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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Tracking Board Launch Pad Features Contest – Deadline: 27 August 2017 (late) / 10 September 2017 (final).
Shore Scripts Screenplay Competition – Deadline: 31 August 2017 (final) – Feature screenplays 80-120pp, tv pilots 15-70pp, short screenplays 3-20pp.
Berlinale Talent Campus – Deadline: 4 September 2017.
Screencraft Pilot Launch TV Script Contest – Deadline: 13 September 2017 (final).
American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest – Deadline: 15 September 2017 (final). Screenplays 82-145pp.
Cinequest Screenwriting Competition – Deadline: 22 September 2017 (regular) / 13 October 2017 (late) / 3 November 2017 (final). Accepting shorts, features and teleplays.
Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 29 September 2017 (regular) / 1 December 2017 (late) / 12 January 2018 (final). Screenplays 80-120pp, short script under 40pp, half-hour tv comedy script 22-35pp, one-hour tv drama 45-65pp.
C21 / eOne Drama Series Script Competition, in association with Script Angel – Deadline: 10 October 2017. 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: 11 October 2017 (final). Screenplays up to 140pp.
The Bechdel Group Script Call – Deadline: 15 November 2017 (final). Accepting new stageplays and screenplays that pass the Bechdel Test, for script reads and workshops in NYC. Submissions open 1 August 2017.
Funny Women Comedy Writing Award – Deadline: 31 December 2017 (final).
Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab – Deadline: 17 January 2017 (final). Feature length screenplays. U.S residents only. Opens for submissions 12 January 2017.
TO LOOK OUT FOR AT A LATER DATE:
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.
Screencraft Family Screenplay Contest – Deadline: usually December. Opens for submissions 2 October 2017.
Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters’ Lab – Deadline: usually January. Feature length screenplays only.
The Tracking Board Launch Pad Pilots Contest – Deadline: usually February.
Nickelodeon TV Writing Program – Deadline: usually February. Spec scripts for one of their listed shows. Open to US and international applicants.
London Independent Film Festival Screenplay Contest – Deadline: usually March. Short & feature length scripts.
European Independent Film Festival Script Competition – Deadline: usually March. Short scripts 5-50pp & feature length scripts 80-130pp. Looking for scripts NOT aimed at mainstream Hollywood film markets.
Cinestory Foundation Feature Retreat Contest – Deadline: usually April. Screenplay 85-130pages.
The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards – Deadline: usually April. Short scripts up to 40pp, feature screenplays 80-120pp, TV drama pilots 50-70pp, TV comedy pilots 25-45pp.
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.
Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: usually May. Feature length screenplays.
Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest – Deadline: usually May. Any length script, pilot of original or spec of existing show.
Scriptapalooza – Deadline: usually May. Screenplays 80-140pp
Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition – Deadline: usually May. Feature scripts 90-120pp, teleplays (original pilot or spec of existing show) 45-70pp, sitcom scripts 22-40pp.
New York TV Festival Script Competition – Deadline: usually May. Accepting half-hour comedy and hour-long drama scripts.
Warner Brothers Writers’ Workshop – Deadline: usually May. Spec script of selected existing shows. Must be available to attend workshops in Los Angeles.
NBC Writers On The Verge – Deadline: usually May. Accepting spec script of selected existing shows. Must be available to attend workshops in Los Angeles.
Access Screenplay Contest – Deadline: usually May.
Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship – Deadline: usually May. Applicants must be able to prove US employment eligibility.
Blue Cat Screenplay Competition – Deadline: usually June.
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.