**Due to an overwhelming volume of submissions, we
are not accepting unsolicited scripts at this time. Thank you.**

What is Fighting Words?

Fighting Words is an opportunity to have actors, directors, and select audiences weigh in on what you have written. We accept finished scripts which adhere to our mission and which are open to development.

The process here is that we choose three scripts every season and they are read three times with feedback for the playwright following each reading and plenty of time/space in between the readings for script adjustments to be made. The final reading happens as part of a festival with the other two selections.

Playwrights of every background are welcome here. But, we are a company of women for whom women’s stories are essential. We are also a company of stage combatants. So a script really needs to contain physical conflict as a means of storytelling.

While many Fighting Words scripts have gone on to full productions with the Babes, selection in this program does not guarantee a production.

To submit a script for Fighting Words, submit your script to newplays@babeswithblades.org.  Submissions accepted year round.

To learn more about the 2020 Fighting Words Festival, click here.

A calligraphy pen
I hope the evolution of ‘Deeds Not Words’ made it really clear how valuable I found the BWB script development process. The performances (it doesn’t seem adequate to call them mere ‘readings’) showed me how the pacing worked (or didn’t), the audience responses identified gaps, and the discussions with y’all really helped sharpen my thoughts about what I want the piece to do. And it was thrilling to see the fights.” -Anne Bertram, The Good Fight (workshopped as Deeds Not Words)

When does Babes With Blades accept script submissions?

Scripts are accepted throughout the year. Deadline for consideration for 2018 has passed. Got a script we should see for next season’s development series? Want more info? Contact newplays@babeswithblades.org.
Please note – we are not considering musical submissions at this time.
**If you are looking for information about when we are accepting submissions for our international playwriting competition, Joining Sword & Pen, information about that may be found here.

Fighting Words Script Submission Guidelines

What We’re Looking For

Playwrights of all genders and plays of all genres are welcome. Male characters are great, so long as they don’t over-shadow/outnumber the female characters. Put another way: if your script doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test, it’s unlikely to be a good fit for us.

Fights are a big part of what we do, so their inclusion in scripts is important to us – so long as they serve the story and the characters. We see fights in our shows as similar to songs in a good musical: words fail, so musical characters burst into song. Words fail, so our characters resort to violence. However, we do not do musicals.

Finished but not polished is fine. Likewise, one-acts are fine if the intent is to expand them, through development, into full-lengths.

If you consider the piece complete as-is and aren’t interested in further development, please indicate that when you submit. Please submit to artistic@babeswithblades.org.

And of course the caveat – we typically work in small, black box theaters on limited budgets. A piece with multiple, complex locations and/or more than 10 characters that can’t be easily doubled might not be the best fit for us.

Two BWBTC members reading FW play


Many scripts have completed the Fighting Words program since its inception, and several have gone on to full productions with the Babes.

Check out the full list of Fighting Words productions here.

“I benefitted greatly from the experience with your company’s play development program. As you know I’ve been involved with the Pirates Anne and Mary for over 30 years. I feel that the play, read so wonderfully by your group, came the closest to an authentic expression of their story.” -Sandra Riley, Sister of the Sea