March 1


March 31

Early Deadline

May 31

Final Deadline

Sept 18

Recipients Announced

Closed for Entries Until 2020. 

Subscribe to get a notification via Coverfly for upcoming deadlines.
What competitions are coming up? Download ScreenCraft’s 2020 Competition Calendar here.

Read more about the Public Domain and what it means for your screenplay.

Writing a film or TV script based on a character or story in the public domain?

One of the best ways to get your screenplay noticed by Hollywood!

While it’s no secret that Hollywood loves remakes, sequels and spinoffs, it’s perhaps lesser known that Hollywood loves movies based on free intellectual property in the public domain, such as folk tales, fairy tales, mythology and books and plays published before 1923. For example, folk tales, mythology, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens, famous historical figures – and the list goes on.

It’s no wonder that Walt Disney Studios has produced over 50 films based on stories in the public domain, including Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, The Jungle Book and many more.

Many recent film and TV re-interpretations of public domain stories include: Titanic, Sherlock Holmes, The Crown, The Borgias, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Troy, The Crown, and many more.

More about public domain:

The legal term public domain refers to works whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, have been expressly waived, or are inapplicable. For a more nuanced exploration of the public domain, read this blog post.

Grand PrizeGrand Prize

$ 1,000

  • The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 plus introduction to producers, managers and agents who are specifically interested in original screenplays based on works in the public domain.
  • Circulation and personal recommendation of our top winners screenplays to our network of producers and studio development executives at Hollywood companies.
  • One-year license to Final Draft 11 professional screenwriting software.

2nd Place

$ 500

  • Cash prize of $500
  • Circulation and personal recommendation of the top 2 winners’ screenplays to ScreenCraft’s extensive network of producers and studio development executives at top Hollywood companies.

Top 10 Finalists

% 100

  • The top 10 finalists will receive a 1-month free trial of The Script Lab’s TSL 360 screenwriting and entertainment industry education service, featuring masterclasses, interviews and keynotes from Academy Award-winning screenwriters, studio executives, managers, agents and producers. Learn from the best with TSL 360 membership!

2019 Hollywood Jury:

David Fliegel, MAD CHANCE

Director of Development for Mad Chance, Andrew Lazar’s company with such credits and projects as American Sniper, I Love You Phillip Morris and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Mad Chance has a first look production deal with Warner Bros.


Creative Executive at Participant Media, the production company behind award winning films like Roma, The Post, On the Basis of Sex, and Academy Award Best Picture winner, Green Book.

Audrey Knox, CARTEL

Manager at Cartel, a production and management company whose clients have contributed to such films as Romeo & Juliet, The Simone Biles Story, Lucifer, Marco Polo, 11/22/63, and United 93.

Nawfal Faizullah, LEFT BANK PICTURES

Develop Executive at Left Bank Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television, behind such projects as Netflix’s The Crown.

Official Sponsor


  • Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between March 1st, 2019 and May 31, 2019
  • Entry fee for each feature film screenplay is $49 until the early deadline on March 31st, then $69 until the final deadline on May 31, 2019.
  • Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry for an additional cost of $69. Requests for feedback after an entry is submitted will be available only for a limited time.
  • Feature screenplays must be a minimum of 75 pages and a maximum of 150 pages. TV pilot screenplays must be a minimum of 20 pages and a maximum of 70 pages.
  • The recommended length for feature film scripts is 100-120 pages. Scripts over 120 pages will be accepted, however please note that there is a small page overage charge of $1 per every page over 120 pages to compensate the judges for the extra time invested in reading longer scripts.
  • Writers may also submit a logline or synopsis with their script submission.
  • There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit for consideration.
  • 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 original, and all rights must be in the public domain or wholly owned by the writer(s). Projects that are optioned, sold or produced are not eligible.
  • Public Domain and copyright law are complicated and this web page nor any page on the ScreenCraft website should be interpreted as legal advice. Your project’s eligibility to win this contest is not solely based on whether or not its underlying material is in the public domain of any country, as this must be defined ultimately by a legal professional. This contest merely encourages and celebrates writers who desire to base their screenplay on pre-existing IP that they believe to be in the public domain, either in the United States or in any other country.
  • 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 title page.
  • 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 are allowed. See your submission confirmation email for instructions on how to submit a new draft.
  • It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or the US Copyright Office before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registrations.
  • Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required.
  • All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.


  • All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible.
  • All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the script should be primarily written in English.
  • 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.
  • Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain (such as a mythology or publications before 1923).
  • Feature screenplays longer than 150 pages will not be eligible.
  • 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) plot/story structure; (iii) characterization; (iv) visual inventiveness; (v) overall impression; and (vi) co-production viability. 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. 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.


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 remain with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.


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.


All entries are non-refundable.


BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless ScreenCraft LLC,, 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 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.