If you’re a new writer looking for an opportunity to get your script read by industry execs, screenwriting competitions may be a good option for you. In addition to getting your material read, screenwriting competitions offer the chance at monetary prizes and highly sought after industry access.
A few basic things about screenwriting competitions:
- Entries and eligibility are typically organized by genre (feature, television comedy, television drama, short film, etc.)
- Most competitions require you to pay an entry fee
- Prizes can be monetary, but are usually the opportunity to have your script read by managers/agents/industry execs
Screenwriting competitions can be a bit hit or miss, and they can definitely add financially, but if you can afford it, I am all for getting your material into the world!
Here are a few well-known and recognizable screenwriting competitions!
Final Draft is the most widely used screenwriting tool in the industry. Their Big Break competition is an excellent opportunity to get read by key industry players. Entry fee is $45.
Scriptapalooza boasts that they will work to get semifinalists and higher read by executives for a year following the competition. Entry fee is $45.
Screencraft has a varied of niche-focused competitions, which is awesome – gives you a better chance at standing out in your desired genre. Fee to enter is $19 (by a specific date – $29 after).
Large monetary prizes, and they promise that every submission will receive a written analysis (usually, you have to pay extra if you want script notes!). Entry fee is $50-$80, depending on category/script length.
Large monetary prizes, as well as the chance for a consultation with industry execs. Paige prides themselves on helping you sell your script – winners will receive trade magazine features as well as a year long membership to IndiePitch – a database used by execs to source material. Entry fee is $45 (cost goes up the closer you get to deadline).
Winner receives $25,000, long term industry circulation, and script development. Entry fee is $40.
The Academy (yep – the same Academy as the Oscars!) offers five $35,000 fellowships each year! An extremely prestigious honor. Entry fee varies again by deadline, but early entry is $45.
Slamdance also offers monetary prizes as well as access to festival screenings and executive exposure. Your entry fee includes adjudicator feedback, which is typically an extra charge. Entry fee varies based on length of project and submission date.