from the author of Final Draft's "Ask the Expert: Playwriting" and Playwriting101.com

Welcome to Young Playwrights 101, a comprehensive resource for young playwrights and those who teach them. Here you'll find free instructional materials to take young writers through every step of the playwriting process, from idea to what to do with your finished script. But that's just the beginning.

This site began as The Young Playwrights Page, part of my website, www.jonathandorf.com, several years ago. It still exists there, and both sites will continue to offer no-cost instructional materials for young writers and those who mentor them.

But I wanted to go beyond what is on the web, and so I began to think about creating a book. That thought is now reality. Young Playwrights 101 is available in paperback or as a downloadable e-book!

Young Playwrights 101, a book for young playwrights and those who teach them

What is in this book? Everything, I think. As useful as the website is, there are limits to how much I can include on it. But take every topic that exists here on the website, add in a whole bunch more, and imagine a book that explores them all in detail. Here are just a few examples of areas Young Playwrights 101 covers:

Creating Characters
Play Structure
Choosing the Right Setting
The "Question" of the Play
How to Use an Outline
Punching Up Your Dialogue with Punctuation
Handling Exposition
Opening and Ending Your Play
The Writing Process
Dealing with Writer's Block
How to Have a Useful Play Reading
The Playwright's Bill of Rights and much, much more...

It's a complete playwriting course, organized in easy to follow lessons and filled with practical writing exercises. It is ideal for drama classes, for teachers wanting a teaching resource for their playwriting lessons, for students who don't have drama courses in which to learn playwriting--for anyone of any age who wants detailed, practical playwriting instruction that will get you writing!

Order Young Playwrights 101 now!

What's on the Young Playwrights 101 Website...

In addition to a plethora of free instructional materials (table of contents below) and details about Young Playwrights 101, if you look at the menu on the left, you'll find all kinds of useful information. You can find out how to sign up for "Introduction to Playwriting" (the course I teach for Writers University), how to have me create an online course specifically for your school/group or to have me visit you as a guest artist. There is information about my script consulting services (discounted to young playwrights), and of course biographical information about me.

Continue to scroll down to get to the instructional materials.



I hope you find this page useful. But don't find it so useful that you copy any part of it without getting my permission first AND without properly crediting me. Reproducing my work without permission is a violation of copyright law. A good solution, particularly if you're a teacher wishing to use this site as a resource, is to link to it or to provide your students with the URL.

Now that we've gotten all of the introductions out of the way, here we go--good luck!

Table of Contents

Click on any topic below to see more information in a new window. If you're having trouble, try disabling your pop-up blocker.

Getting Started
The Playwright's Checklist (a revision tool)
Building Characters
Where and When: the Setting
Play Structure the Easy Way
Writing Dialogue
The Art of Writing Stage Directions
Top 10 Writing Tips (includes a special note on Writing Software)
Extra Tips on Writing Monologues
Help with Rewriting (including the Writer's Web)
What to Do with Your "Finished" Play
UPDATED! Young Playwrights Contests
Submission Resources (learn where to submit)
Need Help Writing Cover Letters?
The Business of Playwriting (Your Rights, Protecting Your Work)
Nifty Success Stories and Raves for the Young Playwrights Page
Young Playwrights Suggested Reading List
Final Thoughts on Playwriting and Being a Writer

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