We’re celebrating true stories, biographies, and adaptations of timeless tales & characters in the public domain. This competition is open to feature, TV and short film screenplays.

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12 Days until Early Deadline

Deadlines

Jan 31

Early

Feb 28

Regular

Mar 31

Final

Announcements

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May 5

Quarterfinalist

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Jun 9

Semifinalist

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Jul 7

Finalist

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Aug 11

Winner

This unique ScreenCraft competition was launched after industry producers, executives and managers consistently asked for the same thing: screenplays based on pre-existing intellectual property. True stories and works in the public domain (published before 1923), have a long history of Hollywood success.

Judges

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

Blye Faust

Oscar-winning Producer

Blye Faust is the Academy Award winning producer of SPOTLIGHT, and partner in film and television production company, Based On Media, that focuses on authentic, inclusive portrayals of the human experience to reframe and widen our collective perspective.

Robin Swicord

Oscar-nominated Screenwriter and TV Writer

Robin Swicord is a screenwriter and television creator, of MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, LITTLE WOMEN, (WGA-nomination), MATILDA and PRACTICAL MAGIC as well as THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Recently she co-Executive Produced and wrote episodes of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix Emmy Award-nominated mini-series WHEN THEY SEE US.

Justin Wolf

Manager, Lighthouse Management + Media

Lighthouse Management is a full service talent management, production & media company. The production company behind BOMBSHELL and the TV show RATCHED, clients include Jason Bateman, Mark Ruffalo and the writers and filmmakers behind BOOKSMART, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and THE BIG SHORT.

Kaylon Hunt

VP, Development and Production, JuVee Productions

Kaylon Hunt is Vice President of Development and Production at Viola Davis’s JuVee Productions. A film, television, documentary and VR production company with an overall deal at Amazon Studios, JuVee is behind EMANUEL, on the 2015 shooting at Emanuel AME Church, co-produced by Stephen Curry, LILA & EVE, TROOP ZERO, and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, among many more.

Prizes

Jump start your career.

Grand Prize Winner

The overall grand prize winner in either feature, TV or short 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

  • Complimentary Badge for the 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

  • Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Runner-Up Prizes

Feature Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

50% off 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Pilot Winner

$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

50% off 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Short Winner

$500 cash award

50% off 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Summit

Career Consultation

Lifetime subscription to Arc Studio Pro

Previous Successes

Placing in a ScreenCraft competition can launch your career.

As Featured in

True Story Articles

  • “Based” on a True Story: Fact vs. Fiction in Screenwriting Aug 8 by Brad Johnson - As storytellers, what responsibility do we have to represent factual truth accurately in our work? These are heavy questions, far removed from the usual superficial obsessions of screenwriters; the world of formatting questions, story beats,… ...
READ MORE ARTICLES

Rules & Info

  • Rules
  • Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • Additional Legal
  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2020.
  2. Entry fee for each screenplay is $49.50 until the early deadline on January 31, 2021, then $69.50 until the regular deadline on February 28, 2021, and then $79.50 until the final deadline on March 31, 2021. 
  3. Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback after an entry is submitted will not be accepted.
  4. Feature screenplays must be a minimum of 75 pages and a maximum of 150 pages. TV pilots must be between 25 and 75 pages. Pitches must be between 1 and 40 pages. Any screenplay submission longer than 120 pages will incur a $1 per page overage fee for each page over 120.
  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 original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
  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). All writers must be credited on title page.
  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 the prize money.
  10. Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $5 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.
  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.

We want to set you up for success, and here are a few basic screenplay etiquettes that will help your screenplay.

  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 year is not. (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. There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  5. Screenplay and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).
  6. Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
  7. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  8. Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.
  9. Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.
  10. Feature screenplays longer than 150 pages will not be eligible.
  11. All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.
  12. Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.

The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: 

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

 

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. 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. 
  5. 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 a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  3. REFUND POLICY: All entries are non-refundable.
  4. ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE: BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release 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).

Inspirational Scripts

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

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