6th Annual Search for New Blood Contest

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$49.50 $69.50
Next Deadline
Wednesday, Jun 26TH 11:59PDT Early Bird 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

The biggest genre screenwriting competition of the year is back!

Winner to be flown to Hollywood to meet with Good Fear Management + Film, Zero Gravity Management, Circle of Confusion, Machete & Sin City Filmmaker Ethan Maniquis and more!

All finalists loglines mailed to hundreds of industry executives!

When floors creak and door knobs rattle at midnight...and strange sounds echo through the air...whenever lightbulbs flicker and you feel a cold whisper on the back of your neck  — that is when you know it's that time of year... 

The 6th Annual Search for New Blood Contest!

We have brought in another all star roster of industry judges including: 

  • Shaked Berenson - Board Member, Independent Film & Television Alliance & Co-Founder of Epic Pictures, which acquired Dread Central and created Dread Originals
  • Scott Stoops - Manager, Good Fear Management + Film (client credits include Polaroid, Child's Play, The Ward
  • Will Deasey - Creative Executive, Zero Gravity (client credits include SAW 2, 3 & 4, When a Stranger Calls, Hitcher, Amusement
  • Antonio D'Intino - Manager, Circle of Confusion (Mayhem, "The Walking Dead", "Fear the Walking Dead")
  • Horror filmmaker Ethan Maniquis (Machete, Sin City, Planet Terror, From Dusk 'Til Dawn

We’re looking for the next Us, Brightburn, Midsommar, Crawl, Escape Room, The Dead Don't Die, The Lighthouse, A Quiet Place, The Purge, Truth or Dare, Get Out, Hereditary, or whatever horror or thriller concept your twisted mind can dream up.

We're giving one deserving screenwriter the opportunity of a lifetime. Our Grand Prize Winner will be flown out to Hollywood for one-on-one private meetings with each one of our prolific judges! 

Plus ALL our finalists will have their material exposed to a full list of industry executives. Last year's Grand Prize Winner - Christina Pamies - was signed by Good Fear Management + Film off of her winning script, A Good Deed!

Winners and finalists from the last 5 contests have been produced, signed, or are in development. How's that for opening doors and creating opportunity?



Over the last 4 years, our New Blood contest winners and finalists have been signed, optioned, put in development, and secured high level meetings with some of the top executives and companies in the film industry.

  • Last Year's Grand Prize winner Christina Pamies (A Good Deed) was signed by Good Fear Management+Film, met with Blumhouse and received a mentorship from Pete Goldfinger (Jigsaw & Upcoming SAW Reboot). She just met with Producer Chris Bender (The Ring 2, Final Destination) and developing her script in order to bring it to market!


  • Our 2017 winner Kevin Bachar (Blood Relative) was sent on 10 meetings for his script Blood Relative and as a result he is now working with producer Mike DeTrana from Anvil Entertainment, attached director John Poloquin (Grave Encounters 2) to his screenplay, and signed an option for financing with Three Point Capital!


  • 2016 Winner Alyssa & Griffin Devine met with Dino De Laurentiis Company, The Asylum, Crypt TV, Good Deed Entertainment, Samaco Films, Chris Sparling, and ultimately signed with HG5 Entertainment. Their film, Recovery, was released in 2018!


  • 2015 Winner Glenn Forbes signed with manager Infinity Management International. His script is now set up with Glider Films


  • 2014 Winner Frank Ponce signed with 3 Arts Entertainment and now has a mini-series in development with Atlas Entertainment (American Hustle) and Universal


Unprecedented access. Better exposure. More reads. Real success!



Stage 32 is looking for scripts in all areas of horror, thriller, and suspense. We welcome all feature screenplays in the horror / thriller genre. All micro-budget, low budget, mid level budget, and blockbuster screenplays welcome. If your script fits in with any of these examples below, it’s a fit for this contest!

**Please note this contest is for full-length screenplays only. No short scripts or teleplays will be accepted.

  • Psychological Suspense: Split, Shutter Island, Green Room, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, The Game, The Usual Suspects, American Psycho
  • Crime Thrillers: John Wick, The Snowman, Wind River, Fargo, Prisoners, The Counselor, No Country For Old Men, Blood Simple
  • Contained Thrillers: 47 Meters Down, The Shallows, Buried, Phone Booth, Open Water, Hard Candy, Panic Room
  • Destruction Thrillers: Geostorm, The Wave, San Andreas, Godzilla, Jurassic Park, Independence Day
  • Revenge Thrillers: Blue Ruin, The Handmaiden, 13 Assassins, Kill Bill, Taken, Oldboy, Death Wish
  • Sci-Fi Thrillers: Children of Men, Gravity, Interstellar, Alien, Inception, The Matrix, Blade Runner, Minority Report
  • Spy Thrillers: Atomic Blonde, November Man, Safe House, The Bourne Identity, Ronin, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, True Lies
  • Horror: The Babadook, The Witch, It Follows, Saw, Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, Annabelle: Creation
  • Ironic Horror: Get out, Scream, The House in the Woods, Scary Movie, Zombieland
  • Found Footage Horror: Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism, Alien Abduction



For an additional fee of only $49 (50% savings!) you can receive coverage (1-2 pages) from our industry readers on your screenplay or teleplay. Just check "coverage" upon checkout.

Contest Prizes


  • Flight to Los Angeles to meet with the Stage 32 judges from Good Fear, Zero Gravity, Circle of Confusion, producer Shaked Berenson, horror filmmaker Ethan Maniquis and more!
  • Script title and logline listed on Stage 32
  • Logline sent to over 500 industry executives, managers, agents and producers



  • 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 TOP 10 FINALISTS will have their screenplay title, logline & writer bio sent to over 500 development executives, producers, managers & agents who work with Stage 32. If an executive requests the script or a meeting, we will facilitate!

Our Track Record

"Since winning the contest, Stage 32 has set me up on a bunch of meetings. I've met with a bunch of Creative Executives who have given me a lot of great notes on my script and have given me some really helpful career advice. Last week, I met with Chris Bender (Producer - The Ring 2, Final Destination) and Jake Weiner (Producer - A History of Violence), and we had a very detailed notes meeting on my script. I'm in the process of working on a rewrite and hopefully will get it in a good position to sell! So it's been a great experience. I think Stage 32 is a great way for writers to get their foot in the door and get their career on the right path. I would recommend their contest to anybody." 

- Christina Pamies, Grand Prize Winner, Stage 32 Search for New Blood, 2018; Signed by Good Fear Management + Film, developing her project with producers Chris Bender & Jake Weiner

"I have nothing but high praise for the folks at Stage 32. Because of meetings they set me up on I am now working with Mike DeTrana from Anvil Entertainment, have director John Poloquin from Grave Encounters 2 attached to my script, and an option for financing from Three Point Capital. One of the meetings was with Daniel Bekerman, the producer of The Witch. I wrote a horror screenplay and I got to talk with the producer of one of the greatest horror films the last decade. That's got to be viewed as something good. He didn't agree to produce the film, but he did offer his company to assist us with securing grants and tax incentives if we shot up in Canada. Again, that's a pretty damn good measure of success for a contest."

- Kevin Bachar, Grand Prize Winner, Stage 32 Search for New Blood, 2017; Working with Anvil Entertainment, attached financing & a director to the script

“It’s surreal. It’s changed our work life and we’re working in a professional realm that we’ve never worked in before. We’ve been struggling writers for a long time and when we found out we won, we were super stoked. Stage 32 put us out there on a bunch of meetings with production companies, managers and agents. We signed with HG5 Entertainment and are writing 2 scripts, which 1 is going into production this year. It’s changed our life.”

- Alyssa & Griffin Devine, Grand Prize Winner Stage 32 Search For New Blood Winners, 2016; Signed with HG5 Entertainment, in development on 2 scripts

"Speaking as a screenwriter to all my fellow writers, I highly recommend submitting to any and all Happy Writer's Writing Competition. I came in 2nd in the Search for New Blood Horror competition and it at very least exposes you and your work to industry professionals. To get that kind of eyes on something you've written, whether you end up selling your screenplay or not, is a great experience. All my best to all!"

- William Jeffrey, Stage 32 Happy Writers Search For New Blood Contest, 2015

"I have signed with a management company in LA, Infinity Management International. I met them when Stage 32 flew me down to LA, and now the deal is done. I'm so thrilled to have Stage 32 Happy Writers in my corner for this ride. I've been plugging away for more than 10 years to secure representation. My message is never give up on your dream, and surround yourself with people who can help you get there. For that, Stage 32 has become my lynchpin."

- Glenn Forbes, Grand Prize Winner, Stage 32 Happy Writers Search For New Blood Contest, 2014; Signed with Infinity Management International

"My only wish was to find this site sooner for the sake of saving time, discovering in-depth educational value, and making legitimate connections. I have to tip my hat at RB and the gang for changing the game and helping shape my future in filmmaking. I’m honored to be swimming in a community of like-minded individuals. I’m proud to be Stage 32’s HAPPIEST WRITER right now!"

- Frank Ponce, Stage 32 Happy Writers Search For New Blood Contest, 2014; Signed with 3 Arts Entertainment and his script has been picked up for development by Atlas Entertainment (The Dark Knight, American Hustle)



The Stage 32 Happy Writers Search for New Blood contest is not associated with The Blood List.

Contest Judges

Shaked Berenson (Judge)

Shaked Berenson (Judge) - Producer, Co-Founder of Epic Pictures & Dread Central Originals, IFTA Board,

Shaked Berenson is a producer of over 30 films and serves on the board of the Independent Film and Television Alliance, alongside members Paul Hertzberg, Roger Corman, and Avi Lerner.

He was the Co-Founder and COO of Epic Pictures, a film, production financing and sales company which acquired the Horror site, Dread Central, an online publication which reviews all things horror. The acquisition created the Dread Originals horror banner for Epic.

Prior to Epic Pictures Group, Berenson served as Renegade Pictures’ Director of Sales as well as the Director of Technology and International Relations for the Giffoni Hollywood Film Festival.


Scott Stoops (Judge)

Scott Stoops (Judge) - Manager, Good Fear Management + Film

Scott Stoops is a Literary Manager at Good Fear Film + Management, one of the industry’s leading management and production companies founded by Chris Bender. Good Fear client credits include horror projects, Polaroid, Child's Play, and The Ward.

Previously, Scott worked at Benderspink for founding partner JC Spink and Head of Management, Jake Wagner. Prior to his work at Benderspink, Scott was an agent at Paradigm.

Scott signed the Grand Prize Winner of the 5th Annual New Blood Contest - Christina Pamies - off her winning script, A Good Deed.

Ethan Maniquis (Judge)

Ethan Maniquis (Judge) - Director,

Ethan Maniquis co-directed the worldwide box office hit 'Machete' alongside Robert Rodriguez for 20th Century Fox, starring Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, and Robert De Niro. 

Ethan started in the film industry on the cult hit “From Dusk till Dawn” written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez. He worked on such visionary films as Desperado, Sin City, andPlanet Terror with Bruce Willis. Ethan went on to  Recent credits include Hands of Stone, starring Robert De Niro, the horror film Feral, and Kidnap starring Halle Berry, as well as numerous indie films in Latin America and China. 

Will Deasy (Judge)

Will Deasy (Judge) - Creative Executive, Zero Gravity

Will Deasey is a Creative Executive at Zero Gravity Management, a management and production company that - in addition to boasting a strong list of clients with credits including SAW 2, 3 & 4, When a Stranger Calls, Hitcher, and Amusement.

Zero Gravity has also developed and produced multiple films and TV shows, including The Accountant with Ben Affleck, the award-winning Beasts of No Nation with Idris Elba, "Ozark" on Netflix with Jason Bateman, and the upcoming "Madame CJ Walker" with Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.

Prior to Zero Gravity, Will worked in the writers' room of the Viceland series, "What Would Diplo Do?" before transitioning to work directly with writer/producer Mark Williams, the co-creator of "Ozark" and producer of The Accountant.


Antonio D'Intino (Judge)

Antonio D'Intino (Judge) - Manager, Circle of Confusion

Antonio is a Literary Manager at the production and management company Circle of Confusion, whose company credits include Mayhem, "The Walking Dead" and "Fear the Walking Dead."

His clients films have played at Cannes, Sundance and SXSW, among others.

Antonio was previously in the Picture Literary department at APA. He then moved to Plattform, a management company led by veteran genre manager Jeremy Platt who's client credits include It for Warner Bros., and Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water.

Stephen Gates (Judge)

Stephen Gates (Judge) - Manager/Producer, Ellipsis Entertainment

Stephen Gates is a manager/producer and a founding partner of Ellipsis Entertainment Group which represents leading thriller & horror filmmakers including the writer of the award-winning film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Effron and Lily Collins.  

Previously, Stephen was the Head of the Literary Department at Evolution Management the company that discovered and produced the billion dollar SAW franchise for Lionsgate

Stephen's other client credits include Thirteen Ghosts, Ghost Ship, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Shadow of the Vampire and Texas Chainsaw 3D. 

Contest Rules


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.


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.

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.



Winner Announcements

Oct 18
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Nov 11
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Nov 22
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Dec 06
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird Deadline

Tuesday, May 28 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $44.50

Early Bird Deadline

Wednesday, Jun 26 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $49.50

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Jul 31 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $59.50

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Aug 21 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $69.50

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