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Young Playwrights Festival

For Students

Each year, the Young Playwrights Festival cultivates and celebrates the creativity and talent of high school students. The Festival has the added benefit of helping to discover the next generation of Appalachian playwrights, storytellers and creative professionals.

For Educators

Participating teachers attend playwriting pedagogy workshops during which playwriting professionals give them the tools to teach playwriting to their students. Participating teachers also receive in-service credit through Virginia Tech.

For Our Community

At Barter, we believe in the power of stories, and, with live performances for both schools and the public, classmates and community members get the chance to see student voices take center stage.

YPF 2024

We are excited to welcome audiences for our 23rd Annual Young Playwrights Festival! The performances of the top 8 plays will be staged, Reader’s Theatre style, by The Barter Players. Participating schools can join us for our morning performance at 10:00 AM and the public can attend our evening performance at 7:00 PM on October 28th, 2024. An awards ceremony will immediately follow the evening performance. Reservations for the evening performance are not required.

At the Festival

5 honorable mentions plays will be given readings while the top 3 plays will be given lightly staged performances. The morning performance(s) are reserved for schools to attend while the evening performance is open to the public.

What Winners Receive

Writers of the top three plays receive cash prizes and a mentoring session with a Barter professional, which allows the students to have valuable one-on-one time with experts in the fields of theater and playwriting.

Teachers of the top three winning plays will receive two tickets to any play of the 2025 Barter Season.

Winners work with Barter professionals to enhance and or lengthen their plays. Awards are presented each year to the winning students and schools.

YPF Submission Guidelines

Teachers must attend at least one workshop in which Barter professionals give them the tools for teaching playwriting to their students.

After receiving classroom instruction on playwriting, students develop plays and submit them to a select group of Barter professionals for feedback and critique. The plays are not to exceed 10 minutes in length.

To participate in future YPFs, please email

Thank You To Our YPF Sponsors

Mooneyhan Family Foundation

Crutchfield Corporation

The Woolwine Family

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