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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.
Deep-dive beyond the craft with regular interviews of ScreenCraft writers who’ve recently taken their first big step into the industry in our Subtext Series.
Celebrating the success of our writers.
2022 Film Fund
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."
2022 Short Film Screenplay
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. "
2020 Action Adventure
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."
2001 Cinematic Book
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."
2022 TV Pilot
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."
2022 Cinematic Book
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."
2021 Film Fund
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. "
2022 TV Pilot
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."
2022 TV Pilot
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."
2021 Film Fund
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. "
Signed with a literary manager at Stride Management
"It’s especially hard to keep going when you’re not getting a lot of outside validation, it can feel like blind trust or that you’re straight up delusional. Because, sure, you may not be good right now, but if you keep writing you will get good. It’s inevitable. I wasn’t a good writer when I started over ten years ago, I never went to film school or took a writing course, but I kept writing and that has made me a better writer. I found ScreenCraft when I googled best screenplay competitions. It made the top 5! ScreenCraft has been such an answered prayer. I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again, ScreenCraft feels like a parental kind of love because they take such good care of their writers. My goal before going into ScreenCraft was to get funding for Adult Section so I could make it on my own. NOW, I don't have to make it on my own, I have producers attached."
Signed with agents at APA and managers at Industry Entertainment
"Write what you want to watch. If you’re passionate about it, there’s a good chance others will respond to it as well. If you’re not getting paid to write it, don’t put yourself through the agony of writing what you think the industry wants because the trend you’re chasing will have shifted by the time you finish. Screencraft was the first competition I ever entered and I’ve been drawn to them ever since for their quality notes and range of high-profile competitions. [They] expertly facilitated a meeting with a team of agents and advised me throughout the process. I now have a team of brilliant agents and I couldn’t be happier. In a marketplace saturated with competitions claiming to offer career advancement, Screencraft was the only one that led to tangible success."
Signed with a literary manager at Story Driven
"There will be people who will respond to your voice. Trust your instincts and the people supporting you. ScreenCraft gave thorough and encouraging feedback for my scripts. I've placed highly in other competitions in the past but ScreenCraft was the only one that helped me get representation and guided me through the process of pitching and querying. I also appreciate the community of Finalists that I'm now a part of since I got to meet really cool people and be inspired by their amazing scripts. I just signed with Peter Katz at Story Driven (thank you ScreenCraft and at Coverfly!) so now we are trying to pitch my one hour dramedy, and also trying to get staffing work! "
2022 Stage Play
Signed with a literary agent at CAA
"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."
2020 Stage Play
Signed with a literary agent at A3 Artists
"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."
2021 Film Fund
Signed with a literary manager at Bauman Management
"As writers it’s always challenging to distinguish yourself from others. I think ScreenCraft does an excellent job of encouraging and identifying unique talent and can put them in very advantageous situations which in turn breeds success."
Film produced and premiered on Hulu
"It took me a long time to believe in myself as a writer and to trust the process. I spent a lot of time being hesitant to share my writing and when I did, I would take any criticism as a I sign I wasn’t any good. The validation of placing in the competition really came at the right time. It was the little bit of outside juice that I needed to encourage me that I was on the right path."
2021 TV Pilot
Developing a pitch with an executive who is working with HBO
"You don’t need permission to follow your instincts. And if other writers out there are reading this now, YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION. I did a lot of research on contests in the early days, thinking it would be a good way to assess my skill level and Screencraft had a lot going for it. The way Screencraft breaks out genre to compare apples to apples, the quality of judges, the access winners get to industry professionals, and the quality of notes. While contests may not be for everyone, they’ve been a key factor in understanding which of my skills needed sharpening. "
2018 TV Pilot
Options his first Feature to Producers
"I shared my idea for my most recent script, HOLY MAN, with author Simon Wells. He was the one that encouraged me to pursue my idea, even though I thought it was way beyond my capabilities. His feedback and encouragement pushed me beyond what I thought I could accomplish. I just got back from a trip to LA to have my first set of meetings with the production team that optioned HOLY MAN, and I have another meeting later this week they've set up with a very good rep in the industry. I know it's a long road and a process, but the team's faith in the script, and mine, make me very hopeful that we'll soon see HOLY MAN on the silver screen! "