Writing Competition

Seeking great prose stories that have cinematic adaptation potential. Our Hollywood judges are looking for great stories to adapt.

REMIND ME

Contest Opening on September 1

Deadlines

Sep 30

Early

Oct 31

Regular

Nov 30

Final

Announcements

Jan 6

Quarterfinalist

Jan 27

Semifinalist

Feb 17

Finalist

Mar 24

Winner

Does your short story  have cinematic potential? Hollywood has adapted countless movies and TV pilots from great short stories. Our judges are looking for stories with potential to be adapted for the screen. We’re looking for true and fictional short stories, novellas less than 20,000 words in length.  Submit your work for consideration today!

 

Judges

Get in front of Hollywood judges who love great stories.

Sean Crouch

TV Writer, Creator, and Showrunner (Amazon, FOX, CBS, etc

Sean E. Crouch was the Showrunner of the popular Amazon Prime series, LORE, an anthology of short works. Previously he was showrunner of the critically acclaimed FOX series, THE EXORCIST and Co-EP on THE 100. He also wrote and produced numerous episodes for CBS's NUMB3RS, HELIX, UNFORGETTABLE and even VERONICA MARS.

Navid McIlhargey

Producer & Development Exec, Vandal Entertainment and Four Daughters

An experienced Producer and Development Executive with more than 40 films and television shows packaged from development to production, Navid McIlhargey worked on films from BLACK HAWK DOWN to WHITE CHICKS to BROKEN CITY and was a Producer on Guy Ritchie’s ROCKNROLLA. Now as co-founder of both Vandal Entertainment and Four Daughters, he most recently produced THE HUNTER’S PRAYER with Sam Worthington and short anthology series MODERN LOVE for Amazon Studios.

Eleanor Chandler

Managing Editor, Granta Magazine

Eleanor Chandler is an editor at Granta Magazine, a UK-based literary magazine and publisher that has published works by A.A. Milne, Stevie Smith and Sylvia Plath.

Heidi Pitlor

Series Editor for “The Best American Short Stories”

Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novels THE BIRTHDAYS, THE DAYLIGHT MARRIAGE, which was optioned for film, and Impersonation. A former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, she has been the series editor of THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES since 2007. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Lit Hub, Ploughshares, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere.

Prizes

Jump start your career.

Grand Prize Winner

The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000.

Circulation and personal recommendation of winning book to our network of literary agents, managers, film/ TV producers and studio executives.

Phone call with ScreenCraft development team to discuss your project and advise on option/purchase offers.

  • $1,000 cash

  • Accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program

  • Recommendation to top literary managers

  • Complimentary Badge for the 2021 ScreenCraft Summit + Travel Stipend

Runner-Up Prizes

Second Place Winner

The second place winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

50% off 2021 ScreenCraft Summit.

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program.

Top Quarterfinalists

The top quarterfinalists will receive special mention on our website when we announce in early January.

Previous Successes

Placing in a ScreenCraft competition can launch your career.

AS FEATURED IN

New Insights with Your Entry

Prepare your pitch

By getting a fresh set of eyes on your story, you may get some new ideas for ways to pitch your screenplay.

Get outside of your own head

It's important to understand how somebody else experiences your story on the page.

Get more value

By opting for written feedback, you're guaranteed to get great value from this competition.

Short Story Articles

  • Unconventional Story Structures for Screenwriters May 21 by Kevin Nelson - There comes a time in every writer’s career when they start to feel a bit claustrophobic when it comes to structuring their scripts. Save the Cat!, Robert McKee Story Seminars, The Hero’s Journey, the old… ...
READ MORE ARTICLES

Rules and More

  • Rules
  • Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • Additional Legal
  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between September 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020.
  2. Entry fee for each submission (regardless of page count) is $29 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. 
  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. Short stories may be of any length, however as a guide, we recommend 5000 to 20,000 words.
  5. Submissions are open to both published and unpublished short stories.
  6. All entries should be made in standard short story format. Files are required to be submitted in PDF format.
  7. All adaptation/film and television rights must be available at the time of entry and wholly owned by the writer(s).
  8. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
  9. 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.
  10. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be owned by the writer(s).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for free within the first 24 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Contact info may be included on the cover page, however it is not required.
  16. 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).
  • 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).
  • Material should be submitted in standard PDF format, with standard font, spacing and margin (Times New Roman is preferred font, but not required). 
  • 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) visual storytelling, 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. 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).

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