Competitions 2019

Attention Singer Songwriters!

Enter The Acorn's 7th annual Singer Songwriter Competition for cash prizes and performing opportunities!  Judges will select finalists from entries received by the June 27 deadline.  The top 8 will perform in the Finals at The Acorn on July 18.  More info and a link to the Entry Form are below.

Attention Playwrights!

Enter The Acorn’s 3rd annual 10-Minute Play Writing Competition for cash prizes!  Judges will select the finalists from entries received by the June 30 deadline. The top 6 scripts will be performed in an evening of Staged Plays by experienced actors on November 9 at The Acorn. More info and a link to the Entry Form are below.

Important Dates
Thursday, June 27       Submission Deadline (any entries after the deadline may not be considered)

Friday, July 5                 Notification to Finalists

Thursday, July 18         Finals at The Acorn. Arrival check in 4 PM ET. Show: 8 PM ET

Submission Fees
  • 2 songs $22
  • 3 songs $27
  • 4 songs $32
  • Preferred - Online (credit card) Acorn Singer Songwriter Competition
  • By check: Make check payable to Acorn Center for the Performing Arts and mail to The Acorn, 107 Generation Drive, Three Oaks, MI 49128. If you are paying by check, please include the name of the entrant, song titles and a phone number where you can be reached.

Complete the entry form.
General Entry Guidelines
  • Video entries only.
  • Each song must have accompanying lyric sheets with song title and songwriter's name on each song.
  • Video performances should be as close to "live" as possible.
  • Video and audio quality need to be good enough for judges to conduct informed evaluations.
  • Video format options: mp4 download, smartphone video, YouTube link, or Vimeo link. If your file size is too big, we recommend you upload to Google Drive
  • Submissions can include up to 3 people in their group.
  • Preferred format for video and lyric sheet entries is to paste links in the online entry form. (Use links from a cloud such as Dropbox, Box or Google Drive.) The second option is to send materials by email to songwriter@acornlive.org

  • How It Works
  • 8 semi-finalists are chosen from the pool of submissions. Those 8 semi-finalists compete at the Singer Songwriter Finals, July 18, 8 PM ET, in front of a packed house and a panel of three prestigious judges.
  • During the first round, each finalist plays their winning entry. The panel then narrows down to 3 Top Finalists.
  • The top 3 picks from the first round perform a second original song of their choosing. The audience votes on the winner and runner-up.

  • Prizes
  • First place $1000       Second place $250       Third place $100
  • All finalists will also receive an audio recording of their performance at The Acorn.
  • The top three finalists will receive a professional video recording of their performance at The Acorn.
  • Finalists are considered for other shows at The Acorn and recommended for other area events.
    Contest Rules
  • Submit 2, 3 or 4 songs.
  • Entrants can have up to 3 people performing in their group.
  • Travel to The Acorn is the responsibility of the Singer Songwriter
  • Previous 1st place winners in The Acorn Singer Songwriter Competition are not eligible to compete for five years.

  • Questions?
    Email songwriter@acornlive.org
    Important Dates
    June 30               Entry deadline, entries will be acknowledged by email as received

    August 15           Notification of finalists, six playwrights will be selected as finalists for Staged Plays.

    November 9      8:00 PM EST Competition at The Acorn, 107 Generation Dr., Three Oaks, MI 49128

    1st place               $300 (judges select)

    Runner-up            $ 75 (judges select)

    People’s Choice    $ 75 (audience votes)

    How to submit a script
    1. Complete the online entry form.
    2. Submit either electronic or printed scripts.
      Electronic submission:
      Email script (in pdf or WORD) to Playwright@acornlive.org

      Or mail submission: Send one copy of the script. The envelope must be postmarked on or before June 30, 2019. Or, you may deliver the script package in person to The Acorn. The box office opens at 4 PM on show days.

    3. Entry fee of $10. To pay by credit card (a small processing fee will be added), use our website  Or, if you prefer to pay by check, send a check payable to The Acorn. On the memo line, please write 10-Minute Plays. Send the check to The Acorn, 107 Generation Drive, Three Oaks, MI 49128.
    Contest Rules 
    • The play should be no longer than 10 minutes in length when read or performed. Typically, that’s 10 pages. We start counting after the title page and character list.
    • The play should have no more than 4 characters. Scripts with more than 4 characters will not be eliminated but are not encouraged.
    • Submit one play per playwright. Choose your best!
    • Proof your script and be careful to send your final version. Once submitted, we cannot accept an updated script.
    • Only original plays, not-yet produced, are eligible. (Online submissions to other contests and publication on personal websites are fine.)
    • Plays not eligible: Plays that have been published in a magazine, e-magazine or otherwise available in print, Musicals, or Adaptations of another author’s works
    • All playwrights must be at least 18 years old.
    • Playwrights will be notified of their finalist status by August 15, 2019. No scripts will be returned.
    • We will not comment individually on each script.
    • Previous Acorn 10-minute play competition 1st place winners are not eligible to compete for five years.
    • Submission of an entry authorizes The Acorn to conduct a staged reading for the public with no royalties during the Spectacular Tournament of Playwrights on November 9, 2019. All subsequent publication and other ownership rights will be retained by the author.
    Assembling Your Script
    • The script must be in standard playwriting format with 12-point Courier font. Use double spacing when changing from one character to another. Use single spacing everywhere else.
    • Title page must include playwright’s name, address, phone number and email address. This is the only place the playwright’s name should appear.
    • Next page should contain a cast of characters and time and place information. Please include the title on this page. 
    • Next page is the first page of the script. The other pages of the play follow.
    • The title of the play and page numbers must be on every page, starting with the first page of the script.
    • For paper submission, paperclip each script. Do not use binders. We will scan the pages into a pdf file.
    Judging Process
    • Scripts meeting the rules and submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by judges. All plays are judged blind.
    • Three judges will read the submitted plays and select the top six 10-minute plays as finalists.
    • Each of the top six plays will be part of an evening of 10-minute plays produced at The Acorn on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Each play will be a workshopped production … directed, rehearsed and presented memorized by the actors with minimal props (no set construction). Actors volunteer their time, and all are experienced stage performers.
    • We encourage the top six playwrights to attend the performance, but it is not required.
    • Plot seems fresh, intriguing and original
    • Something happens; sufficient conflict and tension throughout the play
    • Plot is active, vital and dramatic on stage
    • Story moves along; pace is engaging
    • Strong, interesting writing style
    • Clear viewpoint that’s well integrated into the play
    • Interesting and compelling characters
    • Characters seem credible and real
    • Main character evolves or develops through the course of the play
    • Dialogue suits the characters
    • Dialogue sounds natural and credible for the plot and location
    • Each character has own unique voice
    • Dialogue seems fresh and compelling (not dull, boring, or generic)
    • Family friendly (creative and successful without vulgar topics such as sex, racism, pornography and other similar topics.)
    Overall effect
    • Play is entertaining and memorable by the end
    Contact Information: Playwright@acornlive.org