Our TV Competition has a history of getting writers signed, staffed, and have helped them land development deals for their own projects. It's one of our most successful competitions, period. Winners and finalists have signed with 3Arts, Management 360, CAA, Verve, Zero Gravity, and more.
Mentorship that Matters
This year’s mentors are three incredible showrunners: one comedy, one broadcast drama, and one premium cable drama. They have created and served as EP on shows like PEN15 and THE HANDMAID’S TALE, have overall deals with major studios like Universal, and have written for NBC, Netflix, and countless other streamers, networks, and series. Each of these mentors will select one Grand Prize writer to mentor. They will help their chosen writers develop their craft and guide them toward career success in their writing journey. View this year's mentors here.
All 10 Finalists will receive written feedback from one of this year's industry jury members.
The ScreenCraft Television Jury
Kathleen Dow is a literary manager at Management 360, which is a management company that represents the writers who are responsible for the cult hit STRANGER THINGS, the Duffer Brothers.
Mike Griffin is a talent manager and producer at MAKE GOOD Content. Mike and MAKE GOOD is partnered with Starburns Industries, the animation studio behind RICK AND MORTY and the Oscar-nominated ANOMALISA, and its affiliated podcast network, Starburns Audio. Mike works alongside Paul Young, the Emmy-winning producer of KEY AND PEELE. Paul and Mike have produced dozens of movies and television shows, including RENO 911 for Comedy Central, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE and KEANU and so much more.
Chris Nold is a literary manager for MGMT, a management company that represents Dan Levy from SCHITT'S CREEK and Stefani Robinson from WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS to name a few. They are also involved in the TV projects, THE OLD MAN and THE GOOD LORD BIRD.
Sara Hendel is the manager of development for Legendary TV, a global entertainment company that produced LOST IN SPACE, THE EXPANSE, and CARNIVAL ROW.
Victoria Palmeri is the creative executive, in development at New Line Cinema, which is currently producing Lord Of The Rings Series, THE RINGS OF POWER on Amazon Prime.
Scott Schulman is the manager at Schulman Management an entertainment talent management company, which represents the co-executive producers of UMBRELLA ACADEMY.
Grand Prize Winner
Grand Prize Winner
3 Grand Prize winners will be selected for this year's competition. One by Anna Konkle (Pen15), one by Katherine Collins (Lost in Space, Handmaid's Tale), and one by Lisa Zwerling (The Rook, When We Rise, Betrayal). Each Grand Prize winner will receive from their respective mentor: a personalized round of notes, virtual meeting, and project development insight.
The Grand Prize Winners will also be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program and receive personal introductions and calls with one or more top Hollywood literary manager(s) who are looking for talented emerging TV writers.
ScreenCraft has a proven track record for getting writers signed with managers, agents, and staffed.
Personal Introduction to top literary managers, executives, or producers
Accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program
Written Feedback from a jury member
Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program
TV Mentorship Program
The Grand Prize winners of the ScreenCraft TV Pilot Competition will be selected by our three seasoned TV mentors. Each will select one writer from the competition to mentor. Mentors will help their chosen writers develop their craft and guide them toward career success in their writing journey.
Our TV mentors have created some of the most popular television currently on air and streaming, faced many of the challenges that emerging writers will face, and are ready to help guide the next generation of TV writers. ScreenCraft is thrilled to bring this unique opportunity that no other competitions is offering.
Anna Konkle is the co-creator and co-star of the critically acclaimed Hulu series “Pen15,” produced by Odenkirk Provissiero and The Lonely Island. She made her directorial debut in the second season. The series won the Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series and was nominated for four primetime Emmy's, three WGA Awards, and three Critics Choice Awards. Time recognized “Pen15” as one of 12 Exciting New TV Shows created by women and Glamour wrote, “If you’re not watching, you are robbing yourself of joy.” The show has also been included on numerous critics' year-end lists of The Best TV of 2020, including the New York Times and TV Guide, and was named one of New York Times's 21 Best Comedies of the 21st Century.
A screenwriting graduate of UBC, York University, and the CFC, Katherine spent her early years writing while punching the clock at Canada’s largest private investigation firm. She went on to write for tv with Endgame; Primeval: New World; and Motive. In 2015, Katherine joined the writing staff of NBC’s Blindspot before becoming a writer and producer on all three seasons of the Netflix series, Lost in Space, Katherine is currently a writer and co-Executive Producer on The Handmaid’s Tale. Her first feature, Riot Girls, was released in North America in 2019.
Writer-producer Lisa Zwerling (Betrayal) of Carpool Entertainment has signed an overall deal with Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, to develop, write and executive produce programming for network, cable and streaming platforms. Zwerling, who got her start on the NBC series ER, previously had an overall deal with Universal TV and wrote drama project Midnight Sun, which went to pilot at NBC starring Julia Stiles. As part of an overall deal with ABC Studios, Zwerling executive produced Betrayal and co-executive produced FlashForward.
Signed with a literary manager
2022 ScreenCraft TV Pilot Winner Dorie Chevlen signed with a literary manager at Management 360 after the ScreenCraft team introduced her.
"Build yourself a supportive community. Writing is mostly a slog: it’s lonely, and frustrating, and the majority of the time you will fail at it. That’s just the nature of writing, and yes we do it because we love it, but it’s still quite difficult. Trying to enter the world of screenwriting as a journalist, I have had a lot of catching up to do and ScreenCraft has tremendously helped with that. From advice on what a query letter should look like to what I should include in my bio, I have found it hugely helpful to have the ScreenCraft team hold my hand through this early stage in my career. They facilitated introductions with development executives, agents, and managers that I would never have been able to secure on my own."
Chris Webster & James King
Chris Webster & James King optioned their pilot AMERICAN ALLIGATOR to executive producer + showrunner, David Knoller, who they met as one of the jurors of the competition.
After winning the 2021 ScreenCraft Pilot Competition, Chris Webster & James King optioned their pilot AMERICAN ALLIGATOR to executive producer + showrunner, David Knoller, who they met as one of the jurors of the competition.
"Chris: The funny thing is, AMERICAN ALLIGATOR actually came about precisely because I did want to quit. It was the summer of 2019, I hadn’t worked as an actor in two years and I was thirty-two. My mother and father had both just passed away and basically nothing seemed to be going right. I wrote a script out of that pain and realised I had no-one to send it to who would care, other than my dear old friend James back in England. I sent it to him, he read it, and told me what I already knew – that it was good but far too angry and sad to ever be commercial. I was at a really low ebb, and so my wife called James and told him he should come over to California and that he and I should write something together. And guess what? He did! He flew out two weeks later, pitched me American Alligator, and we just got started on that. After that my luck changed. James: Winning the competition has been enormously helpful to us in terms of gaining exposure for the project and providing us with networking opportunities. Neha Dutta and Tom Devers and the whole ScreenCraft team have been so supportive and encouraging –– setting up general meetings for us with David Knoller and Crystal Holt from AMC. David Knoller expressed an interest in coming on board the project right at the start of our very first general meeting, which was amazing but also very surreal and completely caught us off-guard. He’d been an instrumental figure in so many of the shows that we’d grown up with and been inspired by –– FREAKS AND GEEKS, BIG LOVE, CARNIVALE –– that to hear he wanted to be involved in our project was unreal. But he was super passionate, sincere and confident that the show would sell and just wanted to help out in any way he could."
Signed with literary managers at Zero Gravity
ScreenCraft TV Pilot Competition Winner Andrea Shawcross signed with a team of literary managers at Zero Gravity after consulting with the ScreenCraft team
"Winning the Grand Prize in the Screencraft Pilot Competition this year really sealed the deal for me as a writer ready to break in. Suddenly I was getting read and taking meetings like crazy. It's truly been the crowning jewel of my achievements this year. [The team] was active and mindful in curating the list of managers to reach out to. [They] really helped me navigate through it all to land with Zero Gravity and I couldn't be more thrilled at all the exciting things on the horizon."
Developing a pitch with an executive who is working with HBO
ScreenCraft TV Pilot Script Competition Finalist Kristy Ellington developed a pitch with a development executive at HBO after placing in the competition.
"You don’t need permission to follow your instincts. And if other writers out there are reading this now, YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION. I did a lot of research on contests in the early days, thinking it would be a good way to assess my skill level and Screencraft had a lot going for it. The way Screencraft breaks out genre to compare apples to apples, the quality of judges, the access winners get to industry professionals, and the quality of notes. While contests may not be for everyone, they’ve been a key factor in understanding which of my skills needed sharpening. "
Hired to write an episode of THE FLASH
ScreenCraft TV Pilot Script Competition Finalist Alex Boyd was hired to write an episode for THE FLASH after he signed with managers at Stagecoach Entertainment.
"Don't worry about your dream being risky or impractical. People really do make it in this industry. When I moved to LA to start my writing career, I knew zero people in the industry. So when I took the traditional mailroom route, I felt like I was the only person around without any connections. Even when I wrote something I was proud of, I often felt like it was wasting away on my hard drive with nobody to read. I had been submitting to competitions for years now with some success, but I was particularly excited to enter ScreenCraft because of the genre-specific categories (horror, family, etc.) Plus, their partnership with Coverfly was exciting."
Signed with a literary manager at Code Entertainment.
Congratulations to 2021 ScreenCraft TV Pilot Script Competition Finalist, Rob Salerno, who signed with a literary manager at Code Entertainment.
"Every time you get a “no,” it stings a little. My first year in LA, I submitted to a bunch of jobs, fellowships, contests, and film festivals, only to get nothing but rejections. There were times when I felt insane for giving up a good job back home and moving here, where I knew nobody. I didn’t have a steady job for the first two years I lived here and was just scraping by on savings and odd gigs. It was tough. But in the process, I learned a lot about what the industry is looking for. I now keep an Excel spreadsheet of contests, jobs, festivals, and opportunities that I apply to. I mark rejections in red, wins and finalist placements in blue. In 2020, I applied to about 200 different opportunities in total. And while I ended up with a lot of redlines on my spreadsheet, I’m getting more and more blues and that keeps me going. The competition has been very helpful because my finalist placement gave me the confidence to reach out to managers, and to friends who could recommend me to managers, to help take the next step in my career. I was able to have a few meetings, and signed with a management company. "
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Rules & Info
- Selection Criteria
- Additional Legal
- Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.
- Entry fees are as listed on the site and checkout form. No coupon or discount is applicable on a previous entry.
- Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback can be done through Coverfly
- TV pilots may be any length -- however the standard short pilot is between 1 - 20 pages, the standard 1/2 hour is between 20 - 40 pages, and the standard hour long is between 40 - 70 pages. Any pilot script submission longer than 70 pages will incur a $.50 per page overage fee for each page over 70 if it does not include feedback and $1 per page if the entry does include feedback.
- There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
- 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.
- All submitted material must be owned by the writer(s), however the material may be based on other works not owned by the writers.
- 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).
- 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 any prizes awarded as they deem fair (whether there is a cash value or not).
- Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $6 reentry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
- 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.
- Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required. ScreenCraft uses Coverfly to manage submissions and automatically removes cover pages before scripts are read by the judges.
- 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.
- 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.
- ScreenCraft reserves the right to change deadline and announcement dates at any time.
- ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
- 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 12 months or $500,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional film or TV in the proceeding 10 years is not eligible. (Contest winnings not included.)
- 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).
- All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.
- There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
- Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
- We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
- 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.
- Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.
- 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.
- ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
The reading and judging of the scripts will be based on the following criteria:
- 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:
- The winners and top finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers.
- Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility.
- Any entrant may be deemed ineligible as a Finalist or Winner at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft.
- All recognition, placements, and winners are chosen at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft.
- 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.
- We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.
- 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.
- REFUND POLICY: All entries are non-refundable.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.