Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for Writing The Wave: The 2024 New Works Creative Writing Competition, a creative writing contest open to all teens ages 13 and up across Suffolk County, held as part of the tenth annual Title Wave: The 2024 New Works Festival, scheduled to take place May 17th -19th at Bay Street Theater. Teens ages 13 and up may submit their original works at the form HERE.

Submissions must be original work written by the applicant and can take the form of poetry, spoken word, rap, monologue, song, or a short scene. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 19th. Those with additional questions can contact Director of Education and Community Outreach Allen O’Reilly via email at

Said Allen O’Reilly, “Writing The Wave is an amazing opportunity for area teens to express themselves in a wide variety of creative writing disciplines.  It’s truly heartening to see how the competition continues to evolve and expand. Our judges can’t wait to read and experience the creativity that comes in this year from Suffolk County students!”

Prizes will be awarded to three finalists in the form of cash prizes, Bay Street Mainstage subscriptions, and festival passes to the 2024 Title Wave New Works Festival, as well as a certificate of achievement. This year, the competition will be judged by a panel of esteemed local authors, including Emma Walton HamiltonTheresa Trinder, and Susan Verde as well as Meg Gibson and Keith Reddin actors from Bay Street’s Literature Live! 2023 performance of The Crucible.

In its inaugural year, Writing The Wave received more than 50 creative writing submissions from teens across Long Island, from Montauk to as far west as Babylon and Northport. The competition is a tremendous opportunity for area teens to explore their passions as authors, poets, artists, songwriters, and playwrights, giving them a chance to have their words read by professionals of the screen and stage.

All three finalists will be given the opportunity to present their original material live at Bay Street Theater during the 2024 Title Wave: New Works Festival, read or performed by themselves, or with the aid of a professional actor.


Prizes will be awarded:

  • 1st Place: $100 Prize, one free subscription to Bay Street Theater’s Mainstage Season, and an All-Access Pass To Title Wave: New Works Festival
  • 2nd Place: One free subscription to Bay Street Theater’s Mainstage Season and an All-Access Pass To Title Wave: New Works Festival
  • 3rd Place: All-Access Pass To Title Wave: New Works Festival 

All submissions must be original work—in any language—written by the student alone. Submissions must include the original written text in a PDF or DOC file, or a video link (Vimeo or YouTube) of the original work being presented or performed. Applicants can either perform their work themselves or enlist the aid of a performer.
Submissions must be no longer than five pages or five minutes in performance length. Finalists will be selected on originality, creativity, and innovative use of language. Teens ages 13 and up may submit their original works HERE.


Last year’s winners included:

1st Place: Jeremiah Watts and Andrew Salomon from North Babylon High School for their rap: 

Hate it or Love it

2nd Place: Isabelle Caplin from Pierson High School for the short story: 

Pressing a Flower

3rd Place: Sophie Rambelle from Eastport South Manor for spoken word:

“I Would Never Go Back To Being 16” 


L to R:  2023 honorees Andrew Salomon, Jeremiah Watts, Isabelle Caplin, Viola Goodale,
Sophie Ramble and Bay Street Artistic Director Scott Schwartz
(photo courtesy of Bay Street Theater) 

2024 Panel of Judges

Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling and award-winning author, editor, stage and television writer/producer, performer, and arts educator. She is a co-founder of Bay Street Theater alongside Stephen Hamilton and Sybil Christopher. Together with her mother, Julie Andrews, she has co-authored over thirty books for children and adults, nine of which have been on the New York Times best-seller list, including The Very Fairy Princess series (#1 New York Times Bestseller), Julie Andrews’ Collection Of Poems, Songs and LullabiesJulie Andrews’ Treasury: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Seasons; the Dumpy The Dump Truck series; Simeon’s Gift; The Great American MousicalTHANKS TO YOUWisdom From Mother And Child (#1 New York Times Bestseller), and most recentlyAndrews’ second memoir: Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years.

Theresa Trinder is the author of There Is A Rainbow, published by Chronicle Books and the Hello Baby! series published by Hallmark Books. In a previous life, Theresa made books and gifts for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri, literacy curricula in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and all sorts of things in between. She earned an MFA in Poetry from Emerson College. She is a Long Island resident and cares for her two boys full-time.

Susan Verde is a New York Times best-selling author who grew up in the heart of Greenwich Village. As a kid, she kept a piece of chalk in her pocket (for spontaneous hopscotch), and her skate key around her neck, ready for the next adventure. She found inspiration everywhere and loved to write all about it! Susan now lives in East Hampton with her three children, their dog, Gizmo, and a menagerie of other creatures. She writes books for children of all ages and teaches kids yoga and mindfulness. Her best-selling, award-winning stories range from explorations of music, art, and museum visits to the concepts of serendipitous friendships, environmental issues, empathy, and humanity.

Meg Gibson has worked for the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, ART in Cambridge, Mark Taper Forum LA, Yale Rep, Studio Theatre in DC, Williamstown Theatre Company, The Atlantic, and more. Her recent TV credits include The AmericansLaw and OrderThe Servant, and NCIS New Orleans.

Keith Reddin has performed On and Off Broadway as well as in many regional theaters. He also writes for the theater, film, and television.


Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center, which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.



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