The Leslie Scalapino Award



In memory of Leslie Scalapino, her extraordinary body of work, and her commitment to the community of experimental writing and performance. Read about Leslie here.

The Leslie Scalapino Award recognizes the importance of exploratory approaches and an innovative spirit in writing for performance. Our first cycle's winner was Joyelle McSweeney, with her work Dead Youth, or The Leaks. Last cycle we received 400 submissions and a wonderful range of work.

In this second cycle, we are refining the award in the following ways: expansion of the prize; and being more specific about the kind of work we wish to encourage in Leslie's spirit.

The Prize:

The winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize, print publication of the winning text by Litmus Press, a staged reading of the piece this fall at the The New Ohio Theatre in New York, by Fiona Templeton's company The Relationship; and a full production of the work in the following year. The award will now be biennial.

The Call:

Please read carefully as the guidelines have changed.

We are looking for a full-length work for live performance by a woman writer with an inquiring approach to language and content. The poetic practice of Leslie Scalapino was interdisciplinary, including photography, plays, performance, and collaboration with dance and music. We would like to honor this aspect of her work in the award.

While the principal focus for the award is on innovative writing for performance, competitive submissions may consider a range of approaches to innovation in performance, including but not limited to integrated experimentations with language, gesture, movement, sound, visual art / vision, site / location and/or activist practice. The writer should demonstrate some experience in the discipline, materials or medium involved.

Leslie Scalapino

Read about Leslie Scalapino here:
Buffalo Authors/Leslie Scalapino




Application is online only, at Submittable… To apply click HERE

You will be asked for a single PDF containing:

1.  A 10-page excerpt from a completed work.

2.  Your CV.

3. A further single page of work statement, to include a)  a summary of the work, and b) a description of your approach.


Deadline to apply:
July 4 2014

Full texts requested from shortlist:
August 1 2014

Deadline for full texts:
August 15

Winners and finalists announced:
September 1

Applicants should have had no more than 3 productions of their work, as the award is intended to open up opportunities, although it is not limited to emerging writers. The Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers intends to support new writing by female-identified people, inclusive of transwomen. The prize is open to international submissions in English.

This year's judges are Fiona Templeton, Caroline Bergvall, E. Tracy Grinnell and Tonya Foster.



Joyelle McSweeney's "Dead Youth, or The Leaks"

Joyelle McSweeney, Dead Youth or The Leaks

Dead Youth, or The Leaks was performed as a staged reading at The New Ohio Theatre in New York, New York (October 2013). Stay tuned for more information about the publication to be relased by Litmus Press later this year.

The Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers is funded by the Leslie Scalapino–O Books Fund and supported by the New York Foundation for the Arts, and is administered by The Relationship. Publication of award-winning works will be in collaboration with Litmus Press. For more information about Leslie Scalapino, please visit her website:

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