The ScreenCraft Podcast Writing Competition is open to produced and un-produced Podcast scripts and pitches in both Fiction and Nonfiction. Do you have the pilot script for what could be the most engrossing new fictional audio series? Do you have a treatment for a dynamic new nonfiction podcast, with a host and a concept that’s sure to grab listeners? Submit to the ScreenCraft Podcast Writing Competition for a chance at mentorship from leaders in the podcasting field. The top fiction or nonfiction podcast submissions will win guaranteed development deals with top Production Companies that specialize in producing podcasts and licensing them for film and television.
Abbie Ruzicka is an Exec. Producer and the Head of Gimlet Projects, a team that develops new shows for Spotify Studios and is a division of the lauded Gimlet Media (HOMECOMING, CRIMETOWN, SCIENCE VS and more) She was also a podcast and radio producer with WGBH News and later as a producer for the nationally-syndicated NPR show ON POINT.
David Devries is the Director of Development at Studio 71. As an experienced Film & TV Executive, David has developed and produced a wide range of projects in nearly every format for many platforms including ABC, Freeform, NBC, and more. Podcasts include the upcoming YA series SHADOW DIARIES, starring RIVERDALE’s Madelaine Petsch and MOONRISE KINGDOM’s Kara Hayward.
Stephen Perlstein is the Vice President of Podcasts at Studio71, where he helped bring to life shows from MKBHD, Amanda Cerny, LaurDIY, Donut Media, and more. Perlstein is the creative EP of WILD WILD TECH and has written for television including NEW LOONEY TUNES and DANCE MOMS.
Zack Akers cofounded Two-Up with Skip Bronkie, which has gone on to produce the widely regarded podcast LIMETOWN. The audio drama has received over 20 million listens, was an iTunes Best of 2015, and was covered by international publications like the New York Times, the Guardian, New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Vox and more. LIMETOWN went on to become a television show with Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci, which Zack wrote and produced. Additionally, Zack has also produced, with Skip, the popular podcasts, 36 QUESTIONS and THE WILDERNESS under the Two-Up banner.
Erin Kyan is a disabled, queer and trans writer, performer, and podcast producer based in Melbourne. He is the writer and creator of the award-nominated LOVE AND LUCK podcast, Australia’s first LGBT audio drama podcast with more than 500,00 downloads.
At A3 Artists Agency, Samantha Land helps clients manage podcasts through variations of style, genre, and approaches. Prior to that she served as the production executive at Himalaya Media, and was a podcast producer at Audible. Her notable projects include Audible’s STORY PARTY, BANDTASTIC, HOT MIC WITH DAN SAVAGE and Himalaya FM’s Dallas Mavericks podcast.
Grand Prize Winner
The overall Grand Prize winner in each category (Fiction or Nonfiction) will receive a guaranteed offer of a Development Deal with Studio71, an established podcast and film/television production company behind podcasts from MKBHD, Amanda Cerny, LaurDIY, Donut Media, SHADOW DIARIES and more, as well as film/television such as PLUS ONE (2019 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award), television shows with ABC, NBC Facebook Watch and more.
As well, the Grand Prize winner in each category will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Development Program for personalized mentorship and introductions to top Hollywood literary managers, producers and more.
A guaranteed offer of an option and development deal with an established podcast and film/television production company.
Accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program
$1000 cash award
Complimentary Badge for the 2021 ScreenCraft Summit + Travel Stipend
Receives a $500 cash award as well as 50% off discount to the 2021 ScreenCraft Summit.
Receives a $500 cash award as well as 50% off discount to the 2021 ScreenCraft Summit.
Previous ScreenCraft Successes
Signed with Manager and Agent, Hired by Netflix
Anna Klassen was the winner of the 2017 ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship and subsequently signed with her manager at Plattform and with an agent at WME, her screenplay was recently voted onto 2017’s The Black List! Also, she was just hired by a major company to write a film adaptation.
"Thanks to the ScreenCraft Fellowship I took meetings with Warner Bros., Sony, Fox Studios, STX, Vertigo Entertainment, and Covert Media – to name a few. I had breakfast with the writers of Die Hard and Face/Off, and ate dinner with the Oscar-winning writers of Brokeback Mountain and Precious. One of the Oscar-winning screenwriters I met at the Fellowship dinner recommended me for a writing gig."
Signed with Manager & Agent
2018 ScreenCraft Comedy Runner-Up, Shiwani Srivastava, signed with literary manager Nicholas Bogner of Affirmative Entertainment and Paradigm Talent Agency after ScreenCraft introduced them.
Signed with Manager & Agent
Less than one month after winning the grand prize in the 2019 ScreenCraft Sci-fi Screenplay Competition for his project Pod, Nabil Chowdhary was introduced to manager Bash Naran at Writ Large by the ScreenCraft team and signed with him for representation. In December 2019, Nabil was named to BOTH The Hit List and The Black List as one of the best screenplays of the year as voted on by entertainment industry professionals!
"Within hours, I was in touch with Bash at Writ Large. Three weeks later, we are officially working together. I was in constant communication with the ScreenCraft team, seeking advice and looking for guidance on how to navigate this very new situation for me and they couldn’t have been more helpful."
As Featured in
- The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Fiction Podcast Script Aug 31 - Believe it or not, podcasts have been around for nearly two decades. And while you're probably more familiar with non-fiction podcasts—like the 2015 true-crime sensation, Serial with over 80 million downloads within their first year—there… ...
Rules and More
- Selection Criteria
- Additional Legal
- Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between September 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020.
- Entry fee for each submission (regardless of the page count) is $39 until the early deadline on September 30, 2020, then $49 until the regular deadline on October 31, 2020, and then $59 until the final deadline on November 30, 2020.
- Submissions are open to both produced and un-produced Podcast scripts and pitches in both Fiction and Nonfiction. All rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s) and all submitted material must be original.
- Pilot scripts for Fiction podcasts must be no longer than 45 pages. Any submission longer than 45 pages will incur a $1 per page overage fee for each page over 45. (Fiction podcast script samples available here)
- There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
- All files should be in PDF format.
- 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.
- 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 or document.
- 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.]
- Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for free within the first 12 hours, and for a $5 re-entry fee through our submission management platform Coverfly at any time until the finalists are announced. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
- It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress US Copyright Office before submitting to any competition, however we do not require WGA or Copyright registration.
- Contact info may be included on the document, however it is not required.
- ScreenCraft claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holder(s).
- Scripts should be submitted as a single PDF, consisting of 1 – 3 scripted episodes, no longer than 45 pages total.
- Scripts can be submitted in standard US Screenplay format or BBC Radio Drama format and include standard scene format elements – Scene Heading, Character, Parenthetical, Dialogue, and Action that conveys sound or movement. Visual Transitions and descriptions are not necessary.
- All genres are acceptable for submission.
- Later in the competition, Finalists have the option to submit supporting material such as a treatment, multi-episode season outline or audio material that expresses their vision for the fiction podcast series.
- To enter the nonfiction podcast writing competition, please submit a Treatment of up-to 10 pages, that should include the following:
- Concept Synopsis: A summary of the topic, world, or issues that will be addressed in the Podcast. Please include character details and any references for style and tone.
- Category and Target Audience. Include the category details for nonfiction podcast. For example mention what broad category does the concept fall under like True Crime, Wellness, Family, etc. Also identify the target audience for the concept.
- Host: If the host(s) is separate from the writer(s) or person(s) submitting, please share your recommendations for the host(s) and the rationale for why the host(s) is the best choice for your podcast.
- Tone: Describe the tone and audio cues for the podcast, that share your vision for your listening experience for the audience. Additionally, please reference 2-3 existing podcasts that are comparable and discuss how this concept is similar and/or unique.
- Themes: Share the central theme for the podcast.
- Segments: Define the recurring segments that will appear in each episode and how they will be tied back to your main topic.
- Season: Episodic or serial arc for the season.
- Episodes: 1-2 paragraph synopsis of at least 3 episodes in the series.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Work and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).For nonfiction podcasts, the individual submitting must hold any rights and access to proprietary stories intended for broadcast, that are not already in the public domain.
- Material should be submitted with standard font, spacing and margin (Times New Roman is preferred font, but not required).
- Title pages are optional, we have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
- Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.
- Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.
- All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.
The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: (i) originality, (ii) uniqueness and personality in voice in storytelling, (iii) characterization, (iv) dialogue, (v) strength in storytelling in the podcast medium, and (vi)overall professional presentation. 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 at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft. Winners 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 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 work 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.
- 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, 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 work 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).