The Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women was founded by Yellow Rose Productions, with permission of Beth Henley, to encourage and recognize the new works of female playwrights. The Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women aims to give voice to the stories of this generation and to bring into the spotlight important works that have been crafted.

The Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women seeks to honor both the writings of Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley and those of future winners of the Henley Rose Award.

Submissions are welcome from July 31st until August 31st and will be read by a committee of writers, theatre artists, and producers.

The first 200 submissions to be received between July 31st and August 31st will be considered.

Fifteen finalists will be announced in January, 2017. From that list, 3 winners will be selected and will be invited to attend the staged reading of their play, which will take place in Knoxville, TN in Spring of 2017.

The First, Second, and Third Place winners will be announced by January 31st, 2017 and will receive the Henley Rose Award. In addition, submission fees will go toward creating a cash prize for the winners of the Henley Rose Award.

Please note, we are unable to provide feedback on scripts that are submitted.




•  Submissions must be completed full-length or one-act plays.

•  Submissions must be the original work of the submitting female playwright.

•  Submissions may not have been previously produced or fully staged.

•  Submissions are due by August 31st, 2016 and must include all of the submission materials to qualify.

•  One script may be submitted per applicant.




1. Completed Application (Click Here for Application (PDF) or Here (MS Word))

2. Script

3. Payment: $20 submission fee. Submission fees will go to create a cash prize for the winner of the Henley Rose Award. ($20 submission fee will be waived for current members of the Dramatists Guild. Please include a photo copy of your current membership card for verification.)

4. All applicants may choose to submit materials via snail mail (checks made payable to Yellow Rose Productions):

Yellow Rose Productions
3636 Taliluna Ave.
No. 236
Knoxville, TN 37919

5. All applicants may choose to submit materials via e-mail for an additional $8.00 printing fee. E-mail submission materials may be sent to yellowroseproductions@gmail.com.

Submission Fee



Competition Sponsored by


Yellow Rose Productions
3636 Taliluna Ave
No. 236
Knoxville, TN 37919



2016/2017 DATES:

Submission Window Opens:  July 31st
Submission Window Closes: August 31st
15 Finalists Announced: January 2017
Winners Announced: January 31st 2017
Staged Readings: Spring 2017








BethHenleyAbout Beth Henley

Born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1952, Beth Henley is an award winning playwright best known for her writings on women’s issues, family, and small town life in the South. She has seen wide acclaim both on and off Broadway and her plays have been translated into more than ten languages. Her plays include Crimes of the Heart (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play), Ridiculous Fraud (Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist), The Wake of Jamey Foster, The Miss Firecracker Contest, Am I Blue, The Lucky Spot, The Debutante Ball, Abundance, Impossible Marriage, Family Week, andThe Jacksonian. It is a privilege to name the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women in honor of Beth Henley.




Henley Rose History

In 2014, Jay Apking, Damon Boggess (a member of the Actors Equity Association), Danielle Roos and Kerri Koczen (founders of Yellow Rose Productions), gathered in hopes of bringing new theatrical endeavors to the city of Knoxville, TN. One of the ideas that rose to the top, was to create a competition for female playwrights. The idea was inspired by The Minerva Project, a collaboration of female artists that Mr. Apking had helped produce in early 2000. The four began discussing what it would look like to create something similar, but unique, in Knoxville.

Pulitzer-prize winner, Beth Henley, gave her support to the women’s playwriting competition and the group decided that Yellow Rose Productions would spearhead the project. Thus, the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women was born.

In the first year, the competition received over 200 submissions from around the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. A team of readers and judges were assembled to begin narrowing the pool of accomplished artists down to fifteen finalists and three winners. The winners were announced in late 2015 and the First Annual Henley Rose Staged Reading Series was produced by Yellow Rose Productions in early 2016. 

2015 Winners of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

First Place Award ($1000.00): The Griots – Gwendolyn Rice
Second Place Award ($400.00): Mars to Stay – Alexandra Landers
Third Place Award ($200.00): The Marble Muse – Diane Baia Hale

2015 Finalists of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

Bad Moon Rising – Karen Howes
Boat People – France-Luce Benson
Lineage – Anne Flanagan
Losing Her – Nancy Vitale
Samaritan – Susan Jackson
Somewhere Waiting For You – Kathryn Paulsen
The Flying Machine – Siobhan Gilbert
The Great Divide – Alix Sobler
The Last Nights of Scheherazade – Paula Cizmar
The Second Noble – Brenda Withers
WALLS: A Play for Palestine – Summer Ghasan Awad
Who’s Afraid of David Hare? – Kathryn Graf



Feel free to email us and let us know what questions you have regarding the competition!

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Partner With Us

If you would like to help out financially or partner with us for the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women, contact us at yellowroseproductions@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!