Hints on Finding the Best Screenplay Contest For Your Script

Published: 30th January 2012
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Find the best screenplay contest for your script and save money on mass submissions by adhering to these helpful hints:


Realistically, you may have to enter various screenplay competitions before you start to see any results (ie. before you start placing as a finalist or winner), so there's no need to pay ridiculous prices for entry fees.

Screenplay contest entry costs range from $0 - $100. So unless you have a trust fund, avoid contests which charge above $50 unless the fee includes extras such as feedback, analysis or resubmission. -That way, you can get more for your money. More on why script analysis and feedback can SAVE you in more ways than one, below...


Contests that offer script analysis and feedback either as an add-on or inclusive of the entry fee, is also offering you the only near-guarantee possible that your script is being entered into the contest, FAIRLY. Why? -Because the feedback acts as the best proof possible that the reader HAS actually read your screenplay from start to finish.

In case you don't already know what a "reader" is, they are the people hired (either voluntarily or employed on a modest fee) to read and judge scripts in a contest.

Readers have the power to advance your script to the next judging level, ultimately deciding the fate of your script in the contest (more on this type of SUBJECTIVITY below). Unfortunately for writers, readers also have the power to throw in the towel and stop reading your scripts whenever they feel like, whether that's 50 pages in, or two lines in. That means your script may not even be read entirely during judging... Unless...

..Unless you have requested feedback or analysis when entering your script. That way, the reader HAS to read your script in order to give you notes on it. How well they read it can be determined from the quality of their feedback/analysis.

Always keep in mind that analysis and feedback on your script can be hard to take, especially if it is somewhat critical, but always keep an open mind and take on board what you see fit. But most importantly, make sure that feedback refers to all three acts of your script, (ie. the beginning, middle and end) and that the feedback is thorough and detailed. If you doubt the reader made it through your whole script, maybe invest more time in researching for better script contests with better readers.


Comparing a family animation script with a blockbuster action script is like comparing apples with oranges. The same thought should be applied when choosing the right screenplay contest for your script.

What genre is your script? Is it horror, science-fiction, action adventure or western? If so, you may want to consider looking for a genre-based or genre-specific screenplay contests, instead of open contests (which accept all genres). Comedies, dramas and thrillers tend to place better in open genre contests because of their mass appeal and wider acceptance for critical acclaim (just think of the screenplays that are nominated for Academy Awards). That doesn't mean other genres aren't equally deserving, so make sure your script is given the justice it deserves by entering it into an appropriate contest.

Genre-specific contests only compare scripts with their respective genres, marking them accordingly and giving scripts a fair playing field, as horror scripts compete with other horror scripts, action with action, etc.

Overcoming the barrier of genre subjectivity is important and is discussed on our final factor below...


Writing contests, like all of the arts, is always subjective. When it comes to screenplay contests, the reader which your script is assigned to, can make all of the difference.

You may be allocated a reader who doesn't particularly like the genre of your screenplay or teleplay and therefore will not judge it highly, regardless of its true merit. While this is the case of the luck of the draw in most contests, there are some screenplay competitions which ONLY allocates scripts to readers who enjoy that particular genre, these competitions would be your safest bet to overcome the barrier of genre subjectivity.

Find out more about these script contests below...



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