ScreenCraft’s Stage Play Competition is a great opportunity to have your work considered by influential writers and industry professionals. This year's jury is stacked with award-winning playwrights and agents from companies like Paradigm, APA, and A3 Artists. 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.
Our winners and finalists are highly sought after by literary managers and agents who are open to signing to new writer clients. Past Stage Play competition winners and finalists have signed with representation from some of the biggest agencies and management companies in the industry including CAA, WME, A3 Artists, 3 Arts Entertainment and more. Others have gone on to set up and develop their projects with companies like HBO Max.
Previous Season Jury
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.
Jonathan Mills is a literary agent for Paradigm’s Theatrical Department, an agency representing the playwrights, directors, and stage titles such Dreamgirls, Sister Act, Hairspray, Rent, The Secret Garden and School of Rock.
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.
Amy Wagner is a playwright agent for A3 Artists Agency, which represents some of the top Tony Award-winning playwrights and producers in Theater Arts, like Graciela Daniele and Charles Fuller.
Lucy Powis is a playwright agent for A3 Artists Agency, which represents some of the top Tony Award-winning playwrights and producers in Theater Arts, like Graciela Daniele and Charles Fuller. Her producing and dramaturgy credits include the 2020 Prelude Festival (Segal Center), 2020 & 2021 Global Forms Theater Festival (Rattlestick/NY Theater Salon), and work that has been seen at NYTW, Ars Nova, The Tank, and HERE. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University and hails from Toronto.
Beth Blickers is an agent at APA, where she represents artists who work in theater, television and film. She started her career at the William Morris Agency, where she began work after graduating from NYU. Beth has served on the jury panel for the Weissberger Award, the Ed Kleban Award, the Lark’s PONY Fellowship and Playwrights Week, and facilitated industry-related workshops and panels for organizations around the country.
Caitlin Cleary is the director of development and production for Imagine Entertainment, the Oscar-winning film and television production company founded by producer Brian Grazer and director Ron Howard who produced the acclaimed TICK...TICK...BOOM!
Elise Griffin is a Literary Agent for Paradigm, a talent and literary agency representing actors and creatives behind major titles like Stranger Things, Euphoria, and The Handmaid's Tale.
Grand Prize Winner
The grand prize winner will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Development Program, receive a cash prize of $1,000 and personal introductions with industry professionals who are looking for talented emerging writers.
ScreenCraft's industry relationships include companies like 3 Arts, CAA, UTA, WME, Imagine Entertainment, Netflix, HBO Max, and over 150 other Hollywood 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
An exclusive invitation to a Finalist+ workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry
$500 cash award
Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program
An exclusive invitation to a Finalist+ workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry
Signed with a literary agent at CAA
2022 ScreenCraft Stage Play Winner Laura Winters signed with a literary agent at CAA after he read her material through the competition.
"The panel of judges drew me to ScreenCraft competitions. [ScreenCraft] has been an absolute game-changer in [the] ability to get my scripts read by “right-fit” industry people. I’ve also been able to connect with some wonderful other finalists who live in LA, so it’s also helped me establish a writing community here."
Signed with Manager at 3 Arts Entertainment
Joanna Pickering placed in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Stage Play Competition, and signed with 3 Arts Entertainment. She was recently awarded a scholarship to adapt her play to screen with support from HBO’s Vice President of talent development assigned as a mentor for the project.
"Going from a mathematician to the dramatic arts and ending under the umbrella of 3 Arts. I create lots of turning points for myself. The goal of every writer is to create something into existence, to get financed, and produced. And so, the seemingly impossible task of attracting agents and managers. It’s too big a step to think of at once. You need to break it down and stay close to the writing. Focus on its development and needs as a piece. The rest will come. Writing competitions are a great way to make deadlines for yourself. Having a submission deadline helps you focus to finish or move onto the next draft. You also get helpful feedback on the work before sending it to agents and managers. I was delighted to be selected for the ScreenCraft Development Program. "
Signed with a literary agent at A3 Artists
2020 ScreenCraft Stage Play Contest Winner Robert Axelrod signed with a literary agent at A3 Artists after ScreenCraft introduced them.
"The competition had a judging panel that included some of my absolute favorite playwrights and artistic directors. The prospect of possibly having artists I’ve long admired and look up to actually read my work? That was incentive enough to apply. To wind up having those individuals select my play as the grand prize winner was beyond my wildest expectations. Through winning the competition, I was able to further develop my work with the IAMA Theatre Company, a company I’ve dreamed of working with. And, most recently, ScreenCraft introduced me and my work to my now-agent, Amy Wagner at A3 Artists Agency. The access and opportunities that ScreenCraft has provided me, since winning, has been beyond anything I could have anticipated."
Optioned her project GENERATION POR QUE? to HBO Max
Congratulations to Jacqueline Pereda on optioning her project GENERATION POR QUE? to HBO Max after working with the ScreenCraft team.
"My biggest inspiration in creating GENERATION POR QUÉ? is my life. I’m the child of Cuban immigrants and grew up with very strict, conservative parents. I’m also a comedy nerd and adore coming of age comedies like Sex and the City, Insecure, and Broad City. But when I would watch Carrie in bed with Mr. Big, I would literally ask myself, “Where are her parents? Why aren’t they calling her right now and asking if she’s coming home to go to her cousin’s baby shower this weekend?”, because that was my life. Lol! I was shocked by how much freedom and independence these women had in this world because immigrant parents do not roll like that. The idea for A Visitor’s Pass on the Virgin Mary (the play that was a Screenscraft Finalist) came to me before I even attempted screenwriting. It was a story I needed to tell and immediately saw it on a stage. Screenwriting came along when I started writing and producing comedic sketches. But I never set out to write a play, pilot or film. This may sound cliche, but the idea comes to me first and then listen to what it wants to be. Aside from providing great feedback on my work, the team has connected me with some fantastic executives and helped foster relationships which is what a lot of the industry is about. In practical terms, Screencraft is great for giving me deadlines to submit my work."
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."
As Featured in
Add-on Prize Opportunity
With Alexandra Shields - Playwright, Screenwriter, and Exec Producer
This optional add-on prize category will identify one writer to learn, workshop, and strengthen their project with guidance from an industry mentor. Our Stage Play competition mentor is award-winning playwright and Executive Producer for Citizen Skull Productions, Alexandra Shields. Alexandra will select one writer/writer team who include this unique add-on benefit with their entry.
Alexandra is a multiple-award-winning playwright and screenwriter, as well as a Creative Executive in Scripted Development and Executive Producer for Citizen Skull Productions. As a neurodivergent pansexual woman with multiple disabilities, Alexandra is committed to art for social change. A proud Northwestern alum, Alexandra spent her time there founding the award-winning Lipstick Theatre, a feminist student theater organization that still exists today.
Only projects submitted to the ScreenCraft Stage Play Competition AND that select this add-on are eligible for consideration in this category. Additionally, all projects that place in the Top 10 of the competition will automatically be considered.
Stage Play Articles
- 7 Playwriting Tips from Pulitzer Prize-Winner Nilo Cruz Aug 10 - Cuban exile Nilo Cruz is known for creating emotionally powerful LatinX characters who slide in and out of magical realism. In a sense, Cruz is a poet first, playwright second, as he’s constantly searching for… ...
Rules & Info
- Selection Criteria
- Additional Legal
- Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.
- Entry fees are as listed on the site and checkout form. No coupon or discount is applicable on a previous entry.
- Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback can be done through Coverfly.
- 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.
- 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 owned by the writer(s), however the material may be based on other works not 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 any prizes awarded as they deem fair (whether there is a cash value or not).
- 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 project 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 project, however it is not required. ScreenCraft uses Coverfly to manage submissions and automatically removes cover pages before scripts are read by the judges.
- ScreenCraft claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders.
- 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.
- ScreenCraft reserves the right to change deadline and announcement dates at any time.
- ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
- 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.)
- 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.
- The material may have been written at any time.
- Material should be submitted in standard format, font, spacing and margin.
- We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
- 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.
- Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.
- 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.
- Projects based on underlying material not owned by the writer are accepted as samples, so long as the material itself is indisputably written by the writer and that the material does not contain any plagiarism.
The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria:
- Genre Conventions
In addition to the scoring criteria for the project, ScreenCraft may conduct interviews and send questionnaires to learn more about the entrant, their voice, perspective, and goals to help identify the winning projects. Selected Finalist projects are read by the industry jury who votes for their favorite projects at their sole discretion.
- Only writers who submit to the competition and include this add-on at the time of entry or who make it to the Top 10 of the competition, are eligible to be considered for this prize opportunity.
- The winner of this prize will be selected solely by the specified industry professional(s). The selected winner of this prize will engage with the specified industry professional(s) in an educational development capacity.
- The approach and manner in which the industry professional(s) and winner interact is at their discretion. ScreenCraft will have no involvement in the process beyond facilitating an introduction.
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.
- All recognition, placements, and winners are chosen 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.
- SITE TERMS OF SERVICE. All ScreenCraft Terms of Service apply in addition to these rules and eligibility criteria.
- 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 scripts or writer data unintentionally.
- 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, 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). The governing law is California.