marketing, as well as fees for performers, directors, producers, and contest facilitators.

Electronic entries must be paid with Visa/MasterCard/American Express/Discover. The amount of the Fee is based on the date of entry as follows:

Date of Internet Entry Fee

May 1 to September 1, 2018 US $15.00

Pride Films and Plays Network Writers, a group comprised of previous writing contest finalists, as well as members of the Dramatists Guild may submit one script exempt from the entry fee.

Register for the Contest through FilmFreeway.com.

You may enter as many scripts as you wish, but each entry form can be accompanied by only one (1) script. Each additional entry will require a separate entry form and separate entry Fee. Only one free application for Dramatists Guild members, PFP Network Writers, and Playwrights' Center members may be submitted.

If a dispute arises regarding who submitted an online entry, the entry will be deemed submitted by the holder of the e-mail account submitted with the entry as determined by Sponsor.

Entries submitted or received after the Deadline Date will be disqualified.


The Contest winner will be determined by two (2) rounds of judging. Each round will be judged by a panel of judges selected by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Each judge retains the right to stop reading each script after 20 pages if the material is not deemed ready for production, but all scripts shall receive at least one complete reading.

Subject to the provisions of this Paragraph 4, the first round panel judges will judge all eligible entries received by the Deadline Date. That panel will select ten finalists based on the following judging criteria: characters (15%), dialogue (15%), plot/structure/pacing (15%), concept/originality (15%), lesbian content (20%), and overall impression (20%) (collectively, the "Judging Criteria"). Judges' comments/forms will not be made available to Contest entrants.

Categories of entry are:

Full Length Stage (includes plays, performance art, and spoken word)(120 pages max)
Full Length Screen (includes screenplays and teleplays)(120 pages max)

Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary and in the event that fewer than twenty (20) entries are received by the Deadline Date, the Sponsor has the right to cancel the Contest. In the event of such cancellation, all entry Fees will be returned.

Entrants will be notified of the status of their submission(s) on or about November 30, 2018, via e-mail. Each potential finalist, within two (2) days of Sponsor's first attempt to reach her: (i) cannot be reached, (ii) fails to respond to the notification, (iii) declines to serve as a finalist, and/or (iv) has her notification returned as undeliverable, an alternate winner may be selected in Sponsor’s sole discretion. If the potential winner, within five (5) days of notification, (i) fails to return a completed affidavit of eligibility, liability/publicity release, or other documents(s) as required by Sponsor, (ii) fails to provide Sponsor with a copy of her valid government-issued photo identification or social security number, and/or (iii) is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may be selected at Sponsor's sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to modify the notification and affidavit/release procedures in connection with the selection of an alternate winner, if any.

In the event of a tie in any judging round, the entry with the highest "Overall Impression" score will move forward into the next judging round or will be declared the winner in the final judging round. If two or more tied entries have received the same "Overall Impression" score, the tie will be decided based on the entry with the highest "Concept/Originality" score.


10 semifinalists, 5 finalists, and 1 winner will be selected from all eligible script entries. The winner will earn a minimum of four and a maximum of seven days of script development workshops, culminating in a public staged reading at Pride Arts Center in Chicago on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The top-scoring plays will also be considered for, though not guaranteed, production in a future PFP season.

Casting for the staged readings will be conducted by Sponsor in advance of the staged readings; cast members will be selected in Sponsor's sole discretion. Entrant acknowledges that one performer may perform the role of more than one character in that entrant's script.

The winner is solely responsible for all costs and expenses to attend the developmental workshops and staged readings, including, without limitation, transportation to and from Chicago, housing in Chicago, meals, and ground transportation in Chicago.

There will be no additional prizes awarded to the winner.

Decisions made by Sponsor are final in all matters, including interpretation of these Official Rules and awarding of the Prizes, and cannot be appealed. No substitutions of the Prizes are offered, except that Sponsor and the Sponsor Entities reserve the right in their sole discretion to substitute a Prize(s) or any portion of a Prize(s) for a prize(s) of equal or greater value.


By entering, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor has the non-exclusive, irrevocable, and royalty-free right to make use of that entrant's submission for judging purposes and to perform that entrant’s work as a staged reading as further described in the PRIZE section above. Each entrant agrees, as a condition of entry, not to exhibit, disseminate, produce or broadcast, or authorize any third party to exhibit, disseminate, produce or broadcast, in any manner, media or format, the work submitted as part of her entry (or portions thereof) for a period of one (1) month following the conclusion of the Contest.


Each Contest entrant represents and warrants the following:

The entry is submitted voluntarily and is not submitted in confidence, and no confidential relationship between the entrant, Sponsor, and Sponsor Entities is intended to be created by these Official Rules or the submission of the entry.

The work is wholly original to the entrant (and any co-authors) and was written solely by the entrant (and any co-authors). Entrant and any co-authors are the sole and exclusive owners of all right, title, and interest in and to the work, and they have the sole, exclusive, and unconditional power and right to submit the work under the terms and conditions of this Contest.

The work has not been copied from any other source or previously broadcast or otherwise distributed or disseminated in any medium or format.

The work is not in the public domain.

The work does not violate the rights or common law, statutory or otherwise, of any person or entity.

Sponsor shall have the right to disqualify any submission which, in Sponsor's sole judgment, violates the representations and warranties contained in this Paragraph 7. Each entrant agrees that she will obtain, at entrant's sole cost and expense, the written permission/consent/release of any person or entity depicted or mentioned in the entrant’s submission if in the sole judgment of Sponsor such permission/consent/release is required. If entrant fails to secure such permission/consent/release, Sponsor shall have the right to disqualify the entry.


All entries must be completed in full in order to be eligible. Any attempted form of entry other than as described herein is void. Entries generated by a script, macro, or other automated means will be disqualified. No mechanical reproductions, alterations, or forged entries allowed. Incomplete, illegible, and corrupted entries are void. Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual (and her entry) who tampers with the entry process.

Any person who supplies false information, enters by fraudulent means, or is otherwise determined to be in violation of these Official Rules in an attempt to obtain the Prize will forfeit the Prize won and may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. You further agree to not knowingly: damage or cause interruption of the Contest; prevent others from using the Contest; or obtain or modify another user's account information without their consent.

Sponsor and Sponsor Entities are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, destroyed, forged, damaged, tampered with, mass machine generated, unintelligible, incomprehensible, or misdirected entries otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules, or mail related to or resulting from participation in the Contest. Sponsor and Sponsor Entities are also not responsible for Internet traffic congestion, technical, hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed software transmissions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in the Contest, or damage to user’s system as a result of participation in the Contest or of downloading any information necessary to participate in the Contest. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel or modify the Contest if the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including, without limitation, any computer virus, malfunction, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure, or other cause beyond its control which corrupts, threatens, or adversely affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper operation of the Contest.

As a condition of entry, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. Except where prohibited by law, by entering this Contest, you consent to (i) the use of your name, voice, picture, likeness, image and biographical data, and/or any other information contained in your entry in advertising, promotional, and marketing materials by Sponsor and the Sponsor Entities worldwide in all media now known or hereafter discovered (including Sponsor's and Sponsor Entities' Web sites) without additional compensation, notice, approval, or review and (ii) the modification, editing, adaptation, electronic alteration, use, assignment, and/or disposal of online entries however it sees fit and for any purpose without any notice or compensation to you or any third parties. By entering this Contest, you agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity with the Official Rules. You acknowledge that if you are chosen as the Contest winner, certain of your personally identifying information may be disclosed to third parties at least as required by law, including, without limitation, on a Winner Announcement.

All Prize claims and documents provided by the winners must be verified by Sponsor. Each winner, by acceptance of a Prize, agrees to release Sponsor and the Sponsor Entities from and against any and all liability, claims, or actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, death, disability, attorneys' fees, costs of litigation and settlement, as well as damages or losses to persons and property that may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, redemption or use of A Prize, or while traveling to and/or from a location to obtain or use A Prize.

Neither sponsor nor the sponsor entities make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the use of any prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

Sponsor and Sponsor Entities shall not be liable to any winner or any other person for failure to supply a prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s), or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s), or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, terrorist acts, earthquake, war, fire, flood, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal), labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's sole control.


The Contest and these Official Rules will be governed by the laws of the State of Illinois, USA without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Illinois or any other jurisdiction) which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Illinois. The Illinois state and federal courts located in Cook County, Chicago, USA shall have exclusive jurisdiction in the event that any dispute arises regarding the Contest or the Prize. Any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. Any and all claims shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event attorneys' fees. Entrants hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental, and consequential damages, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.


A Winner Announcement can be viewed at www.pridefilmsandplays.com on or about January 1, 2019.


For a copy of the Official Rules, go to www.pridefilmsandplays.com.

SPONSOR: Pride Films and Plays, 2215 West Giddings 1, Chicago, Illinois, USA 60625.

© 2018 Pride Films and Plays. All rights reserved.

Overall Rating
  • Carolyn Gage

    I had a very positive experience with submitting and with being kept in the loop. I appreciate the professionalism of Film Freeway as a platform for competitions. I have used it myself in the past. I love that LezPlay incentivizes women who write lesbian plays. We are so heavily dis-incentivized by a commercial theatre scene that excercises such narrow control over lesbian representation! LesPlay offers a powerful counter-current!

    October 2017