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FAQs for writers

Getting started with your play

 

PLAYWRIGHT GUIDELINES

PLAYWRIGHT GUIDELINES

Your play is your play, but to be a part of this project, we require that your work adhere to the following standards.
WRITING THE PLAY - Subject, Tone, Focus

Your play is your play, but to be a part of this project, we require that your work adhere to the following standards.

1. Your play must relate to a real-life event. If you are writing a new play, you will select a mass shooting incident (so we can cover as many as possible), and from that event, an Honoree to dedicate your play to.

2. If you've already written about a specific incident, and your play meets the Guidelines, we will assign you an Honoree to dedicate the play to. 

3. Do NOT name the victims of the incident in your play. While you may celebrate a part of their lives, please omit last names and specific identifiers. You may write, “Ben, 46” or “Sally, 10,” for example, or use other names. We protect our subjects and their memories.

4. Do NOT name the shooter. Repeating the name of the shooter runs the risk of glorifying him. Also, no play that makes the shooter the central character can be accepted. Consider another angle.

5. TONE AND FOCUS. We’re leaning towards awareness, empathy, healing, honoring human life. There is room for joy and even comedy related to the victims’ lives lived (or future, or potential impacts on others).

We aim to be sensitive to the pain of those in our audiences who lived through shootings. Each play will be unique. Your play could advocate for gunsense and weapons regulation, inspire activism, or depict the community’s loss, or take on whatever form moves you. 

We cannot, however, accept a play that centers on the horror, the violence, the chaos immediate to the incident, nor one that is filtered through the psyche of the murderer. There may be a space where this works and this may be the play you need to write. But these plays are not within the scope of this project.

--We realize this may be a tricky set of guidelines. If you have questions about the direction you're going, get in touch.

6. General reflections on gun control, advocacy, calls to activism, are welcome. But ground those responses within real places, real moments in time.

7. Police shootings are beyond the scope of this project.

8. Reflections on gun control, advocacy, calls to activism, are welcome. But ground those responses within real places, real moments in time. We’re leaning towards awareness, empathy, healing, honoring human life.

Together, we’re capturing in these plays this desperately frustrating and sad moment in time in a way that will shelter the survivors, and be supportive of the the mother or father or sister or brother or best friend of a victim.

Write for that audience. And write for those who support that audience. Ask your questions, say what you want to say, but remember that we’re collectively building a voice to make bring the victims voices to life, and to prevent more victims.

9. What should I focus on? These are only suggestions. Perhaps the impact of a single life, before, or the potential of that life that was taken. A moment of coming together. The activist, or heroic response to the senseless tragedy. The value of community. Overall, we’re eulogizing, honoring, memorializing, grounded in real real moments in time. We’re leaning towards awareness, empathy, healing.

STANDARD WAIVER OF RIGHTS — By submitting to this project you agree to have your work shared freely and without compensation. You retain the rights to your play. You must be 18 years of age or older at the date of entry. You may submit only one entry at a time.

10. Play formatting: The editor(s) will appreciate if you can please submit your play as a PDF to coderedplaywrights(at)gmail(dot)com by November 30, using the following specs. (These are helpful, as we knit together all the separate documents into a whole script.) 

- Times New Roman 12 point 
- Page numbers on lower right corner 
- No headers or footers 
- Only your name in the script
- Contact information for each playwright will be compiled and included as a Table of Contents, so please include the following in the body of your submission email: 

- PLAY TITLE by YOUR NAME 
- Event information: Place, date, City and State 
- Total fatalities 
- Dedicated to NAME OF VICTIM (Please do not include last name if victim is under 18 years old.) Include victim's age. 
- Written by YOUR NAME 
- Your CITY, STATE 
- Your EMAIL 

Please let me know if you have any questions? 

Thanks!

xo Rach

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