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Film Festivals, Writing Competitions, Conferences, Markets, Script Libraries

Screenplay Competitions

Film Festivals and Screenplay Competitions offer a fantastic opportunity for writers to share their work, receive constructive 

feedback, and meet fellow filmmakers and writers.


While many of these competitions offer cash prizes, several present the opportunity to develop your work with seasoned

professionals.  For example - Screenplays developed in The Sundance Screenwriters Lab have gone on to be produced, premiering at The Sundance Film Festival and further award recognition.


Here is a list of the top competitions with links to their sites for further information and submission guidelines:


Nicholl Fellowship –  Up to $35,000.00


Sundance Screenwriters Lab


HBO Writing Fellowship


American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest - $5,000.00 Prize


The Slamdance Screenwriting and Teleplay Competition - $5,000.00 Cash Prize


IFP Market


Nantucket Film Festival - $7,000.00 Cash and Prizes


Austin Film Festival AFF Screenplay and Teleplay Competition - $5,000.00 Cash Prize


Fade In Awards - $5,000.00 Cash Prize


PAGE International Screenwriting Awards - $25,000.00 Prize


The Scripted Project


Austin Screenwriting Competition –  $5,000.00 Cash Prize


Cinequest Screenwriting Competition - $5,000.00 Cash Prize


The Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest - $20,000.00 In Cash and Prizes


Nashville Film Festival – $65,000.00 Cash and Prizes


New York Screenplay – $15,000.00 Cash and Prizes


TrackingB Feature Script Contest –  Exposure to accredited Industry Panels


ScreenCraft Sci-Fi Screenplay Contest - $2,000.00 Cash Prize


The Cynosure Screenwriting Awards - $5,000 Cash Prize


Shore Scripts Screenwriting Contest - $3,000.00 Cash Prize


Write of Passage Screenwriting Competition - $2,000.00 Cash Prize


Blue Cat Screenplay Competition - $15,000.00 Cash Prize


High Concept Screenplay Competition - $1500.00 Prize


The Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition - $3,000.00 Cash Prize


ScreenCraft Action & Thriller Script Contest - $2,000.00 Prize


Scriptapalooza TV Writing Contest - $3,000.00 Cash Prize


Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Contest - $10,000.00 Cash Prize


The StoryPros Awards Screenplay Contest - $2500.00 Cash Prize


Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition - $20,000.00 Cash Prize


Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest - $5,000.00 Cash Prize


ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Contest - $1,000.00 Prize


Creative World Awards Screenwriting Competition - $5,000.00 Cash Prize


Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition - $25,000.00 Cash Prizes


BIG BREAK Screenwriting Contest - $15,000.00 Cash Prize


Virginia Screenwriting Competition - $1,000.00 Cash Prize


Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Competition


Canada International Film Festival – Discovery and Recognition


Ohio Independent Film Festival –  $25,000.00 Cash Prize


Moondance Film Festival –  $6,000.00 worth in Prizes


Sarasota County Film TV Me Contest


New York Television Festival NYTVF




Pitch Festivals

Both Writers and Industry Professionals have strong opinions when it comes to Pitch Festivals and Conferences.  Although there is always an understandable caution when approaching any opportunity where you have to pay, there are several that I believe worthy of exploring.  The fees they charge are toward basic overhead costs.


And most importantly, you are legitimately getting the opportunity to hone your pitch and meet with prodcuers, agents, and managers.  The reps that attend the festivals I listed below are sincere in their desire to discover talent and find material.  


Do your homework.  Research each festival to see which matches your area and strengths.  Contact them. Ask questions.


Always make informed decisions with your career and education.

Screenplay Library

One of the most effective ways to learn how to write is to read.  Read great scripts.  Watch the film and study how the prose 

translated onto the screen.  As a writing exercise, I encourage my students to type out their favorite scenes from their favorite movies to "feel" how the composing proceeds.


Here are links to award winning screenplays that have been made available by the film's studios and production companies.  They are listed here as a resource material for you.



American Sniper by Jason Hall


Still Alice by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland


Boyhood by Richard Linklater


12 Years A Slave by John Ridley


American Hustle by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell


Enough Said by Nicole Holofcener


The Theory of Everything by Anthony McCarten


The Fault In Our Stars by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber


Bridesmaids by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig


The Way Way Back by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash


Whiplash by Damien Chazelle


Dallas Buyers Club by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack


The Wolf of Wall Street by Terence Winter


Argo by Chris Terrio


The King's Speech by David Seidler


The Social Network by Aaron Sorkin


The Imitation Game by Graham Moore


Birdman by Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., & Aemando Bo


Rachel Getting Married by Jenny Lumet


Nebraska by Robert W. Nelson


Brokeback Mountain by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana


Trumbo by John McNamara


Danny Collins  by Dan Fogelman  


Big Eyes by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski


Trainwreck by Amy Schumer


While We're Young by Noah Baumbach


Ex Machina by Alex Garland


The End of The Tour by Donald Margulies


The Place Beyond The Pines by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, & Darius Marder


Wadja by Haifaa Al Mansour


Before Midnight by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy



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