static image of poster reads: Nuevas Voces, a 10-minute play festival & contest, founded by Jim Blair

The Nuevas Voces Contest and Festival was founded by alumnus and former Northeastern professor Jim Blair to create a platform at Northeastern Illinois University for new playwrights; Nuevas Voces at NEIU and the greater Chicago community. Jim Blair also teaches a playwriting workshop each spring through NEIU's Office of Community & Professional Education.

Nuevas Voces 10-Minute Play festival, April 2021

Performances Dates: April 1-3
Director: Leslie Hull

Prize-Winning Plays:

  • 1st Place: Sean Carey (M.A. '19 Communication, Media and Theatre) for "Departure, Initiation, Return. The Bus" - Prize of $250
  • 2nd Place: Raeghan Draper (CMT major) for "Under Par" - Prize of $200
  • 3rd Place: Charles Sipps (CMT major) for "Chekov's Potato" - Prize of $150
  • Honorable Mentions, $50 prize each:
    • Emily Maso and Raúl Dorantes' play "El Tres Laredos"
    • Michael Maura (Studio Art major and African and African American Studies minor) "Somethin' Somethin'"
    • Ata Younan (B.A. '19 Communication, Media and Theatre) "The United Statesian Nightmare"

About the Festival: Founded by alumnus and former Northeastern professor Jim Blair to create a platform at Northeastern Illinois University for new playwrights, Nuevas Voces is a thrilling launch point for new work from NEIU its vibrant community. Featuring multiple prize-winning short plays selected from an extensive competition, Nuevas Voces reveals the complexity of our human experience through the many lenses that make up Northeastern.

5th Annual Playwriting Contest is in Spring 2021

Submission deadline: Feb. 1
Winners announced March 15

Entry Categories

  • Current high school students in Illinois
  • Current NEIU or other college students in Illinois, ages 17-28 (full- or part-time)
  • NEIU and the greater community, age 29+. Must be an Illinois resident.


  • A $15 registration fee will be required unless you are enrolled in Jim Blair's non-credit Playwriting Workshop, or enrolled in the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre's Playwriting course.


Submission Information

Email your submission

  • Send your submission in Word format (.doc or .docx) to Sarah J. Fabian at In the subject line of the email, write Nuevas Voces 2021 Play Submission.
  • Please submit a separate cover page with your name, phone number and email. We will remove the cover and assign each play a number. Do not include your name anywhere else but on your cover page.
  • Please use 12-point font and double space between characters.
  • The cast may not exceed five actors.
  • Make sure you time your play so that it is 10 minutes or less. Longer plays cannot be considered for performance.
  • Please submit translations if any of your dialogue is in a language other than English.
  • Only one submission per playwright.
  • The author’s name must NOT appear on any of the pages except for the cover sheet.
  • Pages must be numbered.


  • The Nuevas Voces: A 10-Minute Playwriting Contest and Festival will consider only original work.
  • Submitted plays that are based on any other published work, including but not limited to novels, short stories, films, teleplays, other theatrical scripts, etc., unless also written by the submitting author(s), are ineligible.
  • Judges will make final production decisions based on the quality of the work and practicality of production, and such decisions shall be final. 

The 2021 Nuevas Voces judges are:

  • Sarah J. Fabian, M.F.A.: CMT Department Assistant Professor and Managing Director of Stage Center Theatre
  • Adam Goldstein, M.F.A.: CMT Department Assistant Professor and Artistic Director of Stage Center Theatre
  • TBD

Past Contest Winners!

October 2020 Winners

First Place: Sean Carey, "Departure, Initiation, Return. The Bus."
Second Place: Raeghan Draper, Under Par"
Third Place: Charles Sipps, "Chekov's Potato"
Honorable Mentions: Emily Maso & Raúl Dorantes, "El Tres Laredos;" Michael Maura, "Somethin' Somethin;" Ata Younan, "The United Statesian Nightmare"

October 2019 Winners

First Place: Shannon Naylor, "The Fear of the Little Things"
Second Place:
Emily Feldman, "Live It Up List"
Third Place: Ariel Notterman, "Frosted" 
Honorable Mention: James Jarvis, "Too True to Be Good" 

January 2019 Winners

First Place: Diego Roman, "Enough" (Current College Category)
Second Place: Ariel Notterman, "Meet Me in the Parking Lot" (Current College Category)
Third Place: Becca Peterson, "A Private Hell" (Current College Category)

First Place: Dan Wirth, "Full Life" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)
Second Place: Sidney Davis III, "Crisis of Independence" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)

January 2018 Winners

First Place: Dalton Brown, "Spring Cleaning" (Current College Category)
Second Place: Becca Peterson, "Talking the Talk" (Current College Category)
Third Place: Becca Peterson, "A Private Hell" (Current College Category)

First Place: Felicia Madlock, "Anna's Assumptions" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)
Second Place: Dan Wirth, "Shed" (NEIU & Greater Community 29+ Category)
Honorable Mention: Mike Palatnik, "An Unusual Bar" (NEIU and Greater Community 29+ Category)