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. Featuring a jury of Hollywood professionals and award-winning playwrights, ScreenCraft’s Stage Play Competition is a great opportunity to have your work considered by influential writers and industry professionals.
Get in front of theater professionals and award-winning playwrights:
With his award of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics, Nilo became the first Latino so honored. The work also garnered the Steinberg Award for Best New Play. A year later it received its Broadway premiere with Jimmy Smits in the lead role. Cruz is an alumnus of New Dramatists and has taught playwriting at Brown University, the University of Iowa and at Yale University.
Stephen Adly Guirgis
An American playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He is a member and a former co-artistic director of New York City’s LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced both Off-Broadway and on Broadway as well as in the UK. His play Between Riverside and Crazy won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Guirgis also had a small role as an actor in Charlie Kaufman’s film Synecdoche, New York.
The current Artistic Director of the prestigious Theater Under the Stars in Houston, TX. His Broadway credits include Lysistrata Jones, Xanadu, Sondheim on Sondheim, 110 in The Shade, and The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee directed by James Lapine.
Barry Edelstein is a stage director, producer, author, and educator and currently the Artistic Director of The Old Globe Theater in San Diego. He is widely recognized as one of the leading American authorities on the works of Shakespeare, having directed nearly half of the Bard’s plays including Othello starring Blair Underwood, Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright, and The Merchant of Venice featuring Rob Leibman’s Award-winning portrayal of Shylock.
Stefanie Black is an actor, writer, and director, and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Playwrights Horizons Theater School, an alumna of The Williamstown Theater Festival and American Conservatory Theater (ACT). She is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of the Ovation Award Winning, IAMA Theatre Company, who will be sponsoring the workshop and production of the winning play.
Jump-start your writing career
Grand Prize Winner
The grand prize winner will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Development Program and receive personal introductions and phone calls with one or more top Hollywood literary managers who are looking for talented emerging writers.
Both the winner and runner-up will have their material circulated to ScreenCraft’s network of over 60 literary managers, agents, producers, creative executives, and other industry professionals. ScreenCraft has a proven track record for getting writers signed with representation, and staffed in writing rooms.
The winning play will receive a workshop and performance in partnership with IAMA Theatre. IAMA Theatre Company: Now in its 13th season, IAMA is an ovation award winning Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to invigorating live performance for a streaming generation.
Through cutting-edge, cool, and hyper-modern stories, IAMA is invested in the immediacy of production and strives to bring audiences out of their personal space and into a shared experience. In addition to the world premieres of all 7 of Leslye Headland’s “The Seven Deadly Plays,” IAMA has produced over 15 premiere plays, garnering multiple awards and nominations, including; FOUND: A New Musical, Shiner, A Dog’s House, Do Like The Kids Do, Mama Metal, Canyon, The Recommendation, Sixty Miles To Silverlake, Redline, Sinner’s Laundry, Species Native to California, American Hero, Unbound, and A Kid Like Jake.
Winning a ScreenCraft competition can launch your career.
Signed with literary agent
Doug Williams was a winner of 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.
“I swear I’m not just saying this because it’s going on the website, but there is no way I would have found my agent the way I did were it not for ScreenCraft. 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.” – Doug Williams
Sold screenplay to Netflix and signed with literary manager
Shiwani placed as the runner-up in the 2018 competition for her romantic comedy WEDDING SEASON. After winning, ScreenCraft introduced her to an independent producer, who developed the project and signed an option at Netflix.
ScreenCraft also introduced her to her manager at Affirmative Entertainment and her agents at Paradigm, the talent agency whose clients consist of Stephen King, Laurence Fishburne, and James Wan.
Optioned Screenplay to Producer
Xavier Burgin won the 2018 ScreenCraft Drama Competition. He was subsequently nominated for an Emmy for directing a documentary feature film distributed via streaming platform Shudder.
Signed with a Literary Manager
After placing in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Stage Play Competition, Joanna Pickering signed with 3 Arts Entertainment. She was recently awarded a scholarship to adapt her play, “Beach Break”, to the screen with HBO.
Signed with literary manager
After placing as a finalist in the 2018 competition for her feature EAT DEAD BIRD, ScreenCraft introduced Molly to managers before she signed with Haven Entertainment, the management and production company behind such projects as Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, In the Vault, and Hello, My Name is Dorris starring Sally Field.
Signed with literary manager
After winning the 2018 competition for his screenplay STUCK, ScreenCraft worked with Ian to introduce him to his manager, Adrian Garcia of Recon Literary. Ian has written for comedy and animation projects with major studios such as Disney, Paramount, and Fox.
Signed with literary manager
Luke was a finalist in the 2018 ScreenCraft Fellowship with his writing partner, Emily Winter. After placing, they signed with Mike Sword of Sword Entertainment. Luke has writing credits on Disney Channel series Liv and Maddie and Coop and Cami Ask the World.
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Rules & Info
- Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between June 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020.
- Entry fee for each submission (regardless of length) is $49 until the early deadline on June 30, 2020, then $59 until the regular deadline on July 31, 2020, and then $69 until the final deadline on August 30, 2020.
- 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.
- Plays must be a minimum of 10 pages and a maximum of 150 pages. Any play script submission longer than 120 pages will incur a $1 per page overage fee for each page over 120.
- 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 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.
- 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. ScreenCraft offers a Copyright registration service here.
- Contact info may be included on the cover page of the script, however it is not required.
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).
- Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.
- 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 plays, 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.
- Script and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).
- Material should be submitted in standard play script format, font, spacing and margin:
- Act and Scene headings are centered.
- Character’s names are centered and capitalized.
- Stage directions are indented one tab and italicized.
- Character’s names in stage directions are capitalized.
- Parenthetical stage directions are used for small actions.
- 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.
- Scripts 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 / scene inventiveness; and (v) overall impression. 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 after the semi-finalist round. 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 script 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, script 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).