TV Pilots truly represent a writer’s voice. Share your voice with the industry's top judges who are evaluating your script and your vision for your series.

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Contest opens on Jul 1, 2021

Deadlines

Jul 31

Early

Aug 31

Regular

Sep 30

Final

Announcements

Nov 3

Quarterfinalist

Dec 1

Semifinalist

Jan 5

Finalist

Feb 9

Winner

Writers rule television and TV Pilots are their arsenal. Episodic storytelling is experiencing a new golden age of television with the proliferation of streaming services, which have also made serial storytelling more flexible than ever. No longer constrained to commercial breaks, and half-hour or 1-hour formats, many series are breaking the mold. The demand for great storytellers is stronger than ever. ScreenCraft TV pilot script competition features industry judges and a strong track record of helping winners set up their projects and staff as writers on shows. This competition requires a TV pilot writing sample. All writers who advance to the finalist round will be invited to submit a series bible or treatment that expresses your vision for a season’s arc. We look forward to reading your submissions. 

ScreenCraft’s past winners have gone on to sell their scripts to major studios and have been hired by companies like Universal, Netflix, Amazon, Millennium, CBS and many more. ScreenCraft’s winners are also highly sought after by literary managers and agents who are open to signing to new writer clients. Over 100 ScreenCraft writers have signed with top management companies and agencies like 3 Arts, Anonymous Content, CAA, WME, UTA, Paradigm, Lit Entertainment, and many more.

Judges

Get in front of Hollywood judges who love great television.

Betsy Beers

Exec. Producer and Chief Content Officer, Shondaland

Betsy Beers is Executive Producer of the award-winning series GREY’S ANATOMY and, with producing parter Shonda Rhimes, developed and produced the hit series PRIVATE PRACTICE, SCANDAL, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, FOR THE PEOPLE, and STATION 19 for Shondaland and ABC. In August 2017, Shondaland signed an unprecedented deal with Netflix to produce new content exclusively for the streaming entertainment service. Beers will next executive produce BRIDGERTON and INVENTING ANNA for the streamer.

David Knoller

Executive Producer, TV Writer & Director (HBO, Starz, FOX Television)

David Knoller is a TV Executive Producer, Director and Writer from such acclaimed shows as Starz's POWER, HBO's LOVECRAFT COUNTRY with Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams, HBO's HERE AND NOW, BIG LOVE and many more. With an overall deal at HBO, he develops boundary-pushing drama for television.

Alena Smith

Showrunner / Creator of DICKINSON on Apple TV+

Alena Smith is creator, executive producer and showrunner of Apple TV+’s critically acclaimed series DICKINSON, which recently won the Peabody Award, and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. A playwright turned television writer and creator, she previously served as a writer/producer on Showtime’s THE AFFAIR, and HBO’s THE NEWSROOM. Smith recently signed an overall deal with Apple TV+.

Crystal Holt

Director of Development & Scripted Programming at AMC Networks

Crystal Holt works on AMC shows such as REBEL, THE TERROR, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, WALKING DEAD: WORLD BEYOND and CREEP SHOW in addition to shepherding new scripted works for AMC Television.

Naren Shankar

Exec. Producer & Showrunner on Amazon's THE EXPANSE

Naren Shankar, Showrunner of the critically acclaimed Amazon Prime series, THE EXPANSE. He was also Writer and Exec. Producer of NBC’s GRIMM and of the most-watched show in the world, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION. Nominated for EMMY and WGA awards, he began his career as a writer and science consultant for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and holds a PhD in Applied Physics & Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

Grand Prize Winner

Grand Prize Winner

The overall grand prize winner (one-hour, half-hour or short form) will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program and receive personal introductions and phone calls with one or more top Hollywood literary managers who are looking for talented emerging Film & TV screenwriters.

The top 3 winners’ project info and log lines will be circulated and recommended to our network of over 60 Hollywood managers, agents, producers and development executives.

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

  • Personal Introduction to top literary managers

  • Accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program

  • $1,000 cash

  • Complimentary Badge for the 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

  • Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Runner-Up Prizes

Half-Hour Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

50% off 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

One-Hour Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

50% off 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Short Episodic Winner

$500 cash award

50% off 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Career Consultation

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

ScreenCraft Winners

Winning a ScreenCraft competition can launch your career.

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TV Pilot Articles

  • 21 Series Bibles That Every TV Screenwriter Should Read Aug 12 by Ken Miyamoto - What are the best examples of TV series bibles that screenwriters can learn from? If you’re writing an original television pilot and developing a pitch for the potential series, your research has likely led you… ...
READ MORE ARTICLES

Rules & Info

  • Rules
  • Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • Additional Legal
  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between July 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021.
  2. Entry fee for each submission (whether half-hour, one-hour, or short) is 
    1. $49.50 until the early deadline on July 31, 2021
    2. $69.50 until the regular deadline on August 31, 2021
    3. $79.50 until the final deadline on September 30, 2021.
  3. Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback after an entry is submitted will not be accepted.
  4. TV pilots must be between 20 and 75 pages. Shorts episodic pilots must be between 1 and 40 pages. Any pilot script submission longer than 70 pages will incur a $1 per page overage fee for each page over 70.
  5. Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback after an entry is submitted will not be accepted.
  6. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
  7. 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.
  8. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
  9. 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). All writers must be credited on the title page.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required.
  14. 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. 

We want to set you up for success, and here are a few basic screenplay etiquettes that will help your screenplay.

  1. All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible. 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. Screenplay and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).
  6. Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
  7. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  8. Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.
  9. Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.
  10. Feature screenplays longer than 150 pages will not be eligible.
  11. All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.
  12. Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.

The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: 

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

 

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. 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. 
  5. 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. 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).

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