Screenplay Competitions – Best Writing Competitions To Submit To

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Many actors have turned to writing during this down time and for good reason. It really is the perfect time to work on any projects you had in mind. Had a screenplay or short film you wanted write? There may not be a better time. There are a lot of competitions and project based sites that you can submit your scripts to in hopes to help them get made. Since I have gone through this process a couple times myself over the last few years, I thought I could share some of that info with you. After you have a final draft of a script completed, a few supplemental things are required by many places to accept your work. Not all competitions will require everything listed below but all are needed all some point through different organizations.

Additional Items needed to submit your script

-Contact Info -Log Line -Synopsis (usually 500 words)

-Bio on author -Letters of Recommendation

-Money to pay for submission (ranges from $30 to over $100 for some late entries)

Entry Dates:

Ok, once you have all of these things together you will want to start submitting. All competitions have different entry dates as well as chances to submit early or late with prices ranging for each. I would suggest submitting your script early to save on the fees, however the late entry option is great if you are still putting the finishing touches on your script. Most of the competitions run at the same time between the months of January through July. I will be breaking down specific entry dates for each organization when I go over them in detail.

Ok lets get right into which competitions are among the best and most prestigious. I have submitted to all of these and they can all make a huge impact on your script if you end up winning. They are listed below in no particular order.

  1. Austin Film Festival Competition
You can submit a wide variety of projects to the Austin Film Festival Competition. 
-Completed film 

-Produced Digital Series

-Fiction Podcast Script -Play

Deadlines and Fees: 
Feature Screenplay 
Early Bird Deadline: March 26 ($45) 
Regular Deadline: April 16 ($60) 
Late Deadline: May 21 ($70) 

Short Screenplay & Teleplay 
Early Bird Deadline: March 26 ($35) 
Regular Deadline: April 16 ($50) 
Late Deadline: May 21 ($60) 

Early Bird Deadline: April 16 ($20) 
Late Deadline: May 21 ($30) 

Early Bird Deadline: March 26 ($35) 
Regular Deadline: May 21 ($45) 
Late Deadline: June 25 ($50) 
Extended Deadline: July 9 ($50)

2. PAGE International Screenwriting Awards 
You can submit:
 -Feature Film 
-Short Film 
-TV Pilot

Deadlines and Fees: 
Early Entry: January 15th ($45) 
Regular Entry: February 15th ($55) 
Late Entry: March 15th ($65) 
Last Minute Entry: April 15th ($75)
3. Final Draft Competition 
You Can Submit: 
-Feature film 
-Television screenplays (original pilot scripts)

Deadlines and Fees: 
$45.00 – Early Bird Deadline April 30,  
$55.00 – Regular Deadline June 25, 
$65.00 – Extended Deadline July 9, 
$75.00 – Last Chance Deadline July 30,

4. Nicholl Fellowship. 
Generally regarded as one of the top three best screenwriting contests in the world. Up to five writers each win $35,000 fellowships from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 
You can submit feature films to this competition. 

Deadlines and Fees
 Early: approx. March, 2021 ($45 entry fee) TBC 
 Regular: approx. April, 2021 ($60 entry fee) TBC 
 Late: approx. May, 2021 ($85 entry fee) TBC

Contest prizes.• Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded each year to promising new screenwriters. 

5. Sundance Writers LabDescription: 
The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writers’ workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in an environment that focuses on the art and craft of screenwriting and creative risk taking. Through one-on-one story sessions with creative advisors, fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process that offers indispensable lessons in craft to facilitate the deep exploration needed to fully realize their material. Because this program is very different from all the other I have included a link to all of this competitions information. Everything you need is in the link below.

Hope this incentivies some of you to go after it! Write that short or feature and see where you can take it. Remember, dreams dont work unless you do. If any of you have any questions or need help with submitting please reach out at [email protected].

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