If you don't own IP, go to true stories and the public domain to get your IP for free. We’re celebrating true stories, biographies, and adaptations of timeless tales & characters in the public domain - the type of films Hollywood is obsessed with making right now. Winners from the past several years have optioned their work, signed with representation, and signed shopping agreements.

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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 1927), have a long history of Hollywood success.

Winners’ projects will be circulated to our wide network of industry professionals, with the goal of setting up the winners with production companies and studios, and introducing the top writers to literary managers and agents.

ScreenCraft’s past winners have gone on to sell their scripts to major studios and have been hired by companies like Universal, Netflix, Amazon, Millennium, CBS and many more. ScreenCraft’s winners are also highly sought after by literary managers and agents who are open to signing to new writer clients. Over 160 ScreenCraft writers have signed with top management companies and agencies like 3 Arts, Anonymous Content, CAA, WME, UTA, Paradigm, Lit Entertainment, and many more.

Previous Season Judges

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

Elizabeth Franco

Netflix, Manager Documentary Originals

Elizabeth is the Manager of Original Documentary Series at Netflix, which has produced some of the top true story titles like The Crown, When They See Us, and Tiger King. Elizabeth previously worked for CNN Films in a similar capacity.

Greg Cabrera

Participant, Manager Narrative Television

Greg is the manager of narrative television at Participant Media, a production company with several acclaimed docuseries, America to Me, followed by Ava DuVernay’s limited drama series, When They See Us.

Kaylon Hunt

JuVee Productions, VP Development and Production

Kaylon Hunt is the VP of Development and Production for JuVee Productions, the production company of Academy Award-winning actress, Viola Davis, and Julius Tennon.

Sean Dubravac

Entertainment Lab, Lit Manager

Sean Dubravac is the co-founder of Entertainment Lab, a bicoastal Talent Management and Production company, which has represented projects like The Power of Now, The Untethered Soul, and The Surrender Experiment.

Christopher Tsui

Davis Entertainment, Assistant to President

Christopher works in development and production for Davis Entertainment, a film and television production company behind such projects as Jungle Cruise, Shaft and Dolemite Is My Name.

Jason Keller

Screenwriter, FORD VS FERRARI

Jason Keller is an Oscar-nominated writer and producer, best known for writing the Academy Award winning biographical drama, Ford v Ferrari, which starred Hollywood alums Matt Damon and Christian Bale.

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

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

Previous Successes

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

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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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