We’re celebrating true stories, biographies, and adaptations of stories & characters in the public domain. We welcome Doug Miro (creator of NARCOS) as our Grand Juror who will meet virtually in a private session with our finalists. We're also excited to include a new entry type this year focused on discovering the next great true crime story in partnership with BONDIT (THE JEFFREY DAHMER TAPES).

REMIND ME

Contest opens in 17 days

Current Season Announcements

Apr 27

Quarterfinalist

May 25

Semifinalist

Jun 22

Finalist

Jul 20

Winner

This unique ScreenCraft competition focuses on true stories, biographies and works in the public domain (published before 1927). Plus, we're excited to present two new offerings this year designed to deliver career boosting opportunities!

We welcome writer, producer, and creator of the hit Netflix series NARCOS, and NARCOS: MEXICO, Doug Miro as a Grand Juror. Doug will also host a special private session for all of this year's finalists.

In partnership with Bondit Media Capital (THE JEFFREY DAHMER TAPES) we've added a new prize category and entry type focused on discovering the next great true crime project. There are two ways to be considered for this opportunity. Any writer who submits a script to this year's competition will automatically be considered. Alternatively, if you have a true crime book, article, podcast, or even unique footage or recordings, you can submit using the new Treatment entry type. You'll submit a 1-2 page cover letter that describes your project and expresses your vision for it. One winner will be selected by Bondit to receive an exclusive development opportunity.

Grand Juror

As part of this year's competition, writer and Producer Doug Miro will host a special virtual meeting for our competition Finalists! This will be an invaluable opportunity to gain insight and learn from a television creator who has also written studio tentpoles.

Doug Miro is a celebrated film & television writer best known for his work as the creator and executive producer of the popular Netflix series Narcos and Narcos: Mexico. His previous credits also include The Great Wall starring Matt Damon, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice starring Nicolas Cage, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Jury

Get in front of Hollywood judges who love true stories and public domain properties

Kyle Castellanet

Director of Development, Echo Lake Entertainment

After receiving his BFA in Film Production from Chapman University, Kyle started his career at Paradigm Talent Agency. Kyle joined Echo Lake in 2016 and has worked in both the talent and production departments. As the Director of Development and Production, Kyle manages the company's development and production efforts in both film and television. He also works directly with clients including Forbes Magazine and Spycraft Entertainment to help develop and produce projects.

Sam Bromell

Screenwriter & Co-Producer ELVIS and THE GET DOWN

Sam Bromell is a writer, producer, and longtime collaborator of Baz Luhrmann, whose creative experience spans film, television, musicals, biopics, fashion shorts, art exhibits, literary adaptations and historical dramas. He was a Co-Producer on the Netflix series THE GET DOWN, and wrote the screenplay for Luhrmann’s most recent feature film, ELVIS, starring Tom Hanks and Austin Butler. Currently, Sam’s developing a spy series with Ethan Hawke for Showtime. He is also developing a pilot, AGENTS OF HONESTY, with Barry Levinson attached to produce and direct.

Chris Bellant

Literary Manager & Producer, Waldorf Entertainment

Chris Bellant is a Literary Manager and Producer who, after years of developing film, TV, theater, commercials and digital content, recently launched Waldorf Entertainment.

Christian Taylor

Principal and CEO, Taylor Lane Productions

Christian Taylor is an independent producer and founder of Taylor Lane Productions. Christian has spent over a decade in the entertainment industry, working in talent and literary management at Industry Entertainment and Lighthouse Entertainment and in development at Imagine Entertainment. Recent credits include the Lionsgate supernatural thriller DREAMKATCHER (2020), MEASURE OF A MAN (2018), and HICK (2012) starring Chloe Moretz, Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne, Blake Lively, and Juliette Lewis.

MJ Grogan

Director of Development, ACE Content

MJ is the Director of Development at Ace Content. ACE Content develops and produces premium original content for studios, distributors, media networks and brands including feature film, episodic television, such as THE WAY I SEE IT.

Prizes

Jump start your career.

Grand Prize Winner

The overall grand prize winner in either the feature or TV category will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program and receive personal introductions and phone calls with one or more top Hollywood literary managers who are looking for talented emerging Film & TV screenwriters.

The top 3 winners’ project info and log lines will be circulated and recommended to our network of over 60 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 top literary managers

  • Accepted into the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program

  • $1,000 Cash

  • An exclusive invitation to a Finalist only workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

  • Participate in an exclusive Finalist session with writer and producer Doug Miro.

Runner-Up Prizes

Feature Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

An exclusive invitation to a Finalist only workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

Finalists

An exclusive invitation to a Finalist only workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

Pilot Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

An exclusive invitation to a Finalist only workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

REMIND ME

Contest opens in 17 days

Previous Successes

Placing in a ScreenCraft competition can launch your career. See More Successes

As Featured in

TRUE CRIME PRIZE

Presented by Bondit, this new category & entry type are focused on discovering the next great true crime project.

There are two ways to be considered for this opportunity.

Any writer who submits a script to this year's competition will automatically be considered. Alternatively, if you have a true crime book, article, podcast, or even unique footage or recordings, you can submit using the new Treatment entry type.

You'll submit a 1-2 page cover letter that describes your project and expresses your vision for it. One winner will be selected by Bondit to receive an exclusive development opportunity.

BondIt Media Capital

BondIt Media Capital is a world renowned film, television and media financier founded in 2014. Based in Santa Monica, BondIt has completed over 250+ film and television financing transactions resulting in $60M+ of invested capital and over $200M+ of aggregate production spending. Credits include the Oscar nominated Loving Vincent, the Arnold Schwarzenegger starring Aftermath from Lionsgate, the Netflix docuseries The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, the original film To The Bone starring Lily Collins, and the cult hit horror film The Invitation.

True Story Articles

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Rules & Info

  • Rules
  • Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • Additional Legal
  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.
  2. Entry fees are as listed on the site and checkout form. No coupon or discount is applicable on a previous entry.
  3. Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback can be done through Coverfly.
  4. Entries may be any length --  the standard 1/2 hour is between 20 - 40 pages, and the standard hour long is between 40 - 70 pages, and the standard feature is between 85 - 120 pages. Any script submission longer than 120 pages will incur a $.50 per page overage fee for each page over 120 if it does not include feedback and $1 per page if the entry does include feedback.
  5. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
  6. 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.
  7. All submitted material must be owned by the writer(s), however the material may be based on other works not owned by the writers.
  8. 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).
  9. 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).
  10. 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 script carefully before submitting.
  11. 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.
  12. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required. ScreenCraft uses Coverfly to manage submissions and automatically removes cover pages before scripts are read by the judges.
  13. 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. 
  14. 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.
  15. ScreenCraft reserves the right to change deadline and announcement dates at any time.
  16. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
  1. 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.)
  2. 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).
  3. All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.
  4. The material may have been written at any time.
  5. Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
  6. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  7. 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.
  8. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
  9. Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.
  10. 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.
  11. Scripts or projects based on underlying material not owned by the writer are accepted as samples, so long as the script itself is indisputably written by the writer and that the script does not contain any plagiarism.

The reading and judging of the scripts will be based on the following criteria: 

  • Voice
  • Concept
  • Story
  • Structure
  • Characters
  • Dialogues
  • Genre Conventions

In addition to the scoring criteria for the script, 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 scripts are read by the industry jury who votes for their favorite scripts at their sole discretion.

Criteria for Winners and Finalists:

  1. The winners and top finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers. 
  2. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility. 
  3. Any entrant may be deemed ineligible as a Finalist or Winner at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft. 
  4. All recognition, placements, and winners are chosen at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft.
  5. 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. 
  6. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.
  1. 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.
  2. PUBLICITY: Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to ScreenCraft and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of entrants' information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  3. REFUND POLICY: All entries are non-refundable.
  4. SITE TERMS OF SERVICE. All ScreenCraft Terms of Service apply in addition to these rules and eligibility criteria.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Inspirational Scripts

A few of our favorite True Story and Public Domain scripts.

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