40 Best Screenwriting Contests & Fellowships To Enter In 2024 [RANKED!]

The ultimate list of screenwriting contests and fellowships that'll kickstart your career.

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by Script Reader Pro in Best Screenwriting Contests
January 17, 2024 133 comments
best screenwriting contests

40 best screenwriting contests and fellowships to enter in 2024.

Screenwriting contests and fellowships can be something of a confusing minefield for writers. Practically all of them claim to offer “industry access,” “life-changing careers,” etc. but do they really? Are they worth the money? Are they even legit?

But let’s say you want to enter one, how do you know which are the very best screenwriting competitions and fellowships to spend your cash on? Should you go for the big players like the Nicholl, or smaller less well-known fare?

Below you’ll find the ultimate, no b.s. list of the best screenplay contests and best screenwriting fellowships to enter in 2024—only those that deliver what they promise: real industry access.

Before we get to the list—and the nuts and bolts of how, where and when to enter—let’s do a brief rundown of the pros and cons of entering screenwriting competitions and fellowships.

How to use this best screenwriting fellowships and contests list.

Rather than spending a small fortune on blasting your screenplay off to dozens of script competitions, do some research first and be super-selective on which ones you enter.

Let’s say you’ve written a slasher horror spec. Chances are, no matter how good the script, it’s unlikely to place highly in the Nicholl Fellowship, so entering would more than likely be a waste of time and money.

On the other hand, your first port of call should be competitions that have had a certain amount of horror screenplay winners, or have a specific horror category, such as ScreenCraft or Slamdance.

Find out how often your screenplay’s genre has actually done well in a particular screenplay competition and you’ll be giving yourself at a far higher chance of success.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the list. It’s ranked from #1 to #40 according to kudos and effectiveness at kickstarting writing careers, with #1 being the best.

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best screenwriting contests

#1. Academy Nicholl Fellowship.

best screenwriting contestsOverview. Without doubt, the Nicholls Fellowship is the most prestigious and highly coveted screenplay award out there. Winners of this are pretty much guaranteed a major helping hand into the industry. Conversely, it’s also one of the toughest to do well in. Also, as hinted at by its Oscar association, it does favor drama and more “high-brow” content over anything else.

Prizes/opportunities. Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded each year to promising new screenwriters.

Judges. They’re a mix of industry professionals who are and aren’t members of the Academy and the Academy Nicholl Committee, depending on which round you reach.

What can I submit? Feature script.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

Academy Nicholl Fellowship is one of the best screenwriting contests for… kick-starting drama writers’ careers. Win this and prepare for your phone to melt from all the industry heat.

Check out the Academy Nicholl Fellowship >>

#2. ScreenCraft Writing Competitions.

best screenwriting contests Overview. What makes ScreenCraft one of the best screenwriting contests around is that they offer a wide range of genre-specific competitions to choose from. These include Action/Adventure, Drama, Comedy, Horror, Family, True Story, and more, meaning the prizes and readers are much more focused and in tune with the writers’ sensibilities and each Hollywood jury is tailored to the genre.

Prizes/opportunities. Each ScreenCraft genre-specific script contest is unique, but all of them feature cash prizes and career-launching introductions to entertainment industry professionals including managers, agents, studio executives and award-winning filmmakers and TV showrunners.

Judges. First-rate film and television producers, writers, creative execs such as Meg LeFauve (Captain Marvel), Stephany Folsom (Toy Story 4), and Damon Lindelof (Watchmen).

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short, animation, pitch, novel, short story, stage play.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Rotates throughout the year, so sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

ScreenCraft Screenplay Competitions are some of the best for… launching careers of emerging screenwriters. Other contests further down this list may be “bigger” but you stand more chance of success with ScreenCraft and past winners have gone on to sign with agents at CAA, WME, UTA, etc. and write for Netflix, Blumhouse, CBS, etc.

Check out Screencraft’s Screenplay Contests >>

#3. Austin Film Festival Screenplay Contest.

best screenwriting contestsOverview. The AFF has been running for around 30 years, which makes it one of the longest-standing and most highly respected contests out there.

Prizes/opportunities. Grand prize winner receives $5000 among various other awards and festival perks.

Judges. Judges are professional screenwriters, executive producers, show runners.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short, scripted digital series, stage play, 90-second pitch, fiction podcast.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Early – March 22, 2024
Regular – April 19, 2024
Late – May 24, 2024

AFF is one of the best screenwriting contests for… gaining representation from an agent or manager.

Check out the Austin Film Festival contest >>

best screenwriting competitions#4. Universal Writers Programs.

Overview. In 2017 Universal set up not one, but three programs for aspiring screenwriters: a Writers Lab for experienced and up-and-coming writers, Animation Program for animated film and TV writers, and Global Program for UK writers.

Prizes/opportunities. Each program is a one-year, full-time gig in which you’ll be paid $75,000 to develop your work with execs and producers and hopefully go on to work for Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG).

Judges. UFEG and Working Title execs, producers, and “professional evaluators.”

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

Universal Programs are some of the best screenwriting contests for… a high chance of getting hired by a major studio at the end of the lab.

Check out the Universal Programs >>

#5. Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest.

best screenwriting competitionsOverview. This is an annual, international feature and television screenwriting contest designed to launch the careers of aspiring writers, hosted by Final Draft.

Prizes/opportunities.The Big Break script writing contest rewards winners with $10,000 in cash and other prizes, including a trip to Los Angeles and meetings with A-list managers, producers and execs.

Judges. Execs and producers such as Jeff Portnoy (Bellevue Productions), Gary King (Paramount), and Lauren Deitch (Netflix).

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA. Sign up to their mailing list for updates.

Big Break is one of the best screenwriting contests for… getting screenplays optioned, produced and securing high-profile representation.

Check out the Big Break Screenwriting Contest >>

#6. PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.

best screenwriting contests Overview. Over the past ten years the PAGE Awards screenwriting contest has become widely recognized as one of the most important sources for new writing talent within the Hollywood community and worldwide.

Prizes/opportunities. A whopping $25,000 goes to the Grand Prize winner, but it’s not about the money, right? It’s about the opportunities that come with being a finalist—securing representation, landing writing assignments, getting staffed on TV shows, etc.

Judges. Each year dozens of top producers, agents, and development execs judge the contest and read the winning screenplays.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? Yes, for an extra fee.

Submission deadlines.
Regular – February 15, 2024
Late – March 15, 2024
Last minute – April 15, 2024

The PAGE Awards are one of the best screenwriting contests for… having co-sponsors like InkTip, TV Writers Vault, and Roadmap Writers actively promote your winning script, giving you a shot at the ultimate prize: the chance to get a screenplay produced.

Check out the PAGE International Screenplay Awards >>

#7. American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition.

best screenwriting competitionsOverview. Francis Ford Coppola’s motion picture production company, Zoetrope, runs a highly-respected annual screenplay competition (American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition) and short fiction contest (All-Story Short Stories Competition).

Prizes/opportunities. Winners receive a cash prize, plus outstanding Hollywood industry exposure. Indeed, the mission of the company is to “find and promote new and innovative voices in cinema.”

Judges. Professional readers review each entry, and Mr. Coppola himself helps select a winner from ten finalists.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short story, one-act play.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

American Zoetrope is one of the best screenplay competitions for… having your script read by top production companies and talent agencies, as all ten finalists have their scripts forwarded by Zoetrope.

Check out the American Zoetrope screenplay contest >>

#8. ISA Fast Track Fellowship.

best screenwriting competitionsOverview. The ISA Fast Track Fellowship is one of the leading screenwriting fellowships in the world. Past fellows have signed with management companies, had their scripts optioned and signed with major agencies like ICM, Paradigm and CAA.

Prizes/opportunities. Two winners meet with eight industry players and are receive a one-year placement onto the ISA Development Slate in which ISA execs champion their projects to their industry partners.

Judges. ISA mentors have included writers, directors, producers and execs from The Marksman, Ted Lasso, Whiplash, etc.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Final – February 15, 2024

The ISA Fellowship is one of the best screenwriting competitions for… networking with industry pros and getting the opportunity to pitch them projects.

Check out The ISA Fast Track Fellowship >>

#9. Trackingb Screenwriting Contest.

best screenwriting competitionsOverview. Trackingb is a little different from your average screenplay contest in that they don’t offer a cash prize. As they say on their site, “We don’t offer any of the usual screenplay contest smoke and mirrors… What our winners do receive is: INDUSTRY ACCESS AND INDUSTRY READS.”

Prizes/opportunities. Three winners each receive promotion to the Trackingb community of industry insiders, as well as a read by their judging panel who will pick an overall winner.  Five honorable mentions will also be selected to receive exposure on Trackingb.

Judges. VPs, literary managers, creative execs galore.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Early – June 30, 2024
Late – August 19, 2024
Really late – October 1, 2024

Trackingb is one of the best screenwriting contests for… a no bs approach to getting repped. It simply does what it says it does—gives writers the inside track to a career in screenwriting.

Check out the Trackingb Screenplay Competition >>

#10. Scriptapalooza Script Writing Competition.

best screenwriting contestsOverview. Past winners have won Emmys, been signed by agents, managers, had their scripts optioned and made into movies.

Prizes/opportunities. Grand prize winner receives $10,000, plus Scriptapalooza gives the semifinalists and higher access to over 150 producers, managers and agents that are actively looking for material for an entire year.

Judges. According to the site, “Every script that is entered into Scriptapalooza is read by either a producer, manager or agent. We do not use ‘readers’ or ‘regular people’ because they cannot do anything with your script. We go right to the source—a producer, manager or agent, they can make a difference, they can option your script, buy it, set-up a meeting or go straight to the studio with it.”

What can I submit? Feature script, short.

Will I get notes? Yes, for an extra fee.

Submission deadlines.
Late – February 5, 2024
Final – March 4, 2024
Last minute – April 8, 2024

Scriptapalooza is one of the best screenwriting contests for… promoting, pitching, and pushing semifinalists and higher for a full year.

Check out the Scriptapalooza Script Writing Competition >>

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#11. Slamdance Screenplay Competition.

best screenwriting contestsOverview. Now over two decades old, Slamdance has a history of highlighting talented, independent screenwriters and introducing them to the entertainment industry. On the site they say they’re looking for ”scripts that take risks, refuse compromise, and go places where Hollywood hacks fear to tread.”

Prizes/opportunities. Grand prize winner receives $10,000, festival passes for Slamdance Film Festival, Slamdance Screenplay Mentorship Award, and more.

Judges. Key figures from the world of independent film, such as filmmakers, producers, actors, directors, etc.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? Yes, but just a paragraph. More in-depth coverage is available for an additional fee.

Submission deadlines.
Early – April 4, 2024
Regular – June 6, 2024
Late – July 18, 2024
Final – July 24, 2024

Slamdance is one of the best screenwriting contests for… horror/thriller writers as the contest prioritizes these genres for consideration.

Check out the Slamdance Screenplay Contest >>

#12. Script Pipeline Screenwriting and TV Writing Competition.

best scriptwriting competitionsOverview. Script Pipeline claims to have helped create over $8 million in screenplay and TV pilot spec sales since its birth in 1999, and they currently offer a Feature Screenplay Contest, TV Writing Contest and Pitch Contest.

Prizes/opportunities. Grand prize winner receives $20,000, personal introductions to managers, producers, agents, directors searching for new projects and writers. Plus, long-term script circulation and consultations with Script Pipeline’s development team.

Judges. All judges are made up of Script Pipeline development execs and senior-level staff.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, pitch.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Early – March 1, 2024
Regular – May 1, 2024

Script Pipeline is one of the best screenwriting contests for… exposure to approximately 200 qualified industry contacts and long-term script development.

Check out the Script Pipeline Competition >>

#13. Launch Pad Screenwriting Competition.

best screenwriting competitionsOverview. The website boasts that “The Launch Pad Competitions have led to more signings, success stories, and careers than any other screenwriting competition.”

Prizes/opportunities. At least one writer’s script will be selected for development, and at least one writer will be selected for representation and entry to the Launch Pad Mentorship Program. The top 10 writers are invited to meet with and pitch industry professionals from companies such as Lit Entertainment, MGM, Scott Free, etc.

Judges. Amanda Marshall (independent producer), Chris Tsui (development exec), Jasper Grey (manager and producer) and more.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, novel.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

Launch Pad is one of the best screenplay competitions for… those looking for a real chance to have their work shared with industry pros. While many contests on this list advocate just their finalists, Launch Pad champions their top 100 writers—helping them connect with industry professionals.

Check out Launchpad Screenwriting Competition >>

#14. BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

best screenwriting contestsOverview. BlueCat is a very well-respected screenplay competition that has a great track record of helping new writers get their careers started.

Prizes/opportunities. Cash prizes range from $2,000 to $7,500.

Judges. We couldn’t find any info on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

>Will I get notes? Yes, every script entered receives a one-page written analysis.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. The official 2023 deadline was back in December but there is a resubmission deadline (if you already entered on time) which is February 18th, 2024. Their Facebook and X links on the site don’t work, but try the LinkedIn one for updates.

BlueCat is one of the top screenwriting contests for… large cash prizes, plus winners and finalists signing with agencies like CAA and UTA.

Check out the BlueCat screenplay competition >>

#15. CineStory Fellowship Contest.

best script writing competitionsOverview. CineStory runs a paid Feature Retreat and a TV Retreat for screenwriters and TV writers. In order to be eligible you must be a winner or finalist in the Fellowship Contest.

Prizes/opportunities. Just one feature writer and one TV writer will receive $7,000 – 10,000, an all-expenses paid spot at the Feature or TV Retreat, and a 12-month mentorship with two professional screenwriters.

Judges. We couldn’t find any info on the site other than “working Hollywood professionals. Each retreat brings a mix of executives, pro writers, directors, agents, managers and producers together.”

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Early – February 19, 2024
Regular – March 24, 2024
Late – April 21, 2024
Extended – May 19, 2024

CineStory is one of the best screenwriting contests for… getting scripts requests from the likes of Paradigm, The Lisa Callamaro Agency, Energy Entertainment etc.

Check out the CineStory Fellowship >>

#16. Creative World Awards Screenwriting Contest.

best script writing competitionsOverview. CWA is an international screenwriting contest that’s built relationships with some of the industry’s most recognized companies—all of whom are looking for fresh material.

Prizes/opportunities. The Grand Prize winner receives $3,000 plus the opportunity to have their script produced as a short film.

Judges. We couldn’t find any info on the site other than “industry professionals.”

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? Yes, for an additional fee.

Submission deadlines.
Final Entry by January 31, 2024 (2024 dates TBA.)

CWA is one of the best screenwriting contests for… working with winning writers and championing their scripts by passing them along to production companies.

Check out the CWA screenwriting contest >>

#17. The Black List Annual Lab.

how to sell a screenplay onlineOverview. The Black List has grown exponentially since its inception as an insider Hollywood list, to an all-encompassing platform where new writers go to get discovered.

Prizes/opportunities. The Annual Lab gives twelve aspiring screenwriters the chance to join an intensive week-long workshop with professional writers to develop their scripts. Six are chosen for the Projects Lab (indie filmmaker focused) and six for the Writers Lab (studio spec focused).

Judges. We couldn’t find any info on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Final – July 1, 2024

The Black List Lab is one of the best screenwriting contests for… developing a feature film script during an intensive period with the help of industry pros.

Check out the Black List Annual Lab >>

#18. Shore Scripts Screenplay Contests.

best script writing competitionsOverview. Shore Scripts aim is to discover and develop new writing talent through their script development fund, short film fund and script contests.

Prizes/opportunities. $5,000 – $500 in prize money, mentorships, general meetings, call with writer development team, etc.

Judges. The Shore Scripts roster of judges includes a best-selling author, independent producer, actress, executive producer and more.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Early – June 24, 2024
Regular – July 31, 2024
Final – August 30, 2024

Shore Scripts contests are some of the best for… helping aspiring writers become working writers. Many entrants go on to gain representation and write for Netflix, Paramount, Blumhouse, Hulu, etc.

Check out the Shore Scripts Screenplay Contests >>

#19. Table Read My Screenplay Screenplay Competition.

best script writing competitionsOverview. As we’ve said before a table read is one of the best ways to gain insight into your script and know exactly how to improve it. This is how professional writers tighten their stories, so why shouldn’t you? This contest will give you the chance to do just that.

Prizes/opportunities. Grand Prize winner receives $1,000 cash prize, table read with an experienced director and actors in front of a live audience online, consideration for development through ISA’s Development Team and more.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Regular – February 22, 2024
Final – March 28, 2024

Table Read My Screenplay is one of the best screenwriting contests for… having a professional table read of your script. The experience will be invaluable.

Check out the Table Read My Screenplay Competition >>

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#20. The Script Lab Screenplay Contest.

best screenwriting contestsOverview. Past winners have signed with Hollywood managers and optioned scripts to producers. The unique thing about this contest, though, is that it’s one of the only free screenplay contests out there.

Prizes/opportunities. Three winners receive $50 – $500, distribution to their network of nearly one thousand industry professionals, career consultation session with Coverfly, and other perks.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? Yes, for a fee.

Submission deadlines.
Regular – January 31, 2024

Script Lab is one of the best screenplay competitions for… free entry! There aren’t many free screenwriting contests and this is the only one of any repute.

Check out the Script Lab Screenplay Contest >>

#21. Save the Cat! Screenplay Challenge.

best screenwriting websitesOverview. Their premise is simple: “A screenplay competition that uses the same language the writer, the reader and the decision makers use.” The contest’s USP is that every entry receives written feedback “grounded in story structure, not subjective opinion.”

Prizes/opportunities. An all-expenses paid trip to LA, live table read, meetings with judges, one year Save the Cat! software subscription.

Judges. Film and television producers, writers, creative execs, managers.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? Yes, included with every submission.

Submission deadlines.
Regular – February 4, 2024
Late – March 3, 2024
Extended – April 14, 2024

Save the Cat! is one of the best screenwriting competitions for… a low-risk entry fee, seeing as you get a set of structure-focused notes included from a Save the Cat! reader.

Check out Save the Cat! Screenplay Challenge >>

#22. The Golden Script Competition.

best screenplay competitionsOverview. The Golden Script Competition is a yearly international competition that MovieBytes called one of the best screenwriting contests in 2023 and 2024.

Prizes/opportunities. Get mentored by the producer of Black Swan and have your script read by 60+ Oscar and BAFTA nominated agencies and production companies.

Judges. Professional writers and producers, mainly from Europe.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Final – March 21, 2024

The Golden Script is one of the best screenwriting contests for… getting promoted on the “Golden List”— a list of the best unproduced scripts that they circulate to producers and directors.

Check out The Golden Script Competition >>

#23. Nantucket Film Festival.

best screenplay competitionsOverview. The NFF has to be one of the world’s finest locations for a film/screenwriting festival, on the beautiful island of Nantucket in Massachusetts. The festival is also host to the Tony Cox Screenwriting Competition.

Prizes/opportunities. Cash prizes, an all expenses paid month-­long stay at the exclusive Almanack Screenwriters’ colony on Nantucket, participation in a Mentor’s Brunch with screenwriters such as Noah Baumbach, Nancy Meyers and Robert Towne.

Judges. Past screenplay jurors include Bobby and Peter Farrelly, Lili Taylor, Tom McCarthy and Stanley Tucci.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? Yes, for an extra fee.

Submission deadlines.
Final – February 15, 2024
Extended – March 7, 2024

Nantucket Film Festival is one of the best scriptwriting contests for… furthering your screenwriting career while also having a break from the daily grind by escaping to a beautiful island.

Check out the Nantucket Film Festival >>

#24. Roadmap Writers Top Tier Competition.

best screenplay competitionsOverview. Despite only being around for six years, Roadmap Writers has helped over 300 writers gain representation by partnering with top tier industry professionals. It’s a little unclear on the site what the difference is between the “Jumpstart” contest and the “Top Tier” one, other than only the latter is currently open for submissions.

Prizes/opportunities. Winners receive general meetings with film and TV execs (virtual), career advice, pitch prep sessions, Roadmap endorsed personalized marketing queries and more.

Judges. Working industry professionals, including execs and reps.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? Yes, for an extra fee.

Submission deadlines.
Early – January 26, 2024
Regular – February 23, 2024
Late – March 29, 2024

Roadmap Writers Top Tier is one of the best screenwriting contests for… writers who want industry exposure without having to win! Roadmap markets high-scoring scripts no matter where they place.

Check out Roadmap Writers >>

#25. Raindance Film Festival Script Competition.

best screenplay competitionsOverview. A well-known UK-based film festival with a screenwriting contest attached.

Prizes/opportunities. The contest winner from each category receives a place on the 10-week Raindance Script Fellowship Program, in which they’ll be able to develop their craft with a Raindance Film School tutor. All finalists are considered for a production proposal from Raindance Raw Talent.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Late – February 5, 2024
Extended – March 4, 2024

Raindance is one of the best screenplay contests for… British writers based in or near London looking to follow in the footsteps of Christopher Nolan, Guy Ritchie,  Andrea Arnold, Sacha Baron Cohen, etc. all of whom attended Raindance.

Check out Raindance Film Festival Screenwriting Competition >>

#26. Finish Line Script Competition.

best screenwriting contests Overview. Finish Line is set up to follow the studio development process where a script is submitted, the writer receives notes, and then rewrites and resubmits. It’s the only contest around to offer unlimited resubmissions at no extra charge.

Prizes/opportunities. Grand prize winner receives $10,000 in cash and other prizes, including meetings with industry players and a filmed table read.

Judges. On the site it says, “40+ high-level, well-connected international mentors in film & television.”

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? Yes, for an extra fee.

Submission deadlines.
Early – January 31, 2024
Regular – March 4, 2024
Late – May 15, 2024

Finish Line is one of the best screenwriting contests for… being writer-friendly with their free resubmission process—increasing your chances of winning along the way.

Check out the Finish Line Script Competition >>

best screenwriting contests#27. Scriptation Showcase Script Competition.

Overview. Scriptation is an Emmy®-winning app used on film and TV productions, and their screenwriting contest directly connects emerging writers with industry talent.

Prizes/opportunities. Cash prize of $1,000, one-year Scriptation Showcase and Industry Pro Access, virtual meeting with professional film and TV writers, one-on-one meeting with exec.

Judges. All entries are read by script readers and all finalists are read by industry professionals, including managers, execs and writers.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short.

Will I get notes? Yes.

Submission deadlines.
Regular – February 11, 2024
Final – March 10, 2024

Scriptation is one of the best screenwriting contests for… making new writers’ work accessible to the industry, plus providing annotated feedback on each entry “so you can see what the reader was thinking when they were thinking it.”

Check out the Scriptation Showcase Script Competition >>

#28. ATX TV Festival Pitch Competition.

best screenplay contestsOverview. Pitch your television show idea to industry professionals online for the contest, and/or enter the Live Pitch Competition at this year’s ATX TV Festival in Austin, Texas.

Prizes/opportunities. Receive mentoring from industry professionals on your pitch and how to navigate a writers’ room and take meetings.

Judges. TV writers, executives, and showrunners.

What can I submit? A pitch for an original TV show.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Late – January 19, 2024

ATX is one of the best screenwriting contests for… TV writers looking to develop an original show.

Check out the ATX TV Festival Pitch Competition >>

#29. Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

best screenplay contestsOverview. The Screenwriters Lab gives eight new screenwriters the opportunity to rehearse, shoot and edit key scenes from their scripts with creative advisors and a production crew. This is done via the month-long Lab and the best films have a chance to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

Prizes/opportunities. The Screenwriting Lab is accessible by invitation only. According to the site “application to the development track is the best way to put your project into the pipeline of eventual consideration for the Screenwriters Lab.”

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

Sundance is one of the best screenwriting contests for… writers who enjoy experimental screenwriting and avant-garde filmmaking. If you like to write scripts that stick rigidly to John Yorke’s 5-act structure or the Save the Cat! beat sheet, this probably isn’t the program for you.

Check out the Sundance Screenwriters Lab >>

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#30. Stowe Story Labs.

best screenplay contestsOverview. Stowe Story Labs has been running for over ten years, helping screenwriters and filmmakers develop their skills and projects through labs, mentoring, retreats and other writing programs.

Prizes/opportunities. The Labs are intensive workshops with focused table reads, pitching sessions, and mentoring.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Final – January 25, 2024

Stowe Story Labs is one of the best screenwriting contests for… writers looking for mentoring from industry professionals as well as feedback from peers in an intensive workshop environment.

Check out Stowe Story Labs >>

#31. Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship.

best screenplay contestsOverview. This is another opportunity associated with the Black List. It’s called a “fellowship” but is actually a one-off trip.

Prizes/opportunities. An all-expenses paid trip for up to two writers to the Sundance Film Festival with producer Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyer’s Club, Mudbound).

Cassian Elwes.

What can I submit? Feature script (with an “indie sensibility”).

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA. There’s not much info on the site about 2024 dates, so we recommend joining the Black List mailing list and/or following on social media.

Cassian Elwes Fellowship is one of the best screenplay contests for… low budget indie feature writers. (You need to have earned less than $5,000 in your career for consideration.)

Check out the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship >>

#32. FOX Entertainment Writers Incubator.

best screenplay contestsOverview. FOX Entertainment Writers Incubator gives writers the opportunity to work intensively on their scripts under the guidance of established writers, executives, mentors, directors and producers.

Prizes/opportunities. The chosen few writers will attend a three-month writing workshop at FOX and receive priority in staffing meetings on their TV shows.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadline. Only days to go! Friday January 19, 2024 at 11:59pm PST.

FOX Incubator is one of the best screenwriting contests for… getting your foot in the door at a major studio.

Check out the FOX Entertainment Writers Incubator >>

#33. Filmmatic Screenplay Awards.

best screenplay contestsOverview. This screenwriting contest is for comedy, drama, sci-fi, fantasy and horror writers. There’s very little by the way of information on the site, but we know writers who’ve made things happen since winning so it’s worth a look.

Prizes/opportunities. Grand prize winner receives $1,000, plus various other prizes.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? Feature script, TV pilot, short, pitch.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA. 2023’s submission period ran from April through July 24. Sign up to their mailing list for updates.

Filmmatic is one of the best screenwriting contests for… dedicated genre submissions and a higher chance of winning a lesser-known contest.

Check out the Filmmatic Screenplay Awards >>

#34. Paramount Writers Mentoring Program.

best screenplay competitionOverview. Paramount’s Writers Mentoring Program prepares aspiring writers for a career in television.

Prizes/opportunities. Successful candidates are accepted onto an eight-month mentorship with with showrunners, studio and network executives.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

The Paramount Program is one of the best screenwriting contests for… aspiring writers who are serious about a career in television.

Check out the Paramount Writers Mentoring Program >>

#35. Warner Bros. Access Programs.

best screenplay competitionOverview. Like Universal, Warner Bros. also has three programs: a WBD Access Writers’ Program for TV writers, WBD Access Showrunner Program for senior-level TV writers, WBD Access x Canadian Academy Writers’ Program for mid-level Canadian writers, and Writers Exchange Program aimed, rather specifically, at experienced theater writers based in Northern England hoping to break into television.

Prizes/opportunities. Each program presents a unique opportunity but they all involve placement opportunities, mentorships, “artist-in-residence”-style programs and industry exposure.

Judges. Warner Bros. Discovery executives, creators, veteran showrunners and producers.

What can I submit? Feature film, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

Warner Bros. Programs are some of the best screenwriting contests for… a higher chance of getting hired by Warners upon completion. Although they appear to be heavy on favoring writers from “underrepresented communities.”

Check out the Warner Bros. Programs >>

#36. The Writers Lab.

best screenplay competitionOverview. The Writers Lab works exclusively with women over the age of 40, giving them the opportunity to work on a feature script or TV pilot with help from a team of industry professionals. There are three to choose from: US Lab, UK & Ireland Lab, and Europe Lab.

Prizes/opportunities. Successful applicants will engage in an intensive four-day development workshop that includes panel discussions, one-on-one meetings, mock writers rooms, and peer workshops.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? It’s not clear from the site, but we presume a feature script or TV pilot.

Will I get notes? Yes, for a fee.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

The Writers Lab is one of the best script competitions for… Female screenwriters over 40.

Check out the Writers Lab >>

#37. Nickelodeon Writing Program.

best screenplay competitionOverview. They say it’s not a writing contest but “a launching pad,” but either way you’ll need to compete with hundreds of other prospective TV writers to get a place on the program.

Prizes/opportunities. Winners will be accepted onto a one-year, paid full-time development program for kids/family TV writers.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? Live action or animation TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

Nickelodeon Writing Program is one of the best scriptwriting contests for… breaking into family and kids’ TV writing.

Check out the Nickelodeon Writing Program >>

#38. Disney Entertainment Television Writing Program.

best screenplay competitionOverview. This year-long paid Disney Writing Program includes workshops, networking opportunities with programming executives with the aim of becoming a staff writer on a show.

Prizes/opportunities. Not only do you get paid for the year, but the program has a 100 percent staffing rate each year.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA, but 2023’s submission period ran from October 24 – November 17. Follow on social media for updates.

DET Writing Program is one of the top screenwriting contests for… getting staffed on a TV show. Previous candidates have gone on to write for Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Killing, so this is one of the best screenwriting fellowships if you’re serious about getting noticed as a writer.

Check out the DET Writing Program >>

#39. WGA Writers Access Support Staff Training Program.

best screenplay competitionOverview. The Writers Guild Foundation provides a couple of programs with a unique angle: The Veterans Writing Project and Writers Access and Support Staff Training Program. Both provide the tools necessary for emerging writers to find work in development or complete a top-level screenplay.

Prizes/opportunities. Successful veterans will be partnered with a WGA member and placed on a 9-month development program that includes a weekend retreat, weekly course, workshops and special events. The Writers Access Program consists of a 12-week course tailored to helping writers become an assistant or script coordinator.

Judges. Professional TV writers and producers.

What can I submit? Feature film, TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines.
Final – February 12, 2024.

The WGA Programs are some of the top screenplay competitions for… US military veterans and writers over the age of 50 as these are the only programs on the list that cater for veterans and address agism in Hollywood.

Check out the WGA Writers Access Program >>

#40. NBC Launch TV Writers Program.

best script writing competitionOverview. The NBC Launch TV Writers Program replaces the long-standing Writers on the Verge, but its aim is the same—“to create the next generation of showrunners and content creators.”

Prizes/opportunities. Winners are invited to participate in an eight-month program in which they develop an original television pilot alongside a NBCUniversal programming executive.

Judges. We couldn’t find any details on the site.

What can I submit? TV pilot.

Will I get notes? No.

Submission deadlines. TBA for 2024. Sign up to their mailing list and/or follow on social media for the latest updates.

NBC Launch is one of the best scriptwriting contests for… the site makes it seem like you’ll stand more chance of being selected if you’re from a “diverse” background, but the Eligibility Requirements don’t mention this, so who knows?

Check out NBC Launch >>

The best screenwriting contests: conclusion.

Many screenwriters got their big breaks from winning one of the best screenwriting fellowships or competitions on this list. But your script has to be not just good, but exceptional.
However, one of the biggest mistakes we see writers make is submitting a sub-par script to a competition or fellowship.

Just like submitting to a manager, agent,  or production company, you only get one shot at this, so you really need to make sure that your script is in the best shape it can be before entering.

The pros and cons of entering screenwriting contests and fellowships.

The biggest pro can be summed up in one word—exposure. It is a well known fact that the best screenplay contests provide a great way for aspiring writers to finally gain some recognition.

Winning a competition is, of course, the desired outcome of entering, but even placing in the top ten can gain a writer recognition, a manager, option, development deal, etc.

The biggest con is the money factor. It can get pretty pricey sending your script(s) to half a dozen or more competitions at $60 a throw.

If you’ve got a great script and you’ve got the cash, there is absolutely nothing wrong with entering as many script contests as you can. It can only increase your chances of success. Then again, we have to reiterate that your script had better be in the best shape possible, otherwise you’re just setting yourself up for a huge letdown.

Unfortunately, some screenplay contests demand high fees just to enter, promise the world without delivering, or are just plain scams. Thankfully, none of them are on this list.

Not sure if your script’s ready to enter a screenplay contest or fellowship?

We have a Script Audit service that will get you a 30-min call with the pro screenwriter of your choice. They will advise you on if it’s ready to submit or, if not, the exact steps you need to take to get it ready. All for just $95. Click below to get started.

Script Coverage Services
Alternatively, we also have a variety of script coverage and editing services that will give your script the best possible chance of placing highly in a screenwriting competition.

Overall, in order to avoid wasting your money, we recommend not sending your script out to anyone, including script competitions/fellowships, until it has received at least a “Strong Consider” from a reputable script consultancy.

Make sure you’re completely happy with it before sending it in, even if it means spending a few bucks more in order to sneak it into the late entry category.


We hope you enjoyed this post. Let us know how you get on in the comments section below or if you have any questions or concerns. And good luck!

best screenwriting contests

Liked this post? Read more on the best screenwriting contests and how to break into the industry…

How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Guide to Unlocking Your Career

Screenplay Submissions 101: How to Submit a Screenplay Like a Pro

How to Sell a Screenplay: 6 Most Popular Ways New Writers Make a Sale

[© Photo credits: Unsplash]

  1. Victor Cruz says:

    Thank you for providing valuable insights and resources on screenwriting contests. Aspiring screenwriters are always seeking opportunities to showcase their talents and gain recognition within the industry, and your article offers valuable guidance in navigating the world of screenwriting competitions.

    Screenwriting contests serve as a platform for emerging writers to have their scripts evaluated, receive feedback, and potentially open doors to new opportunities. Your article provides a comprehensive list of reputable contests, highlighting their features, submission requirements, and benefits.

    By sharing this information, you empower aspiring screenwriters to make informed decisions about which contests align with their goals and offer the most suitable opportunities for their work. Your article serves as a valuable resource, saving writers time and effort in researching and identifying appropriate contests to enter.

    I appreciate Script Reader Pro for emphasizing the importance of thorough preparation, thoughtful submission strategies, and leveraging the feedback received from contests. These insights contribute to the growth and development of aspiring screenwriters, helping them refine their craft and improve their chances of success.

    I encourage aspiring screenwriters to explore the screenwriting contests you’ve highlighted and consider entering those that align with their goals and aspirations. These contests not only provide opportunities for recognition but also allow writers to connect with industry professionals and gain valuable exposure.

    If any readers have participated in screenwriting contests or have insights to share about their experiences with these competitions, I would love to hear from them. Let’s continue to support and celebrate the incredible talents of screenwriters and the opportunities provided by these contests.

  2. Steve D says:

    Really enjoy your website and regular emails! I just received coverage from the BlueCat Screenplay contest. Very disappointing. The “What did you like about this script” feedback was complete boilerplate. The only reference to my screenplay was the year it took place, and the reader got it wrong. I was hoping for some solid constructive feedback, but it felt like the reader skimmed the first act and found the necessary ‘the hook’ for me resubmit and spend more money. BlueCat just feels like a scam. Not sure you should recommend.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hey Steve, we recommend Blue Cat as a contest but not their script coverage services. Most coverage you get from contests are like this as what you’re really paying for is to enter the contest. If you’re still looking for some proper feedback on your script we have a range of script coverage services that can help.

  3. Maryparanai says:

    Am sarasaratoi I have same script more than more but In Kenya I don’t have enough people to play how can sell my script on amazon

  4. Lacey H says:

    Thank you for the information you have posted I’m just starting out in my path to becoming a screenwriter. I need to build up a portfolio when applying for UCLA or the Los Angeles film school I hope I get accepted into the screenwriters program. And entering a few contests will give me some much needed feedback that will help me perfect my skills further.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sounds like a plan – best of luck with your writing, Lacey!

  5. Drone Catacher says:


    logline:We are living in the country side that there are power holders,money holders and cash followers who they are taking natural resources ,controlling freedom,no fair ,putting justice in their mouths and then they are thinking that they own its but they are own of that or not?WHO KNOW!

    synopsis:There is a man who called Drone living in remote area.He is fighting and keeping for justice, freedoom, fair ,none corupption and covering natural resources in his region because there are power control , money holders and cash followers who are destroying not only his region but also all around the world. and then they are thinking that they are own of everything. Drone want to escape from their hand but it is not easy for him because he is not only poor but also fight alone for his region. There are other peoples who also know the true and right but they are afraid of power controller,money holders and cash followers because their can giving to them dangerous and not easy live if they were again to them but Drone want to get back their resources from them. Realitly, drone and his peoples are living in that region for long time but they are still losing their resources from their region.They are thinking that they are own of our resources but we are knowing that they are not own of our resources. There is a question that WHO OWN of these resources!

    (Note:Sadly ,after leaving from KENG KHAM REGION, YAT SAUK CITY ,SOUTHERN SHAN STATE, MYANMAR.I am poor by money and i can not effort for money in this moment.So that i can not try for paying when you offer for something but i am thank you for your reply.I am in trouble situation and then losing every things i own but I am trying my best for everything and they are blinding of this big bad cases. “One day, it will be coming for………………………!)

    Best regared!

    Master Mike or Drone Catacher(Myanmar).

  6. Wes Norton says:

    I’ve heard a lot about format. Now, exactly what is the Hollywood acceptable format. I’ve got several produced screenplays/scripts that I’ve worked on as an actor and each one is different. Mine are written as a shooting script with all cuts and camera angles in place as a director might. No doubts. I believe this saves time which saves money. Probably the only I’ll get them made is to raise the money myself. Oh well. I’ve got letters out to Screenplay Mangers. We’ll see.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi Wes – we have a blog category on formatting that you can check out here. If you’re writing a script for the spec market then you’ll want to format is as a spec not a shooting script, but it’s explained in the posts.

  7. Vincent says:

    Because of Nicholl’s pro-drama bias, I have no interest in that competition despite its obvious and substantial prestige. Comedy is the only genre I write.

  8. Ash says:

    Is the Raindance Script competition any good

  9. Bárbara says:

    And what about TSL Free Screenplay Contest?
    Is this a good one?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      We’re not familiar with it but let us know what you think of it if you decide to enter 🙂

  10. ISA entrant says:

    Hey, Just a word of warning about ISA-run screenplay competitions. They publshed my early draft screenplay on the Internet via a public link. It is an early draft, and also includes ersonal information (address, phone number etc.)
    I tried emailing them but they didn’t seem to get the concern – saying a unique URL makes it secure. It doesn’t.

  11. Jay says:

    I find alot of these comments to be discouraging. I have been writing scripts/screenplays as a hobby for decades but have never submitted any of them to contests such as these. I assumed they were all just out to collect the entry fees, leaving us writers with no hope of actually getting noticed. I have to admit that after reading some of these comments, I feel even more skeptical. I tried on several occasions to submit one of my scripts to NBC Universal directly, but they don’t accept unsolicited material. Most, if not all, production companies will not accept unsolicited scripts. Unsolicited basically means that if you don’t have a literary agent or know someone in the business, they aren’t going to accept anything from you.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Don’t be discouraged by reading other people’s comments, Jay. If these contests were just out for aspiring writers’ money we wouldn’t have promoted them on the site 🙂

  12. Bob says:

    You really missed two of the most highly-regarded screenplay competitions.
    Very different, but unique in the kind of analysis and industry access they each provide:
    The Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards
    The Wiki Screenplay Contest

    Just sayin’…

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thank you Bob for pointing that out.

  13. William Whiteford says:

    The great advice – Thanks!

    I have never contacted American judges.
    Are they pompous like British publishers?

  14. Glenn says:

    Don’t waste your time on contests. I’ve placed in the Top Ten of various contests many times, but it doesn’t really help your career. It’s good for your ego and it’s reassuring, that’s about all that comes if it. It’s actually smarter to make short films to give producers something to see. Just my opinion.

  15. Marco Ruggio says:

    Screenwriting Competition Rules For Writers:

    1. Only accept and incorporate suggestions YOU agree with and
    personally inspire your inner- most positive creativity.

    2. Never attempt to get an “A” from any judge. They may not be qualified to judge material simply because they are assigned to judge material. They could send you into an inescapable convolution by having you chase rules they hallucinate as absolute. They may not verifiably qualify as insightful nor true writing career “gatekeepers.”

    3. Only incorporate suggestions or believe judges who not only have produced and actualized INSPIRED material ON A SCREEN, but whose work YOU personally admire. Otherwise, what’s the point? I’ve seen many screenplay judges and “professors” who haven’t ever made a film or who couldn’t make film worth sitting through. Also research if the judges ever awarded screenplays that have actually been materialized into decent movies. Who? How many? What quality?

    4. Only implement suggestions by those who sincerely love and truly “get” your idea. Many don’t. They miss it. Many believe they’re “experts.” They’re not. You need to be INSPIRED and propelled forward. Creativity should be fun. It’s not the principal’s office.

    5. Only consider major changes that are specific and have been suggested by more that two different and objective sources who LIKE your your work and are objectively qualified.
    Professional readers will always take the safer path of rejection.

    Trust me… I have been a professional film editor for years. I have made and directed movies and won several festival Awards.

    One of my screenplays has been awarded 5 Wins, 3 Finalist, 2 semifinalist, and 3 official selection status. Many, many rejections.

    Which judges are “correct?”
    It’s all opinion and most of the time personal preference. Remember: If you took Tarantino’s name off most of his screenplays and submitted them to festival judges, 98% of them would throw his projects in the trash.

    6. You need to find that special person… Otherwise… you’re just might be on a real shitty date.

    1. Namugenyi Sharifah says:

      What are the logistics and criteria of judging a script before I blunder?

    2. Steve says:

      I am a retired performer with several hundred TV credits and a few dozen feature films. I obtained a “difficult” label as I was always rewriting my lousy dialogue in some of the more mediocre projects… And believe me, there are MANY crappy projects that are green-lit. I began screenwriting almost 30 years ago. My first one was cast, bonded, storyboarded, scouted and ready to go in 1994. Then the production company suddenly folded. I had spent two years of my life on the project. I became disgusted and just let all of my screenplays sit, until the pandemic came along, then dug them up and rewrote them. Submitting today only takes a few mouse clicks, whereas years ago it was a HUGE pain to print, bind, mail, etc. Since May of 2021, three of my works have won more than 25 awards, including wins, finalists, etc. However, I learned as a performer that screenwriting is like doing a painting until someone takes away your brushes… it never ends until the scene is shot. I can’t count the times rewrites were slid under my dressing room door moments before the scene was to be shot! That being said, I have resisted entering competitions that take six months to get results, because by then, I have rewritten/improved the work several times over. I think the only real benefit of many competitions is the little laurels that I now have displayed prominently on my title page, as at present, there are no studios or agents knocking down my door. But now, at least the “reader” knows they better pay attention. Many of them are truly incompetent and some give lower scores just to get you to pay for more scrutiny. ANY screenplay can be improved, regardless of the author. My current direction is to win a few more competitions and then submit to the ‘biggies’ with lots of accolades so maybe, just maybe, they will take a closer look at the material. Remember, readers read and writers create. Good luck writers!

      1. Michael says:

        Love all these comments. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve done AFF at least four times. It now gets over 14,000 scripts per year. I heard that the readers DO NOT get paid! I think this is wrong. I attended AFF in 2016. A few workshops were good, but overall it wasn’t worth the money. I did my best to network, but there never was any guide on where to meet people. I have used AFF for coverage, and I found it was very good until recently. The last script I sent them, the coverage I got read like a film thesis. It was obvious the reader didn’t like or respond to the script. It was a rewrite of an earlier script I’d sent in which got a recommend. This was the second script I ever wrote too. Readers and judges see your work in different ways. How many of them ever wrote a script, won an award, have an agent etc? I would not waste money entering contests anymore. Spend your money on coverage, it can give you more long term value if you’re lucky. Read these books: Your Screenplay Sucks by William Akers, The Starter Screenplay by Adam Levenberg. He does coverage,not cheap, cost me 275.00 five years ago. He will talk with you on the phone, but he is all business, curt, and brief. He will not engage in chit chat. His remarks can be brutal. Don’t see him unless you’re really ready to be mauled. He is also a top reader in the business, so he knows what the industry wants. Most readers don’t. Good luck.

  16. Wheezy says:

    Heads up Launch Pad doesn’t introduce the top ten to anyone as stated. It’s only the top three who get intros. Was top ten last year. They do send you an email with the names of people who read your script a few months after the contest if you ask a few times but that is the only follow up I personally experienced.

  17. Phoebe says:

    Hello, great blog. Thanks for sharing this invaluable info. What do you think about Script pipeline?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Phoebe!

  18. Andrew J. Viera says:

    You guys are amazing! Your site is, by leaps and bounds, the best resource for screenwriters who need insight into the inner workings of the industry. I have been living in Los Angeles for nineteen years, toiling in myriad facets of the business from extras casting to being a production assistant on several Disney TV shows to video editing for a tech company, not to mention years spent with friends writing, directing and acting in our own projects and yet I felt entirely lost in what to do with my writing, as if I didn’t know a thing about the industry I have essentially been working for for the past two decades. Your site has provided an incredible resource for all things a screenwriter could possibly need to know between your listing of 50 great screenplays to the best contests to enter to manager contact info…I am so thoroughly impressed. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m just getting back to writing and this site is just what I needed to life my spirits and my confidence. I’ve already ordered three of the books you recommend for screenwriters to read and I can’t wait to incorporate the wonderful information and advice you’ve provided for FREE!!! Craziness!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks so much for the feedback, Andrew – really appreciate it. Keep your spirits up 🙂

  19. King OK says:

    Can some one throw some light on the Lose Angeles international screenplay awards. Any push?

  20. Frederick Brian Philander says:

    I will definitely contact these screenwriting contests asap.i think i have quality African feature script in genres such as adventure, drama, political thrillers, love stories etc. Frederick B Philander. Namibia

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sounds good, best of luck, Frederick!

  21. A NICHOLAS says:

    Thanks for maintaining this link/list. However, as someone seeking to self-produce an original screenplay outside of LA, what I really want to do is rank competitions by their CASH prizes. Though the mentorships and contacts are great, some on the “best screenplay comps list” have small money awards for large entry fees, so I’m wondering if you have created a ranked list to screenplay competitions w/money prizes. Google yields nothing. Thanks in advance.

  22. Rachael Beauchamp says:

    I’ve entered my current script into a few contest, I did not place in two of them but made it to the quarterfinal in one of them. I keep reading this “you only get one shot thing” and it leaves me confused. If I have entered my script into a contest too soon, before it’s ready, and it did not place, does this mean I shouldn’t re-write it and submit it again to another contest or maybe even the same one the next year, or have I already blown the opportunity for this script?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      The “only get one shot” line is mainly referring to sending your script to industry people – managers, execs, producers, etc. – not contests. Good luck with it, Rachael!

  23. Delta Storm says:

    Great list of contests. I was just wondering if you perhaps know of what has happened to Greenlight Screenplay? They were legit as far as I could tell, having won an award from them last year. But this time, I went to put in another entry and their website is up for sale. On Twitter, they are not responding to tweets. They last tweeted last year. It would be nice to know what happened to them. If someone reading this knows please leave a message. Thanks 🙂

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks! Sorry, no idea what happened to Greenlight.

  24. Frederika says:

    Hi there! Do you know of any screenwriting contests that take magical realism?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sorry, no, but pretty it usually comes under Drama.

  25. Vahagn Karapetyan says:

    Can you give me a suggestion where is better to apply for Horror scripts?

  26. Peyman says:

    Hi I’m Peyman and I’m 23 and I’m contacting you from Iran. I’m a script writer and I’ve written one script already which has 140 pages , it’s very interesting and it was written with perfect details and methods. Unfortunately I don’t have a recommender. I request you to support me so we can have progress in this project, If you’re interested in cooperation I gladly can send you a short version of my script I promise you that you will be very satisfied for this cooperation.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      We’re a script consultancy not a production company so we can help you get the script into shape before you try to find a buyer or funding.

      1. kena tozaj says:

        how do one enter a screen writing competition.

        1. Script Reader Pro says:

          The instructions are on each contest’s website.

  27. Jay says:

    Do contests take in premiere status (like festivals?) Or can we just apply to all of them at the same time?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Yes, there’s nothing wrong with applying to a bunch at the same time.

  28. Andrew B. says:

    I’ve got a plan to enter six screenwriting contests this year.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Good luck, Andrew!

  29. Michael Ho says:

    Good list, thanks SRP!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Michael!

  30. Zoe says:

    Great info. A friend recommended Script Reader Pro to me and I’m so glad they did.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Glad you found us, Zoe!

  31. Hoffamn says:

    I stopped entering screenwriting contests a while ago even though I was a semi and quarter finalist at two well respected contests and instead have invested in shooting short films that are now award winning and gaining traction as time goes by. Entering screenwriting contests is like playing the lotto in most cases. Years will go by and no one will have never heard of you or your work. In that respect, it’s about “them” meaning Hollywood and not about those of us who actually do the work. At least today there’s ways you can have your work seen regardless of what Hollywood or anyone thinks is prize worthy.

  32. Jeremy Whitlock says:

    How many contests should I enter?

  33. jonathan martin lee says:

    Hi, I’m a BRIT, and the Blue Cat international competition seems a good bet, thanks for the advice.
    But in truth can you tell me if my protagonist needs to be an American, in a foreign land, to increase the chances of a recommend?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      No, not at all. What they’ll be judging the script on is the story and characters overall.

  34. Bob Foxely says:

    Nice list, thanks for posting.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Bob.

  35. Elana says:

    Is there a problem submitting the same project to a few contests at the same time?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      No, there’s no problem with that. Good luck!

  36. max calkins says:

    Which screenwriting contests can guarantee me a career if I win?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      No contest can guarantee that, unfortunately, Max.

  37. HL says:

    I have been entering several of my scripts to the top 3-4 contests listed here for years. What I found out was: A. It’s a waste of money B. The majority of the time the readers used by these contests are a bunch of nobodies. A little background on this: I’ve been in the business in different capacities for years. I have had three of my scripts optioned for 10k each by notable producers and production companies. I have entered those three scripts into Nicholl, Austin and Slamdance and not one of them even made it to the quarter finals or second round. Then, last year I was contacted by several of these screenwriting contests to be a judge. And what happens is this: they send you 30-40 scripts to read. You don’t have to read any of them and I suspect most judges don’t. You let the contest know which script(s) you feel should advance. You don’t have to write any coverage or make any notes. I’m certain most scripts don’t get read, hence, the reason while most people never hear any positive news from these contests. Don’t waste your money.

  38. Seth Badesy says:

    Competitions may be a long shot but it’s one worth taking imho.

  39. Gopu says:

    Is there any translated to english script contests?

  40. Dale Swaby says:

    In essence, I think, plan a strategy and a working bit part that nobody has been equipped to think of yet. Basically take the “beat” premise that is very unclear and overused to find another example of notifying and understanding to enhance the reader. I have got one of these taken really from a shooting draft script and worked it into competition “Not telling you because it’s my idea.” …Sorry. Also for quality situations just evaluate the final piece for a week or so and do not rush. Prepare for that when you win one. Good luck — break a leg and stuff.

  41. Syed kaleem says:

    Hai I m syed from bangalore I have script horror stories 200 yers old my village true story nice script

  42. Philipp says:

    I just submitted my screenplay to the Page Screenplay Contest. Fingers crossed!!!

  43. Jason VM says:

    Exactly what I wanted to know, thank you! I have a script that the Nicholl Fellowship judges said would likely attract The Hangover type of audiences. I can imagine this script would also do well in the Austin screenwriting competition – I’ll give it a go this year.

  44. Ronnie Deeks says:

    Thanks for sharing this amazing list. It’s great to hear which screenwriting contests can actually do something for my career and which ones are just a waste of my time. Keep up the good work.

  45. pop says:

    Screenplays contests are waste of time and money if you actually want to get your script made into a movie, on the other hand… if you want to win a contest- go for it Skippy!

  46. Eric Dier says:

    Nicholl, Austin & Sundance are the best screenwriting contests. Avoid Bluecat, Screencraft and Zoetrope. Not familiar with the rest.

  47. H. Henderson says:

    There are some good screenplay competitions – if your work is good enough, although many push the paid-for rewrite notes aspect a bit hard. However, I’d recommend avoiding The Shore Scripts Competition. Really insulting. They failed to send me the updates/notifications they promised. When I queried this and asked them to send the emails which had never arrived, they started contradicting me. I then asked them to resend the emails, they ignored this, and got ruder. I asked them to either resend the promised notifications or refund the fee, and to identify which employee was sending these emails. They then went silent – which says it all. Zero out of 10 – that’s not the way to treat customers and representing £55 very poorly spent on an amateurish setup with its strange mix of well known and poor judges.

  48. Tonya says:

    Thank you for this amazing lists! It’s great to hear with screenplay contests are worth entering and when the deadlines are. No more last minute / too late finds lol

  49. Alex says:

    Wow, I was looking for a writing project for the next few months. Awesome! I will get my latest screenplay finished and enter it to the best screenwriting competitions.

  50. Isabella says:

    What are the best screenwriting contests for short films?

  51. Jillian says:

    Nicholls and Austin Film Fest are the two top dogs in my opinion. I’m not sure about the other screenwriting contests.

  52. John S. says:

    A few years back, I won the Austin Screenwriting Competition. The screenplay I had this huge success with never placed in any other screenplay competition, which goes to show that the whole process is quite subjective and what works well in one script contest, might not get you anywhere in another one.

  53. Marianna says:

    When pro screenwriters pooh pooh screenwriting contests, I always wonder what they suggest are the alternatives for newbies to standing out in a crazy crowded industry.

  54. Mavis Welsh says:

    Where are the best places to source film, tv, pilot scripts etc for reading? Matt

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi Mavis, you can read and download 50 of the best screenplays here and the best TV scripts here.

  55. Sarah says:

    Nicholl, PAGE and Sundance are the three most prestigious contests and definitely worth entering if your script fits the bill. (Dramas and Historical Films do best in Nicholl. PAGE has multiple genre categories.) Everyone always likes Austin because the Festival is such fun and such a good networking opportunity, but that contest now gets something like 10,000 entries each year, so your odds of winning are next to zero. Plus, not sure their contest winners really get much traction. Anyhow, good luck to all in your quest! It’s tough to break in as a screenwriter, but it’s so rewarding once you do!

  56. Dhruv patel says:

    I want to share my story ,But I don’t know English very well..
    And I don’t have enough money to pay..
    If you help me to pay money , I will return it to you after won this competition..✍️

  57. Martin Furrow says:

    Thanks for sharing these contests!

  58. Pete Whiting says:

    There are good screenplay competitions and bad ones. Some give you cash, some give you opportunities or makes doors open and ultimately get your script to screen.
    Want a genuine career? Enter the big renowned screenplay competitions and hopefully place high or win. Get that on your writing resume and query letters.
    Have one good script and wanna win some cash and throw the hat in the ring? Then go for something that is less reputable where the focus is just money and maybe judges less harsh on their standards.
    If you enter every screenwriting competition, you’ll be broke pretty quick. So choose wisely.
    I was semi-finalist in Stage 32 2017 screenplay competition. Never had a phone call or email from anyone and still have no agent. Smaller and medium studios have all responded positively to query letters and most have said they want the script but the budget is too high. They love it but simply can’t do it. Lesson – make sure your first script is a simple, affordable one that appeals to a wide range of studios and producers. Sadly, my script would only appeal to major studios and I have no chance of getting it in front of them as I am a first time writer with no agent.

  59. DEBDAS DEBNATH says:

    I have written a fiction fiction novel of 410 pages and ready for publishing as book. I m from India. Writing more than 10 novels as per script of Hollywood style movie. Please tell how I can sale or submit it.

  60. Rameez says:

    What’s your opinion about script pipeline?

  61. Robin Denison says:

    Write them polite query letters, describing your script instead of entering screenwriting contests.

  62. Jospeh Racano says:

    I wanna admit that this is very helpful, it’s quite hard to know which screenwriting contests are worth my time.

  63. Sophia says:

    I like screenplay contests because the deadlines pushed me to finish and polish my scripts and the confidence I have gained has helped me network and get scripts read.

  64. Petro says:

    I was a semi-finalist in the BlueCat screenwriting contest last year.

  65. Steve says:

    I did receive bad feedback the first year I submitted to screenwriting contests. I submitted to 4 and didn’t advance in any of them. But it didn’t send me down. I worked harder, wrote 2 new scripts and submitted again and got into the 2nd round in AFF.

  66. Heike R. says:

    Lovely just what I was searching for. Can’t wait to apply for my first screenwriting contest.

  67. Giuessepe says:

    I did the Sundance Labs (which is listed here) and it changed my life. I also have a friend who got an agent because a script of his landed in the top 50 of the Nicholl.

    Some of these like Nicholl and Sundance are definitely worth a shot, but like everything the gatekeepers’ taste is subjective and you shouldn’t take rejection as a knock against your talent.

  68. Vanessa says:

    I think contests like Nicholl and Austin can do wonders for someone’s career but the others… not so sure. Maybe for validation?

  69. Anthony says:

    What about the PAGE awards contest? thats one of the best screenwriting contests and you left it out.

  70. DS says:

    I’ve won or placed in a few of these, but honestly I think you’d be remiss to not include TrackingBoard/Launch Pad Pilot Launch on here.That was the one I received the most industry introductions from.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sounds good, keep the good work. TrackingB is in the honorable mentions.

  71. Rajesh D says:

    Thank you. Great list!

  72. Tom H. says:

    I was going to go full time into screenwriting after I retired. I was in the music and comedy industry for 40 years. However, my issue is that I was exposed to Agent Orange when I was in Vietnam in 1969. ( and don’t know how much longer I have to live. Would I be wasting my time and money to even make the attempt?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      It’s never too late, Tom, but we’d be happy to check out your work to give you a better idea.

  73. sisay says:

    Hi their my name is Sisay Asefa, I’m a screenwriter. I finished my screenplay, so can you accept my screenplay?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi, Sisay, you can find all of our script coverage services here.

  74. Tony says:

    I made the top 10 in Zoetrope screenplay contest and it did zero in terms of getting me any exposure. And I mean zero. I’ll say the same about Scriptapalooza, even though that’s not listed here.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, you generally need to win or place in the top 2 or 3 to get some kind of exposure in most contests.

  75. Elizabeth says:

    Can anyone tell me if it makes a difference whether you do early, regular or late deadline for a screenplay contest?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      It doesn’t make any difference – what matters is the quality of the script. Best of luck!

  76. Prema Rose says:

    I have won 8 awards to date for my animated/live action musical The MicroCosmic Cartoon Show. Some are festivals and some are screenwriting competitions. You only mention a few of the good ones to submit to, yet there are more quite reputable ones such as:
    Worldfest, Oaxaca, Filmmatic, and Write Movies, to mention others. I think it is a mistake to only go for the top tier. You want to have eyeballs on your work so that you get a sense of how it is being received in the marketplace. I prefer ones that have a variety of sub-categories, since my genre is pretty unusual.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Congrats, Prema!

  77. Rob says:

    Tremendous article. I’ll lay down my screenwriting contest experience swiftly. I entered a few screenplay competitions over a four year period after finishing my first three scripts with absolutely no luck, not even a placement. I got a job in the industry, but no one took me seriously as a writer, because no wanted to read an accountant or production assistant’s script. Why would they? I finally did my research and entered the Nicholl screenplay competition. I made the semi-finals out the gate, then I put it up on the Black List site and received a 9 rating. The script was then selected for their Lab, which was amazing. I was mentored by Brian Koppelman and Billy Ray, who both said it was one of the finest scripts they’d ever read.

  78. Steph G. says:

    The Filmmatic contest I entered last year was professionally run, and I see some solid press going out regarding their finalists/winners (I was a finalist 😉 ).

    I also had a good experience with BlueCat…

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Congrats, Steph!

  79. Petra Craigen says:

    Eye opener! It’s really hard to know which screenplay contest is a good investment. Thanks for sharing this list

  80. Manoj Kumar says:

    Can I participate in all of these screenplay competitions this year

  81. Sherilyn Harrington says:

    I think the best screenwriting contests are Nicholl, Scriptapalooza and Sundance. Everything else is a waste of your time and money in my opinion.

  82. pouyan says:

    Can I do this even if I live in iran

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Yes, you can enter from anywhere in the world.

  83. Will Domi says:

    I think the top few contests those you mentioned above are worth taking a shot at and can bring readings and connections and open doors, but they should only be entered once you have developed your craft and written a few screenplays that you would dare to be read by someone in the industry.

  84. Lorenzo says:

    You only get one chance to make a first impression, so thanks for sharing the best screenwriting competitions in the industry. I want to make it count.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Good luck, Lorenzo.

  85. Yolanda says:

    If you’re a new writer looking for reinforcement that you have any talent for this, take your best work and enter it in on of the top script competitions. Place reasonably well, and then put the knowledge that you don’t suck at this in your back pocket and start writing to sell. That’s my advice.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for sharing your advice. It’s not a bad strategy!

  86. Alba says:

    I will enter Austin, PAGE and Big Break this year. I feel like my script is finally ready!!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Good luck, Alba. Fingers crossed! Let us know how you’re getting on.

  87. Ellen says:

    Can I send my script to a screenwriting contest even if I live in Australia

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Yes it doesn’t matter where you live.

  88. Ismael Gomez says:

    My co-writer and I won the BlueCat Screenplay Competition for 2018. We used Script Reader Pro and their notes really made a huge difference in the rewrites. Very thankful for having found this website.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      That’s awesome news, Ismael! – thanks for the review and for using our script coverage services 🙂

  89. Juliane says:

    I recommend The Second City’s Comedy Screenplay Contest for all comedy writers.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for sharing, Juliane.

  90. James says:

    Here’s my story. 25 years ago I entered my first screenwriting competition and got second runner-up in with no prices. Last year I got into the quarterfinals and second rounders for Scriptapalooza and the Austin Film Festival competition. From that I decided to enter one of those screenplays into a bunch of smaller ones and didn’t get placed at all. I realized that I would rather spend my money on script coverage instead and perhaps with those rewrites go back.

  91. James Isac says:

    I’ve entered 3 screenplay contests. What do you think will be the next step ? Thanks for your answer.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Have these screenplay contests released the winners yet?

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