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New Writing Guidelines: Text


Please read these guidelines before submitting your entry

Submissions are accepted throughout the year whether you are a novice or an experienced writer; however, for each year, there will be a cut-off date. Any submission received beyond that date will move forward for consideration for the following year. 

When planning a festival, the organisers look for a range of genres to create a varied production, but as a guideline please consider the following categories: 

  1. Free choice

  2. Our Planet, Their Future

  3. Sheffield: Our City History

  4. Under 18’s Writers: Something Out There


Consideration is given to whether the plays can be performed practically, given the membership of the Dilys Guite Players (DGP) and the resources we have available. In light of this:


  1. The piece should be a maximum of 20 mins or 10 pages (following the suggested template below) 

  2. The play should have a single, simple set. This will be a black box

  3. Our stage is very small and has limited space in the wings: the acting area is approximately 16ft/4.9m square, but the proscenium arch is 14.4/4.4m wide

  4. Regarding (3), the number of performers should be limited to a maximum of 8, but characters can be doubled up if needed

  5. Props and costumes should be minimised 

  6. Please remember that the members of the DGP are no younger than 18 years old; however, some members may have an “acting age” of younger than 18.

  7. Please limit the use of strong language to that which is integral to the play. (Members of the audience may be younger/vulnerable)

  8. Please also avoid nudity. (Members of the audience may be younger/vulnerable)


By submitting an entry, you agree to its potential use, licence-free, in our current or future voluntary festival(s) or as part of our Lantern Online programme with all proceeds relating to the event supporting the Dilys Guite Players charity.


When you submit a play for consideration in New Writing: The Shorts


Please submit your script as a Word document in the following format:

  • 2cm margins

  • Calibri 12pt

  • 1.5 line spacing

  • Stage directions should be written in italics with no indentation

  • Character: dialogue should be formatted with the character's name, followed by a colon and a single tab

  • The second line onwards of a speech should be indented an extra 1.5cm from the margin

  • The first page of your submission must contain the table included in the Word document available by clicking the download button.



Should your submission be selected for one of our events, you will be contacted with the details. The DGP will organise the event (which may be live on stage, streamed live or recorded for broadcast on our social media or website). The production of the piece will be entirely in the hands of the DGP. This includes casting and crewing. You are welcome to attend the initial read-through with the cast and you will also receive two complimentary tickets to a live performance. Travel expenses are not included. 


The Lantern has a small black box stage. Our website and social media pages also include photographs of past productions which may also support your creative process.


  1. Submissions are welcomed from writers worldwide.

  2. Submissions are emailed to a Google Office account (submit button below) to which only The DGP Board and Creative Team have access. Submissions may be printed for purposes of review or production and copied for those reasons as necessary. Hard drive storage may be used to facilitate archiving, project management and cloud storage management. This is monitored by The DGP Board and Creative Team. The closing date for scripts to be submitted is 30th November 2023.

  3. Work submitted must not have been previously published or performed

  4. Paper copies of scripts may only be accepted with prior arrangement with the Creative Director or New Writing Festival Producer

    • In the event that a paper script is accepted for submission, it is not returnable.

  5. Entries cannot be altered once accepted for performance.

  6. All submissions will receive an automated acknowledgement.

  7. The Creative Team fixes the timeline for each year's NEW WRITING: THE SHORTS. However, if you miss this deadline, we will consider the script the following year unless you wish to withdraw it. Should you wish to withdraw a play from our ongoing list please email our Creative Team to advise. Selection by the Creative Team is final. No correspondence or discussion concerning the decisions of the Creative Team will be entered into.

  8. The copyright will remain with the author. Submission of an entry will indicate the author's agreement to their work being performed in a DGP NEW WRITING: THE SHORTS event at The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield, which may be as a live theatrical staging or be featured as a short film which the DGP will record or for filming and uploading to our social media as part of The Lantern Online programme. The usage may include a streamed performance or broadcast of a recording as an online event. Live events and rehearsals may be filmed for reference, download on the DGP website or for viewing on social media to help promote or raise funds for the charity.

  9. The DGP reserves the right to edit selected entries in any way deemed appropriate and necessary for performance in our community theatre

  10. Failure to meet the conditions indicated could prevent a submission from being selected

  11. Successful authors will be notified by email

  12. Successful authors are welcome to submit a bio and photograph for inclusion on The Lantern Theatre website, social media and any promotional material that may be produced

  13. There are no submission fees

  14. No expenses or travel costs will be paid by the Dilys Guite Players / Lantern Theatre Limited

  15. By emailing your script to the DGP, you agree to its potential use, licence-free, in our current or future voluntary festival(s) and use as a short film to be available online or shown at the theatre, with all proceeds relating to the event supporting the Dilys Guite Players charity.

We look forward to reading your play!
DGP Creative Team

New Writing Guidelines: Text
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