Submitting a script
Plays featured on this site are either included in the catalogues of our partnering publishers or accepted in manuscript form into the catalogue of the Australian Script Centre – owner and operator of AustralianPlays.org and made available in a digital format.
The ASC has been selectively collecting, promoting and distributing contemporary Australian playscripts since 1979 and now houses a comprehensive and extraordinary catalogue of production-ready plays, which is recognised by the National Library of Australia as a collection of national cultural significance.
If you would like to have your work considered for inclusion in the ASC catalogue and listed on this site, please read the following information carefully before you begin your submission at the bottom of this page.
The ASC accepts professionally written, production-ready performance scripts for stage and radio across a range of styles and genres. We only accept work by Australian writers and encourage playwrights at all stages of their career to submit their plays to us, provided that the work meets the following eligibility criterion:
- You hold publication rights; in other words, the script has not been exclusively licensed to another publisher
AND at least one of the following;
- The script has received a professional production and/or an independent production,
- The script has been through a professional script development workshop,
- The script has received a favourable written assessment by an industry-recognised professional,
- The writer has a letter of support from an industry-recognised professional,
- The script has won or been shortlisted for a major Australian prize, or
- The script is written by an established playwright.
Please note that, while we do not accept musicals (where all or nearly all the text is sung), we do accept plays with music (where most of the text is dialogue, with occasional songs).
It is important to note that eligibility does not guarantee acceptance. Only a relatively small proportion of scripts submitted are accepted into the catalogue and it is completely at the Centre's discretion to reject scripts that are not considered to rate sufficiently highly against the selection criteria.
Eligible scripts are assessed against the following criteria;
- Literary merit, understood to encompass writing ability, style, skilled use of language, appropriateness of form, stagecraft, characterisation, clarity of expression and sustained development of themes or ideas.
- Potential to engage the intended audience
- We do not accept scripts without express permission from copyright holders.
- Your script must not include material that you do not have permission to use.
- Where multiple playwrights are credited to a work, we will obtain permission from all copyright holders if your submission is successful.
- If a script has been previously published but is now out of print, we ask you to provide confirmation, in writing, that the rights have reverted to you.
Distribution through the ASC involves a simple, non-exclusive agreement authorising the ASC to sell the script and associated photocopy licences. Full copyright ownership rests with the playwright who remains free to sell the work elsewhere and may withdraw their script from the ASC catalogue at any time. If and when the play is licensed to another publisher, we will withdraw it immediately on receiving your written advice to that effect. To withdraw a play from the catalogue, simply notify us via our contact form, with your message marked for the attention of the ASC Executive Director.
We encourage production enquiries about all works in our catalogue. Enquiries are promptly forwarded to the relevant playwright or agent in the first instance. The ASC can also negotiate production rights on behalf of playwrights who have authorised it to do so. Depending on the licensing arrangements for the particular work, production rights may be negotiated between the ASC and the producer or directly between the producer and the playwright or their agent.
Royalty payments for script sales and photocopy licences are calculated annually and paid in the first quarter of the following year, if a playwright’s accrued total has reached $15 or more. If $15 is not reached in one year, the amount is carried forward into the next year.
Playwrights may contact the ASC at any time to request information about sales of their work.
Production fees are forwarded to the relevant playwright within 30 days of the production's final night. This is dependent on us receiving relevant box office summaries and full payment of the royalties due from the producer.
Playwrights receive the following royalties from the ASC;
- Script sales – 30% of selling price
- Photocopy licences – 50% of fees received
- Production fees – 90% of fees received
Submitting a script
Submissions are only accepted electronically, via this online form. If you encounter any technical difficulties, please contact us.
The ASC does not provide a script development or editing service and we cannot accept scripts that do not meet a professional standard. This includes scripts that have not been properly proofread, paginated or checked for other mistakes. Scripts should be clearly formatted and easy to read. If you are unsure of an appropriate format, see our sample script format
We aim for a fast turnaround but it’s not always possible due to the high number of submissions we receive. You should allow up to eight weeks for your submission to be assessed and we will advise you of the outcome by email. If your script is accepted it might take a further four weeks for it to be published on our website.