3rd Annual Feature Screenwriting Contest

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Contest Info

The ultimate screenwriting contest is back!

We're proud to announce that 9 of our past contest finalists & winners have been signed, staffed, optioned and/or put into development!

It’s that time again, time for the big one, the 3rd annual Stage 32 Feature Screenwriting Contest. As you know, our contests are all about giving our top writers access to working industry executives and professionals. Your success is our success!

Grand Prize Winner Will Meet With a Dream Team!

We've arranged meetings and mentorship with a screenwriter's dream team - a studio writer, literary manager, development executive, producer, studio director & an entertainment attorney! This is unparalleled and exclusive access to a complete team of industry experts who will provide advice, insight and mentoring to our winner!

Second and Third Place Winners – Will have their loglines and synopsis exclusively sent to every executive we work with!

All finalists will have their loglines placed in a special executives only space on Stage 32. If an executive requests your script, we will facilitate the delivery.

This is a contest designed for all feature writers regardless of genre or budget. All scripts will be judged on a variety of criteria from dialogue to pacing to characters to overall execution. This is not a contest about finding the most marketable screenplay, it’s about finding the best writer producing the best writing. So whether you have a micro-budget screenplay or the first of a tentpole trilogy, if the writing is on point, bring it on!

Feedback Option

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.

Contest Prizes

Grand Prize Winner will meet with a Screenwriting Dream Team!

We've arranged meetings and mentorship with a screenwriter's dream team - a studio screenwriter, literary manager, development executive, producer, studio director & entertainment attorney!

  • Screenwriter (David Paterson) - Lionsgate's The Great Gilly Hopkins (Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close, Kathy Bates), Disney's Bridge to Terabithia (Josh Hutcherson, Zooey Deschanel, Bailee Madison)
  • Literary Manager (Spencer Robinson) - Art/Work Entertainment, clients writing credits include: Arrival, Workaholics, Eastbound and Down, The Mick, Will & Grace and more. 
  • Development Executive (Rachel Crouch) - Cold Iron Pictures, credits include (Swiss Army Man, Diary of a Teenage Girl)
  • Producer (David Harris) - credits include: Security (Antonio Banderas, Ben Kingsley, Gabriella Wright), Desolation (David Moscow)
  • Director (Tyler Gillet) - credits include: 20th Century FOX's Devil's DueV/H/S (Sundance)
  • Entertainment Attorney (Jordan Barel) - worked for AMC and New Line Cinema


Second and Third Prize Winners – Will have their loglines and synopsis exclusively sent to every executive we work with.

All finalists will have their loglines placed in a special executives only space on Stage 32. If an executive requests your script, we will facilitate the delivery.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Deadline Midnight

Friday, Jun 30 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $39.00

Early Bird Deadline

Thursday, Jul 13 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $49.00

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Aug 16 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $59.00

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Sep 20 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $69.00

Contest Judges

Tyler Gillett (Feature Contest Judge)

Tyler Gillett (Feature Contest Judge) - Studio Director for 20th Century FOX,

Tyler Gillett is a film, television and new media writer, director and producer based in Los Angeles. One of the founding members of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, his recent film credits include 20th Century FOX's Devil's Due, the 2012 Sundance hit V/H/S, and The Orchard's Southbound. He currently has feature projects in development at FOX Searchlight and Rough House Pictures. In addition to his film credits, he has sold three television shows -- a horror anthology to NBC, an action comedy to Comedy Central, and an adventure show to Disney XD. Tyler got his start working with the online comedy group Chad, Matt & Rob whose work has garnered over 100 Million total views on YouTube.

Rachel Crouch (Feature Contest Judge)

Rachel Crouch (Feature Contest Judge) - Development Executive & Writer, Cold Iron Films

Cold Iron Pictures is a boutique film financing company that embodies the spirit of independent filmmaking. Cold Iron Pictures looks for innovative scripts, auteur directors, and cast-driven projects. Rachel is looking for TV and film projects with a unique perspective or point of view.

While at Cold Iron, Rachel Crouch has worked on such films as the Spirit Award-winning THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, this summer's SWISS ARMY MAN starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, TIME OF MIND starring Richard Gere, and Mike Birbiglia's latest DON'T THINK TWICE. Cold Iron is currently filming the feature film, YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY, starring Jim Gaffigan, Anna Gunn, and Logan Miller. 

Cold Iron Pictures produced:

  • NORMAN (Richard Gere, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi)
  • DON'T THINK TWICE (Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate Micucci, Mike Birbiglia)
  • SWISS ARMY MAN (Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Mary Elizabeth Winstead)
  • SUPER (James Gunn, Ellen Page, Rainn Wilson)
  • THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård)
  • TIME OF OF MIND (Richard Gere, Jena Malone, Steve Buscemi)
As a writer, Rachel has had articles published by The Mary Sue, TVGuide.com, EveryGeek.net, and co-founded the geek girl podcast and blog The Babes in the Woods.
David Paterson (Feature Contest Judge)

David Paterson (Feature Contest Judge) - Screenwriter - The Great Gilly Hopkins (Octavia Spencer), Disney's Bridge to Terabithia,

An Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, David has penned over two-dozen plays, 15 of which are published through Samuel French, Inc. His works have been performed on Broadway, Off Broadway and throughout the world. He is the only playwright ever to have three plays premiere on the New York City stage in one month.

In 2005 David began writing for film. He adapted his play FINGER PAINTING IN A MURPHY BED into a screenplay and produced it. As LOVE, LUDLOW, the film premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews; “Another Sundance treasure!” Roger Ebert reported. David sold the film to The Sundance Channel, Starz Channel and Warner Home Video. LOVE, LUDLOW was one of the few success stories of Sundance 2005. The screenplay was nominated for the HUMANITAS award for excellence in screen writing. David has also written for The New York Times, Moviemaker Magazine, Filmmaker magazine, and IndieSlate, among others.

David’s second feature, Disney’s BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, was one of the most successful studio releases of 2007. His short, OPEN AIR, starring MUNICH’s Lynn Cohen, won numerous awards on the festival circuit and premiered with Shorts International. David’s films and documentaries have been seen in over 100 festivals worldwide. His most recent documentary, DON”T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’s JOURNEY was a hit on the Festival circuit, winning multiple awards, including the Palm Springs IFF Audience award and was also nominated for a Gotham award.

David’s latest film, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS, starring Glenn Close, Octavia Spencer, Kathy Bates and Julia Stiles premiered in theaters in 2017. He is currently at work on three other major family market adaptations – THE FLINT HEART, COME SING JIMMY JO, and MY FINAL ANSWER, with Beeholder productions (YOU DON’T KNOW JACK).

David is a professional stuntman, an adjunct professor of screenwriting for NYIT of Manhattan, and serves on the Film Advisory Board for the Savannah, First Times, Gold Coast and Big Apple Film Festivals. David has served as a panelist for numerous film festivals in the U.S. and abroad, and is in great demand as a guest lecturer and motivational speaker at colleges, Universities and writer symposiums, most recently lecturing at the RIO IFF in Brazil.

David is also a fireman; his memories as a 9/11 rescue worker were published in the novel 911-Book of Help, with his royalties going to scholarships for children who lost parents in the tragedy.

David Harris (Feature Contest Judge)

David Harris (Feature Contest Judge) - Producer, Security (Antonio Banderas, 2017), Desolation (David Moscow, 2017),

David Harris is a former development executive turned independent producer. He worked at Platinum Studios (COWBOYS & ALIENS, "Jeremiah", DYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT) and Paramount Pictures (M:I 6 - MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, ARRIVAL, GHOST IN THE SHELL) before turning to producing. He most recently produced the $15MM action/thriller SECURITY at Nu Image / Millennium Films, starring Antonio Banderas and Ben Kingsley set for release in August 2017.

As a direct result of a Stage 32 pitch session, David hired Stage 32 writer Craig Walendziak to co-write the thriller DESOLATION directed by David Moscow. He has optioned 2 Stage 32 scripts and helped another Stage 32 member get hired for a writing assignment with producer Luke Edwards.

Spencer Robinson (Feature Contest Judge)

Spencer Robinson (Feature Contest Judge) - Literary & Talent Manager, Art/Work Entertainment

Spencer Robinson has been in the industry for nearly a decade as a manager and is currently a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment. Spencer began his career in production at Cornice Entertainment and Howard Entertainment, and then moved into talent management at MBST Entertainment. For the past 6 years Spencer has been with Art/Work and continues managers both writers and actors for television and film.

Art/Work is a management company headed by Cindy Ambers and Julie Bloom. Art/Work merged with Verve in 2010 and represents writers and actors throughout the industry. They represent writers like Eric Heisserer, writer of 2016's Oscar-winning film ARRIVAL which grossed over $200 million worldwide.


Jordan Barel (Feature Contest Judge)

Jordan Barel (Feature Contest Judge) - Entertainment Attorney, Writer & Producer,

Jordan Barel is an entertainment attorney who has previously worked for New Line Cinema, Generate, Alloy, and AMC and was recently names in Variety's Hollywood Movers and Shakers List! He works closely with Verve Talent Agency identifying new writers and material for production and representation.

As a producer, Jordan also runs his own graphic novel publishing studio, Loaded Barrel Studios. He won the Independent Publishing Book Awards (2012, 2013), The LA Book festival, the Geekie Awards ®, and many others for their groundbreaking work in live-action graphic novels including Grey, Brielle and the Horror & God of the Machines.

Jordan has optioned books and screenplays with producers such as David Uslan (Sabrina), Brendan Deneen (Knight Rider), Jeffrey Erb (Sisters on 7th), and Aaron Berger (The Book of Life). He’s developed at studios such as Chatrone, Unique Features, and Leomark Studios in the independent film space. Jordan is currently producing the independent film The Incoherents filming in NY right now!


Contest Rules

What Kinds of Scripts Can Enter?

All feature scripts are welcome to enter. We are looking for: comedies, horrors, dramas, dramedies, sci fi, thrillers, actions, westerns, high-concept and anything in between. All genres are welcome. No shorts or TV pilots will be accepted.

All writers submitting a script between 120-150 pages must pay an additional $15. No scripts over 150 pages will be accepted.

Entrant Rules

Void where prohibited by law.

Adults only can enter.

Entrant agrees to Stage32.com terms and conditions.

The Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature 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.

Entrant must not have received compensation totaling over $25,000 USD for television or motion picture writing, options or sales.

There is no limit to the number of screenplays an Entrant can enter. The same 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.

Screenplay Rules

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

Screenplay 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 should not have been previously optioned or sold.

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

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

Judging Criteria

Our readers grade each script on ten different categories. These categories include premise, execution of premise, formatting/spelling/grammar, character creation and arcs, dialogue, pacing, style/tone, theme, commercial appeal and the overall "It" factor.


We have hand selected a group of high profile judges panel based on their hands-on involvement in the industry. We pulled out all the stops to get you the most impressive roster of judges around. We are committed to giving you access to some of the best decision makers in the industry.

Contest Winners

Winner Announcements

November 15, 2017: quarterfinalists announced on Stage 32

November 22, 2017: semi-finalists announced on Stage 32

November 29, 2017: Finalists announced on Stage 32

December 20, 2017: Winners will be announced on Stage 32


Our Track Record

8 of our past contest finalists have either been signed, optioned or had their projects put into development!

  • Duane Piedmont - signed with Kaplan-Stahler Agency and Heroes And Villains Entertainment.
  • Brittni Brown and Jenna Palermo - signed with Infinity Management International.
  • Benji Smith - signed with Meridian Artists.
  • Trish MacEnulty - attached producer Gavin Dorman to her script.
  • Scott Waldvogel and Matt DeMartini - signed with Gotham Group and APA.
  • Frank Ponce - signed with 3 Arts Entertainment and Atlas Entertainment.
  • Glenn Forbes - signed with Infinity Management International and optioned by Glider Films.
  • Richard Hobley - signed with Paradigm and Goldcrest Films International.


*dates subject to change

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