Placing in well respected screenwriting contests can bring your writing to the attention of the industry. Here’s our round-up of the best film and television writing contests in the UK and US. We update this list every month and if you subscribe to our newsletter we’ll send you deadline reminders straight to your inbox.
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Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 12 January 2018 (final). Screenplays 80-120pp, short script under 40pp, half-hour tv comedy script 22-35pp, one-hour tv drama 45-65pp.
BBC Writersroom: Drama Room – Deadline: 15 January 2018. Scripts over 30′ in length for tv, film, radio, stage or online. UK and Republic of Ireland residents only.
– Deadline: 15 January 2018 (early) / 15 February 2018 (regular) / 15 March 2018 (late) / 16 April 2018 (final). Short scripts up to 40pp, feature screenplays 80-120pp, TV drama pilots 50-70pp, TV comedy pilots 25-45pp.
Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab – Deadline: 17 January 2018 (final). Feature length screenplays. U.S residents only. Opens for submissions 12 January 2017.
Tracking Board Launch Pad Pilots Contest – Deadline: 28 January 2018 (regular) / 19 February 2018 (late) / 4 March 2018 (final). TV pilot scripts up to 70pp.
Nickelodeon TV Writing Program – Deadline: 31 January 2018. Spec scripts for one of their listed shows. Open to US and international applicants. Opens for submissions 2 January 2018.
Red Planet Prize – Deadline: 9 February 2018. UK residents only. Opens for submissions 1 February 2018.
New York TV Festival Script Competition – Deadline: 28 March 2018. Accepting half-hour comedy and hour-long drama scripts. Opens for submissions 7 March 2018.
Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition – Deadline: 30 March 2018 (early) / 20 April 2018 (regular) / 15 May 2018 (final). Feature scripts 90-120pp, teleplays (original pilot or spec of existing show) 45-70pp, sitcom scripts 22-40pp.
European Independent Film Festival Script Competition – Deadline: 2 April 2018. Short scripts 5-50pp & feature length scripts 80-130pp. Looking for scripts NOT aimed at mainstream Hollywood film markets.
NBC Writers On The Verge – Deadline: 31 May 2018. Accepting spec script of selected existing shows. Must be available to attend workshops in Los Angeles. Opens for submissions 1 May 2018.
TO LOOK OUT FOR AT A LATER DATE:
Sitcom Mission – Deadline: usually April. Submit 15 minute sitcom script for tv, radio or stage.
The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting: Deadline: usually May. Screenplays 90-120pp.
Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab – Deadline: usually May. Open to screenwriters, producers & directors. Feature films only.
Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship – Deadline: usually May. Applicants must be able to prove US employment eligibility.
Screamfest Horror Film Festival Screenplay Contest – Deadline: usually June. Feature screenplays 75-130pp in Horror genre.
Finish Line Script Competition – Deadline: usually June.
Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award – Deadline: usually July. Submit 30-60 minute television drama script. Applicants must be under 30 and non-US residents.
Screencraft Horror Screenplay Contest – Deadline: usually July. Screenplays up to 140pp.
Big Break Screenwriting Contest– Deadline: usually July. Teleplays 25-70pp / Screenplays 80-120pp.
The Athena List – Deadline: usually August. Feature screenplays 80-120pp featuring a female protagonist.
Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition – Deadline: usually August. Accepting feature scripts up to 130pp, tv scripts up to 75pp, short film scripts up to 25pp.
Shore Scripts Screenplay Competition – Deadline: usually August. Feature screenplays 80-120pp, tv pilots 15-70pp, short screenplays 3-20pp.
Berlinale Talent Campus – Deadline: usually September.
Tracking Board Launch Pad Features Contest – Deadline: usually September.
Screencraft Pilot Launch TV Script Contest – Deadline: usually September.
American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest – Deadline: usually September. Screenplays 82-145pp.
4Screenwriting – Deadline: usually September. Accepting screenplays (film or tv), stage plays and radio plays. Open to residents of UK and Ireland. Applicants must be available to attend the course in London on specified dates.
C21 / eOne Drama Series Script Competition, in association with Script Angel – Deadline: usually October. Pilot script (max 60pp) and supporting document. Finalists receive high-level mentoring. Winning writer receives $10,000 and the script will go into development with eOne Television. Runners-Up receive 6-months coaching and script development support from Script Angel.
Screencraft Action & Thriller Screenplay Contest – Deadline: usually October. Screenplays up to 140pp.
Cinequest Screenwriting Competition – Deadline: usually November. Accepting shorts, features and teleplays.