4th Annual Comedy Writing Contest

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Submission Fee:

$59.50 $69.50
Next Deadline
Wednesday, Feb 27TH 11:59PST Regular Deadline
Next deadline ends in:

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Anthony and I have done well in several screenwriting contests, but Stage 32 was the first to set us up with actual production companies and managers. That can’t be overstated.
Keith Strausbaugh Keith Strausbaugh

Contest Info

We have officially opened up our call for entries for our 4th Annual Comedy Writing Contest! Our contests have a stellar reputation to give the best writers industry access and to provide opportunities that can help move the needle on their career.  This year's winner will be flow to LA to meet with executives from NBC Universal, A&E Networks, Zero Gravity Management and more!

So you think you can dance write comedy?TM

Then great! Find out if you really can. Especially if the only people who've told you "you're funny" are small children. Because let's be real, they'll laugh at anything. Just any silly face. Any bad impression. Slinkies. Sure, they're great self-esteem boosters, buy they're terrible gauges for top-notch comedy content.

Stop trusting this-->Image result for laughing baby stock photo

And enter Stage 32's 4th Annual Comedy Writing Contest. Now open for submissions!

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

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.


Check out last year, Diana Wright's success here:




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 horror comedy 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, The Orville, 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


  • Flight to Los Angeles to meet with executives from Zero Gravity Management, Schemers Entertainment, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment, and Whitewater Films as well as calls with NBCUniversal and A+E Networks.
  • Logline sent to over 500 industry executives, managers, agents and producers
  • Script title and logline listed on Stage 32



  • Two Skype meetings with an industry executive
  • Logline sent to over 500 industry executives, managers, agents and producers
  • Script development notes from a Stage 32 executive
  • 2 Stage 32 Happy Writers online pitch sessions
  • Free Stage 32 Next Level Webinar
  • Script title and logline listed on Stage 32



  • Will have their loglines shared with over 500 industry executives, managers, agents and producers

Contest Judges

Molly Hurwitz (Judge)

Molly Hurwitz (Judge) - Lit/Talent Manager, Zero Gravity Management

Molly Hurwitz is a Manager and Producer at Zero Gravity Management, a management and production company with over 500 clients and over 20 productions under their belt. They've recently begun producing TV projects with Netflix's "Ozark" and have worked on features including THE ACCOUNTANT, A FAMILY MAN, and RUNNING SCARED.

Molly represents both literary and talent clients, with her primary focus on comedy. She started her career at ICM Partners agency where she worked with great comedians such as Orny Adams, before she moved to Zero Gravity Management, where she has clients involved with projects such at Netflix's Dear White People, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, Silicon Valley, Entourage, The Colbert Report and more.   

Her favorite show is "Frasier", and her favorite movie is BEST IN SHOW.

Fiorela Canaj (Judge)

Fiorela Canaj (Judge) - Business Development & Strategy, NBCUniversal

A native of Connecticut, Fiorela began her career as an Office PA on the Showtime series “The Big C”. From there she received her MFA from UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television and went on to work in scripted at Electus, a production company run by Ben Silverman ("The Office", "Ugly Betty").

Fiorela left Electus to join the Current Department at the NBCUniversal Cable Scripted Networks (Syfy, USA, E!, Bravo) where she helped manage over 26 scripted series across the four brands. For USA, she worked on series including Anonymous Content's "Mr. Robot" starring Rami Malek and Carly Chaikin, Legendary Television's "Colony" starring Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies, and Hypnotic's "Suits" starring Gabriel Macht and Meghan Markle. On Syfy, she worked on series including DC Entertainment's "Krypton" and Original Film's "Happy" starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. She also worked on series including "Imposters" for Bravo and "The Arrangement" for E!.

Fiorela currently works in Business Development and Strategy for NBCUniveral Digital Enterprises, but maintains a large network in scripted development.

Kerry Saxena (Judge)

Kerry Saxena (Judge) - Content Development, A+E Networks

Kerry Saxena is in Content Development for A+E Networks, the joint venture between Hearst Communications and Disney-ABC that includes A&E, History, Lifetime, Viceland, FYI, and Crime+Investigation.

A&E series include the scripted dramas "Bates Motel", "Longmire", "Damien", "Roots" and "The Returned", and the unscripted series "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath", "Wahlburgers", "Mountain Men", and "The Killing Season". The History channel airs competition shows like "Forged In Fire", and "Top Shot", scripted programs like "Six", "Project Blue Book", and "Vikings", and unscripted series including "Ax Men", "The Men Who Built America", and "Ice Road Truckers". Viceland is know for shows like the competition series "King of the Road", FYI is known for their biographical series like "I Survived...", and Crime+Investigation focuses on crime shows like "Casanova Killers".

Kerry got his start working at The Gersh Agency in the TV Literary Department before assisting the CFO/COO of the entire agency. He then moved to Content Development at FOX Digital, which produced acclaimed series including ABC's Boondoggle starring Ty Burrells of "Modern Family" fame, and Small Shots, Bad Samaritans, The Ropes, Suit Up, and Let's Big Happy.; and films including Netflix's Parallels, Mono, Floor 9.5 starring Georgina Campbell, How To Be a Man starring Liam Aiken, Normal Doors starring Emily Bett Rickards & Milana Vayntrub, Tenured starring Kate Flannery of "The Office" fame. Kerry focused on Comedies at FOX and continues to bring his eye for comedy and comedy connections to his work at A+E.

Daniel Seco (Judge)

Daniel Seco (Judge) - Manager, Schemers Entertainment

Daniel Seco is the literary Manager at Schemers Entertainment. Helmed by Producer/Manager Gavin Dorman, they represent writers and directors for film and TV and Gavin produces independent films including FAMILY BLOOD, ANGUISH, and RUN ALL NIGHT, with companies including Netflix, Warner Bros., and Blumhouse. Their clients have worked on projects including FREE BIRDS, END OF TERM, FOR LOVE OR MONEY, AWAITING, HUNTING LANDS and "The Mentalist".

Daniel got his start in the industry at Resolution (Danny Elfman, Paul Verhoeven, Nick Cassavetes) where he worked his way up from an internship to the Motion Picture Department for Talent and Literary Agents. He then went to work as an assistant for a Motion Picture Literary Agent at CAA (clients include Oscar-winning screenwriters of THE DEPARTED, THE BIG SHORT, ARGO), before becoming the Motion Picture Literary Coordinator at Writ Large (clients include writers of BRIGHT, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING, EASY A, "Westworld").

Molly Welsh (Judge)

Molly Welsh (Judge) - Assistant to Aaron Kaplan & Sean Perrone, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment

Molly Welsh is the assistant to industry comedy veterans Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.

While the company has productions of their own, including YOU, ME AND DUPREE, and KNOWING, they are best known for their roster of talented writers who've penned features and television including THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, THE DISASTER ARTIST, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, DIE HARD, THE FUGITIVE, "Transparent", BLACK HAWK DOWN, "Bob's Burgers", TOY STORY 4, "Colony", 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, "The L Word", "King of the Hill", "Quantico", THE EXPENDABLES 3, "Chicago P.D.", RAMPAGE, SPY KIDS, "White Collar", "American Vandal", "Leverage", and THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN.

While much of their clients' upcoming work is still under wraps, Jose Molina is getting great press off his series Weird City and they're seeing great reviews on Kodachrome for Jonathan Tropper and Mark Raso to name just a few of their clients.

Molly started in the industry working with Phil Traill (TV Director - "The Middle", "Fresh Off the Boat") and Dean Craig (DEATH AT A FUNERAL, A FEW BEST MEN) giving them feedback on their projects during the development/ brainstorming process.

Sarah J. Cornelius (Judge)

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

Sarah Cornelius is the Creative 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 including two-time Independent Spirit Awards-winner MEAN CREEK, three-time winner of Festival Best Picture Awards FIRST GIRL I LOVED, Sundance Directing Award-winner AFTERNOON DELIGHT, Oscar-nominee and Primetime Emmy-winner CARTEL LAND, three-time Festival Best Picture Award-winner DESTINED, and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-nominee A THOUSAND JUNKIES. They've also produced a number of star-studded films like BAND OF ROBBERS, starring Melissa Benoist; MATCH, starring Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard; COLD COMES THE NIGHT, starring Alice Eve and Bryan Cranston; and PUNCHING HENRY, starring J.K. Simmons and Sarah Silverman.

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 4th 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 4th 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.

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.

Winner Announcements

May 24
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jun 07
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jun 21
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jul 12
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird

Tuesday, Dec 18 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $44.50

Early Bird

Tuesday, Jan 22 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $49.50

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Feb 27 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $59.50

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Mar 27 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $69.50

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