Playwriting Awards


The Olga E Harding New NZ Playwriting Award for new scripts is named after one of the founding members of New Zealand Theatre Federation who for many years was actively involved with the British Drama League – BDL and who, after the formation of NZTF became one of its Presidents.

The aim of the Award is to encourage playwrights to write short plays up to 50 minutes, that can be assessed by a professional dramaturg. All entries will receive a written report.It is also a requirement that the script receives a production in a Local TheatreFest in the year that the script is entered for the Award.

The benefits of entering are, therefore, two fold. The script is assessed in order to allow the playwright positive feedback on their writing, which will assist with any future writing and they also get to see a live production of their script on stage.

If you are presenting a new New Zealand play that has not been performed more than three months prior to the current year Local TheatreFest, then the Playwright may be eligible for the Olga E. Harding New NZ Playwriting Award.

If the Playwright’s script is to be considered for this Award, please complete the Olga E. Harding Entry Form and send, together with a copy of the script and entry fee, to the TheatreFest National Administrator.

Details of the 2019 Olga E Harding New NZ Playwriting Award

Entries Close on Monday 20 July 2019

Entry fee for each script is $60 – paid to TNZ bank account - 03-0802-0134721-00

The assessor for this year is Dave Armstrong, Wellington, well known NZ playwright (Kings of the Gym, The Motor Camp, Niu Sila).

Each entry will receive a written assessment.

Announcement of the winning entry will be made at this year’s TheatreFest National Final on 14/15 September in Wellington.
Scripts are to receive a production at one of Theatre NZ’s local TheatreFests.

You can download information by clicking here


Playmarket presents this award annually. Take this opportunity to have your play read by a panel of industry professionals.

Prizes may include the following categories: Best Play, Best Play by a Māori Playwright, Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright, Best Play by a Woman Playwright.

Theatre New Zealand encourages playwrights entering the Olga E. Harding New NZ Playwriting Award to also enter the Adam NZ Play Award.

Entrance requirements

Open to any New Zealand citizen/permanent resident.

Plays must not have been professionally produced (pending productions; readings; workshops or community productions are fine).

Scripts may only be submitted to this competition once.

There are no limits on length, style, theme or cast size.

You may submit as many as you like.

Submissions close at 11.59pm on 1 December each year.

For further information and a submission form, please go to the following webpage:

You can download information by clicking here