Screenwriting Contests

Screenwriting Contests

Screenwriting Contests give screenwriters an opportunity to showcase their talent to the rest of the world, win awards, and get their names "out there".

The Writers Lab

Submission Deadline: March 28,2019

Entry Fee: $75

The Writers Lab is an intensive four-day script development retreat for women screenwriters over 40. Meeting one on one and in panels with outstanding female film professionals, as well as in peer groups and directed discussion sessions, talented writers examine and refine their work while building a unique and powerful community. Selections are blind and based solely on the merit of the screenplay submitted. The Writers Lab welcomes all genres of narrative feature-length scripts.

Creative World Awards

Submission Date: April 10,2019

Entry Fee: $75-115

The 12th annual Creative World Awards is a leading international screenwriting contest well known for having the writer’s interest at heart when it comes to development and industry promotion. The CWA vision is to help writers garner the exposure, development, and recognition they need to propel their projects and careers forward.  CWA has built relationships with many of the industry’s most recognized companies. With several options and deals signed for past entrants, CWA has firmly established itself worldwide as a leading source for discovering talent in the entertainment industry.

CineStory

Submission Date: April 15th, 2019

Entry Fee: $80

CineStory is a national non-profit dedicated to nurturing emerging screenwriters through mentorship programs. Winners of our competition have gone on to pen films such as Iron Man, Cake, The Children of Men, and Ballast. One of the main goals of the CineStory Feature Retreat is to select up-and-coming screenwriters for a four-day intensive program held in the Fall. CineStory's Retreat is dedicated to the advancement of great new voices in screenwriting. Retreat attendees are chosen from the top writers of the CineStory Screenwriting Awards.

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

Submission Deadline: April 15,2019

Entry Fee: $75

The PAGE Awards competition was established in the fall of 2003 by an alliance of Hollywood producers, agents, and development execs. Their goal is to discover the most exciting new scripts by up-and-coming writers from across the country and around the world. And due to the success of many winning writers, the PAGE Awards competition has rapidly become one of the most important sources for new screenwriting talent within the Hollywood community and worldwide.

Scriptapalooza

Submission Deadline: April 29,2019

Entry Fee: $45-65

From choosing their judges to creating opportunities, Scriptapalooza’s top priority has always been the writer. Scriptapalooza surround themselves with reputable and successful companies, including the many producers, literary agents, and managers who read your scripts. Scriptapalooza’s past winners have won Emmys, been signed by agents, managers, had their scripts optioned, and even made into movies. But the most important prize of all is this: Scriptapalooza will promote, pitch, and push the Semifinalists and higher for a full year. No other competition in the world does that.

Trackingb.com Screenplay/TV Contests

Submission Deadline: April 29,2019 (TV), October 9,2019 (Film)

Entry Fee: $115 (TV), $95-125 (Film)

TrackingB doesn’t offer any of the usual screenplay contest smoke and mirror. No coverage from someone being paid $10 per script (please ask Mom). No cash (please ask Grandma) or writing clinics from gurus who have never sold a screenplay (Dad?).  What TrackingB winners do receive is industry access and industry reads. Three finalists will be promoted on trackingb.com to a community of entertainment industry insiders and will also be read by each member of TrackingB’s esteemed judging panel who will pick an overall winner.  Five honorable mentions will also be selected to receive exposure on trackingb.com.

StoryPros Awards Contest

Submission Deadline: April 30, 2019

Entry Fee: $40-60

The object of the StoryPros Awards Contest is to find the best genre scripts. Genre scripts are bought and produced more than 10 to 1 over the serious drama, tentpole or quirky scripts that usually win screenplay contests. This contest pits genre scripts only against scripts within their genre and seeks to identify and promote to the industry the very best in each genre -- in other words, the scripts with the very best chances in the marketplace.

CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program

Submission Date: May 1,2019

Entry Fee: Free

The primary focus of the CBS Writers Mentoring Program is to provide access and opportunities for talented and motivated diverse writers. Aspiring diverse writers with a strong desire to write for CBS television series are encouraged to apply. You must be 21 or older to be eligible. All completed application materials must be received between March 1, 2019 and May 1, 2019. Any submissions received before March 1st or after May 1st, 2019 will not be considered. No hand delivered submissions will be accepted. Finalists will be notified in mid-September 2019 (or such later date as may be determined by CBS). The program is scheduled to begin in October 2019 and continues through April 2020. CBS reserves the right to adjust program schedules as necessary.

Script Pipeline Writing Competition

Submission Deadline: May 1,2019

Entry Fee: $65

Now in its 17th year, the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition seeks talented writers to connect with production companies, agencies, and managers. As one of the longest-running screenplay contests, they focus specifically on finding writers representation, supporting diverse voices, championing marketable, unique storytelling, and pushing more original projects into production.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

Submission Deadline: May 1,2019

Entry Fee: $45-85

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. Each year, the Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters. To enter, submit a feature length screenplay and entry fee via the online application when the competition is open for submissions. Fellowship winners are invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars and expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the Fellowship year.

NBC Writers on the Verge

Submission Deadline: Opens May 2019

Entry Fee: N/A

Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. They are looking for writers who are “almost there” but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. They particularly encourage writers of diverse backgrounds to apply. The program will consist of two-night classes, which will typically be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (7-10pm), weekly at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA, from October-January. Once accepted, students must attend all classes and turn in all written assignments.

Table Read My Screenplay

Submission Deadline: May 2, 2019

Entry Fee: $29-59

The Table Read My Screenplay – Screenplay Contest will help you to propel your screenwriting career forward with a transformative Table Read showcase experience, an opportunity to confidently pitch to a range of over 200 industry professionals with the title of “Grand Prize Winner” at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Pitch Festival, and a support mechanism for layering a long-term career with an invitation to be a part of the elite ISA Development Slate.

Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition

Date: March 29-May 15, 2019

Entry Fee: $35-70

At AFF, story comes first above all else. AFF fully acknowledge the hard work and passion you put into your script and, rest assured, your story is in good hands. AFF’s team of readers are an integral part of the AFF family and their contribution over the past 25 years have helped launch the careers of many aspiring writers. AFF readers within the Screenplay Competition are recruited through referrals from individuals closely associated with AFF and undergo a rigorous screening process. Once approved, readers are given strict guidelines and closely monitored throughout the duration of their participation.  All readers are required to provide constructive notes for each script which will later be made available to all entrants at no additional cost.  Most importantly, they are also required to read each script in its entirety to give full consideration which each writer deserves.

Warner Bros. Writers Workshop

Submission Deadline: May 1, -May 31, 2019

Entry Fee: N/A

For over 40 years, the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop has been the premiere writing program for new writers looking to start and further their career in the world of television. Every year, the Workshop selects up to eight participants out of more than 2,500 submissions and exposes them to Warner Bros. Television’s top writers and executives, all with the goal of earning them a staff position on a Warner Bros.-produced television show.

Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition

Submission Deadline: May 31,2019

Entry Fee: $75

The Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition leverages one of the oldest and largest film festivals in the U.S. Each year, NashFilm draws hundreds of filmmakers, musicians and industry to ten days of films, panels, red carpet events, live music showcases and parties. NashFilm is an Academy® Award Qualifying Festival in three short film categories. For screenwriters, NashFilm offers 8 categories in feature, short and teleplay lengths with both cash and prizes including the fact that all semifinalists and finalists win festival passes! That’s not a discount on a pass but the whole pass!

Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Submission Date: July 23,2019

Entry Fee: $45-75

Big Break is an annual, international feature and television screenwriting contest designed to launch the careers of aspiring writers. Big Break rewards screenwriters with over $80,000 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Los Angeles for a series of A-list executive meetings. Winners and finalists alike have had their screenplays optioned and produced and have secured high-profile representation as well as lucrative writing deals. Since its inception in 1999, Big Break has awarded screenwriters with over $600,000 in cash and prizes and invaluable industry exposure. A panel of notable industry professionals conducts the final judging. Big Break’s objective is to discover talented screenwriters and help them find success in today’s filmmaking market.

Cynosure Screenwriting Awards

Submission Date: March 24- July 28,2019

Entry Fee: $50-75

The Cynosure Screenwriting Awards seek to expand the scope of mainstream cinema by recognizing and rewarding screenplays in two distinct categories: screenplays which feature compelling female protagonists; and screenplays that showcase diversity (ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc.).   There will be one $5000 Grand Prize winner. This winner can come from either category. Additionally, the Grand Prize Winner will receive a Cynosure Mentorship - a meeting with an established Hollywood Producer, Agent or Manager. 

Slamdance Screenplay Competition

Submission Deadline: July 29,2019

Entry Fee: $35-75

The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging writing talent. Slamdance welcomes screenplays in every genre, on any topic, from anywhere in the world. A unique feature of the competition is providing constructive feedback for every entrant. In addition to this, Slamdance also offers a more intensive coverage service for a supplementary fee. Now in their 23rd year, they have a history of highlighting talented, independent screenwriters and introducing them to the entertainment industry. Slamdance readers approach scripts differently, but in general Slamdance is looking for originality and promise in a work. As an organization, Slamdance strives to foster an independent spirit among new writers and the filmmaking community. The Slamdance Screenplay Competition has consistently linked finalists work to management representation, option and production agreements. Slamdance has established a strong track record through our competition successes and are committed to championing outstanding new work.

Screenplay Festival

Submission Deadline: April 30-July 31,2019

Entry Fee: $35-50

By accepting all submitted screenplays and judging them based upon their quality -- not their source or their standardized formatting or the quality of the brads holding them together -- Screenplay Festival looks to give undiscovered screenwriters an opportunity to rise above the crowd. The competition’s categories ensure that a truly wonderful script is not punished or ignored because it is in a genre that does not usually win awards. 

Sundance Screenwriters Lab

Submission Deadline: Eligibility begins in April 2019

Entry Fee: N/A

The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program (FFP) advances original storytelling from distinctive voices by supporting independent filmmakers from development through distribution of their feature projects. The program was established over 30 years ago, responding to the shared conviction that independent film can catalyze far-reaching artistic and cultural impact. Through Labs, mentorship, grants, and year-round customized strategic support, they are committed to fostering self-expression, risk-taking, collaboration, and community. 

ScreenCraft

Submission Deadline: Varies depending on genre

Entry Fee: $49-69

ScreenCraft’s screenwriting competitions have secured managers and agents for screenwriters around the world. Are you looking for the best screenplay contests to connect you with Hollywood executives? ScreenCraft handpick the managers, agents and producers that are the right fit for the winning screenwriters and foster meaningful relationships with entertainment industry executives. By focusing each contest on a specific genre or format, Screencraft eliminates any inherent genre bias that other major screenwriting competitions may have.

Shore Scripts

Submission Deadline: Varies depending on genre

Entry Fee: $40-60

Shore Scripts focus is to discover the best new screenwriting talent from around the world. 19 Oscar & Bafta Winning judges will read the final round of submissions. Each writer that enters will receive a Free 20-page booklet on How to Get Your Screenplay Produced. They’ve helped 60+ writers gain representation, option, sell and have their screenplays produced. Shore Scripts most recent success story is setting up Feature Winner Louis Ackerman's thriller script, Flesh & Blood, with industry roster company, Blumhouse. The film is currently screening on Hulu.

American Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest

Submission Date: Expired

Entry Fee: N/A

The mission of the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest is to find and promote new and innovative voices in cinema. Every script is read closely by a select handful of professional readers, and Francis Ford Coppola selects a grand prize–winner from among the top ten finalists. The grand prize–winner receives a cash prize, and the scripts of all top ten finalists are sent by Zoetrope to leading production companies and talent agencies for consideration.

BlueCat Screenplay Competition

Submission Date: Expired

Entry Fee: $35-80

Founded in 1998 by award-winning writer Gordy Hoffman, BlueCat has supported thousands of screenwriters through written analysis provided to all entrants, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in the film and television industry. BlueCat's alumni include: Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners, Papillon), Fergal Rock (Departures), Ana Lily Amirpour (CAA), won Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival for The Bad Batch, and Ashleigh Powell (The Nutcracker and the Four Realms).

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Submission Date: Expired

Entry Fee: $30-60

The Cinequest Screenplay Competition empowers global screenwriters through discovery, recognition, and opportunity. Cinequest loves writers and welcome you to submit your screenplay or teleplay to their renowned competition. The Top 10 Finalists receive many empowering benefits including: passes to the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival and the exclusive Writers Celebration, plus exposure to leading industry players and inspiring luminaries.

Disney | ABC Writing Program

Submission Date: February

Entry Fee: N/A

The twelve-month Program begins in February and ends in January of the following year. Please note that time frames are subject to change. For at least the first month of the Program, writers participate in a curriculum designed to better prepare them for staffing consideration. Past activities have included: workshops led by veteran television writers, producers and Program alumni; improvisational workshops; and networking mixers with executives. The Program also provides engagement with executives, producers and literary representatives, designed to facilitate relationships that can prove invaluable in developing a television writing career. Writers become employees of Disney│ABC Television Group (DATG) and will be paid a weekly salary of $961.54 ($50,000 annualized) plus any applicable benefits.

Film Independent Screenwriting Lab

Submission Date: Expired

Entry Fee: $45-65

The Screenwriting Lab is a five-week workshop beginning in May, designed to provide individualized story and career development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay. Each Screenwriting Fellow will be paired with a Creative Advisor, with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to further develop their project over the course of the program. The Screenwriting Lab also helps to further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to film industry veterans who can offer guidance on both the craft and business of screenwriting. 

Fresh Voices Original Screenplay Competition

Submission Deadline: Expired

Entry Fee: $45-70

Fresh Voices is a Hollywood based consultancy for screenwriters. Their annual screenplay contest and development services are designed to identify, nurture and bring to market the most promising and exciting new talent, remarkable storytellers, and visionary filmmakers of tomorrow. Fresh Voices professional screenplay development services are geared to prepare emerging screenwriters to submit their material to the industry with confidence. Fresh Voices emphasis is on guiding the writer to discover and hone their own unique voice. As a result, Fresh Voices has effectively and successfully helped dozens of screenwriters, just like you, launch their careers.

Fox Writers Lab

Submission Deadline: Expired

Entry Fee: N/A

The Fox Writers Lab is a highly selective initiative designed to nurture experienced writers who have diverse voices, backgrounds, and life experiences. They are looking for fearless storytellers who will create a strong pipeline of well-rounded talent for potential staffing on Fox television shows, films, and other Fox Entertainment properties. The FWL initiative offers trained writers an immersive four-month curriculum focused on developing original material, honing writing skills, and exploring the business of media and entertainment. From eight (8) chosen writers, one writer will be named the 2018 FWL Fellow and will receive a blind script deal with Fox Broadcasting Company.

HBO Access Writing Fellowship

Submission Deadline: Expired

Entry Fee: Free

The HBO Access® Writing Fellowship provides mentorship for up to 8 diverse, emerging storytellers. Following a one-week intensive of master classes, participants are immersed in 8 months of mentoring by HBO creative executives, as each participant develops a script suitable for HBO® or Cinemax®.

ISA Fast Track Fellowship

Submission Deadline: Expired

Entry Fee: $35-110

The ISA Fast Track Fellowship gives two undiscovered screenwriters a direct line to meet with and be mentored by eight top executives in Los Angeles. ISA Fast Track will fly you to LA and provide you the experience of a lifetime by connecting you to top industry contacts seeking to work with writers like you. The two Fellows will also immediately be invited onto the ISA Development Slate and work directly with the ISA Development Team for an entire year to Fast Track their careers.

Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays

Submission Deadline: Expired

Entry Fee: N/A

Since its inaugural year in 2006, the Kairos Prize has helped to open doors for its winners as they have gone on to sign with top agencies and have their scripts optioned and produced. The prize, now in its 12th season, has witnessed several winning scripts head into production. 2012 alone saw the completion of principal photography for 2 previous winners, both are set for release by year’s end. Coupled with the fact that another one is currently in the final stages of pre-production and 2 others are on the same path, the Kairos Prize is quickly becoming one of the most successful screenwriting competitions (faith-based or secular) with an exceedingly high winner to production ratio. The future of the Kairos Prize is bright as we continue in our efforts to bring scripts to Hollywood that result in a greater increase in either man’s love or understanding of God.

Launch Pad

Submission Deadline: N/A

Entry Fee: $65-95

From the start, the Launch Pad competition has leveraged deep relationships with Hollywood’s top agents, managers, producers, and executives and consistently assembled a “who’s who” panel of 25 judges for each competition. This year is no exception, with judges participating from Paradigm, APA, Energy Entertainment, Circle of Confusion, Di Novi Pictures, Bellevue, and many more.

Nickelodeon Writing Program

Submission Deadline: Expired

Entry Fee: N/A

Nickelodeon's Writing Program offers aspiring television writers from around the globe, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the opportunity to hone their skills while writing for our live action and animated shows. Participants will have hands-on interaction with executives writing spec scripts and pitching story ideas. The Program's General Track, developed to broaden Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, provides a salaried position for up to one year (for Domestic writers) and up to six months (for International writers). The Preschool Track (Domestic writers only, for up to 6 months) is available for writers specifically interested in writing and/or creating shows for the Nick Jr. demographic.

Universal Writers Program

Submission Deadline: Expired

Entry Fee: Free

The Universal Writers Program identifies up-and-coming and experienced screenwriters with unique points of view that build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of audiences. The only feature film program sanctioned by the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), the Program develops storytellers who organically incorporate multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting.

WeScreenplay International Screenplay Competition

Submission Deadline: May 18th, 2018

Entry Fee: $55-85

The WeScreenplay Feature Competition provides every entry with written feedback from its first-round judge. WeScreenplay competitions are focused on helping writers improve their craft and providing screenwriters exposure to take the next step in their careers. The final round of judging will be completed by the best readers, guest jurors, and at least one industry member. Judging will be based on all aspects that make stories great. Budget and marketability will not be considered for this contest.

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