There are many distribution platforms for screenwriters’ creative works but there’s also a lot of competition. My research determined that many entertainment networks are seeking culturally and ethnically diverse new writers. If you don’t know anyone that can do you a solid in the industry and introduce you, then stand out by winning a contest.
Your script will get read by industry people. Prizes won are often cash, trips, production, mentoring, subscriptions, and software. Oh, and bragging rights! Some contest are free to enter but some require a fee. If you don’t have the cash or you missed the deadline, put it on your calender to enter next year. Many contest have various deadlines: early bird, standard, and extended. I did not include fellowship contests because they require the winners to be on site for weeks. If you don’t live in the area, usually California, that requirement could pose a problem. In addition, I listed the best resources, so you can do some digging on your own.
I won a Childrens Highlights Magazine’s contest in 2010 for an unpublished childrens manuscript. I got a chance to spend a week in New York at a writers’ colony. It was a blast, I met award winning authors, artists, mentors, and attended tons of workshops and entertainment venues. Many of the writers, I befriend on Facebook today. See my websites: http://instructionalwriters.com and http://highconceptwriters.com/
If you don’t enter, you can’t win. Please check each site for all submission requirements, genres, fees, and deadlines as they vary. Sign up for mailing lists and social media to get updated info.
#Annie Awards is the highest honor award in the animation field. Participants are nominated. Kobe Bryant won Best Animated Short Subject for “Dear Basketball.”
- ABFF Turner TV Writing Contest – Free to enter. Open March 16 until April 2. Taking first 250 scripts only. Trip to the Black Film Festival in Florida. $500 cash prize. Read the fine print. Comedy 30-35 pages, Drama 55-60 pages.
- Page International Screenwriting Awards – To discover the most exciting new scripts by up-and-coming writers from across the country and around the world. Many genres to enter. Fee $65 for March 15, and $75 for April 16 deadlines.
- Road Map Diversity Initative – Participate in the Screenwriting Intensive Program for FREE. To apply for this tribute, please submit a one-page statement in PDF format highlighting your diverse background and why you would be a valuable and hardworking member of the Screenwriting Intensive Program. The deadline for entry is the 21st of each month. See site for submission details.
- Scriptapalooza – Our intention is to help open doors for the aspiring television writer. There are four categories you can submit to, which include one hour exisiting shows, 1/2 hour existing sitcom, original pilots, and reality shows. TV application deadline April 2 , 2018. Fee $45. Screenplays and Shorts deadline April 16, 2018. Fee 60.00.
- Script Pipeline International competition – Screenplay/writing competition and First Look Project. International competition open to all English-written scripts. Prize: $25,000 long term industry circulation, script development and more. Recent success stories include Screenwriting Competition winner Evan Daugherty sold Snow Whie and the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million. Cost: $60.00 Deadline May 1, 2018. First Look Project for one hour and half hour TV. Cost: 50.00. Deadline June 18, 2018.
- TV One – A national search for a feature film writer with a contemporary story focused on the American black cultural experience that has a wide audience appeal. Three finalists will receive a trip to the 22nd Annual American Black Film Festival in Miami, Florida taking place June 13, 2018 through June 17, 2018 from which one screenwriter is selected by TV One to receive $5,000 and the opportunity to have their screenplay produced for TV One. Contest ended February 27, 2018. Put this one on your list for next year.
- Urban Film Makers – UMFF in Atlanta, GA short scripts contest (under 15 pages). Winner gets script produced with professional actors, a $20,000 value. Must be at least 18 years old. Final deadline August 10, 2018. Two other contest for films and youths. Price varies $55-$75.
- WeScreenplay TV Diverse Voices – Culturally diverse. Great exposure. Diverse voice strives to provide a screenwriting contest that is purley focus on promoting and encouraging diverse voices in Hollywood. Deadline and Cost; March 15, 2018 $45 Final April 15, 2018 $55. English, less than 120 pages and cannot have earned over 50,000 in last 18 months.
- Writers Lab – Funded by Meryl Streep and Nichole Kidman. The Lab is an intensive four-day script development retreat for women screenwriters over 40. English language feature from women of all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups. The deadline has passed but put it on your schedule for next year.
- Zoetrope – Francis Coppella feature and short competition. Short competition opens April 1, 2018 for details. Feature competition is over and winners’ films will be shown at the Sundance Feastival. Received over a thousand entries.
- Film Freeway – Enter the world’s best film festivals and screenplay contests. FilmFreeway makes it easy to discover, submit and get tickets to thousands of events. List all contests. Many contest require submission through Film Freeway – FREE. Search by category.
- IMDB – A list of all reoccuring screenwriting contests that cover all genres. Here you will find extended deadlines that are not posted on the sponsers website. List free to enter contests as well.
- Screencraft – Screenwriting consultancy and competition platform dedicated to helping screenwriters and filmmakers succeed. Competition with the The Atlanta Film Festival. The Atlanta Film Festival is an Academy Award-qualifying, international film festival held in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Bestscreenplays to enter 2018 – These screenplays are for everyone and are the top in the industry.
- Top Screenwriting contest – Free screenwriting calendar to download.
Be sure to check out the Atlanta Filmmakers Festival April 13-22.