Some of the greatest films ever written were adapted from stage plays. ScreenCraft’s Stage Play Competition is a great opportunity to have your work considered by influential writers and industry professionals. Drawing on a long history of playwrights transitioning to screenwriting, this competition seeks to celebrate excellent plays that have great film or TV adaptation potential.
ScreenCraft’s past winners have gone on to sell their scripts to major studios and have been hired by companies like Universal, Netflix, Amazon, Millennium, CBS and many more. ScreenCraft’s winners are also highly sought after by literary managers and agents who are open to signing to new writer clients. Over 100 ScreenCraft writers have signed with top management companies and agencies like 3 Arts, Anonymous Content, CAA, WME, UTA, Paradigm, Lit Entertainment, and many more.
Previous Season Judges
Jeffrey Whiity is the author of Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q. Other musicals include BRING IT ON, score by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Amanda Green, Armistead Maupin’s TALES OF THE CITY with music by Scissor Sisters, and more. His screenplay adaptation of CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, co-written with Nicole Holofcener, garnered Writers Guild of America and Independent Spirit Awards, and BAFTA and Academy Award nominations.
Playwright Donald Margulies won the Pulitzer Prize for Dinner with Friends, and was a finalist for Sight Unseen and Collected Stories. His plays have been produced worldwide, including Tony Award-nominated Time Stands Still and Obie Award-winning The Model Apartment. Awards include the Sidney Kingsley Award for Achievement in the Theatre, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and more. His screenplay THE END OF THE TOUR premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Elena Araoz directs theater, opera, and virtual performance. Recent theater works include ORIGINAL SOUND (Cherry Lane Theatre), MUD AND CONDUCT OF LIFE (Boundless Theatre Company), PROSPECT (Boundless Theatre Company) and more. Opera: La Traviata (New York City Opera), Falstaff (Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House), and more. She is a faculty member at Princeton University.
Kata Wéber is a Hungarian actress, screen and theater writer. Theatre works include “The Bat”, “Pieces of a Woman”, “Dementia”, “Imitation of Life” and more. Her first opera libretto, “Journey of Hope” premieres at Grand Theatre Geneve this year. Films WHITE GOD won the Prize Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and in Spotlight section at the Sundance Film Festival, JUPITER'S MOON was in Competition at Cannes and PIECES OF A WOMAN premiered at Venice Film Festival, actress Vanessa Kirby was nominated for an Academy Award.
Olivier Sultan is a theater agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) representing writers, directors, composers and designers including Academy Award winners Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton and Alex Dinelaris; Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks and Martyna Majok; Tony winners Stephen Daldry, Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, Bill T. Jones, and more.
Tim J. Lord
The recipient of the inaugural Apothetae-Lark Fellowship, 2017-18 Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and 2019 Reg E. Cathey Writer-in-Residence at the Orchard Project, Tim J. Lord is a playwright and member of the disability community. His work has been performed at The Public Theater, The Lark, The Kennedy Center, Circle Rep, The Cutout Theatre, The Vagrancy, The Working Theater and more.
Grand Prize Winner
The grand prize winner will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Development Program, receive a cash prize of $1000 and personal introductions with industry professionals who are looking for talented emerging writers.
The winning project info and log lines will be circulated and recommended to our network of managers, agents, producers and development executives.
ScreenCraft has a proven track record for getting writers signed with managers, agents, and staffed in writing rooms.
Personal Introduction to industry professionals
Accepted into the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program
Complimentary Badge for the 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit
Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro
$500 cash award
Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program
50% off 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit
Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro
Contest opens on Jul 31, 2022
Signed with an agent at William Morris Endeavor
Doug Williams was the runner-up to the inaugural ScreenCraft Stage Play Competition in 2018 for his play Ship. Doug has since signed with an agent at William Morris Endeavor, whom he met through the competition.
"It was an honor all its own to be named runner-up for their new stage play contest, but the way they went to bat for me and championed my work following the contest was incredible. ScreenCraft got my play in front of some of my writing heroes who were judges for the contest, and just a few months later I’d signed with my agent at WME. Prior to ScreenCraft, I honestly had no idea how to even approach an agent."
Signed with a Literary Manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners and repped at Kaplan/Perrone
Xavier won the 2018 ScreenCraft Drama Screenplay Competition and has since taken meetings at Blumhouse, Netflix and with independent producers who are interested in his script. Additionally, Xavier was hired to direct a documentary feature Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror which premiered on Shudder on February 7th, 2019. He is repped by manager Hannah Ozer at Kaplan/Perrone.
"“It’s been an amazing amount of work happening since I won the Screencraft Drama competition in 2018. The accomplishment I’m most proud of is directing Horror Noire, a documentary focusing on the history of black people within the horror genre from the 1900s to today. I met my agent a year or so ago after winning the Screencraft competition. I’d been on his radar for a good amount of time, but it was a combination of the work I was doing, plus mad love from his assistant that led me to partner with him. My manager has also been keeping up with me for nearly four years before we decided to work together. It’s a marathon, not a race. I’ve learned that building your career can be a slow climb. Unless you’re already rich, have rich parents, or rich connections, the industry is entirely different. Hollywood is not a meritocracy. You need talent (of course), but wealth plus connections can often overshadow this. As a writer and/or filmmaker, you need to be ready for this reality and never allow it to stop you from pushing for your projects and vision.""
Signed with Agent at Casarotto Ramsay and Associates
Congratulations to ScreenCraft Fellow, Georgina Love, who recently signed with Casarotto Ramsay and Associates, a prestigious UK agency that reps Chiwetel Ejiofor, Neil Gaiman, Steve McQueen among others. Georgina participated in the 2018 ScreenCraft Fellowship week in Los Angeles after winning with her feature screenplay PIG.
"As the first international fellow, I believe ScreenCraft provided me with a truly unique and universally beneficial experience. For an Australian writer, going to LA in and of itself is a career milestone that most are unable to achieve until gaining some serious traction back in Australia. ScreenCraft was proof that there is an immense amount of untapped talent in Australia and it allowed me to further my career, sit confidently in writer’s rooms and be self-assured in my own ability to thrive in my home country, as well as in the United Kingdom and LA. More than just the career benefits was the personal growth I experienced – both during Fellowship week and afterwards. I gained confidence, not only in my ability as a writer, but also in my ability to articulate my viewpoint in meetings and to foster creative relationships. It is impossible to quantify all that ScreenCraft has done to further my career, but I look at it as the stone that started a ripple that will travel throughout my career in the screen industry."
Signed with a Literary Manager at Recon Literary
Ian won the 2018 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Competition and went on to be invited to Coverfly‘s Rep Week program which introduced him to literary manager Adrian Garcia, with whom he signed.
"I once wrote a script and sent it to my previous rep. “It’s a comedy,” I said. She disagreed. “Parts of it are funny, I guess, but I wouldn’t call it a comedy.” The “I guess” was the real kicker. Apparently she wasn’t even sure the parts she thought were funny were funny. I entered the script in a couple screenwriting contests and won both. For comedy. "
Luke Schreiber & Emily Winter
Signed with Manager at Sword Entertainment
2018 ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship Finalists, Luke Schreiber and Emily Winter, signed with Mike Sword of Sword Entertainment!
"After placing as ScreenCraft finalists, the encouragement and belief made a huge impact in taking the next step in our careers. They were huge fans of us and our projects. We would always say– we might be crazy but then ScreenCraft is crazy too."
Signed with Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and The Gersch Agency, and he set his pilot up at Amazon
Signed with Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and The Gersch Agency, and he set his pilot up at Amazon
"Imagine me back in January. A completely unknown writer, my name indistinguishable to anyone in this industry and wondering why I exhausted eight gnawing years of my life to this goal of using my imagination for a living. In an industry thronged with hurdles, I’ve found that the tallest one is simply joining it. I had ideas and passion. I just needed the introduction. That’s where ScreenCraft came in. And it’s why everyone looking for their start should apply. I actually lost this and other competitions many times before finally winning. I know how exhausting it is to fail, and I know how futile it may seem to repeat yourself, but I guarantee you, all that previous failure was worth my current success. I implore that you keep losing until you finally don’t. It’s worth the stress."
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Rules & Info
- Selection Criteria
- Additional Legal
- Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between May 31, 2021 and August 31, 2021.
- Entry fee for each stage play is $49.50 until the early deadline on June 30, 2021, then $69.50 until the regular deadline on July 31, 2021, then $79.50 until the final deadline on August 31, 2021.
- Any play script submission longer than 120 pages will incur a $1 per page overage fee for each page over 120. The maximum page limit is 150 pages.
- 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.
- There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
- 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 wholly owned by the writer(s).
- 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.
- 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 a limited time with a $5 reentry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
- It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registration.
- Contact info may be included on the cover page of the play, however it is not required.
- ScreenCraft claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the plays submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders.
- 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 is eligible for this contest.
- There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
- Stage play and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).
- Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.
- 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:
- Genre Conventions
Criteria for Winners and Finalists:
- 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 as a Finalist or Winner 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 screenplay 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, 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 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).