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ScreenCraft’s competitions and talent-discovery programs are the entry point for emerging screenwriters into Hollywood. Here are just a few writers’ stories of how ScreenCraft’s programs helped them breakthrough.
Signed with Manager (Affirmative Entertainment) & Agent (Paradigm Talent Agency)
"I am not based in Los Angeles. I am in San Francisco and I thought the only way to get out there is to start entering contests and see what happens. And because of ScreenCraft, an opportunity did knock. They put me in touch with a manager, like he really understood what I was trying to do with my stories. ScreenCraft put me in touch with a producer and we ended up taking it to a major studio, who expressed interest in my script, which is beyond my wildest imagination. I was so glad that I just kept writing, kept writing, kept writing stories that I believed in. Eventually, everybody has some opportunity, some luck and you have to be ready, and I think ScreenCraft really helped me be ready."
Signed with a book agent
"ScreenCraft Cinematic Book finalist Conor Hanney signed with a book agent at Martin Literary Management after ScreenCraft provided extensive career consulting and introduced him to multiple book agents."
Staffed on a Freeform series
"When I was told I needed to prepare pitches for the final interview of the Disney Writers program, I asked the Screencraft team if I could practice on them. They were insightful and encouraging which was so helpful when I thought I was going to die of nerves. With every year you are going to learn more, experience more, and practice your craft more, all of which will make you better. Be kind to yourself, but be persistent and find ways to create your own opportunities, because there is no straight path. And never compare yourself to others, even though sometimes it's really hard not to."
Signed with Kersey Management
"We had a strategy meeting and I got some good tips on follow-up with producers and managers. To be honest, the biggest benefit from Screencraft was the feedback on my projects. It was concise, encouraging and so, so helpful. The feedback I got from Screencraft was some of the best I received and instrumental in taking my work to the next level. "
Shortlisted for a Grierson Award
"The main obstacle was funding. I’m an experienced producer, with many films under my belt, but a film such as this, about disability and rare disease, is always exceptionally hard to fund, no matter who is making it. The narrative around disability is still far behind other identity movements, and needs to progress and evolve considerably. You can only ever really understand this once you've lived with serious disability. There still exists massive prejudice and ignorance around disability, and I’m tired of it, as all disabled people are. It needs to, and must, change. "
Signed a shopping agreement
"I think my career has had a lot of little breakthrough moments. You encounter "No" all the time and the only way to get past all the "No" is to keep putting yourself and your work out there until someone says "Yes! I love it!". Every time I've encountered a road block I just go back to my work, remind myself what I found so exciting about it when I created it, and then take that enthusiasm on to the next opportunity. Your passion about your work is what breaks down any wall you encounter. That's how I've made my breakthroughs, and they've usually come from totally unexpected places. I was drawn to ScreenCraft because it offers such a diverse array of genre and format competitions and feedback. I write a lot of mixed genre material and getting ScreenCraft feedback is a great way to feel out if my scripts are leaning in any particular direction and how to maximize that through my storytelling."
Signed with a literary manager
"Screencraft was a competition I had been wanting to try for a while, because I saw how helpful it was for people I knew who had placed in the past. I was especially drawn to the fellowship because of the benefit of getting to work with Screencraft long term, as well as all of the meetings and mentorship. I think the obstacles keeping me from entering it for a few years were my own self-doubts and the piling up of rejections from countless other competitions. You get to this point where you’re like, why do another one, why spend the money? But I had a new sample and I was ready to get it out there, and decided to try for a fellowship I hadn’t tried for before. It was kind of a fresh start in a way."
Film produced and released on Shudder
"My script Spoonful of Sugar was a finalist in Screencraft's Horror Competition. This got me on a private industry newsletter for new female filmmakers which then got me introduced to a director who picked up the script and loved it. That script premiered at Fantastic Fest 2022 and was bought by Shudder. Seeing my script come to life is otherworldly. My director and producer made the process fun and creative every f***ing step of the way. My advice to any writer is to not only write but read. Read all of the scripts you can. It will make you a stronger writer. Also proofread. "
Signed w/ Chervine Naamani at Rain Management
"Screencraft has always been such a supporter of film, and indie film in particular, so the chance to apply to the film fund was a no-brainer. We were in a position where our film, Land of Gold, was financed and needed some help getting over the finish line, and we really felt that Screencraft would respond to it. ScreenCraft has been so instrumental in helping me navigate this big career moment. We received funds to help finish Land of Gold, but more importantly, I received really lovely career consultation. So many doors have been opened, and with ScreenCraft’s support, I've had meetings with representation that really responded to my work. Folks that actually understood what I am trying to do, which is, unfortunately, a rarity in this business. It's all been so positive, and the process lead me to Rain and Chervine Naamani, who I'm excited to have just signed with."
Sold pilot to ZDFe Enterprises
"I'm absolutely overwhelmed by the support I got from the ScreenCraft team. After my plays were named Finalists, [the team] contacted me and has provided on-going advice, mentorship, and support ever since. [They] worked for months sending out my material and discussing who may be right for representation. This industry can feel incredibly elusive and cold, especially for playwrights trying to break-in but the ScreenCraft team changed that. I can't believe that without even winning a contest, they invested so much time and energy into promoting my writing...If you are wading through the sea of screenwriting contests wondering which ones are worth it, there is no one I'd recommend more than ScreenCraft. I'll never be able to say thank you enough ScreenCraft. "
Signed with Agents and Managers
"When my horror film MOSHARI won the SXSW Grand Jury [Award], I was suddenly thrust into a lot of attention. Agents, managers, general meetings. As a Bangladeshi filmmaker and an outsider, I was honestly overwhelmed. ScreenCraft was so supportive in that journey, ever since I became a Film Fund finalist. [A ScreenCraft Writer Development Executive] and I sat down multiple times. He connected me to some amazing reps as well. We made pros/cons lists, brainstormed strategies - it was just super cool to have a neutral perspective. Made this journey much easier."
Signed with a literary manager
"Honestly, I was curious about screenwriting competitions. As a guy from Kansas who didn't have any real industry connections before going to college, I noticed how many winners of screenplay contests were able to get representation. Entering screenwriting contests seemed to be the logical way to put myself out there in hopes of connecting with a reader who might get my voice.The ScreenCraft team has been super helpful since Telethon: The Quest to Save Grease 2's Reputation won. They've been tapping into their network to let people know about my writing. It's been exciting. "
Signed with a literary manager
"I've never before had the kind of hands-on coaching that I've received from Screencraft. Multiple people were emailing me, Zooming with me, setting up generals, sending along my script, and helping me pivot and re-strategize when dead ends occurred. I think what sets Screencraft apart is their genuine desire for the long-term professional development of their writers. It's not just introducing a writer to one person, then abandoning them and moving on to the next winner. They stay with you, even years later, to help you succeed. As a result of introductions by Screencraft, I now have an incredible manager, David Binns, of Rascality Entertainment."
Developing projects with Producers
"Write every day, but moreover, write every moment you come across a worthy thought or idea. I've developed a habit of doing these writing warmups. They are just small paragraphs that I'll write on the subway or when I'm waiting somewhere. It helps me to keep refining and defining my voice, as well as improving my storytelling. I believe this has had a huge impact on sharpening my skills. Because of the Subtext Series article where Screencraft featured me, several producers reached out to express interest in some of my scripts."
Signed with a Literary Agent
"I wanted to see how my work would stand up on an international stage. ScreenCraft has an excellent reputation. I was attracted by the range of competitions on offer and the potential to get my work in front of industry reps. Getting selected as a Finalist resulted in great support, including industry workshops offering incredible insight as well as a mentor with Coverfly, who reach[ed] out to producers in the US on my behalf and provided guidance."
Signed with a literary manager at Anonymous Content
"Jon has developed exciting projects based on award winning and acclaimed IP. Driven by Jon's connection to the settings where his stories are based and the characters that they champion, Jon material has broad commercial appeal and socially poignant commentary at its core."
Signed with a Literary Manager
"Much of the initial feedback for my novel, THE ARCHER’S THREAD, noted how readers could visualize the story in the their mind, and how they’d love to see the book adapted to the screen. This inspired me to not only keep writing, but to submit the novel for consideration to a handful of competitions. Becoming a finalist in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition was an inflection point that arrived shortly after winning the Gold medal for popular fiction at the Florida Book Awards. These two milestones were confirmation that years of work had paid off. The biggest [result] was being asked to meet the members of Gravity Squared as part of a select group of finalists of the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition. That fifteen minute conversation — which was less pitch and more an opportunity to share my background, approach and inspiration—changed everything."
Signed with a literary manager at Epicenter
"I chose Screencraft specifically for their Career Development Program - I knew it would be more useful than even a cash prize. But to be honest, I had no idea just how hard ScreenCraft works for their writers. Throughout the process, I felt cared for and respected. It was exciting, but also realistic and actionable. Whether it was giving me quick feedback on a one-sheet, or pumping me up before I spoke with an exec, [the ScreenCraft Team] was a lifesaver. Screencraft sent my script out to a targeted network, and as a result I’ve had meetings with managers and production companies, and we’re currently working to set up another meeting with an agency."
Signed with a Literary Manager
"ScreenCraft somehow found my unique needle in the haystack and for that I am so grateful. Traction in their competitions helped me believe in my voice and story, and gave me confidence to keep writing. After becoming a Finalist and winning Honorable Mention in their Feature Competition, I was introduced to a wonderful community of like-minded writers, and given full support on thinking through next steps to further my career as a writer. The placements I received in ScreenCraft's competitions gave my script visibility and credibility, which led to several meetings and inquiries from managers and production companies. Moreover, [they] are there to guide me, vouch for me, and continue to encourage me as a creative, well past the competition wins. That is invaluable."
Signed with a literary manager at Bellevue
"When I made the finals (and eventually won) the 2022 ScreenCraft Horror Competition, that completely changed the game for me. Being accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program, I was given the privilege of getting to work one-on-one with amazing folks who have put my name and work out to some incredible players in the industry, from reps to production companies I am looking to work with. This resulted in me finding my manager, Jeff Portnoy at Bellevue Productions, as well as getting me meetings with production companies who I am in talks with to produce my first feature. Having people like the folks at ScreenCraft champion your work takes a massive load off your plate as a writer, and allows you to keep working on your art while also getting it in the right hands of people who can actually get it produced."
Entered partnership with independent producer
"I was drawn to ScreenCraft because the screenplay competitions and judges are tailored to specific genres – in my case, the Family genre. Therefore, I knew my script would be judged by individuals who are experts in, and have an interest in, the genre I write for. Knowing this, I felt assured my feedback and scores would be reliable and fair, regardless of the outcome. My Finalist placement in the ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Competition helped me immensely. I believe the placement provided credibility to my script and my writing abilities. In addition, it provided me with a greater deal of confidence when it comes to writing. I am now connected with a wonderful Development Producer, Dominic Morgan. Together, we are working to connect with a music producer and market BREAKER LANE: THE MUSICAL to studios and other financiers."
Signed with a Literary Manager
"I honestly didn’t know much about Screencraft. Frankly, I’m always leery of “online contests.” I have to say now that I’ve worked with Screencraft it’s been a wonderful experience. Screencraft was helpful when it came to deciding representation. [They] very patiently listened to me weighing various opportunities, and sometimes, when you’re figuring out this kind of thing, all you really need is someone to listen. "
Signed with a literary manager
"Build yourself a supportive community. Writing is mostly a slog: it’s lonely, and frustrating, and the majority of the time you will fail at it. That’s just the nature of writing, and yes we do it because we love it, but it’s still quite difficult. Trying to enter the world of screenwriting as a journalist, I have had a lot of catching up to do and ScreenCraft has tremendously helped with that. From advice on what a query letter should look like to what I should include in my bio, I have found it hugely helpful to have the ScreenCraft team hold my hand through this early stage in my career. They facilitated introductions with development executives, agents, and managers that I would never have been able to secure on my own."
Signed an option agreement
"Like many other screenwriters, my first introduction to the craft was in the classroom setting. However, once I left that safe productive haven of writing and peer discussion, the real world of screenwriting felt like the wild west. The difficulty of finding the right people to read your script and give you feedback can’t be understated, but the genre-based competitions at Screencraft were the best chance I could find to get my material in the right hands and they did not disappoint. Thankfully, once I placed in Screencraft’s animation contest, they were able to send my scripts to production companies both big and small that were specifically interested in the niche that represented my script. With constant support from their staff, Screencraft helped me craft successful cover letters and forge relationships with some of their judges to create further networking opportunities in the industry as well as job opportunities."
Signed with literary managers at Zero Gravity
"Winning the Grand Prize in the Screencraft Pilot Competition this year really sealed the deal for me as a writer ready to break in. Suddenly I was getting read and taking meetings like crazy. It's truly been the crowning jewel of my achievements this year. [The team] was active and mindful in curating the list of managers to reach out to. [They] really helped me navigate through it all to land with Zero Gravity and I couldn't be more thrilled at all the exciting things on the horizon."
Signed with a literary manager at Affirmative Entertainment
"I didn’t go to film school and, especially at the beginning, I was super nervous about sharing my work. ScreenCraft was the first writing competition I submitted to, and I’ve continued to do so for several projects because they consistently work with amazing readers who give in depth, actionable notes. The quality of the feedback has just been incredibly valuable for bettering my craft and taking my scripts to the next level. Sometimes I feel like the path to a successful writing career is this weird, nebulous mystery, and it can be pretty intimidating trying to set an effective course. Which is why I sing such high praises about ScreenCraft’s writer development team!! They have this wonderfully hands-on approach that helps clarify how to take actual steps towards your goals. From strategizing on game plans, to answering questions and concerns, to connecting me with other finalists, I’ve just felt super supported throughout. They even got my script read by a number of reps, and facilitated a meeting with the manager that I’m now repped by. I’m just feeling super grateful — it’s been such a whirlwind experience, and ScreenCraft has really gone above and beyond in advancing my career. I can’t thank them enough."
Signed with literary managers at Kaplan Perrone
"I just focus on the work; that's what I can control, and that's what I like doing. I didn't focus on getting reps or selling a specific project or becoming a showrunner right out of the gate. I've always just wanted to learn as much about the process of actually making something, from idea to broadcast, as possible. It helps combat the impostor syndrome! I came to ScreenCraft just at a turning point in my career: I had recently been staffed for the first time and had a pilot script that had attracted the attention of managers. I was faced with decisions and opportunities I'd worked for for years, and was terrified of wasting them! The ScreenCraft team offered incredible support choosing the reps I have and adore today. I've been totally blown away by ScreenCraft. They actually want to help writers."
Film world premiered at 2022 SXSW Festival
"Screenwriting can be a long dark journey, ScreenCraft has been a source of light providing inspiration, helping me to set new goals and providing much-needed monetary support through their grant program. ScreenCraft promoted my project and helped me to share my work with agencies, technicians, and film supporters to broaden my network of collaborators. "