We and our show grew so much over the course of the festival. The prestige of NYMF allowed us to assemble a remarkable team of actors and designers to collaborate with on our production, and the production process provided us the chance to try an inventive new staging of the show within a workshop environment, and to then present the musical to an exciting crowd of critics, producers, and theater lovers. The festival staff was supportive and invaluable throughout our development and production, and have remained generous resources as we have continued to work on the show. We know we will have the opportunity to stage the musical elsewhere, and we will be indebted to NYMF for that opportunity.

— Abigail Carney and Elliah Heifetz Dust Can't Kill Me, 2017 NYMF
Photo: Alison Sheehy

The Next Link Project

NYMF's primary writer service program empowers approximately ten teams of musical theater writers each year by providing entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities, dramaturgical support, and other resources culminating in a subsidized production in the Festival.

The Next Link Project is the cornerstone of NYMF’s Programming. It is open to any writer, produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation. The program receives hundreds of submissions from all over the world each fall, and every script and demo recording is reviewed by numerous members of NYMF’s Reading Committee.  To submit a show, you must have a finished script and at least 75% of the songs recorded. All entries undergo double-blind evaluations by our readers (ensuring a focus on the quality of work), with finalists reviewed by our Grand Jury of industry professionals.

Once selected, the writing teams embark on an intense creative development process in preparation for their Festival productions with help from NYMF every step of the way. NYMF offers guidance in many forms, including varied seminars - on fundraising, marketing, producing, and more - led by industry professionals, networking events, dramaturgical support, a $5,000 participation fee subsidy, casting assistance, and the immense marketing and industry exposure that comes with appearing at the Festival.

The 2019 NYMF Grand Jury will include Saheem Ali (Sugar in Our Wounds), OBIE and Drama Desk Award winner Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), Jenny Koons (Runaways at Encores! Off-Center), Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre Artistic Director Daniella Topol,  Goodspeed Musicals Artistic Associate Anika Chapin, West Hyler (Paramour), Lorin Latarro (Waitress), Public Theater Literary Associate Jack Phillips Moore, and LCT3 Associate Director Natasha Sinha, Musical Theatre Factory Producing Artistic Director Mei Ann TeoTony Award nominee Sergio Trujillo (On Your Feet!with more to be announced.

Submissions for the 2019 Next Link Project are now closed.