“The industry’s #1 horror screenplay contest.” – IndieWire

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Final Deadline in 11 days

Deadlines

Aug 31

Early

Sep 30

Regular

Oct 31

Final

Announcements

Dec 1

Quarterfinalist

Jan 5

Semifinalist

Feb 2

Finalist

Mar 2

Winner

Horror is a one of the best genres for emerging talent. It has launched countless careers, and it is consistently popular worldwide. Horror confronts us with our deepest fears and anxieties, and it can be a powerfully cathartic experience. Whether you’re writing a contained, socially-relevant horror movie, or a big horror TV series, our judges want to read your script.

ScreenCraft's Horror Screenwriting Competition is open for entries of feature film and TV pilot scripts. It has a long history of creating success for our winners and finalists, many of whom have gone on to sign at places like Bellevue Productions, Affirmative Entertainment, Story Driven, and more. And last year's Horror Competition winners, Asabi Lee and Paul Hart-Wilden, were recently featured in Deadline for their exciting work after winning the competition. Read the article here.

Judges

Get in front of Hollywood judges who love great horror!

Scott Beck & Bryan Woods

Writers, Directors and Producers

Scott Beck & Bryan Woods have been collaborators since sixth grade in their hometown of Bettendorf, Iowa. They were Executive Producers and co-writers of 2019’s A QUIET PLACE, and 2021’s A QUIET PLACE II, which was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Critics’ Choice Awards and WGA Awards, and won the Saturn Award. They Wrote, Directed and are Producers of Sony Pictures’ sci-fi thriller 65 with Academy Award® nominee Adam Driver (for 2022 release). Additional writing/directing credits include thriller HAUNT, and “Almost There” from Sam Raimi and Quibi’s 50 States of Fright,

Disney Hall

Manager of Film Development & Television Programming, Blumhouse

As Manager of Film Development and Television Programming at Horror studio Blumhouse, Disney Hall looks for and shepherds new voices in genre and horror. Prior to Blumhouse, Disney worked in creative development at Legendary Pictures (GODZILLA vs KONG, ENOLA HOLMES, DUNE, etc).

Giselle Johnson

Creative Executive, Sony Screen Gems

Houston native and proud Howard University alum Giselle Johnson started at VICE News’ scripted TV and Film division, working on films JUDY AND PUNCH and Amazon’s THE REPORT. Recruited by Netflix to their Original Studio Film team, she worked on THE MIDNIGHT SKY, SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL and THE IRISHMAN, and is now a Creative Executive at Sony/Screen Gems, the studio division known for DON’T BREATHE, the UNDERWORLD franchise, SEARCHING and more.

Meredith Averill

Golden Globe and WGA-Award Nominated TV Writer and Executive Producer

Meredith Averill the Golden Globe and four-time WGA-Award nominated Co-Showrunner and Exec. Producer of Netflix's LOCKE & KEY, which she developed with Carlton Cuse. She was Co-Showrunner and Exec. Producer of Netflix's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, and worked on The CW's STAR-CROSSED (Creator/Executive Producer), JANE THE VIRGIN, THE GOOD WIFE and LIFE ON MARS, among others.

Melody Cooper

Award-winning TV Writer, Playwright and Founder of Nyx Horror Collective

Melody Cooper has written for NBCUniversal’s LAW & ORDER: SVU, and Stage 13’s TWO SENTENCE HORROR STORIES, now on Netflix. A Sundance Episodic Lab Fellow, HBO Access Writing Fellow, Grand Jury Prize winner at Urbanworld Film Festival and ScreenCraft Film Fund Finalist, other labs include Shudder Labs and Stowe Story Labs. Melody received a Ford Foundation grant for her play SWEET MERCY and co-founded Nyx Horror Collective, which is running the 13 Minutes of Horror Film Festival in August 2021 on the Shudder Channel.

Aaron B. Koontz

Producer, Director & Founder, Blood Oath, Paper Street Pictures

A former producer at Universal Studios with two decades in the film industry, Aaron founded boutique genre studio Paper Street Pictures in 2012. He has Written, Directed, and Produced multiple genre bending films, including CAMERA OBSCURA, a psychological thriller released by NBC/Universal, SCARE PACKAGE, the cult hit horror-comedy anthology via AMC's SHUDDER and produced the SXSW Midnighter STARRY EYES, among others.

Prizes

Jump start your career.

Grand Prize Winner

The overall grand prize winner in either feature or TV category will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program and receive individualized consulting regarding your portfolio and career goals, develop a personalized plan of action for your writing career, and receive introductions with one or more top Hollywood literary managers, execs, or producers who are looking for talented emerging Film & TV screenwriters.

The top 3 winners’ project info and log lines will be recommended in a targeted way to our network of 100+ Hollywood managers, agents, producers and development executives with mandates that match your writing and voice.

ScreenCraft has a proven track record for getting writers signed with managers, agents, and staffed in writing rooms.

  • Personal Introduction to top literary managers, executives, or producers

  • Accepted into the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program

  • $1,000 Cash

  • Complimentary Badge for the 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

  • Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Runner-Up Prizes

Feature Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

Complimentary badge for the 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

TV Pilot Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

Complimentary badge for the 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Previous Successes

Placing in a ScreenCraft competition can launch your career. See More Successes

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Horror Articles

  • 101 Terrifying Horror Story Prompts Oct 19 by Ken Miyamoto - Welcome to the story den of horror, scares, and the macabre. Most writers are often asked, "Where do you get your ideas from?" A majority of the time, writers find it difficult to answer that… ...
READ MORE ARTICLES

Rules & Terms

  • Rules
  • Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • Additional Legal
  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.
  2. Entry fees are as listed on the site and checkout form. No coupon or discount is applicable on a previous entry.
  3. Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback can be done through Coverfly.
  4. TV pilots may be any length -- however the standard 1/2 hour is between 20 - 40 pages, and the standard hour-long is between 40 - 70 pages. Feature screenplays must be a minimum of 75 pages and a maximum of 150 pages. Any submission longer than 120 pages will incur a $1 per page overage fee for each page over 120.
  5. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
  6. Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59PM Pacific Time, and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.
  7. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
  8. Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). 
  9. If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money.
  10. Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $5 reentry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
  11. It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registration.
  12. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required.
  13. ScreenCraft claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders. 
  14. The decision of the judges will be final and cannot be contested in any manner. There is no score on a scorecard that guarantees advancement to the next level as advancement will be based on all scores in the competition.
  15. ScreenCraft reserves the right to change deadline and announcement dates at any time.
  16. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

 

  1. The contest is open to entrants who will be 18 or older at the time of the winners’ announcement. However, a writer who has earned more than $50,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional writing services for film or TV in the preceding year is not. (Contest winnings not included.)
  2. All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the material submitted must be in English (occasional dialogue in other languages is acceptable, if subtitle translation is provided).
  3. All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.
  4. There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  5. Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
  6. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  7. All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF. Broken files or non-PDF files may be accepted, but if the file cannot be read ScreenCraft will not judge the submission.
  8. Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.
  9. By entering the competition, user acknowledges their eligibility for the competition. ScreenCraft will verify all eligibility requirements at the finalist stage of the competition and before distributing any prizes.
  10. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

 

The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: 

  • Voice
  • Concept
  • Story
  • Structure
  • Characters
  • Dialogues
  • Genre Conventions

In addition to the scoring criteria for the script, ScreenCraft may conduct interviews and send questionnaires to learn more about the entrant, their voice, perspective, and goals to help identify the winning projects. Top scripts are ready by the industry jury who votes for their favorite scripts at their sole discretion.

Criteria for Winners and Finalists:

  1. The winners and top finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers. 
  2. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility. 
  3. Any entrant may be deemed ineligible as a Finalist or Winner at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft. 
  4. All recognition, placements, and winners are chosen at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft.
  5. Finalists may be required to sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that ScreenCraft or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification will result in disqualification. 
  6. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.
  1. COPYRIGHT AND OWNERSHIP: ScreenCraft or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.
  2. PUBLICITY: Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to ScreenCraft and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  3. REFUND POLICY: All entries are non-refundable.
  4. SITE TERMS OF SERVICE. By entering this competition, the user agrees to all ScreenCraft Terms of Service in addition to these rules and eligibility criteria.
  5. DATA MANAGEMENT AND PRIVACY. Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly, and ScreenCraft (a d/b/a of Red Ampersand, Inc) uses other data management tools, including but not limited to, Google Services and Amazon Web Services, to securely manage your data. ScreenCraft is not accountable for any data hacks (internal or external) or user errors that may release scripts or writer data unintentionally.
  6. ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE: BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless ScreenCraft, ScreenCraft.org, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the ScreenCraft.org and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of ScreenCraft and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility. By entering the contest, you authorize us to use any trusted third-party online and cloud-based services and databases for hosting, managing and/or transmitting your submission file(s).
  7. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

Thrills and Scares

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