Mentors, Partners and Connections:

Sign up for Special Offers,
Deadlines & Announcement Dates & More

Final Deadline Extended Through Sept. 9th

(1 Standard + 1 Genre Busting)
Do you have a great horror or thriller script that's ready for the industry?
We're seeking standard and genre busting horror or thrillers in the feature and tv pilot categories. Submit your script to be considered for either the standard or genre busting Grand Prize placements. 
What is a genre-busting horror or thriller?
In ALIEN, what are you truly afraid of? Is it the threat of lurking beast or the notion that space holds dangers we can barely understand? Did the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD disarm you before things turned truly tragic? And was the WITCH a supernatural horror story or a drama showcasing a young woman’s journey of empowerment? 

These are the questions one asks when presented with a horror or thriller film that breaks the conventions of its genre. Such works are prized within the industry. They have a clear target demographic but are accessible to a wide audience. More importantly, their dynamic nature allows for unique narratives that remain relevant long after their release. But these “genre-busters” are difficult to find and even harder to write. Their unique nature can also leave them with unclear avenues for submission, either in contests or at development studios. We want to change that.
Do you have a genre-busting feature or series?
Does the horror/thriller element of your story go beyond instilling fear? Does it play off of comedy, set up cathartic action sequences, or expand our understanding of reality? The Genre Busting Grand Prize in this competition will single out such a work.
You don’t need a genre-busting project to submit.
This contest is a celebration of traditional and idiosyncratic horror and thriller narratives. To that end, one Grand Prize will be given to a straightforward horror or thriller piece while another will be given to a genre-busting horror or thriller.
Accepting Features and Pilots


Winner Benefits Include:


Grand Prize Winner - Standard Horror or Thriller

$1000 Cash

Grand Prize Winner - Genre Busting Horror or Thriller

$1000 Cash

Finalists Top 10 & Semi-Finalists Top 100

    Finalists - Top 10
    • 2 Classes from the Writers Store
    • A 6-Month ISAConnect Membership
    • Consideration for the Grand Prizes

    Semi-Finalists - Top 100
    •  A 3-Month ISAConnect Membership
    • Consideration for the Top 10 Finalists

Both Grand Prize Winners Receive a
Custom Poster by an Award-Winning Designer

Movie posters are not just for produced works. Along with other supporting elements like lookbooks or one-pagers, posters can draw attention to your script or concept and provide a much needed visual element to catch the eye of industry pros seeking new projects and give you a leg up on the competition. The two Grand Prize winners will receive a custom poster (worth $550) designed by Liz Sweeney, an award winning graphic designer currently working at one of the largest entertainment companies in the world. She has created key art designs and ad campaigns for some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters as well as indie cult classics.


Over 80 scripts have been produced or optioned + 60 writers have been repped.

Both Grand Prize Winners will be considered for acceptance onto the ISA Development Slate for a full year of support. The ISA Development team works tirelessly to promote writers and their scripts, and as a result, many have signed with top agents, managers and/or had their scripts optioned or purchased. There is no faster path to breaking in.


When You Enter This Competition




Normally $39

    • A 1-2 page examination of your script's 1st 20 pages.
    • Perfect for writers looking to enrich their character introductions, tighten their first act, and hook readers with a clear style.
    • Provides a snapshot of how your work would be received at the studio level.




Normally $69

    • Up to 3 pages of notes covering your entire screenplay.
    • Receive actionable criticism to expand upon your narrative's existing strengths and identify any potential concerns.
    • Refine your work's characters, dialogue, plot, structure and formatting.



Normally $199

    • Up to 5 pages of notes covering your entire screenplay.
    • A Full Review plus a "pass" or "consider".
    • If "consider" then you'll receive a 2nd review by the Director of the ISA Development Slate.
    • TProjects that receive an 'Accept' during the second read will be invited to join the ISA's Development Slate.



Sep 30, 2021


Oct 13, 2021

Grand Prize Winner

Nov 30, 2021


What are the announcement dates?
Quarter-Finalists: Sept 30, 2021
Semi-Finalists: Oct 13, 2021
Top 10 and Grand Prize: Nov 30, 2021

How can I be considered for the Grand Prize - Genre Busting placement?
All entries will automatically be considered for both the Grand Prize - Standard Horror/Thriller and Grand Prize - Genre Busting Horror/Thriller.

What if I'm not sure if my script is a Genre Busting Horror/Thriller?
That's ok! Submit anyway, because you could win the Grand Prize - Standard Horror/Thriller. If our judges feel your script is a genre busting Horror/Thriller, you may be considered for that grand prize instead.

Will one Feature writer and one TV Pilot writer be chosen?
No, TV Pilots and Features run together. We are looking for the best writers overall, so feel free to submit both types of scripts as one writer.  

Do you accept submissions via snail mail?
No. In an effort to be green, we’re not accepting hard copies via the postal service. We’re accepting online submissions and online payments via the ISA website. This includes all major credit cards.

Do I have to submit my script as a PDF?
Yes, and if you aren't sure how to create a PDF, our staff is happy to help.

Should I include my title page with my screenplay?
Yes, you should include your title, your name, telephone number and email address.

Can I submit a screenplay under a pen name?

Can I submit with a co-writer?
Yes. Prizes will be issued per project, not based on the number of writers.

Does my script have to be registered?
No, but we DO recommend registering your work with the WGA and/or the Library of Congress Copyright office.

Does the writer maintain rights to the screenplay?
Yes, always!

Do I receive feedback with my submission?
You can order feedback for an additional fee. Choose your FEE TYPE to make your feedback selection at the bottom of the submission form.
- 1st 20 Pages: $29
- General (Up to 3 Pages of Notes): $59
- Development Evaluation: $99

When will I receive my feedback?
Your feedback will be emailed to you within 90 days of submitting your script, usually much sooner. Feedback is separate of contest judging.

Can I re-submit a rewrite or corrected version of my script if I haven't ordered feedback?
No, you must submit your screenplay as a new submission for the price of the current deadline fee.

What if I make a mistake and send the wrong script?
If you make a legitimate mistake entering and recognize this within 24 hours, email us here, and we'll send you instructions on replacing your screenplay:

Do I need to submit a logline? Synopsis?
Logline: YES / Synopsis: NO

Do you accept short screenplays?
No, not at this time.

Will my screenplay be accepted if it’s not in the traditional format?
Scripts should be written in standard spec screenplay or teleplay format, set in 12-point Courier font. Scripts should be standard length. 

What's the minimum/maximum permitted page length?
Features: 70 - 120 pages.  TV Pilots: 10 - 70 pages.

My screenplay is longer than 120 pages. Will it be disqualified?
No, but we urge you to stay within the guidelines. It’s rare that a good screenplay requires more than the standard number of pages. 

If I'm over 120 pages and receiving feedback, will my full script be read?
A $1 per page fee may be charged separately over 120 pages (not including the Title Page) on feedback orders, or the reader may only read the first 120 pages.

What genres do you accept, and can I submit with more than one?
We accept horror and thriller screenplays and genre busting horror and thriller screenplays. All genres are welcome, as long as your script could also be considered a horror or thriller.

Do you accept novels, short stories, stage plays, musicals, treatments or synopses, reality show concepts, documentaries or spec scripts for existing TV series?
No, we’re sorry; we do not. We accept ORIGINAL narrative feature length screenplays and narrative sitcom or hour-long TV pilots only.

Can I submit an adaptation of a book or play?
Absolutely, as long as you have full rights to the material and either are the author or have a written agreement with the author allowing this script to be written and marketed.

Can I submit more than one screenplay?
You sure can, and there's a discount if you enter them all at once. Check the fees at time of entry.

Will entering early increase or decrease my chance of being a finalist?
Entering early will neither increase nor decrease your chance of being chosen, but it will save you money!

How will I know if you received my script?
You will receive an email confirming your submission immediately upon completing the entry form and payment. If you do not, please email us here:

What if my script is optioned or sold after I submit?
As long as your script was not optioned or sold prior to the date you submitted, you are still eligible.

I don’t live in the United States. Can I still enter?
Yes, and we look forward to reading your work. Please just make sure it’s in English. No other languages are accepted at this time.

Any other questions feel free to email us here:


  • Deadlines: MEGA-EARLY: July 1st, EARLY: July 21st, 2021, FINAL: August 31, 2021, Extended: to be determined
  • During Covid and/or until further notice, meetings or consults will be virtual.
  • All writers from all countries are welcome to submit; however, all scripts must be submitted in English, and application fees must be paid in U.S. dollars.
  • Script must be the original work of the submitting writer and may not be encumbered by any third party.
  • Scripts that have been sold, produced for a profit, or are currently under option are not eligible.
  • Original full-length feature screenplays and TV Pilots only are accepted. Anything else, including but not limited to short scripts or web series, novels, short stories, stage plays, musicals, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, documentaries, and/or spec scripts for existing TV series are not eligible. Script submissions must be an original screenplay or teleplay.
  • Screenplays adapted from the submitting writer's own self-published books, plays, or other source materials are eligible if the writer retains all rights to the work.
  • Adaptations from other works are permissible provided the writer has written permission by the owner to adapt the material.
  • Adaptations of works in the public domain are permissible.
  • Co-written material will be accepted. However, any and all prizes issued will be based on a single applicant. 
  • Multiple submissions are accepted by one writer, however if one or more screenplays of the same writer tie, only one screenplay (the decided “best”) will be selected to determine the chosen winner.
  • The writer understands that script feedback can take up to 90-days turn-around time and may not be received before the end of the final application deadline.
  • The ISA cannot guarantee feedback for your script will be received within enough time to resubmit during the same season.
  • Applicants must submit materials and payment online only.
  • Once a script has been submitted, substitutions of new drafts or corrections may only be accepted within 24 hours of the original application. A revised draft of a script may be accepted after 24 hours if it is entered as a new application with the appropriate fee.
  • Promotional discounts or waivers offered may only be utilized at the time of submission.
  • Promotional discounts or waivers offered may not apply on all submission platforms (i.e. Film Freeway)
  • Writers under the age of 18 years old must have parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate.
  • Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed. The Judges will adhere to our competition guidelines; however, the competition and its administrators may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions on the part of the Judges.
  • The writer understands that it is his/her sole responsibility to register material to be submitted with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writer’s Guild of America or the appropriate agency in his/her country.
  • Applicants awarded a placement understand and accept that the ISA will be free to use his/her name and likeness for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
  • Writers retain the rights to their screenplay.
  • Applicants are non-exclusive to this competition and may submit their screenplay to any other person, competition, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization.
  • No transfer, substitution or cash equivalent for prizes is allowed.
  • The ISAConnect Membership prize may only be used within 90 days and may not be combined with any current free membership. 
  • Length requirements are as follows: 1). Full-Length Features: 70-120 pages. 2). TV Pilots: Up to 70 pages.
  • If applicant orders feedback a $1 per page fee may be charged separately over 120 pages, not including the Title Page, or the reader may only read the first 120 pages.
  • Standard title pages should be included: listing the script title, name of author(s), telephone number, and email address. Applicants will not be disqualified if it is not included.
  • Under no circumstances should the writer include name or contact information within the body of the script.
  • ISA is not responsible for any applicant errors or omissions on any submitted application materials.
  • Synopses, casting suggestions, letters, resumes and photos will not be considered. TV Pilot submissions may include standard supplementary materials, such as lists of recurring characters and future episodes.
  • You accept without reservation that the submitted logline and screenplay will be reviewed by ISA staff and/or panel of Industry Judges for evaluation and that any one of these employees, or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to the submitted material, and the applicant hereby waives any claim that the ISA Horror & Thriller Genre Busting Screenplay Competition, its staff or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of the submission, logline or screenplay.
  • There are no refunds for any reason after 24 hours from submission. 
  • The writer understands and accepts without reservation that he/she is an independent contractor and that ISA Administrators are not responsible for withholding any taxes or payments to any government agency, at any level, be it state, local or federal.
  • By submitting to this competition, your email address will be added to the contest database as well as the International Screenwriters' Association newsletter for weekly updates, contest promotions and other notifications. You may unsubscribe at any time. 
  • It is our full intention to fulfill all prizes as posted. However, due to an unlikely event, act of God or other, we reserve the right to update or edit prizes.