The 2016 Screenwriting Contest continues a long tradition of discovering up-and-coming talent and connecting them with top producers, agents and managers across studio and independent markets. This process has proven successful, with numerous contest alumni worldwide finding elite representation and gaining crucial introductions to otherwise impossible-to-reach industry execs. Our intent: to circulate exceptional material industry-wide, support our writers long-term, and launch careers.
Some general rules:
WHAT ARE THE DEADLINE AND ANNOUNCEMENT DATES?
Quarterfinalists and semifinalists are selected in June. The top 10 finalists are posted to the site on July 1st, and one Grand Prize Winner is announced in August 2016.
Final deadline is May 1st, 2016, with a pre-register deadline December 31st, 2015 ($45/script) and early deadline March 1st, 2016 ($55). Writers are highly encouraged to submit early before the entry fees go up closer to the final deadline.
IF I MAKE UPDATES TO MY SCRIPT AFTER ENTERING, DO I HAVE TO RE-REGISTER AND PAY A NEW ENTRY FEE?
No need to re-register: writers may submit an updated draft at any time and only pay the difference in entry fee, if the fee has changed since the time of submitting. For example, if you submitted in December for $45 and want to re-submit in March when the fee is $50, it would be $5 instead of the full fee. To request a re-submission, email our contest coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAN INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ENTER?
Yes. Applicants outside the US are welcome to enter this and ANY Script Pipeline contest.
DO I GET FEEDBACK ON MY ENTRY?
For all contest entrants, we offer an exclusive discounted rate on General Notes that cover everything from plot and structure to dialogue and character. Additional notes are optional and are kept separate from the actual judging process. Coverage will be sent after May 1st.
CAN I SUBMIT A NEW DRAFT OF MY SCRIPT AFTER ENTERING?
All entrants, including those requesting optional written feedback, may submit an updated draft of their script at no extra fee as long as we receive before the next deadline window. After that date, writers can still re-submit before the final deadline, but must pay the difference in the new entry fee (either $5 or $10 depending on when the original submission was made).
IF I ORDER ADDITIONAL NOTES, WILL I NEED TO PAY ANOTHER FEE IF I RE-SUBMIT?
No, all entrants who order additional (optional) written feedback on their entry may re-submit at any time before the final May 1st deadline at no extra cost. Feedback for contest writers is at a reduced rate ($95 instead of $125) and can be added at anytime.
WHAT KIND OF EXPOSURE WILL THE WINNERS RECEIVE?
Script Pipeline has a long history of connecting finalists with the industry through personal introductions and general career assistance for our writers–more so than any other competition. In August 2016, we will announce the Grand Prize winner at an exclusive writer/industry reception. Afterward, loglines and scripts are circulated to over 200 companies looking for new material, and the winner is given personal introductions to a number of producers, agents, and managers.
SHOULD I PUT CONTACT INFO ON THE COVER PAGE?
Yes. We would prefer basic contact info–name, email, address, and phone–on the cover page. If you are currently repped by a manager or agent, also mention this on the cover page.
IS THE FIELD LIMITED TO BEGINNING WRITERS AND AMATEURS?
No, however we do have some eligibility criteria. . . .
Currently, writers who sold (or optioned) a script for more than $50,000 in the past 10 years are ineligible. By establishing this rule, we limit the field to amateurs, by broad definition, but include those who may be active staff writers, independent filmmakers, writers who were paid small amounts for original film or TV scripts, and so forth. At the end of the day, regardless of experience, all writers are trying to get their work produced, and when you start circulating your material, the distinction between “amateur” and “professional” doesn’t blur, it disappears entirely–your project is considered alongside everyone else’s. So we felt it only fair to give almost all levels of writers equal opportunity for exposure they may not otherwise have access to.
Nonetheless, if you have in fact sold a feature or TV script (or pitch) for over the stated amount of $50,000, you unfortunately wouldn’t qualify for our main competitions. Our First Look Project, however, is open to all writers, no matter their experience level.
CAN I SUBMIT TO OTHER CONTESTS OR COMPANIES AFTER ENTERING?
There are no restrictions on submitting to other writing competitions or sending your script elsewhere while entered in the contest.
DO I NEED TO COPYRIGHT MY SCRIPT?
Although a copyright is not required to enter the competition, we recommend you register your work with a copyright service, such as the U.S. Copyright Office or the Writer's Guild of America.
ARE WRITING TEAMS ACCEPTED?
Two or more writers are fine (please list all credited writers on the cover page). Only one writer needs to register.
CAN I SUBMIT UNDER A PEN NAME?
You may list a pseudonym on the cover page of your script, however your real name must be used during registration.
Script Pipeline develops writers for film and television, connecting them with top producers, agents, and managers. This process has thus far resulted in over $5 million in writer spec sales and several produced films.
For over 15 years, the company has bridged the gap between up-and-coming writers and influential executives. Through services, research tools, the exclusive Secret Door Pitchfest, and annual writing and idea contests, Script Pipeline continues to offer writers worldwide unprecedented access to the industry.
Recent success stories include Script Pipeline contest-winner Evan Daugherty selling Snow White and the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million and later taking the lead on studio projects Divergent, Ninja Turtles, and GI Joe 3, as well as writing a limited series Esmeralda for ABC Studios. His contest-winning script Killing Season (formerly Shrapnel) was produced and premiered in 2013 starring Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro and John Travolta.
Micah Barnett, a Workshop “Recommend,” sold The Rabbit to Warner Bros. for six-figures and a TV pilot, Ricochet, to NBC in 2013. That same year, Tripper Clancy, another former screenwriting contest winner, sold the road comedy The Ambassadors to 20th Century Fox and the pitch Winter Break to QED International. Tripper is currently writing the animated comedy Shedd for Paramount and the adventure/comedy Stranded for Sony Pictures, with Kevin James (Grown Ups, The King of Queens) attached to star.
The Living Wake, Script Pipeline's first produced film starring Academy Award-nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), premiered in 2010. Operation Endgame, based on Brian Watanabe’s original script Rogue’s Gallery, a Script Pipeline “Recommend,” was released in 2010 and starred Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott (Parks and Rec), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Maggie Q, Ellen Barkin, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast.
Currently, many other studio-level, indie, and original feature and TV projects are in various stages of development. As of 2015, the company reviews approximately 8,000 screenplays, pilots, and original pitches on average each year, making Script Pipeline one of the industry’s leading outlets for new writers.
(If you are a writer and want to be considered for the TOP 25, you must be an ISAConnect Member)