6 of the Best Screenwriting Competitions You’ve Never Heard Of

April 28, 2015

Screenwriting competitions can be a fantastic opportunity for both fledgling and professional screenwriters alike to raise their profile, and with a little bit of luck, earn some substantial cash prizes. 

To boot, many great careers have been launched through a combination of time spent at screenwriting school and some notable contest wins, with many agents and other film representatives keeping a very close eye on the names that rise to the top of the following screenwriting competitions.

So, without further ado, here are a few that are well worth considering…

6 Best Screenwriting Competitions You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

BlueCat ScreenPlay Competition

Closing Date: October 15 (for next year’s competition). Entries open June 15.
Entry Fee: $35 to $70. Student discounts may apply.
What They’re After: Shorts and full screenplays of any genre. International entries accepted.
What You Stand to Win: Between $1,500 and $15,000 for finalists, plus every screenplay entered receives a written analysis.

PAGE International Awards

Closing Date: Final deadline for entries is May 15.
Entry Fee: $79 for last minute entry (plus $110 if feedback is requested).
What They’re After: Original screenplays, short film scripts and teleplays.
What You Stand to Win: Tiered cash prizes between $250 and $25,000.


Closing Date: Final deadline is April 29, so get in quick.
Entry Fee: $65 for last minute entry.
What They’re After: Original screenplays of various genres.
What You Stand to Win: Grand prize of $10,000, plus $500 for best of each genre.

Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest

Closing Date: May 20
Entry Fee: $55 if entered before May 1, otherwise $65
What They’re After: Original screenplays of various genres.
What You Stand to Win: Grand prize of $20,000 plus a huge exposure/development package. Runner up cash prizes and exposure packages also offered.

Slamdance Screenplay Competition

Closing Date: Regular deadline closes June 9, extended deadline July 21
Entry Fee: Between $35 to $80
What They’re After: Original screenplays in the category of short, original teleplay, feature and horror.
What You Stand to Win: Grand prize of $5,000 and $2,000 to winners of each category, plus free services.

TrackingB TV Script Competition

Closing Date: May 31
Entry Fee: $75 before April 30, otherwise $85
What They’re After: 30-70 page pilot script for comedy or drama TV show.
What You Stand to Win: A range highly lucrative and reputable exposure and development packages offered to 3 grand prize winners, 10 finalists and 25 semi-finalists.

3 Screenwriting Competitions You Should Have Heard Of

Below are three of the most noteworthy and renowned screenwriting competitions in the entire industry. Winning one of these is the proverbial golden ticket to career success, and although the odds of beating the mass of other entrants is low, those that win invariably never regret having entered.

Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Competition

Closing Date: May 1
Entry Fee: $75, plus an optional $40 to receive reader comments on your submission.
What They’re After: Original screenplays (no adaptations.) An additional caveat is that entrants must not have earned more than $25,000 writing screenplays for either film or television to date.
What You Stand to Win: Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded each year, plus Oscar level, career-launching exposure.

Austin Screenwriting Competition

Closing Date: April 20, with late entries closing May 20
Entry Fee: Between $30 to $50 depending on long form or short form submission and deadline window
What They’re After: Shorts, feature-length screenplays and teleplays.
What You Stand to Win: Cash prizes ranging between $500 and $2,500 plus coveted awards and exposure.

Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab

Closing Date: May 1
Entry Fee: $40
What They’re After: Original screenplays, though screenwriters who have already had more than one prior screenplay produced are ineligible for entry.
What You Stand to Win: Not technically a competition of sorts, selected applicants will be invited to attend the Screenwriter’s Lab; possibly the most prestigious and exclusive workshop in the entire country.
So there we have it—a total of nine screenwriting competitions that you should consider entering for the next awards season.
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