ON LOCATION September 24, 2016

Script Writing Contests That Can Get You Discovered


No 1 – Academy Nicholl Fellowship

This is far and away the most respected contest in Hollywood, and also one of the hardest to win — the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Every year, thousands enter the contest hoping to win.

The good news: they break the contest down into Quarter Finalists; Semi Finalists; and Finalists. There are only a few finalists, but there are several hundred quarter finalists — and your name and script title get published on the Academy site. Getting in that group is no small feat, and it will definitely set you apart from all the other writers trying to break into Hollywood. Each year, this contest awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to writers — a hefty hunk of cheddar.

The Nicholl contest has done the work of listing out their success stories, which is on their web site.


No 2 – Austin Film Festival

The Austin Film Festival is a fan favorite. Almost all the writers who attend this festival come away oozing happy feelings and love for this contest. Like Nicholl, the AFF has attracted a record number of applicants in recent years, but they also have a category called “Second Rounder,” which includes far more scripts.

As a special bonus, entrants get free reader comments on their work. And: semifinalists and finalists’ loglines and contact information are also included in the annual Producer’s Book, distributed to all AFF panelists as well as nearly 500 agents, managers and producers. Not too shabby.



No 3 – The Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Competition

This is a great contest if you’re looking for access to industry professionals. Their website reports that in the last two years, over 100 writers have been signed to representation from the features contest, and 50 projects set up. That’s a pretty great track record for a contest.


No 4 – PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards states their goal as follows: “to discover the most exciting new scripts by up-and-coming writers from across the country and around the world.”

It’s a respected contest in Hollywood, garnering widespread recognition for discovering new screenwriting talent. They’ve got an incredible list of success stories to back up their claims.

The number one reason to enter a Script writing contest is to receive notes from your judge.

(Honorable Mention) Blue-cat/ Scriptapalooza


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