Birthing SLAM: A Timeline

Early 2015: The idea for Submitting Like A Man starts swimming around in my head. By the spring, I am putting out feelers with fellow writers and artists whose opinions I trust: What do you think of this idea? People are into it.

Early Summer 2015: I design all the parameters of how this project would work. For example, deciding that my alternate male self needs to have all the same demographics as me (age, race, religion, etc.) with the exception, of course, of gender. *All the guidelines will be detailed in greater length in a future post.

Mid-Summer 2015: I cross-check all 117 entries from the original list of my own submissions, and make a master list for SLAM of the opportunities that are still running and when they will have their next deadline. As it turns out, cross-checking an Excel with 117 lines of data is a lot of work.

During this time, I also establish my alternate male self, “Max.” As it turns out, creating a fake person is as much work as cross-checking an Excel with 117 lines of data.

Flickr ArtByChrysti credits

September 1, 2015: Max begins sending out his first submissions, to continue over the course of one year (Sep. 1, 2015 – Aug. 31, 2016), running on the same calendar as most theatre seasons. I also begin notes and drafts of various blog posts.

Fall 2015: Max continues sending submissions, with the blog side of the project waiting until closer to the time when I will start hearing back about Max’s applications.

January 2016: SLAM launches here at, a domain name that I was surprised was still available and never thought I would own.

Remainder of 2016: Max will continue sending out submissions through the end of August. The blog will post regular updates about what the responses are like, continuing through the end of the year or whenever the last replies roll in. People will talk about the weather, someone will claim to have trapped Bigfoot, and smartphones will continue to take over our lives. This paragraph was written using my fortune-telling crystal ball. #future

3 thoughts on “Birthing SLAM: A Timeline

  1. This is an interesting project.

    I’m a QUASI-playwrighting guy, and about 15 years ago, when there were a surfeit of female playwrighting festivals, I had the weird thought of submitting under a false gender also. I decided against it, because it would completely subvert the intentions of the festivals in question. Most of those opportunities are gone now anyway.

    In general, I am in favor of more opportunities for female playwrights, although I am mostly in favor of more opportunities for playwrights that are me, who happens not to be female.

    I am hoping there will be a time when quality of ideas and writing (and potential to make compelling theatre) are the only criteria for playwrights.

    Your project is different, as I am assuming most of these opportunities are not specifically gender based.

    Look forward to reading more!


    1. Thank you for your support! You are correct, the resubmissions using the new name are not being sent to any opportunities that are gender-specific. In fact, my fake male self is actually unable to apply to some opportunities on my list; I was only eligible for a number of programs because I am a woman. In those instances, being a woman actually gave me a foot in the door that my male pseudonym self lacks. That being said, women are still produced SO much less than men (roughly 20% of productions are women writers, 80% are male) that even with the initiatives for women writers, there is such a discrepancy in the industry that it gave rise to the idea for this project. And I agree (and you’ve phrased it perfectly) that I am looking forward to “a time when quality of ideas and writing (and potential to make compelling theatre) are the only criteria for playwrights.”


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