The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging writing talent. We welcome screenplays in every genre, on any topic, from anywhere in the world. A unique feature of the competition is providing constructive feedback for every entrant. This year a total of $13,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners, including a Grand Prize.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive $5,000 in cash.
Q: Why does Slamdance recommend registering screenplays with the WGAW and the US Copyright Office?
A: We recommend registering your screenplay with the WGAW and US Copyright Office because it records "original works of authorship" and serves as the best and easiest way to protect legal ownership of your work.
Q: Should I include a title page?
A: Cover pages are optional. If you decide to use one, it would ideally include just a title, author name, WGA registration number and Copyright information. The cover page does not count towards the overall script page count.
Q: Can I enter the same script two years in a row?
A: We encourage screenwriters to resubmit, but we also want you to use our coverage service and edit your script. Your script should be as tight as possible before you resubmit.
Q: What kind of scripts are you looking for? If my screenplay is very unconventional or experimental will it be overlooked?
A: We are always looking for outrageous scripts that do not follow the rules! Look at the top ten from the past ten years; we have awarded everything from epic period pieces to low-budget indie gems.
Q: Is there an age requirement to submit to Slamdance?
A: No! You can submit if you're 10 or 110 years old. We at Slamdance are not ageist and encourage work from a variety of age groups.
Q: Can I also enter other competitions?
A: Definitely. We encourage you to get your script into the hands of as many people as possible. Because we are for first-time writers only, we are a good competition to start with.
Q: Does Slamdance sell or trade e-mail lists?
A: No, we do not. Please include your e-mail because we contact quarter-finalists and semi-finalists by e-mail before the official announcement.
Q: Do you accept adaptations?
A: Yes. Generally you must own or acquire permission to the rights to another person's work before you can sell it. There are a few exceptions, such as 'Public Domain' (you have to look into the legalities of this).
Q: What format/font should I use?
A: Stick with Courier 12 point. This is industry standard, and every script you write should be in this format.
Q: My script is really, really long - at least 200 pages. Bigger is better, right?
A: No. Feature length screenplays should be between 41 and 150 pages, teleplays or webisodes under 80, and short screenplays under 40 pages (and please number the pages). Feature/Horror scripts between 120 and 150 pages will be charged extra in the submission fees. Short scripts over 10 pages will be charged extra in submission fees. EDIT. Edit for grammar, exposition and excess. While there are a few exceptions, scripts should be as tightly edited as possible. Screenplays over 150 pages will be disqualified from the writing competition.
Q: What if my check bounces?
A: Checks returned to us for whatever reason will incur a standard $25 fee on top of the original entry. It may take up to 2 weeks for your check to be deposited (depending on when it arrives in the office), so keep that in mind.
Q: What if I don't use computers and prefer snail mail, fax machines and old-timey things? Can I still submit?
A: Yes! Please call us at the number below, write us a letter or email email@example.com and we can provide you with a hard copy entry form. Although if you don't use a computer, it's unclear how you'd be reading this. Anyway, you can pay by check or money order and email a pdf of your script or send in a hard copy with your application form.
Q: Can I call to check if my script has arrived yet?
A: No. Please do not call the Slamdance office to check if your script has arrived. You can check your Withoutabox submission status, as soon as it's received this will change to "In Consideration"
Q: What is a Teleplay? And what is the difference between an original pilot and a “spec” script?
A: A teleplay is another way of saying “television script”. An original pilot is the first episode of an original series or the first hour-length episode of a miniseries. A “spec” script is written for existing shows.
Q: Do you accept “spec” scripts?
A: No, we will only accept original pilots for this year’s competition.
Q: When you say to submit additional story ideas with subplots and resolutions, are you looking for any particular length? Or any particular number of them?
A: You can include as many additional storylines as you like, and the descriptions should be short, no longer than 10 lines. Just make sure the supplementary materials you submit with your teleplay does not exceed 3 pages.
Q: Who is looking for shorts at Slamdance?
A: Slamdance is a great place to submit short scripts because our festival screens roughly 50 short films a year, and those filmmakers are always on the lookout for new projects.
Q: What are the page requirements for a short screenplay?
A: Short screenplays can be as short as five pages, and as long as 40 pages. We accept all short screenplays that fall between these page requirements.
Q: What is coverage?
A: Coverage is written feedback that is a blunt, honest reaction from a reader that reads hundreds of scripts a year and wants to help you avoid the common pitfalls of screenwriting. The aim of every piece of coverage is to constructively help you develop your script into a final draft.
Q: Who are your readers?
A: Our readers are comprised of Slamdance alumni, past winners, filmmakers, journalists, playwrights, screenwriters and other writing professionals, some of whom also do development coverage for major studios.
Q: What is the advantage of submitting early?
A: Check out the deadlines. The sooner you submit, the sooner you will receive your coverage. The coverage will not indicate if your script has moved on, but it will give you a sense early on, of the scripts strengths and weaknesses (in the eyes of one reader). And, it's cheaper to submit early, the submission fees increase with each deadline.
Q: What if I am extremely unhappy with the coverage I receive?
A: Please let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review the coverage, and work with you to solve the problem. In most cases that means getting someone else to read it at a discounted price (there are no refunds).
Q: How long should I wait until I call about missing coverage?
A: Two weeks. If there is a delay, we will let you know ahead of time. Except when you request rushed coverage. In those cases e-mail email@example.com right away.
Q: What should I do if I get the wrong coverage?
A: Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org right away.
Q: Am I able to contract the reader who did my coverage?
A: Yes. Please e-mail email@example.com. We will forward your message on to the reader, and they will respond directly to you.
PLEASE CALL US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:
If you have any problems while submitting, or any questions about the submission process just e-mail us or call our offices: 323-466-1786
Everyone who submits a screenplay to Slamdance will receive concise online feedback from our Readers, three to five sentences in length. The object of our Feedback Service is to provide you with constructive criticism about your work. The feedback includes a logline, genre suggestion and three to five sentences outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay. The Feedback is very brief and basic compared to the extensive notes provided with our Coverage Service, which is available for an additional fee.
STANDARD COVERAGE SERVICE (+$80)
Coverage Service is to provide you with extensive constructive criticism about your work. The Coverage Service includes a brief plot synopsis and then offers an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay. The Coverage Service also offers the screenwriter some recommendation as to what "the next step" could be with their screenplay and writing. This may address media, films and screenplays, production companies and agencies the writer should be aware of, as well as any words of wisdom from one of our Readers. Slamdance’s Coverage provides you with an insight into the mind of a Reader who reads hundreds of independent screenplays each year. Our Readers' goal is to assist you in crafting your submission into something that can advance in competition and impress agents, managers and producers. The Standard Coverage will be available within two months from the time you submit your work. A notice will be sent to the e-mail address you provided in your screenplay application form when your Coverage is available.
EXPRESS COVERAGE SERVICE (+$120)
Slamdance’s online Express Coverage is an added benefit for those that would like to receive coverage within 21 days of your screenplay submission arriving at the Slamdance office.
1-ON-1 SCREENPLAY CONSULTATION SERVICES
As a service separate from the screenplay competition, we also offer year-round, one on one screenplay consultation services. This gives writers a chance to meet with one of our readers to discuss in depth the strengths, weaknesses, and methods for improving ones script. The sessions last an average of 90 minutes and cost $250. The majority of this fee will go directly to our reader, who prepares extensively before each consultation. For writers not located in the Los Angeles area, we could set up a skype meeting for you and a reader. For further details please call the Slamdance office (323-466-1786) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(If you are a writer and want to be considered for the TOP 25, you must be an ISAConnect Member)