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 1st until August 31st and will be read by a committee of writers, theatre artists, and producers.

The first 250 submissions to be received between July 1st until August 31st will be considered.

A small group of finalists will be announced in March, 2020. 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 during the Summer of 2020.

The First, Second, and Third Place winners will also be announced by the end of March, 2020, 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 two-act plays. No one-acts, please.
  •  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, 2019 and must include all of the submission materials to qualify.
  •  One script may be submitted per applicant.


  1. Completed Registration (Click Here for Registration)
  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 scan or photo copy of your current membership card with your script for verification.)
  4. All applicants may choose to submit scripts and/or payment via snail mail (checks made payable to Yellow Rose Productions):
Henley Rose Competition
810 Vista Oaks Lane

Knoxville, TN 37919

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 henleyrosecompetition@gmail.com.

At the completion of your registration form you will receive a an e-mail confirmation with additional instructions. If you are choosing to submit electronically, please attach your script as a response to this email confirmation. If you are planning to submit via snail mail, please respond to the confirmation e-mail to let us know when your script is on it’s way.

If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within a few minutes of submitting your application, please check your SPAM folder and make sure to add henleyrosecompetition@gmail.com to your contacts to be sure we are able to reach you!

Please note that your submission is not complete until all submission materials (application, script, and payment – if required) have been received. Submissions via snail mail must be postmarked no later than August 31st, 2019. Should the submission cap be reached before August 31st, 2019, the application will no longer accept new submissions and an announcement will be made. Any accidental payments made past the 250 script cap are fully refundable.

Feel free to contact us with any questions at henleyrosecompetition@gmail.com.

Submission Fee

Competition Sponsored by


Henley Rose Competition
810 Vista Oaks Lane

Knoxville, TN 37919


2019/2020 DATES:

Submission Window Opens: July 1st, 2019
Submission Window Closes: August 31st, 2019
Finalists Announced: March, 2020
Winners Announced: March, 2020
Staged Readings: Summer, 2020

2018 Winners of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

First Place Award ($1000.00): Rare Books Jocelyn Meinhardt
Second Place Award ($500.00): Before Lesbians Elana Gartner
Third Place Award ($250.00): The Captives Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich

2018 Finalists of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

A Perfect Existence  Lesley Scammell
Go for Gold, Audrey Pham  Camile Pavlenko
Megan and the Bear Go Camping  Zoe Jovanovich
Nothing But The Truth  Eve Lederman
Stripped  Colleen O’Doherty
The Forest  Lia Romeo
The Lost Virginity Tour  Cricket Daniel
The O’Malley Gambit  Kate Monaghan
The Summer Dress  Ellen Wittlinger
Walden  Amy Berryman

2017 Winners of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

First Place Award ($1000.00): Charlotte’s Letters Jennifer O’Grady
Second Place Award ($500.00): Great White Deborah Yarchun
Third Place Award ($250.00): Hielo Dania Ramos

2017 Finalists of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

Around the Snake Turn Patricia Connelly
Good Bad People Rachel Lynett
Job Loss Figures Andrea Clardy
Lady Capulet Melissa Bell
No One We Know Deborah Serra
The Day Paul Bunyan Died Jennifer Brown
The Shadow Child Myra Slotnick

2016 Winners of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

First Place Award ($1000.00): The Flora and Fauna – Alyson Mead
Second Place Award ($400.00): Moonshine – Liz Appel
Third Place Award ($200.00): Harvested – Donna Kennedy

2016 Finalists of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women:

Family Pains – Erin Osgood
The Ball – Alexandra Morgan
On The 8’s – Stacey Isom Campbell
The Laws of the Stars – Jenny Marlowe
Olive and Camila – Robin Ellen Brooks
But if the Train Comes to Her – Emily Zemba
The Puppeteer – Desireé York

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






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.

Each year, the competition accepts 200 submissions from around the world. A team of readers and judges are assembled to select a small group of finalists and three winners. The winners are announced in January each year. The Competition ends in an annual Staged Reading Series for the First, Second, and Third Place scripts, produced by Yellow Rose Productions, in late Spring. Danielle Roos served as Artistic Director for the competition’s first two years, and Jessie Alexander Gulley assumed the position of Artistic Director in 2017.


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 henleyrosecompetition@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!