Whether you’re writing a novella or a flash fiction, our Hollywood judges are looking for great stories with cinematic adaptation potential. This year, the Grand Prize winner will also receive a one-of-a-kind mentorship opportunity with novelist/writer Julia Seales!

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Early Deadline in 5 days

Deadlines

Sep 30

Early

Oct 31

Regular

Nov 30

Final

Announcements

Jan 18

Quarterfinalist

Feb 8

Semifinalist

Mar 8

Finalist

Apr 5

Winner

Does your short story have cinematic appeal? 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. Past winners have signed with top agents and had their worked optioned. 

ScreenCraft is thrilled to include a one-of-a-kind mentorship opportunity with novelist/writer Julia Seales as a part of this year's Grand Prize. Julia is the author of A MOST AGREEABLE MURDER, which will be published by Random House in 2023 and was optioned by TriStar Pictures for film with 3 Arts producing and Julia adapting. This will be an invaluable learning experience for any writer!

ScreenCraft’s competition winners have gone on to sell their scripts to major studios and have been hired by companies like Universal, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CBS and many more. These writers are also highly sought after by literary managers and agents who are open to signing to new writer clients. Over 275 ScreenCraft writers have signed with top management companies and agencies like 3 Arts, Anonymous Content, CAA, WME, UTA, Paradigm, Lit Entertainment, and many more.

Submit your work to this year’s competition, which features a jury of professionals from across the entertainment and publishing industries.

Jury

Get in front of our industry jury that loves great stories.

Zoe Howard

Literary Agent, Howland Literary

Zoe Aline Howard is a literary agent and literary publicist. Zoe is currently an agent acquiring adult fiction and nonfiction at Howland Literary, and as a literary publicist at Pine State Publicity. Through each of these and her own writing, Zoe has garnered an eye for those interdisciplinary, lyrical, quiet books that demand more space in publishing.

Erin Clyburn

Literary Agent, Howland Literary

Erin Clyburn is a literary agent with Howland Literary, representing middle grade, YA, and adult fiction and nonfiction. Prior to joining Howland Literary, Erin was an associate agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She has over a decade of experience in magazine publishing, having worked for brands including Food & Wine, Cooking Light, People, and Entertainment Weekly.

Carly Watters

SVP and Senior Literary Agent, P.S. Literary

Carly Watters is a SVP and Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary and the sitting VP of PACLA, the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents. Her clients’ books have been translated into 40 languages, optioned for TV and film, adapted into podcasts, and have been on every bestseller list from coast to coast, including the New York Times, USA Today, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail.

Kimberly Cameron

President, Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency

Kimberley is the president of Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency. This agency represents many great authors, some of which have adapted their novels into feature films like THE TOY SOLDIERS and ADAM which was distributed through Searchlight Pictures.

Elizabeth Kracht

Literary Agent, Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency

Elizabeth Kracht is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates and the author of The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript. Elizabeth represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist, and writer. In fiction, she represents thrillers, mysteries, literary, commercial, women’s, and historical.

Prizes

Jump start your career.

Grand Prize Winner

The overall Grand Prize winner will receive a mentorship opportunity with novelist/writer Julia Seals (A MOST AGREEABLE MURDER). They will also be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program and receive personal introductions and phone calls with one or more top Hollywood literary managers and producers.

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

  • Accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program

  • Personal Introduction to top literary managers and producers

  • $1,000 cash

  • An exclusive invitation to a Finalist+ workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

Runner-Up Prizes

Runner-Up

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

An exclusive invitation to a Finalist+ workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

Finalists

An exclusive invitation to a Finalist+ workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

Consideration by the Industry Jury

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Early Deadline in 5 days

Previous Successes

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Prepare your pitch

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Rules and More

  • Rules
  • Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • Additional Legal
  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.
  2. Entry fees are as listed on the site and checkout form. No coupon or discount is applicable on a previous entry.
  3. Short Stories must be 20,000 words or less. Files should be in PDF format when submitted and should be double spaced.
  4. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
  5. 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.
  6. All submitted material must be owned by the writer(s), however the material may be based on other works not owned by the writers.
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. 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 short story carefully before submitting.
  10. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the short story, however it is not required. ScreenCraft uses Coverfly to manage submissions and automatically removes cover pages before short stories are read by the judges.
  11. ScreenCraft claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the short stories submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders.
  12. 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.
  13. ScreenCraft reserves the right to change deadline and announcement dates at any time.
  14. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
  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 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.)
  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. The material may have been written at any time.
  5. Material should be submitted double spaced.
  6. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  7. 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.
  8. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
  9. Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.
  10. 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.

The reading and judging of the short stories will be based on the following criteria:

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

In addition to the scoring criteria for the short story, 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 short stories are ready by the industry jury who votes for their favorite short stories at their sole discretion.

  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. All recognition, placements, and winners are chosen at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 piece of writing submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the short stories 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. SITE TERMS OF SERVICE. All ScreenCraft Terms of Service apply in addition to these rules and eligibility criteria.
  5. 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 short stories or writer data unintentionally.
  6. ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE: BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release, indemnify 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 short stories 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). The governing law is California.

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