Next Link Project FAQ

Please see below for FAQ's and to submit to the 2017 Next Link Project.

UPDATE: Submissions for the 2017 Next Link Project have now closed

What is the Next Link Project?

The Next Link Project is NYMF's primary writer service program, through which approximately 10 shows receive subsidized production slots in the New York Musical Festival. These shows attend a weekend-long training session that includes networking, fundraising, and marketing guidance. Each show also has access to a professional New York dramaturg to help writers hone their shows.

What sort of musicals are you looking for?
NYMF isn’t looking for any particular aesthetic. We want to represent the breadth of contemporary musical theatre in all of its forms, from romantic comedies inspired by the Golden Age of Musicals to rock opera epics, to edgy hip-hop satires, to children’s shows, and everything in between.   

How are shows evaluated?
The Next Link Project uses a “blind” evaluation process – writers’ names are not on any of the materials readers review. This ensures that the readers are responding only to the quality of the work. Readers are not allowed to evaluate a show if they have any level of familiarity with it. Each show is read by at least two and up to five members of the reading committee. Finalists are then read and evaluated by a Grand Jury of industry professionals.  

If your show is not selected for the Next Link Project, you may ask to be considered for one of the other presentation opportunities in the Festival, which include being an Invited Production, a Event, or a Developmental Reading. If you are interested in becoming considered for any of these opportunities, please let us know in the Next Link application.


Am I eligible for the Next Link Project?
Any work that has not received a commercial production in New York City may be submitted by writers, with or without industry representation.  As long as you feel your script is “production-ready” and prepared for a public developmental run in the Festival, you’re welcome to submit it!

What does “production-ready” mean?
When we say a show must be “production-ready,” we’re referring to the dramaturgical readiness of the show, rather than the production or financial resources you have on hand. Although there are approximately six months between the moment a show is accepted into the Festival and its first NYMF performance, in practice that’s not a lot of time available to do rewrites – especially if you’re a self-producing writer who may have your hands full with other pre-production concerns.

Our participants do come to us at widely varying stages in the lives of their shows. Some were written two months before they were submitted, while others have been in development for years and/or may have had other productions elsewhere in the country.

Do you accept shows from outside the United States?
Of course, as long as the submission is in English.
Please note, international companies performing in the festival are subject to U.S. artist visa requirements. While NYMF can offer some assistance with the petition process, you will ultimately be responsible for the visas. If you are planning to include non-U.S. citizens in your cast, please email for more information.   
I’ve got a few different shows that I’d like to submit. Is that okay?
YES! You are welcome to submit as many shows each year as you like, however please note that each show will require a separate submission fee.

I sent you my show last year but have revised it since then. Can I resubmit it?
YES! We’re always happy to accept new drafts of previously submitted projects.

My show is already getting a production this year. Is that okay?
NYMF requires that shows refrain from mounting competing productions anywhere within a 100-mile radius of the New York City area within six months prior to the festival start date and one month after the end of the festival.

My show is based off of or includes existing material. Do I need to include proof of rights for this?
Yes, you will need to include a letter that certifies you have the rights to use existing material, unless it is in the public domain. For more information on Dramatic (or “Grand”) Rights, review ASCAP’s Licensing Terms and Definitions here.



What materials do I need to submit for consideration?
The following application materials are required as electronic files:

  • A complete script (PDF)

  • A demo recording, containing at least 75% of the songs in the show (MP3 only)

  • A 2-3 page synopsis, noting the placement of songs included on the demo recording (PDF)

  • A script sample consisting of 15 consecutive pages representing the heart of the show and including lyrics for at least one song from the demo (PDF)

  • Author bios and Production History – please note this is for administrative purposes only and will not be seen by any Next Link evaluators (PDF)

  • If applicable: Proof of rights to adapt any underlying material (e.g. the movie on which your show is based) or to include any material by other authors (e.g. songs by third-party artists), if any such material is not in the public domain (PDF)

  • If you are submitting a show by someone other than yourself, you must also submit documentation signed by the writers, giving you the rights to produce the show at NYMF. (PDF)

  • Video recordings and printed scores will not be considered.

How do I submit my application materials?
After you create a NYMF application account online you will need to upload all of your materials (PDFs and MP3s) to the NYMF submission portal.  Once you have uploaded all of your information you will be required to pay the submission fee.
You must have registered, uploaded all of your materials and paid the submission fee by the dates below. Incomplete or unpaid submissions will not be eligible.  
Please note that once you’ve submitted your materials and received an acknowledgment of receipt from NYMF, you may not revise or resubmit a new draft. 

What is the cost to submit?
The submission fee is $75. However, if you submit by the October 10th Early Bird deadline, the fee is $55.

Does my demo need to be professionally recorded?
No, your demo doesn't need to be professionally produced, but we do request that it accurately conveys the style of the score. All demos must include musical accompaniment (unless your show will be performed a cappella) as well as vocals (i.e. not just Finale sound files).  If it's just you singing and accompanying yourself on piano, that's fine -- but if you can't carry a tune, we suggest that you find someone else who can vocally represent your work for you.  If you're considering submitting an amateur recording of a past reading, please be sure the quality isn't muddy or distorted by ambient noise.  

If my show isn’t chosen, will you give me feedback from the Evaluation Committee?
Due to the huge number of applications and NYMF’s own staffing limitations, we are only able to provide feedback to the Next Link finalists.

When will I find out about my submission status?
Whether you are selected as a Next Link finalist or not, you will receive an email from us in December regarding your submission. The Next Link Projects will be selected in January.

EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: October 10 at 11:59 PM EST (Submission fee of $55)

FINAL DEADLINE: November 6 at 11:59 PM EST