3rd Annual Comedy Writing Contest

Submission Fee:


Regular Deadline

  • Deadline: Wednesday, Mar 14 - 11:59 PM PDT

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Contest Info

You think you’re funny?!


Then it’s time to enter the most popular comedy contest on the planet!

Stage 32’s 3rd Annual Comedy Contest is now open for submissions!

Whether you’re writing feature comedy screenplays or 30-60 minute teleplays, we want you to bring the funny! 



The Stage 32 Comedy contest has resulted in numerous success stories for our winners and finalists. Last year’s winners, Anthony Guidubaldi & Keith Strausbaugh (Shorebreak), were flown to LA and sent on a whirlwind of meetings with executives and production companies resulting in:

  • Amasia Entertainment requested their horror comedy script and a mockumentary they produced.
  • Lionsgate's LOL Network requested their animation pilot and asked for a sketch packet.
  • Big Beach Films requested their short film Baby Grand.
  • Panay Films is going into development on a spec pilot written by Keith & Anthony!


Our 2017 Winners, Anthony Guidubadi & Keith Strausbaugh, Talk About their Industry Meetings All Over Hollywood!


And our 2016 Comedy Contest winner, Kelly Anelons (Life's a Beaut), was also set up on a whirlwind tour around town meeting with numerous executives. We finished the week by setting Kelly up for meetings with two of the most respected comedy writer, director, producers in town: Jerry Zucker (Airplane, Naked Gun, My Best Friends Wedding) and Scot Armstrong (Old School, The Hangover II, Road Trip)! How's that for access!?




This year, we will again be flying our winner out to Los Angeles for face-to-face meetings. Further, other winning writers will have online meetings with executives and all finalists will have their loglines exposed to a list of hundreds of executives for the possibility of having their scripts requested. 

As always, our contests are designed to give the best writers industry access and to provide opportunities that can move the needle on their career!



We’re looking for any and all comedy based screenplays and teleplays.

Feature Length Screenplays:

Everything from broad comedy to rom coms to parodies to dramedies to comedy horror to indie comedies and beyond will be accepted!


30 or 60 minute Original Comedy Pilots Not Based on an Existing TV Show

- This is your original pilot in 30 or 60 minute form

30 or 60 Minute Comedy Spec

- This is your take on an existing comedy or dramedy show (Big Bang Theory, Veep, Silicon Valley, Orange is the New Black, Shameless, etc.)



For an additional fee of only $49 (50% savings!) you can receive full coverage from our industry readers on your screenplay or teleplay. Just check "coverage" upon checkout. Coverage will be sent out after the winners are announced.

"Stage 32 contest coverage is even better than some of the industry coverage I received. Thank you for these invaluable notes!" - E. Robinson

"The insight from my coverage from the Stage 32 contest helped me improve my script's dimension exponentially. I had looked at the script so much that I can't believe I missed a major plot point. Thank you!!" - S. Persons

Contest Prizes


  • Plane ticket to Los Angeles
  • Meetings with all the contest judges: Bret Salter (Producer, Ballers), Heather Johns (Executive Director of Development for Kevin Hart's LOL Network at Lionsgate), Spencer Robinson (Manager, Art/Work Entertainment: Will & Grace, Workaholics, East Bound & Down), Jared Iacino (VP of Development, Panay Films, Chips, Masterminds, Hot Tub Time Machine 2), Ameet Shukla (VP of Production, Masproductions, Wish I Was Here, LOL, Bong Hits For Jesus), Sarah J. Cornelius (Creative & Production Executive, Whitewater Films, (Transparent, Punching the Clown)
  • Screenplay title, logline and writer's name will be circulated to our list of hundreds of industry managers, agents, executives and producers. If there is interest beyond the logline, we will facilitate the communication between the exec and the writer.
  • Screenplay title and logline posted on Stage 32 for exposure to our global community.
  • A logline review from the “The Logline Whisperer”, Emmy-Award winner Lane Shefter Bishop
  • Free On-Demand Stage 32 Next Level Webinar. 



(Feature & TV)

  • 1 Skype Meeting with an executive, producer, manager or agent
  • Three Free Pitching Sessions
  • Free Stage 32 Next Level Webinar
  • A logline review from the “The Logline Whisperer”, Emmy-Award winner Lane Shefter Bishop
  • Screenplay title, logline and writer's name will be circulated to our list of hundreds of industry managers, agents, executives and producers. If there is interest beyond the logline, we will facilitate the communication between the exec and the writer.
  • Screenplay title and logline posted on Stage 32 for exposure to our global community.



  • Free Stage 32 Next Level Webinar
  • Free Pitching Session
  • Screenplay title, logline and writer's name will be circulated to our list of hundreds of industry managers, agents, executives and producers. If there is interest beyond the logline, we will facilitate the communication between the exec and the writer.
  • Screenplay title and logline posted on Stage 32 for exposure to our global community.



May 9th: Quarter-finalists announced on Stage 32

May 23rd: Semi-finalists announced on Stage 32

June 6th: Finalists announced on Stage 32

June 20th: Winners will be announced on Stage 32

Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

72-Hour Deadline

Monday, Jan 15 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $39.50

Early Bird Deadline

Thursday, Feb 15 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $49.50

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Mar 14 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $59.50

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Apr 11 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $69.50

Contest Judges

Bret Slater, Producer

Bret Slater, Producer - Ballers, Shooter, How to Make it in America

Bret Slater is an LA-based TV and Film producer with over a decade of experience in both Production and Development. Bret is the producer on the HBO series "Ballers", starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Rob Corddry, USA Network's "Shooter", starring Ryan Phillippe, Shantel VanSanten and Omar Epps, and Associate Produced the feature BROKEN CITY, starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Bret got his start in the industry working on features including OLD DOGS, BEDTIME STORIES, TWILIGHT, THE PROPOSAL and CONTRABAND, then moved to TV working with veteran producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson on series including HBO's "Boardwalk Empire", "Entourage", "How to Make It in America", and "In Treatment".

Bret is currently working on a series he co-created and sold to truTV with Reddit and Wahlberg attached to executive produce alongside him.
Heather Johns (Comedy Contest Judge)

Heather Johns (Comedy Contest Judge) - Executive Director of Development, Lionsgate, Kevin Hart's LOL Network

Heather is the Executive Director of Development for Lionsgate's LOL Network headed by comedian and actor Kevin Hart who partnered with Lionsgate to form Laugh Out Loud Network, an online streaming service for comedy content. Prior to joining Lionsgate Heather was the Sr. Director of Development for GRB Entertainment and DEFY Media where she specialized in programming for all major cable, broadcast and digital networks. Heather began her career at UTA where she worked as an agent.

Ameet Shukla - Comedy Judge

Ameet Shukla - Comedy Judge - Executive Vice President, Production, Mas Productions

Masproduction is a feature, television, and digital production company headed by Michael Shamberg, a veteran Hollywood movie and TV producer and adviser to BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. He was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award for producing ERIN BROCKOVICH and THE BIG CHILL. He's teamed up with Quentin Tarantino to produce films including D'JANGO UNCHAINED and PULP FICTION and specializes in grounded, character-driven content like the science-based CONTAGION and GATTACA or his true story films including FREEHELD, WORLD TRADE CENTER and MAN ON THE MOON. Ameet is the Executive Vice President of Production and was involved in producing comedies such as WISH I WAS HERE and LOL and is working on the current comedy slate for Michael Shamberg: BONG HITS FOR JESUS, R.A., MISSED CONNECTIONS, GOOD LOOKING. 

Michael Shamberg produced:

  • "Into the Badlands"
  • "Reno 911"

Masproduction recently completed principal photography on the large-budget action/thriller film HARD POWDER starring Liam Neeson and Emmy Rossum. They also recently started prep on a short teaser for a digital anthology series focusing on millennials and their use of the digital world.

Masproductions is connected to all major studios and networks and currently has numerous features in development, and on TV.

Spencer Robinson - Comedy Judge

Spencer Robinson - Comedy Judge - Manager, Art/Work Entertainment

Spencer Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles, and got his start in the film industry as a production assistant on glamorous productions like car commercial, cereal commercial, and other car commercial. He then landed a job in the mailroom at MBST Entertainment, where he learned about management from some of the legends of “old-school Hollywood.”

Spencer then moved to an assistant desk at Cornice Entertainment, and eventually to Howard Entertainment. At Howard Ent, Spencer worked with actors, writers, and comedians. It was here that not only advanced his knowledge of talent and lit, but he also learned all about managing tour dates for nationally and internationally touring comics.

After a 2-year stint at Howard Entertainment, Spencer spent 5 years as a musician touring in a rock ‘n’ roll band, playing for audiences across 15 countries. Once he returned from this adventure, he came back to the film industry, working as an assistant at Verve Entertainment, where he was eventually promoted to manager. When Verve merged with Art/Work, Spencer came along for the ride, and has been there ever since.

Art/Work Entertainment is a boutique management company that represents actors, writers, and comedians. They have writers and performers from shows like Workaholics, Eastbound and Down, The Mick, Stevie TV, Will & Grace, The Goldbergs, and many more. They also have writers and actors working on features for major studios. The comedian clients tour nationally and internationally, and several are also hyphenates who act and write in addition to doing standup. Spencer has been a manager for 10 years. He loves to watch TV, and even sleeps sometimes.

Jared Iacino - Comedy Contest Judge

Jared Iacino - Comedy Contest Judge - Vice President of Film & TV Development, Panay Films

Jared is the Vice President of Film & TV Development at Panay Films, a film and television production company whose credits include:

  • Wedding Crashers
  • Van Wilder
  • Serendipity
  • Hit and Run
  • Earth to Echo

In his time at Panay Films, Jared has been involved with the development and production of many projects including the independent comedy Hit and Run (2012) starring Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, and Bradley Cooper, as well as the forthcoming MGM comedy Hot Tub Time Machine 2 starring Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke and Adam Scott, and the family adventure film Echo on which Jared also served as associate producer that Relativity Media will release this January.

Prior to his time at Panay Films, Jared worked in development and production at Walt Disney Studios, Red Wagon Entertainment, Storyline Entertainment and Fox Studios - affording him the opportunity to work on a diverse slate of award winning and critically acclaimed Film and Television projects including: The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Juno (2007), Hairspray (2007), The Bucket List (2007), A Raisin in the Sun (2008), The Proposal (2009), and The Muppets (2011).

A Seattle native, Jared has a BFA from Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.


Sarah J. Cornelius - Comedy Judge

Sarah J. Cornelius - Comedy Judge - Creative & Production Executive, Whitewater Films

Sarah Cornelius is the creative development and production executive at Whitewater Films, an independent production company spearheaded by veteran producer Rick Rosenthal whose more than 100 credits include BAD BOYS, "Transparent", "Beauty and the Beast", Halloween 2, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Smallville". Whitewater Film's mandate is to discover new writers with unique voices and to produce their projects. This approach has resulted in Whitewater producing numerous notable and award winning films.

Whitewater Films recently announced their next feature WE ARE UNSATISFIED, starring Billy Crystal (WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, CITY SLICKERS) & Ben Schwartz ("Parks and Recreation") with first-time director Matt Ratner. Their series "Halfway There", starring Matthew Lillard and Esai Morales, was also chosen as a world premier for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.


Whitewater produced:

  • MEAN CREEK (two-time Independent Spirit Awards winner)
  • FIRST GIRL I LOVED (three-time winner of Festival Best Picture Awards)
  • AFTERNOON DELIGHT (Sundance Directing Award winner)
  • CARTEL LAND (Oscar nominated & three-time Primetime Emmy winner)
  • A THOUSAND JUINKIES (Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee)


Sarah is also an AEA & SAG member with credits on "Monk", "Ghost Whisperer", "Mental", and KEEPING UP WITH THE DOWNS. She also wrote, produced and starred in the TV movie BEYOND ME.

Contest Rules


Void where prohibited by law.

The Stage 32 2nd Annual Happy Writers Comedy Writing Contest is an international contest. Must be 18 years or older to submit.

Entrant agrees to Stage32.com terms and conditions.

The Stage 32 2nd Annual Happy Writers Comedy Writing Contest is not a game of chance. All material is read and reviewed by industry professionals.

All quarterfinalists, semi-finalists, finalists and winners are subjectively determined by our judges.

There is no limit to the number of teleplays and/or screenplay an Entrant can enter. The same teleplay and/or screenplay cannot be submitted multiple times under different names. If so, you will be disqualified.

Entrant must not be an immediate family member or friend of any of the judges or their respective companies.

Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

No waivers are available for this contest.

Entrants must submit screenplays/teleplays and payment online.



Screenplays/teleplays should be written in English and in standard industry format.

Teleplays must be 30-minute original pilots, 30-minute teleplay based off of a currently airing TV comedy show, and 1-hour original pilots or 1-hour teleplay based off of a currently airing TV comedy show

Screenplays/teleplays must be the original work of the Entrant and may not be based whole or in part on any fictional or non-fictional material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced for which the Entrant does not have rights.

The rights to the Entrant’s screenplay/teleplay should not have been previously optioned or sold.

Entrant’s screenplay/teleplay must not have been produced or have won any contests.

After a screenplay/teleplay is entered, no new drafts or corrected pages can be made by the Entrant. No exceptions.

Screenplay/Teleplay must be submitted as a PDF document.

Only teleplays or feature length screenplays are accepted. No short scripts.

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