4th Annual Stage 32 TV Writing Contest

Submission Fee:

$55.50 $65.50
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Thursday, Dec 27TH 11:59PST Regular Deadline
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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

It's almost the most magical time of the year. You know what I'm talking about. All the bright lights, the festive decorations. That's right!

Pilot season.

Which means we're happy to announce our 4th Annual TV Writing Contest! Stage 32 contests, simply put, are the best in the industry - giving you unparalleled opportunity for exposure. 

TV is bigger than ever, streaming has allowed more original voices to be broadcast around the world and with the future holding opportunity in an unnamed company's new streaming platform (rhymes with Bisney), there's no doubt going to be an even greater call for excellent TV writers and original shows!
 

No matter what format you write in – sitcom, drama, serialized, procedural, mini-series, limited series – we want your work! All 30 and 60 minute original pilots are eligible. NO SPECS OF PRE-EXISTING SHOWS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

This year our grand prize winner will be flown to LA to meet with executives from:
 
  • Disney-ABC (Scandal, The Conners)
  • Emmy-winning HBO's Veep
  • Rosey TV (AMC's Hell on Wheels)
  • Industry Entertainment (Amazon's The Other F Word)
  • Reel One Entertainment (SyFy's Haven, Sundance Channel's Cleverman)
  • The Cartel (Writers on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Psych, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Newsroom)
  • Paper Plane Entertainment (Founderd by former UTA TV executive)
  • Development Executive for Facebook's Paging Dr. Patel
PLUS! All finalists will have their loglines sent out to our extensive list of executives.
 
So come join in the festivities, and get your scripts out there before staffing season begins!
 

OUR TRACK RECORD

We pride ourselves in giving our writers exclusive and direct access with industry decision makers. In 4 years, our contests have produced numerous writers who have been signed, optioned, produced or placed on television writing staffs! We work diligently for our winners to make sure they have every chance to take their careers to the next level!

The first 3 years of our TV contest provided the following success stories:

  • Heidi Nyburg was signed by Sonia Gambaro from Pollinate Entertainment and met for development meetings with Norman Lear and Peter Horton's production companies, and is now meeting with AMC!
  • Scott Waldvogel and Matt DeMartini - signed with Gotham Group and APA.
  • Duane Piedmont signed with Kaplan-Stahler and Heroes and Villains Entertainment.
  • Danny Baram was mentored by Mickey Fisher (Extant – Steven Spielberg).

 

FEEDBACK/SCRIPT COVERAGE 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

  • Flight to Los Angeles to meet with executives from Disney-ABC, HBO's Veep, Rosey TV, The Cartel, Industry Entertainment, Paper Plane Entertainment, and Reel One Entertainment.
  • Logline sent to over 500 industry executives, managers, agents and producers
  • Script title and logline listed on Stage 32

 

2ND PLACE / RUNNER UP

  • 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

 

ALL FINALISTS

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

Contest Judges

Nathan Varni (Judge)

Nathan Varni (Judge) - Director, ABC Current Network Programming, Disney-ABC

Nathan Varni is Director, Current Programming, Disney-ABC Television Group, reporting to Vicki Dummer, Head of ABC Network Current Programming, Disney-ABC Television Group.

In this position, Mr. Varni oversees all creative and day-to-day management on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, The Conners, Grand Hotel and long running daytime drama series, General Hospital. In past seasons, Mr. Varni served as the covering executive on Once Upon A Time, Scandal, The Middle, Greys Anatomy, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and the revival of Roseanne. Mr. Varni joined ABC in November, 2006 as an assistant in comedy current programming and also spent time working as a coordinator in comedy development and current programming working on a vast number of both comedy and drama series including According to Jim, Samantha Who?, Better off Ted, Cougar Town, Castle, V, 666 Park Avenue and three seasons covering Happy Endings.

Prior to joining ABC, Mr. Varni worked in series development at Regency Television (Malcolm in the Middle, The Bernie Mac Show). While at Regency Mr. Varni assisted with the creative coverage of NBC’s Windfall and FOX’s New Amsterdam. Prior to his time at Regency TV, Mr. Varni worked in reality series as a story assistant for series such as America’s Next Top Model, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, High School Reunion, For Love or Money and The Next Great Champ. Game show experience includes working on 65 episodes of GSN’s Whammy! The All New Press Your Luck. Mr. Varni served as a production assistant and then Exec Producers assistant on the CBS sitcoms Listen Up and How I Met Your Mother.

Mr. Varni earned a bachelor of arts in television production/media management from California State University Northridge.Mr. Varni grew up in San Diego and then relocated to the central coast of California. He currently resides in Burbank, California.

In his free time, he is an avid film/television fan, occasional tennis player, and enjoys live theatre.

Michael Rosenberg (Judge)

Michael Rosenberg (Judge) - Executive Producer, Rosey TV

Michael Rosenberg opened his Rosey TV production shingle in April 2015 after seven years overseeing US television for global studio Entertainment One. Under his tenure at eOne his credits included HBO’s hit series Hung, AMC’s Hell on Wheels, Discovery’s first-ever scripted mini-series Klondike, DirecTV/HBO Canada’s Call Me Fitz, Rogue for DirecTV’s Audience Network and MTV’s racy drama Skins based on the hit UK series of the same name.

Prior to his stint at eOne, Rosenberg served as Head of Television at Blueprint Entertainment where he produced Testees for FX. He also founded and served as President of Maverick Television where he brought together Eddie Izzard and Dmitry Lipkin to create FX’s critically-acclaimed The Riches, and produced the MTV unscripted series I’m From Rolling Stone.

Rosenberg brings 4 decades of baggage, manipulation and less than exemplary social standing to all of his endeavors. He got his start as a concert promoter in San Francisco though he originally hails from LA. But most importantly, please don’t call him Mike. He goes by Rosey.

Adam Fratto (Judge)

Adam Fratto (Judge) - Producer & Executive, Reel One Entertainment

Adam Fratto is a seasoned producer and creative executive with proven track records in TV development & programming, production, and features. With a specialty in genre storytelling, he is experienced in crafting international business models and launching creative strategies.

Adam recently launched a series division for international distribution and production studio Reel One Entertainment. There, he has rapidly built a serious presence in the drama space, hiring experienced executives and assembling a buzzy slate of high profile projects, including a multi-platform adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s SCREAMERS and a UK series based on award-winning Belgian format TEAM CHOCOLATE. Before that, he was Head of Drama for Pukeko Pictures, affiliate of New Zealand's Weta (LORD OF THE RINGS, AVATAR, DISTRICT 9). The first of these, the award-winning CLEVERMAN, airs on Netflix, SundanceTV, BBC3, and Australia's ABC.

As an independent producer and consultant, Adam consulted with clients from tech startups to established networks. He Executive Produced YA movie SEA CHANGE and was co-EP of HAVEN, a hit supernatural drama based on Stephen King’s “The Colorado Kid," for Syfy.

Originally from New York, Adam is a graduate of Harvard College and USC’s graduate program in Film & TV Production, where he produced Emmy-winning documentary WALKING WITH GIANTS.

After starting his exec career at Michael Douglas's Furthur Films (WONDER BOYS, SWIMFAN), Adam joined Piller/Segan as V.P. in 2002, working on hit series THE DEAD ZONE, WILDFIRE, GREEK, and indie feature BICKFORD SHMECKLER’S COOL IDEAS. From 2008 to 2011, Adam helped launch Atticus Entertainment, managing sports icon Jim Lampley’s HBO-based operation.

He is a member of the TV Academy, HRTS, and the Producers’ Guild. He is also co-Founder of Harvardwood, a group of 7,000+ alums in arts, media and entertainment (harvardwood.org). A lifelong sinophile, he has lived in Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong.

Michael Tapia (Judge)

Michael Tapia (Judge) - Development Executive, Facebook's "Paging Dr. Patel"

Michael Tapia is an independent television Development Executive, with more than 10 years of experience in entertainment. Tapia specializes in the creation, development and production of scripted, unscripted and digital content. He recently sold the pilot “Paging Dr. Patel” to Facebook and currently consults for Electus, Objective Productions, and GRB Entertainment, and has working relationships with CAA, WME, APA and Innovative Artists.

Electus is the distribution and production company behind the CW's "Jane the Virgin" and "No Tomorrow" and Netflix's "Flaked". Objective Productions is headed by Ben Farrell and Andrew O'Connor, which produced "Witless" for the BBC, "The Peep Show" and "Toast of London" for London's Channel 4, "United Shades of America" for CNN, and "Fresh Meat" for Netflix. GRB Entertainment is another production company, whose credits include BAD NIGHT, "Intervention", and "Growing Up Gotti".

Before going independent, Tapia served as an executive at Bischoff/Hervey Entertainment where he helped developed series including: "See Dad Run" for Nickelodeon, "The Devils Ride" for Discovery Channel and "I (Heart) Nick Carter" for VH1. While at BHE, Tapia served as associate producer on “See Dad Run” where he worked with executives and alongside the writers.

Tapia got his start in the industry as the Director of Development for feature-film director Rupert Wainwright’s (BLANK CHECK, STIGMATA, THE FOG, “The Outer Limits") Breathless Films.

Audrey Knox (Judge)

Audrey Knox (Judge) - Manager, The Cartel

Audrey Knox is a manager at The Cartel, a premiere full service management and production company. Their production arm, Cartel Pictures, is surging with 12 feature-length projects released in 2017 alone, including LOVE AT FIRST GLANCE, DEADLY EXCHANGE, and THE STUDENT.

On the management side, The Cartel represents more than 150 clients including writers on "Grey's Anatomy", "The Blacklist", "Law & Order: SVU", "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", "The Vampire Diaries", "Sons of Anarchy", "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", "Psych", "Bones", "Mad Men", "House M.D.", "That '70s Show", "Chicago P.D.", "Family Guy", "Castle", "Community", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "The Brave", "24", "Californication", "Friday Night Lights", "Veronica Mars", "The Newsroom", "Salem", "CatDog", and more.

Audrey has a background in both scripted and unscripted television, on set, in production, and in writers’ rooms. Her true passion lies in depressingly introspective black comedies, but she’s never met a British gangster drama she hasn’t liked.

 

Matt Kniaz (Judge)

Matt Kniaz (Judge) - Manager, Industry Entertainment

Matt Kniaz is a Manager at Industry Entertainment, one of the premier production and management companies in the industry with on-screen talent including Alisha Mullally ("13 Reasons Why"), Krysten Ritter ("Jessica Jones", "Don't Trust the B"), Jeff Goldblum (JURASSIC PARK, INDEPENDENCE DAY), Laura Prepon ("Orange is the New Black", "That '70s Show"), Jimmi Simpson ("Westworld", "House of Cards"), Summer Glau ("Firefly", "The Sarah Connor Chronicles", "Arrow"), Jared Padalecki ("Supernatural"), and more!

Industry Entertainment also represents some of the biggest talent behind the camera and on the page including:

  • Gary Dauberman (IT, ANNABELLE)
  • Jonathan Herman (STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON)
  • Jane Espenson ("Game of Thrones", "Once Upon a Time", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer")
  • Santa Sierra ("Narcos")
  • Harley Voss ("Orange is the New Black", "Mad Men")
  • Michael C Martin ("Lethal Weapon", "Hell on Wheels")
  • David Handelman ("The West Wing", "The Newsroom")
  • Rita Hsiao (MULAN, TOY STORY 2)
  • Angela Nissel ("Scrubs", "The Boondocks")
  • Adam Kane ("American Gods", "Star Trek: Discovery", "Daredevil")
  • Gustin Nash (YOUTH IN REVOLT, CHARLIE BARTLETT)
  • Nick Adams ("New Girl", "People of Earth")
  • Lawrence Kaplow ("House", "Law & Order: SVU")
  • JaSheika Ashel James ("Empire", "Revenge")

Matt Kniaz came to Industry Entertainment from CAA after working in the talent/television packaging department. Before that, he was at ICM in the motion picture talent department.

Industry Entertainment has already signed 3 Stage 32 members!

Jon Stahl (Judge)

Jon Stahl (Judge) - Script Coordinator, Veep (HBO)

Jon Stahl is the Script Coordinator at HBO assigned to the DGA, SAG, WGA and Emmy Award-winning comedy series "VEEP", starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky, and created by Armando Iannucci (THE DEATH OF STALIN, "The Thick of It").

Jon began his career in production, working on projects like YOUNG ADULT, "The Big C", and "Maron". In 2013, he produced Season 1 of the Emmy-nominated series "Eastsiders", before getting his first high-profile writers’ room position on the NBC network sitcom Mr. Robinson with Universal Television. Jon went on to work in the writers' room at Nickelodeon on "Game Shakers" before his current role at HBO, where he works alongside some of the best writers in television comedy.

Jon grew up with a deep sense of admiration for well-written television. Shows like "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" painted his perception of what a great comedy could be, and impressed on him an irreverent, madcap style that shines through in his own work.

 

Brandon Drea (Judge)

Brandon Drea (Judge) - VP of Production, Paper Plane Entertainment

Brandon is the VP of Production at the bi-coastal management and production company, Paper Plane Entertainment. He has a diverse background in the Entertainment industry, working as an actor and producer for more than a decade. Brandon began his career in representation working in the Talent Department at The Gersh Agency and, before moving on to the TV Literary Department at the United Talent Agency.

Contest Rules

ENTRANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Void where prohibited by law.

This Stage 32 Contest is an international contest. Must be 18 years or older to submit.

Entrant agrees to Stage32.com terms and conditions.

This Stage 32 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 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.

Entrants must submit screenplays and payment online.

Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

No waivers are available for this contest.


SCREENPLAY TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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

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

Entrant’s screenplay must not have been produced.

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

Screenplay must be submitted as a PDF document. Submissions with and without title pages are accepted.

Short film scripts or feature length scripts will be disqualified.

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. Neither Stage 32 nor its judges investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.

BY SUBMITTING THE MATERIAL, THE ENTRANT HEREBY AGREES TO INDEMNIFY, HOLD HARMLESS, AND DEFEND STAGE 32 LLC, BLACK AND BLUE LLC, ITS EMPLOYEES, DIRECTORS, REPRESENTATIVES, AND AFFILIATES FROM ANY LIABILITY, CLAIMS, AND DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SUBMISSION AND FROM ANY FEES AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES, THAT ANY OF THEM MAY INCUR IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

Winner Announcements

Mar 07
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Mar 21
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Apr 04
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Apr 18
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird Deadline

Tuesday, Nov 13 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $39.99

Early Bird Deadline

Thursday, Dec 6 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $45.50

Regular Deadline

Thursday, Dec 27 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $55.50

Final Deadline

Thursday, Jan 17 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $65.50

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