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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 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."
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. "
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 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 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 option agreement
"I typically don’t write something unless I know I’m able to self-produce it on a shoe-string budget. But over the last few years, the stories I wanted to tell got more complex. This is a deeply personal script that I wrote in honor of my mother, and as I started the budgeting process I realized that I didn’t want to compromise on its potential to be beautifully executed and highly impactful. I started exploring funding avenues and the ScreenCraft Short Film Competition came up. Opportunities for short films are rare, and I loved how in addition to the cash prize, ScreenCraft offered mentorship and career support."
Signed with a literary manager
"Originally, I was super drawn to the film fund since our short film needed some additional finishing funds, but the more I looked into ScreenCraft, I really became drawn to the community and networking opportunities. I feel truly grateful to be part of this network of artists and development personnel - it was not disappointing. I feel very seen, heard and supported, not just in this current endeavor but in my future ones. [They] truly care about the artist and their futures. The team at Screencraft felt so helpful in vetting and helping me craft a process that would ensure my goals and needs were met. I really feel I can carry that knowledge into any meeting or situation I meet in the industry. I’m really grateful for that. "
Signed with a literary manager
"I write in just about every genre -- some might say too many but they'd be WRONG -- so I love that ScreenCraft’s array of lovely, genre-specific competitions lets you attack the contest circuit with surgical precision. It’s easy to get jaded with screenplay contests – you sorta think, even if you WIN… maybe you walk away with a laurel JPEG (low-resolution) and some vague notion of “heat.” ScreenCraft’s support -- as both a finalist and winner (cue air horn) -- set the absolute standard. From broader industry overviews to hands-on guidance with cover letters and career strategy, ScreenCraft [was] crucial for me in deciding how to leverage interest and success, and signing with my first manager."
Signed with a literary manager
"When the phone isn't ringing, and your work isn't selling, it's very easy to doubt — to wonder, "Am I good at this?" "Was I ever good at this?" And that's not something you may be able to answer. After some initial success and some near misses (hits?), I felt like my star had completely burnt out. And, just before the ScreenCraft win, I had parted ways with my long-time manager, so in many ways, I felt like I was back at the beginning, staring at this impossibly steep mountain, having to climb it all over again. I’ve been aware of ScreenCraft for a long time and have entered the competition over the years. And, in a crowded field, ScreenCraft has always come across as one of the legit organizations in the contest space. I enjoyed chatting and working with ScreenCraft."
Signed with a literary manager
"Screencraft appealed to me from early on when I started submitting my scripts to competitions. The breadth of genre-specific programs it offers caught my attention, as well as the quality of judges it has – plus, the commitment they have to helping achieve positive outcomes for the writers who place in their contests. Their focus on writers and passion for helping start careers shines through, and stands head-and-shoulders above many of their competitors. They arranged manager meetings, sent my material out, and ultimately helped me find the right fit with Jesse Bloch, my new manager at Industry Entertainment. They guided me, worked hard on my behalf, and gave me advice when I needed it – I’m extremely grateful for their advocacy and commitment."
Hired to write TV episodes
"I’ve never worked in a support position (showrunner’s assistant, PA, etc.) in the US and don’t have a manager so my network has always been fairly limited. The biggest challenge has been getting reads and meetings without a direct ‘in’ to distinguish me from all the other writers. The Screencraft team has been really helpful with my strategy in reaching out to people in the industry. When I enter competitions, Screencraft’s are always at the top of on my list. There’s a lot of companies out there claiming to help writers but Screencraft is legit. Its reputation is great with everyone I ask and they’ve always been there to help and answer questions, even before I did well in one of their competitions."
Attached a Producer to her project
"I had placed in a couple competitions and nothing had come of it, and I started looking for ones that had readers from the industry that I was excited about and ones where the prize was actually useful to me, ie: mentorship, feedback, advice for where I was at specifically. I entered the ScreenCraft Drama Competition first, and made the semifinals. Worked on the script more, entered in the ScreenCraft Feature Competition the following year and was a finalist and a runner up. I knew the script was getting better with each rewrite, but I didn’t know what to do to get it into the right hands. The Feature Competition was a great help because I had one on one consultations with [ScreenCraft], who had me put together lists of production companies, agents and actors I wanted to work with on this film specifically. He encouraged me to do an extensive lookbook in order to prove that I had the vision to direct this film as well, and guided me on that book to completion. When, through other means, I was able to attract producers to the script, it was the lookbook that convinced them I could also direct, and should be the one to do so. If you are willing to do your own work, with someone to guide you and offer thoughts and advice along the way, ScreenCraft really helps, as they invest in people who invest in themselves. They won’t do it for you. But they’ll guide you as you move forward so you don’t feel lost and alone in the journey."
Staffed on Disney+ series
"ScreenCraft has been instrumental in guidance and direction. The support helped me develop material and gave me momentum. Thank you so much again for your help, ScreenCraft."
Attached talent to his feature script
"ScreenCraft has helped me hone my personal pitch, how I sell myself as a writer. What are my strengths and what unique qualities and voice do I offer as a screenwriter. I've developed strategies and a query email to approach industry people and how exactly to seek out like minded content creators who might be looking for exactly the type of work I create."
Signed with Manager (Management 360) & Agent (UTA)
"Thank you! I'm sure you don’t hear words of appreciation enough so I do really appreciate ScreenCraft [for] helping me with this. Thank you for configuring my outreach efforts and guiding me in my rep research."
Optioned his feature script
"ScreenCraft has a solid reputation and I appreciated the promises to help promote the writers who placed in their competitions. To me, that support means a great deal more than any monetary prize. Even though I was runner-up, I was treated as a winner. Long consultations about my background and career goals, introductions, meetings and access to OWA’s quickly followed. For a writer without representation, this felt like true momentum. I had a previous relationship with an executive at a production company who had read one of my other scripts and liked it but felt it was not a good fit for them. So when I was able to lead with my recent ScreenCraft success, he was willing to take a look at the script. He passed it on to his team and everyone responded positively. "
Signed with agents
"ScreenCraft has been incredibly supportive of my feature project and has successfully put me in the room with a great broker that's excited to put the project in front of financiers. I'm very fortunate to work with such a motivated team and be one of the participants in ScreenCraft's Fellowship program."
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
"I loved the idea of different genre competitions. Comedy sci-fi scripts aren’t up against epic western dramas, giving both genres the chance to shine! 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."
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."
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
"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."