The Leah Ryan Fund (LRF) 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 offers an annual playwriting prize — "The Leah" — that recognizes and supports female, non-binary, and trans playwrights.

More about the Leah Ryan Fund:


Ideally, we’d live in a world free from white supremacy, patriarchy, and exploitation by capitalism. The reality is that we don’t. And unfortunately, writers, too, are not immune to structural oppression.


The Leah Ryan Fund helps sustain and support writers facing individual challenges and systemic oppression so they can keep writing, connecting, creating, and thriving.


The Leah Ryan Fund reflects the values that Leah herself possessed:

  • We believe in fierce artistic integrity, resilience of spirit, and authenticity of voice.
  • We reward excellence as expressed through the mastery of form.
  • We embrace the world with outrage, humor, and compassion.
  • We acknowledge our complicity in the systems of oppression and resist injustice.
  • We practice direct and honest communication.
Ends on $10.00

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 2022 Leah Ryan Prize ("The Leah"). 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, which assists in covering our Submittable expenses. The deadline is Monday, January 10, 2022 at 11:59 ET.

The winner will be selected by a committee chosen by the board of the Leah Ryan Fund, and will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and a reading of the play in New York City (pending public health and union guidelines).

Finalists will be contacted in March 2022 and will have one week within which to submit their full play.

We look forward to receiving your application!

The Leah Ryan Fund