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The demand for films and television series based on existing IP has never been higher, and our prestigious industry jury is ready to read the next hit true stories, biographies and public domain adaptations. Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman joins as this year's VIP Mentor!

More info coming soon

Current Season Announcements

Apr 24

Quarterfinalist

May 22

Semifinalist

Jun 18

Finalist

Jul 17

Winner

This unique ScreenCraft competition focuses on true stories, biographies and works in the public domain (published before 1928). Accepting TV and Feature Scripts!

Winners and finalists are highly sought after by managers and agents. Hundreds of ScreenCraft writers have signed with top management companies and agencies like CAA, Anonymous Content, Bellevue Productions, WME, UTA, and many more.

We’re also thrilled to offer an opportunity for a mentorship with Jenny Wood, President of Taylor Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions.

All finalists will receive a guaranteed meeting with an industry professional!

VIP Mentor

This year's VIP Mentor is Oscar-winning writer Akiva Goldsman!
Akiva will meet virtually with our finalists for an interactive Q&A session. 

Akiva Goldsman wrote A BEAUTIFUL MIND, for which he won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and WGA Award. His feature writing credits include THE CLIENT, BATMAN FOREVER, A TIME TO KILL, PRACTICAL MAGIC, CINDERELLA MAN, I AM LEGEND, THE DA VINCI CODE, ANGELS & DEMONS, INSURGENT, and I, ROBOT. Upcoming features include RAINBOW SIX and RINGWORLD. He has worked in television as a producer, writer, and director for the TV show FRINGE, for which he garnered a Saturn Award and a Hugo Award nomination; as well as UNDERGROUND, which was nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards. His recent television projects include the live-action series TITANS and Apple TV+’s THE CROWDED ROOM, a psychological thriller starring Tom Holland. Currently, Goldsman is working on Season 3 of STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS.

Jury

ALEX BARNES

Producer / Development Executive
Since moving to Los Angeles Alex has worked on TV, Film and podcasts including HOUSE OF CARDS, MANHUNT: UNABOMBER, SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, MASTERMINDS, RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, JETT and the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY franchise. He's been a core part of development teams that have sold projects to major platforms including: Disney+, Universal Pictures, Max, FX, Amazon, Netflix, ABC Signature, Fox, UCP, MGM+ and Peacock. 

CHARLIE LAURIE

Development Producer, Merman
Charlie is the Development Producer for Merman. Merman is a globally-renowned production and entertainment company working across the UK and US, with a reputation for scripting and producing award winning TV and film. Merman’s recent TV projects include the critically acclaimed BAD SISTERS (Apple TV+), which was created by and starred Sharon Horgan. In 2023, Bad Sisters won the BAFTA Award for Drama Series, Best Supporting Actress and Best Titles & Graphic Identity, alongside a further two nominations. It received four IFTA Awards and the Peabody Award for Entertainment, and was nominated at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, C21’s International Drama Awards, Writers Guild of America, Broadcast Awards, Channel 4’s National Comedy Awards and RTS Craft & Design Awards.

KATHLEEN GARDNER

Creative Executive, Jon Watts
Kathleen Gardner is a development executive for the director Jon Watts, helping to manage a slate of projects across both film and television. Upcoming projects include STAR WARS: SKELETON CREW for Disney+, WOLFS starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney for Apple, and FINAL DESTINATION 6 for New Line Cinema. Kathleen is a native of Virginia and a graduate of USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program and the University of Virginia.

JOSH MARKS

Manager and Producer, Runyon Media
Josh Marks is a manager/producer at Runyon Media. Josh was a literary manager with Untitled Entertainment and with Entertainment 360 before that. He began his career as an agent trainee at UTA. In 2023, Josh launched Runyon Media, a new entity dedicated to financing, production and literary management. His clients have showrun and/or written for premium series on major networks and streamers in addition to writing and directing features for major theatrical and streaming studios.

RYAN SAUL

Manager, The Cartel
Over the 25 years Mr. Saul has worked in the entertainment industry, he has garnered the reputation of being able to develop clients from unknown writers or young short film directors to become some of the leading creatives in Hollywood, working on some of the biggest studio films in production. Clients like Tim Reckart (currently directing HIGH IN THE CLOUDS for Netflix), Josh Trank (CHRONICLE, FANTASTIC FOUR), and Wes Ball (MAZE RUNNER franchise, PLANET OF THE APES) all of them started as directors with shorts, and off of those shorts Ryan was able to get them their first studio films. In addition to the studio directors, he has also helped put together independent films like STOCKHOLM (starring Ethan Hawke & Noomi Rapace), MEADOWLAND (Reed Murano’s debut film), DEAR ZOE (currently in post-production – starring Sadie Sink), as well as documentaries such as HIT SO HARD, and PIERRE CARDIN. In addition to those mentioned above, he currently represents a number of upper-level television writers as well, such as Michael Alaimo (BOSCH: BALLARD), Kiersten Van Horne (OUTLANDER), and Deb Swisher. His directors have won awards all-over the globe, like Oualid Mouaness (1982 – Cannes/TIFF), and award-winning commercial director, HENRY HOBSON. He has a penchant for turning short film directors into major studio motion picture directors

Prizes

Grand Prize

The overall grand prize winner in either feature or TV category will be welcomed to the Writer Development Program and receive personal introductions and phone calls with one or more top Hollywood literary manager(s), producers, or industry exec. 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 150 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 industry professionals
Accepted into the 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 the Writer Development Program

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

FINALISTS

Guaranteed Meeting with an industry professional

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

TV PILOT WINNER

$500 cash award

Accepted into the Writer Development Program

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

More info coming soon

Previous Success Stories

See More Successes

Filup Molina

Signed with manager at Bellevue

"Television and Film are, of course, my true dreams, and so certainly my goal is to bring my complex Latin characters to those mediums. Though, when I say complex so many times, I feel like it may lose its potency. I want the entire world to meet and fall in love with hispanic characters who are brilliant. And dummies. Billionaires. Or homeless. Sexy. Dumpy. Incredibly religious. 100% atheists. All of it."

Rob Alicea, Scarlett Camargo, and Broderick Haygood

Signed a shopping agreement for their script TIS OF THEE with Creator Media after meeting the producer through the ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition.

"ROB: If your desire is to make screenwriting your full-time career, then you have to do whatever it takes to get your scripts out there - finding the right representation, networking, and, yes, entering into the right screenwriting competition, which can support and help get your story out there. Because of our 2021 Screencraft win, our script TIS OF THEE was optioned by Kyle Benn of Creator Media (The Hunger Games, John Wick and SAW Franchises, among many others). He has been incredible as a mentor, and, along with the team at Screencraft, continues to champion our work.  BRODRICK: It was the managers, agents, and producers who were judging these contests for us. We won the true story public domain competition and got our project optioned with a former Lionsgate Studio Executive. That totally transformed my career and put me and my team on the map. SCARLETT: Winning Screencraft's True Story & Public Domain Competition for our project, Tis of Thee, presented us with the wonderful opportunity to connect with a like-minded producer who has provided invaluable insight and support. Further, the Screencraft team is truly invested in our continued success."

Zara Meerza

Signed with manager and staffed on HBO series

"I was lucky enough to have Zara Meerza referred to me by the ScreenCraft team. When reading an emerging writer, I never know what to expect, but when I read YELLOW I was immediately impressed by both the scope of her writing and the beautiful manner in which she writes. My recommendation to emerging writers is to write what you are passionate about, do not second guess what you think the market wants. Great writing will be recognized by competitions and industry readers because the more time you spend perfecting your craft and your script, the work will ultimately shine through. - Lucy Stutz, Zara’s manager at Rain Management"

As Featured In

ADD-ON PRIZE OPPORTUNITY

This optional add-on prize category will identify one winner to learn, workshop, and strengthen their project with guidance from an industry mentor. This year's mentor Jenny Wood will select one writer/writer team that includes this unique add-on benefit with their entry.

JENNY WOOD

President of Taylor Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions
Taylor Sheridan and Bosque Ranch Productions are known for hits like Yellowstone, 1923, Lawman Bass Reeves, Mayor of Kingston, Hell or High Water and more.

As head of literary at Elevate, Jenny Wood represented a talented list of filmmakers and writers, and worked on both developing and packaging clients’ material as well as Elevate’s own slate. In 2022, Wood transitioned from the role of Manager to President of long-time client, Taylor Sheridan’s production company, Bosque Ranch. There she oversees day to day operations of the company and the large slate of shows in production and development.
Only projects submitted to the ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition AND that select this add-on are eligible for consideration in this category. Additionally, all projects that place in the Top 10 of the competition will automatically be considered.

True Story Articles

Read More Articles
5 Reasons to Have True Story Screenplays in Your Spec Portfolio

5 Reasons to Have True Story Screenplays in Your Spec Portfolio

March 29 | by Ken Miyamoto

Why should screenwriters write true story screenplays — and what are the best ways to find compelling true stories to adapt? When you're trying to...

101 Story Prompts Based on True Events

101 Story Prompts Based on True Events

September 22 | by Ken Miyamoto

Do you want to write a true story but need help finding compelling true story concepts to tell? Sometimes reading simple story prompts is the...

40 Incredible Movies Based on True Stories

40 Incredible Movies Based on True Stories

February 18 | by Britton Perelman

What are your favorite movies based on true stories? They say that real life is stranger than fiction, so it only makes sense for screenwriters...

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. 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.
  6. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. In the event a juror, partner organization, mentor, or prize partner is no longer able to serve in their specified capacity, ScreenCraft will make its best effort to secure a replacement. ScreenCraft is not responsible for the failed delivery of any prize package by a juror, sponsor, or partner organization.
  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. There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  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. Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

The winners will be chosen 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. Top scripts are read by the industry jury who votes for their favorite scripts at their sole discretion.

ScreenCraft Add-on Prize Selection:

  1. Only writers who submit to the competition and include this add-on at the time of entry or who make it to the Top 10 of the competition, are eligible to be considered for this prize opportunity.
  2. The winner of this prize will be selected solely by the specified industry professional(s). The selected winner of this prize will engage with the specified industry professional(s) in an educational development capacity.
  3. Being selected as the winner of this prize does not constitute or guarantee representation by the industry professional or the company they work for.
  4. The approach and manner in which the industry professional(s) and winner interact is at their discretion. ScreenCraft will have no involvement in the process beyond facilitating an introduction.

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 a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  3. REFUND POLICY: All entries are non-refundable.
  4. SITE TERMS OF SERVICE. By entering this competition, the user agrees to all ScreenCraft Terms of Service 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 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).
  7. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

INSPIRATIONAL SCRIPTS

TITANIC
BEING THE RICARDOS
HIDDEN FIGURES
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
JANE EYRE
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WRITER RECOMMENDED FEEDBACK

Kevin Gibson

Incredible feedback! The analyst was so thorough, they found subtext in my script I hadn't even (consciously) considered. Really thoughtful and encouraging. Thanks, ScreenCraft!
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