Script Mother’s Five Favorite Screenwriting Contests

Script Mother’s Five Favorite Screenwriting Contests

So maybe you’ve been working really, really hard on that golden script of yours…

You upload drafts on a regular basis to Script Mother’s free peer review service.

You adhere to Script Mother’s Six Writing Resolutions for 2019.

You follow in the example of previous Screenplays of the Month.

Maybe you even won in past months.

What now?

Here at Script Mother HQ, we’re working hard to connect burgeoning writers with talent-seeking industry professionals. As we strive to implement that function of the Script Mother hub, however, we want to offer other outlets to share your content with the world.

Below you can find a specially curated list of our Ten Favorite Screenwriting Contests.

Screencraft’s Rotating Contests and Fellowship

Screencraft focuses on specific genres and formats, eliminating any inherent genre bias that other major screenwriting competitions may have. They uniquely tailor the prizes, jury and readers to the specific genre or format, such as comedy, drama, horror, action, sci-fi, family-friendly, short, and TV.

Deadline: Rotating throughout the year.

Prize: Placing in any of Screencraft’s various competitions can earn you a cash prize, discounted coverage, and industry exposure.

Nashville Film Festival

The Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition leverages one of the oldest and largest film festivals in the U.S. Each year, NashFilm draws hundreds of filmmakers, musicians and industry to ten days of films, panels, red carpet events, live music showcases and parties. For screenwriters, NashFilm offers 8 categories in feature, short and teleplay lengths with both cash and prizes including the fact that all semifinalists and finalists win festival passes! That’s not a discount on a pass but the whole pass.

Deadline: December 2018-April 2019

Prize: Nashville Film Festival offers cash and in-kind sponsor prizes to screenwriters with winners selected by industry power players – including studio representatives, producers and fellow filmmakers. The winning short films in the Narrative, Animated and Documentary Short Film Competitions are eligible for Academy Award® consideration without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Austin Film Festival

Austin scripts are read and judged by top Hollywood screenwriters – professionals who appreciate good storytelling. There is nothing hollow about a win in Austin.

Brian Weakland, 2013 Drama Screenplay Winner

For over twenty-five years, Austin Film Festival has been catapulting writers into life-changing careers. With one of the most noteworthy competitions among Hollywood tastemakers, AFF consistently yanks newcomers from the isolation of their desks and ushers them into the bustling world of film and television. Whether your dream is to sign a contract, land an agent, learn from an industry icon, or take home the coveted Bronze Typewriter Award, it’s simple: you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Deadline: March 2019-May 2019

Prize: Each category is awarded their own unique prize. Check out what you could win here.

Nicholl Fellowship

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters.

Deadline: March 2019-May 2019

Prize: Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded each year to promising new screenwriters. From the program’s inception in 1986 through 2017, $4.265 million has been awarded to 166 writers.

Sundance Screenwriters Lab

The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writers’ workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in an environment that focuses on the art and craft of screenwriting and creative risk taking. Through one-on-one story sessions with creative advisors, fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process that offers indispensable lessons in craft to facilitate the deep exploration needed to fully realize their material.

Deadline: May 2019

Prize: The Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work with creative advisors on their feature scripts through a series of one-on-one story sessions and the best films have the chance to screen at the Sundance Film Festival.

You may notice that all of these contests require an entry fee. The majority of outlets to screenwriting success usually come at a financial burden. Here at Script Mother, however, coverage of your up-and-coming screenplay is completely free. Plus, winning Screenplay of the Month earns you free coverage from someone with industry experience on the Script Mother team!

Upload your screenplay today at for your chance to win!

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