Advanced Tips for Screenwriters: The Truth About Screenwriting Contests

The Truth About Screenwriting Contests


Screenwriting contests are something that most of our clients inquire about and many enter. I have two clients who have submitted multiple entries to one competition.

So, what’s the story behind the story of Screenwriting contests? Simple! They can be fun, but most importantly they give you a change to hone your skills as a screenwriter.  Winning or placing is not easy and the competition can be fierce.

The Nicholl Fellowships, is the most prestigious of the contests. It receives approximately 6,000 submissions annually.

I have told many clients who have asked about these contests that they enter as many as they can afford. If the information is available, find out if the judges are Producers, Agents and Script Consultants. If possible, avoid the competitions that have Professors or English teachers as judges. I mean no slight to teachers. You simply want judges who work in the motion picture industry.

I would add that you have better odds and may get far more value and recognition through a smaller competition.

In general, the industry pays little attention to winners of script writing contests and it is somewhat unlikely that you will find a buyer for your script if you win. However, a win could get you a paid writing assignment. The contests also give you a measure of credibility in your ‘query’ letter. A win gives you credibility when you pitch or query

Here is a list of the top contests.


  1. Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
  2. Page International Screenwriting Awards
  3. Austin Film FestivalScreenplay & Teleplay Competitions
  4. Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition
  5. BlueCat Screenplay Competition


Here are some of the smaller contests.


  1. Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest
  2. Screencraft Contests (multiple genres)
  3. Script Pipeline
  4. Tracking Board – Launch Pad

The contests in a large way are extremely beneficial, particularly if they give you some kind of feedback. If you would like a consultation on your entry into a screenwriting contest, contact me.

Please remember I offer a hassle free, no obligation free 10 minute consultation with no obligation and please visit the rest of theMovie World site.