London Horror Festival Playwriting Competition

Submissions are now open to UK based playwrights for the London Horror Festival Playwriting Competition, in association with the Old Red Lion Theatre and Danse Macabre Productions. Now in its eighth year, the London Horror Festival is the largest UK festival of horror in the performing arts and will be running from the 7th October-3rd November 2018.

This year, in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein by the horror icon, Mary Shelley, the theme for the playwriting competition is Women in Horror. The prize-winning play will be performed as a rehearsed reading by Danse Macabre for the opening of the 2018 festival at the Old Red Lion Theatre.


Entry Requirements 

To apply you must either be a female playwright or have a female character as your main character and have your script pass the Bechdel Test

The Bechdel Test has 3 Criteria:
1) It must have at least two women in it
2) Who talk to each other, about…
3) Something besides a man.

Your play should also be between 45 and 60 minutes.

Please include the following details:
• Your name, email address and contact telephone number.
• Your agent’s details (if applicable).
• Whether you will be able to attend the production on 7th October 2018 should your play be selected as the winner.
• The script in word or .pdf format.
• A title page, character list and page numbers in the script.
• Where you heard about the competition.

Unfortunately, Danse Macabre are not able to accept plays from writers based outside of the UK or plays that have previously been produced.
They do not accept scripts written for television, film or radio, treatments or incomplete works, short plays under 45 minutes duration, musicals or plays not in the English Language.


Midnight on 1st August. The winner will be announced in September.


To apply and for more information on the competition please visit: and for more information on the London Horror Festival itself please see their website here:

Contact Details

or for more details on the festival itself:

Event dates:
30 May 2018 -
8 Jan 2018


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