Screenwriting : Can anyone recommend any competitions for unknown writers looking for a break? Thank you In advance. by Del George

Can anyone recommend any competitions for unknown writers looking for a break? Thank you In advance.

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Bob Eckhard

Hi Del, I think you'll find most writers are unknown as it is a small percentage that are successful especially if they enter the major competitions. My advice would be to join Film Freeway as they have thousands of competitions involving short script and features for film, TV, pilots podcast, poetry, web series- pretty much everything to do with writing if you go for these rather than Hollywood one, it's cheaper and often has less people applying.

ps other writers are also looking for a break too! ;-)

Eoin O'Sullivan

Hi Del George welcome to Stage32.

If you're looking for competitions to advance your career, you need to look at competitions that have a track record of getting writers signed with agents/managers, have prizes where you get to meet production companies & executives, and have a track record where writers work gets produced and distributed.






Del George

Thanks guys, i will have a look into these. Have a good day :)

Jason Contino

Austin Film Festival is one I have yet to enter but hear great things about.

Dan Guardino

I never enter contests and never will. However, if I did, I would enter the ones that pop up here. It might not be as big as some other ones out there, but that means less competition. Plus I know the people here will try to promote your script if it does well in one of their competitions. At least that is what I've heard. Good luck!

Richard M Kjeldgaard

I have entered many and won several. While it’s a great thing to win, it’s like getting a Degree in Liberal Arts and trying find a job is the best way I can describe it.

Lynn Tang

we have three festivals that take the screenplay submission, please go find out Universe Multicultural Film Festival, San Diego International Kids' Film Festival , Epic ACG Fest, googl them, you get the ideas and pictures if you like to submit or not

Thomas Pollart

Contests posted here of course & the web Script site, Coverfly. Expansive competition listings including Stage 32's, 1st Annual Female Driven Screenwriting, excellent contest details, the web site monitors & post your results & they make it so easy to post & enter. I entered the following competitions last week. Super excited !

Stage 32 1st Annual Female Driven Screenwriting Contest

The Golden Script Competition

The Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards competition

The Titan Awards

Danny Manus

The above list is not a great list. Bluecat and Slamdance do not get people signed but that should not always be your goal in entering contests. With Austin Film Fest, its a great event BUT there are 15,000 Entrants! Only the top 10% that makes the 2nd Round even gets the Discount on their badge - which is the real reason to enter. But youre basically spending $65 in hopes of saving $300 IF you intend on going. Otherwise, unless you truly believe that your script is good enough to be one of the Top 150 out of 15,000!!... theres no real reason to enter AFF anymore. sad but true. their notes are a joke. Now, in terms of worthwhile contests, there are a number of good ones. id say about 12-15 that MIGHT help move the needle for your career. Nicholl (features only, dont bother with horror) Final Draft Big Break Austin FF PAGE Awards Sundance/Slamdance Lab Script Pipeline Scriptapalooza Screencraft Fellowship (and some of their genre ones) Tracking Board Launchpad Stage 32 Feature/Pilot contests then some additional good ones... CWA Fresh Voices Finish Line Bluecat American Zoetrope Tracking B Diverse Voices hope this helps..

Danny Manus

Sorry for the lack of commas in that post, i wrote it as a list but on my phone, the formatting doesnt translate to the post on here for done reason...

Del George

Thank you so much everyone, I will look into the ones recommended… and good luck Thomas :)

Ronika Merl

I can always recommend the Nicholl Fellowship as well as the above mentioned ones.

Thomas Pollart

Best of luck to you a well, Del ! Oh, that's lyrical, move the name Del George to the 'Cellar Door' file !

J.M. Gulmire

Have you checked out the ISA? (I feel like their new spokesperson haha)

Jason Mirch

Hey Del George - Great to have you here! I am the Director of Script Services at Stage 32. I encourage you to check out our contests. We have launched dozens of writers' careers - including writers being signed, optioned, hired by studios, and even produced as a result of winning our contests. You can find them here:

Have you met our Contests and Writer Success Manager Molly Peck? She is a great person to know - she and I continue to work for the writers in our community who do well in contests. One producer literally just wrote us and said, "I came from the writing side. I knew you guys worked hard, but never fully appreciated how hard Stage 32 hustles for the writers until now!!" And if you have any questions for me - please email

Doug Nelson

Del - make your own breaks. Contest & Festivals are good places to hone your craft and they provide some warm & fuzzy ego boosts (encouragement to make your breaks) but they are not 'employment services'. They cost you money, they won't hurt you but helping you is not their goal. That's your goal.

M. G.

A break? How about Final Draft Big Break contest.

Bill Albert

Might want to check

CJ Walley

Rather than have people recommend competitions, ask them what these competitions have done for them or anyone they know of. There's a lot of cult like worship that assumes incorrectly that winning certain competitions is like getting a golden key into Hollywood.

Scott Sawitz

What genre are you looking for? Not every contest is the same and most of them don't offer up what they promise.

Dan MaxXx

Sundance fellowship. Look at their track record of working directors & writers... but you need something done as an unknown- short films, plays, or someone big to vouch for you.

Sandeep Gupta

I haven't focused on competitions, although don't we see plenty of them announced through Stage32? Might mean a quality filter for beginners to get some help. I am told authoritatively though, for the industry only the top five matter, and to google for top five : )

Iroanusi Smart Joseph

I'd like to feature in any of such competition, I write Action Thriller and Action Drama

Del George

Thank you everyone :)

Matthew Parvin

Film Freeway is a website that allows you to easily join all sorts of competitions. The Austin Film Festival is really prestigious as well.

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