Finding competition pieces can be one of the most difficult parts of the speech process. There are so many potential pieces and everyone wants to find the right one that will help them win. One of the most important things to remember is to find something that speaks to you. You should enjoy your piece, and it should fit your aesthetic and make sense to you. Find a story that's important to YOU.
There are billions of potential pieces out there across various types of mediums. The best pieces are always going to be found by reading. Get out there and read. Short stories, poems, novels, children's books, horror stories, mysteries, plays, musicals, essays, everything. Always keep an eye out for stories that you find important and interesting. If you are a new competitor, though, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Look through the variety of resources below to find something that may even have already been cut for competition. It's okay to cut your teeth on something more simple. Every piece is different for every person because your unique style and personality bring it to life.
Where to look...
(for every good piece, there will be a sub-par one. Use discretion. Also, read at your own risk.)
TED Radio Hour - TED talks have become one of the most common sources for Dec. This is not necessarily a bad thing. These "talks" are diverse and cover a WIDE range of topics. TED talks has organized some of the top speakers throughout the world into one database. Take a look at the TED Radio Hour link for many of these talks segmented by topic. You can even listen to portions of this weekly radio show and podcast for more detail about each talk.
INTERP, Prose and Poetry
Open Library- This is a great site to search if you’re looking for a prose piece or a dramatic/humorous script. Simply type in the subject, author or title you seek and you’re bound to find something useful. Be careful though. Everything is in here, so you can get lost in all the literature. Go in with some ideas and see what pops up.
Alibris- Perfect for the bargain-hunting script seeker, this inexpensive website has tons of used, new, rare, and fascinating books that could be used in speech competition. With 100 million titles to choose from, it will be hard not to find something worthwhile.
Live Binders-Why not benefit from work other people have already done? You can search this public site for collections of interp pieces pulled by other teams or competitors. This takes a little more time because of the number of scripts out there, but you may find some useable pieces.
Braddock Debate-This list of resources may have just what your looking for. Remember, research takes time and patience.
SpeechGeek -This site is a collection of resources for all events. The market has many resources available for purchase from places like Mushroom Cloud Press, Tibetan Treefrog Publishing, and The Monologue Project. Not all scripts are created equal, though, so read and purchase at your own risk.
The Interp Store - This site offers a large selection of pieces written specifically for speech competitors. These pieces often require a lot of personality and innovation. If you are good at characters and can bring meaning to pieces, some of these have been quite successful on the national stage.
Consortium Publishing - This site also offers pieces written specifically for speech competitions.
These publishers of plays, musicals, and books offer a variety of sources for pieces.
Brooklyn Publishers - offers many 10-minute scripts, full-length plays, recently published plays and even gives you the option to read a free e-script every week.
Playscripts, Inc. - their database can be searched by genre, cast size, title and author. Read through short synopses to find scripts.
Dramatic Publishing - Search by theme, keyword, cast size and peruse the duet scenes.
Dramatists Play Service- Use the Play Finder feature to peruse their collection of popular theatrical works.
Samuel French- This popular licencor offers an easy-to-search database and some escripts.
Pioneer Drama Service- This publishing house has a lot of scripts, many of which are geared towards younger audiences.
Theaterfolk - this publisher has many original scripts for duos, short plays, and topics directly addressing teen and school life.
Eldrige- mid-sized collection of plays and musicals. Some are lesser known.
JD Drama Publishing-Inexpensive downloadable scripts.
The NSDA official list of approved online publishing sources. Please check the rules and regulations involving the use of scripts from these sites. The responsibility lies completely on the student and coach to prove the material meets all Digital Publication guidelines at the time of competition.