Core Writer Program

Core Writer Program

The Core Writer program is a three-year appointment designed to support a diverse group of playwrights who demonstrate a sustained body of work, commitment to their craft, and distinct artistic vision. The program is available to committed professional playwrights nationally and offers significant resources intended to further a playwright’s career.

The Core Writer program annually gives 25-35 of the most exciting playwrights from across the country the time and tools to develop new work for the stage. Each year, Playwrights’ Center selects four to seven new writers to join this group, as four to seven other writers wrap up their three-year term. All Core Writers receive play development workshops with the Center, in collaboration with prominent directors, actors, dramaturgs, and designers. All writers are paid for their workshop time, and Core Writers who are not local are provided travel to and housing in Minneapolis for their workshops.

Core Writers are eligible to be included in our formal season of public readings: the PlayLabs festival, the Ruth Easton New Play Series, and the In the Lab Series. Core Writers are also promoted by the Center and provided opportunities through an extensive network of colleges and universities, cultural institutions, and producing theaters.

A photo of the playwright Mashuq Mushtaq Deen holding his hands out as he describes something.

Playwrights’ Center IS NOT currently accepting applications for the Core Writer program.

Applications for the next Core Writer term will open in September 2024 and close 1/23/25.

The cycle of the next open Core Writer term will run from July 2025 through June 2028.

If you would like to be notified via email when the Core Writer application becomes available, please email Julia Brown at juliab@pwcenter.org.

Each term is three years; Core Writers may reapply for additional terms. Applicants must reside in and have the legal right to work in the U.S. This program is highly competitive and is designed for committed professional playwrights who are pursuing playwriting as their primary career. Students enrolled in a full-time educational program are not eligible. Playwrights’ Center Staff who are directly involved in administering fellowship programs are not eligible. At least one slot each year is reserved for a Minnesota writer.

Playwrights who have benefited from the Core Writer program include: Christina Anderson, Lee Blessing, Carlyle Brown, Erin Courtney, Kristoffer Diaz, Larissa FastHorse, Marcus Gardley, Marvin Gonzalez deLeon, Idris Goodwin, Dipika Guha, Jeffrey Hatcher, Sherry Kramer, Carson Kreitzer, Martyna Majok, Mona Mansour, Melanie Marnich, AriDy Nox, Qui Nguyen, Kira Obolensky, Stacey Rose, Jen Silverman, Susan Soon He Stanton, Alice Tuan, and Rhiana Yazzie.

This has been the best development experience I have ever had; I have been gushing about it for weeks. The gift of time is truly invaluable. To be able to deeply dive into the work and uncover new crevices of it without worrying about ‘the presentation’ allows for a deeper exploration and evolution of the work.

AriDy Nox
Core Writer, 2022-2025

Application Materials

NOTE: The primary language used by evaluators during the selection process is English. If text is intentionally written not in English, a line of context would be helpful to an evaluator. Playwrights’ Center acknowledges this is an ethnocentric practice. While most Fellowship activities and engagements are conducted in English, Playwrights’ Center staff are available to discuss additional support and resources as necessary.

01
Application Form

Including contact details, eligibility, and demographic information

02
Playwriting Resumé

Any legible format

03
Artistic Statement

1 page

Use this statement to describe your artistic goals and vision as a theater maker. This is also an opportunity to provide context for the play you submitted and discuss how it fits into your larger body of work and how you envision your work developing.

04
Statement of Core Writer Goals

1 page

This is a statement, around one page in length, explaining how the Core Writer program would benefit your career as a playwright. You may want to discuss projects you hope to develop as a Core Writer, specific resources you hope to take advantage of, as outlined in the program description, and/or goals you have for your career. This statement should reflect a clear understanding of the program and the Playwrights’ Center and explain to the evaluators why becoming a Core Writer is the right next step for you.

05
Full-length play script

A full-length play generally runs at least 45 minutes. If you are hoping to submit a script that is shorter than 45 minutes in length, please contact Julia at juliab@pwcenter.org to discuss. If you are submitting a script for a musical or a play that was written in collaboration with another artist (i.e. lyricist), please clearly indicate your role in the writing of the play. Co-written work that does not have a clear division of who created which part will not be accepted—the evaluators need to be able to evaluate your work specifically.


NOTE: If you are planning to apply with a musical, please be aware that only text submissions are allowed. We do not accept any audio files or links to external websites, and evaluators will be instructed to not seek out any demos or audio tracks related to submitted scripts. We recommend that you consider the strength of just the text of your piece—separate from any music or other elements—as you select which piece to submit.

06
Letter of recommendation

Please request one letter of recommendation from an individual who is familiar with your work as a playwright. You will be sending a request through the application portal below. You may request a letter through the application system before finishing your final application, so we recommend that you click on the link below and begin your application sooner rather than later to give your recommender time to complete their letter. 

Letters of recommendation are valid for three years. If you would like to resubmit a past letter of recommendation, please email Artistic Programs Manager Julia Brown at juliab@pwcenter.org at least two weeks before the application deadline. We try to keep all letters on file, but we cannot guarantee that each letter will be available.

Note: You will need to make a SlideRoom account in order to apply. If you are a Playwrights’ Center member, your login will not automatically log you in to SlideRoom—they are two different systems. If you already have a SlideRoom account, you should be able to access the application using your existing login. For a video tutorial on using SlideRoom, please click here.

The recording of last cycle’s information session is available on the right.

Questions may be addressed to Artistic Programs Manager Julia Brown at juliab@pwcenter.org.