Sept 1

Open

Sept 30

Early Deadline

Nov 30

Final Deadline

March

Finalists Announced

Opens for entries on September 1, 2020.

Seeking uniquely cinematic short stories (prose, not scripts).

Subscribe to get a notification via Coverfly for upcoming deadlines.
Download ScreenCraft’s 2020 Competition Calendar here.

If you’re writing a book longer than 20,000 words, please see our book contest here.

Our jury is looking for short stories (not scripts) with special cinematic potential. Whether you’re writing flash fiction or a novella, we want to read your story! The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and personal introductions to literary agents, managers, producers and publishers. The top 5 finalists will be shared with our network of over 60 literary and entertainment industry professionals. All rights and ownership to stories submitted to this contest remain with the author, until and unless other agreements are made.

Quarterfinalists announcement: January 8th

Semifinalists announcement: February 12th

Winners announcement: April 1st

1st PlaceGrand Prize

$ 1,000

Cash Award
  • introduction and phone call with Hollywood literary agents and managers
  • one-on-one consultation with a ScreenCraft development executive
  • exposure to our distinguished jury and network of over 70 industry professionals

2nd Place

$ 300

Cash Award
  • one-on-one consultation with a ScreenCraft mentor
  • exposure to our jury and network of over 70 industry professionals

Top 5 Finalists

$ 99

Per Month
  • All top 5 finalists may have their stories published (optional) for a limited time on our website and shared with our network of literary magazines, agents, managers, publishers, producers and studio executives.

Judges

Heidi Pitlor

Heidi Pitlor is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has been the series editor for “The Best American Short Stories” since 2007.

Eleanor Chandler

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.

Ottessa Moshfegh

Her debut novel, Eileen, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and was a fiction finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her short story Slumming won the O. Henry Award in 2016. O. Henry Prize Stories is an annual collection of the year’s twenty best stories published in U.S. and Canadian magazines, written in English.

Kirsten Reach

Kirsten Reach is Fiction Editor at the Kenyon Review. Since 1939 the Kenyon Review has published early works by generations of luminary writers, including Robert Penn Warren, Robert Lowell, Flannery O’Connor, Bertolt Brecht, Dylan Thomas, Maya Angelou, Derek Walcott, Thomas Pynchon, Don Delillo, Woody Allen, and Ha Jin. The magazine’s short stories have won more O. Henry Awards for short fiction than any other nonprofit journal.

Eileen Talone

Eileen Talone is Assistant Editor at The Hudson Review. The magazine has dealt with the area where literature bears on the intellectual life of the time and on diverse aspects of American culture. In 2006, Princeton University libraries announced that they had acquired the archives of the journal, which included important works including an Ezra Pound manuscript. The Hudson Review was founded in 1947 by Frederick Morgan and Joseph Bennett, both Princeton students who were editors of Nassau Literary Magazine, and their professor Allen Tate advised them to begin their own literary magazine once they completed their service in World War II. Volume I, Number 1 of The Hudson Review was published in spring 1948.

Elizabeth DeMeo

Elizabeth DeMeo is the Assistant Editor at Tin House Books, which began as an imprint of Bloomsbury and officially launched in 2005. Tin House Books publishes between fifteen and twenty titles a year, and its authors have garnered attention from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and O, the Oprah magazine.

RULES:

  • Submissions are accepted via electronic submission on this website only, between September 1st, 2019 and November 30th, 2019.
  • Entry fee for each story is $39 until the September 30th early deadline and then $59 until the final deadline on November 30th.
  • There is no limit to the number of stories you may submit.
  • Entries must be received on or before the deadlines and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable
  • The story may have been previously published, however all submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s), particularly the film adaptation rights.
  • 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. They may be done so via the link provided in the confirmation email.
  • It is recommended that original material be registered with the US Copyright Office before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registration.
  • All ownership and rights to the material submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders.

ELIGIBILITY:

  • 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.
  • All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible.
  • There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  • The material submitted must not be encumbered by any obligation to, or option held by, a third party prior to entering the competition.
  • Any submitted work that becomes optioned, professionally adapted for the screen or purchased between the time of submission and the end of the judging period will no longer be eligible.
  • Material should be submitted in PDF format, with no crazy fonts or non-standard font sizes.
  • Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.
  • Short stories or novellas longer than 20,000 words will not be eligible. If you have a story longer than 20,000 words, please see our cinematic book contest.
  • All material must be submitted electronically or it will not be eligible.

The studios, publishers and companies that employ our judges are in no way official sponsors or endorsers of this contest. The top 5 finalists will be chosen based on the following criteria: (i) originality; (ii) story; (iii) voice; (iv) cinematic potential; and (v) overall impression and quality. The top 10 finalists will be notified by email and may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents, producers or publishers. 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 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 short story submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the material 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 an 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 LLC, 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 story 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).