• Mission/intro to the Fund

    Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers (FEWW) was established in 2008 to honor the memory of Leah Ryan, a woman of letters who wrote plays, poetry, essays, lyrics, adaptations, and collaborated with performance artists. The Fund aims to encourage talented but still unrecognized women-identified playwrights.

  • Playwriting Award

    We grant an annual cash award, a weekend workshop at Powerhouse Theater (Vassar), and a staged reading in New York City for a play written by an emerging woman, trans, or non-binary writer. Winners have gone on to become prominent voices in theater, film, and television. To learn more or apply, click here.

  • The Vladimir Award

    Each year, we give a $5,000 grant to a professional writer experiencing a life-threatening illness. Most recipients remain anonymous for privacy reasons. To learn more, click here.

  • Leah Ryan

    Leah Ryan (1964-2008) was a playwright, essayist, writer of post-modern greeting cards, and a general woman of letters. The Fund was established to honor her memory. Read more here.

Apply Now

All women, trans women, and non-binary playwrights who consider themselves emerging (as distinct from fledgling or mid-career playwrights) are eligible to apply for the 2020 Leah Ryan’s FEWW Prize. Playwrights from all over the world are encouraged to apply, but the play must be written in English. Eligibility does not require that a submitted work adhere to the traditional three-act structure. One-acts, two-acts (even four-, five-, six- acts), monologues, adaptations, and any other wild (or deceptively tame) format will be considered with equal seriousness. The only absolute requirement is that the submitted text be a completed full-length work for theater.

The fee to apply is $10. The deadline is 11:59pm on Monday, January 13, 2020.

The winner will be chosen by a committee selected by a readers committee selected by the board members of Leah Ryan’s FEWW, and will be presented with her award as part of the 2020 Lilly Awards, which honors the work of women in American theater. In addition, the winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500, a workshop at the Vassar Powerhouse Theater, and a reading of her play in New York City.

Finalists will be contacted in mid-March and will have one week within which to submit their full play.

Click here to submit your work.

We look forward to receiving your application!

News/Events

Free public reading of Eliana Pipes' DREAM HOU$E, the winner of the 2019 playwriting prize

We're excited to invite you to join us for the free public reading of Eliana Pipes' DREAM HOU$E, the winner of the 2019 playwriting prize from Leah Ryan's Fund for Emerging Women Writers. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Monday, November…

Winner of the 2019 Playwriting Prize

We’re excited to announce the winner of the 2019 playwriting prize from Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers: Eliana Pipes for her play DREAM HOUSE. Stay tuned for information on the upcoming reading of the winning play. About…

The deadline for submissions for the 2020 FEWW Prize is Monday, January 6th, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.

All women, trans, and non-binary playwrights who consider themselves emerging (as distinct from fledgling or mid-career playwrights) are eligible to apply for the 2018 FEWW Prize. Playwrights from all over the world are encouraged to apply,…