Say Hello to Screenwriting Competition Season!

Get ready to mark your calendars, folks. Many indies have gotten their big break from the following competitions, labs and fellowships (Benh Zeitlin & Lucy Alibar, Destin Cretton, Dawn Porter, Lucy Malloy and Edward Ricourt). What’s the worst that could happen? You spend $50 and turn that idea you’ve been working on FOREVER into an actual script you can shop around or even produce yourself? Sounds like a win-win to me.

If you have any others to add, leave a comment below and I’ll gladly update the list.

  • Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Competition

Deadline(s): Feb 28 (Early), April 10 (Regular), May 1 (Late)

“The Academy’s Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. Up to five $35,000 Fellowships are awarded annually”


  • Slamdance Screenplay Competition

Deadline(s): Feb 24 (Early), April 9 (Regular), June 11 (Late)

“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. In addition to this, we also offer a more intensive coverage service for a supplementary fee. Now in our nineteenth year, we have a history of highlighting talented, independent screenwriters and introducing them to the entertainment industry. All of our readers approach scripts differently, but in general we are looking for originality and promise in a work. As an organization, we strive to foster an independent spirit among new writers and filmmakers. We’ve established a strong track record through our competition successes and are committed to continuing our pursuit to champion outstanding new work.”


  •  Nantucket Film Festival Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competition Award

Deadline(s): March 3 (Regular),  March 10 (Late), March 24 (WAB Extended)

“Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenplay Competition recognizes an emerging screenplay as the best from the pool of submissions each year. The competition gives writers the opportunity to have their scripts read by a prestigious jury, receive top industry recognition, participate in a Festival focused specifically on screenwriting, including a Mentor’s Brunch with the Festival’s Screenwriters Tributee, and win over $7,000 in total cash prizes.


  • Film Independent Screenwriting Lab

Deadline(s): May 5

“Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab is an intensive five-week program that runs two to three evenings a week in Los Angeles in September and October. The Lab is designed to help screenwriters improve their craft, develop their voices as writers, and take their current scripts to the next level. During the Lab, Fellows receive feedback on their scripts from the Lab Mentor, outside advisors, and the other writers in the program.


  • Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab 

Deadline: May 1 (Application opens March 15)

“The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writer’s 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 encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Through one-on-one story sessions with Creative Advisors, Fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process that offers them indispensable lessons in craft, as well as the means to do the deep exploration needed to fully realize their material.”  


  • Austin Film Festival Screenplay and Teleplay Contest 

Deadline(s): Screenplay – April 30 (Early), May 31 (Late); Teleplay – April 30

“For more than two decades, Austin Film Festival has been launching writers into their careers. This year, AFF is celebrating its longevity and exponential growth by creating a week that will change your life. With one of the most recognized and prestigious Screenplay and Teleplay competitions, AFF breaks out newcomers from the privacy of their desks and straight into the industry. Whether your dream is signing a contract, landing an agent, learning craft from an industry icon, or taking home the coveted Bronze Typewriter Award, you can’t win if you don’t enter.


  • Tribeca All Access 

Deadlines: TBA (2013 submission period: September – November)

“Tribeca All Access seeks feature-length narrative and documentary submissions from established and emerging filmmakers whose team includes a director or screenwriter from a community that is traditionally under-represented in the film industry. Five narrative filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers will each receive a grant of $10,000 to use towards the development, production, post- production, or marketing of their film project”


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