Top 7 screenwriting competitions – Softonic


Screenwriting contests are an opportunity to show off what you have, your skills, and your scripts.

Yes, they are extremely competitive. Many contests see thousands of scripts each year in multiple categories. And yes, they are difficult! Professionals in the industry say that getting the top 100, 50, or even 10 doesn’t matter – you have to be first (maybe second, maybe) to get attention.

However, the entertainment industry requires diligent effort, and you never know when a break will come! Luck is the opportunity for a preparatory meeting, as they say. If you prepare well, every screenwriting competition becomes another chance to have your work seen and heard by the right people.

With this in mind, the following competitions stand out from the rest. There are much longer lists, but we’ll focus on the seven main elements and provide a few important details for each: the approximate deadline for submissions, the entry price, the list of acceptable scripts, and then a brief description of “What you should know.”

Top 7 screenwriting competitions

First of all: the academy, of course!

Nicholl scholarship


The application deadline is between March and May, with prices ranging from $ 45 to $ 80, depending on when you enter. Enter only scenarios, no TV scripts.

The most important thing to know? The Nicholl Fellowship competitions are organized by the Academy, which hosts the famous Oscars ceremony! It’s a big deal, and winning this competition has weight. For this reason, it is also strongly contested.

Another interesting point: the prize to be won is a scholarship, which means that you have the opportunity to train and study with professionals from the Academy. Fancy a cash prize? Don’t worry: your well-established career as a screenwriter will take you to all of this and more!

Austin Film Festival


Like Nicholl, the Austin Film Festival competition opens from March to May. However, they have two sections: script and short script / teleplay. The first costs $ 45 to $ 70, the second $ 30 to $ 60. Again, the price depends on the time of entry.

There is a general rule of thumb here: save the money and submit it early!

What is important to know? In addition to being a prestigious competition, Austin provides reading notes for every script entered! Keep in mind: if you don’t make it to the second round or beyond, the notes are just a “brief overall summary” of one paragraph. Yet a quick note from a professional reader makes a lot of difference! You won’t find many other places.



TP submit scenarios (various genre sections are available) before the deadlines, which begin january to may. It costs between $ 45 to $ 85.

Besides being another popular screenplay competition, PAGE International’s many competition sections allow you to increase your chances through targeted entries, whether for historical or horror films.

Not only that, but they give a screenplay a big price; $ 25,000! Why this amount, you will ask me? Here’s a hunch: many contests do not allow entries if the submitted script has already won $ 25,000. Essentially, Page believes the best screenplay is the work of a genius and wants everyone to know that he has discovered such talent. You never know if your job will be the big winner!

Final project

Final draft2

Deadlines start in March and end of July. You can submit pilot scripts and TV films, everything must be electronic. Expect to pay $ 40 to $ 75.

You may recognize Final Draft as the industry standard scriptwriting software. It is only natural that they also have a competition!

The Final Draft contest has one hidden gem that you might want to keep in mind when looking for other places to enter: they write the names of the writers on the script. This means that your entries are fully graded on your writing merit. By avoiding all of the inherent biases, the average writer has a much better chance!



Screencraft’s many competitions, including script, TV game, play, cinematographic book and short story – are staggered throughout the year. There are a ton of them! Visit their website and see who you have gear for, and see if there is any that you want to plan for. Price: approximately 60-70 $ judging by the current entries available.

Like many others, top prizes involve money and connections. The real bonus comes from the many sections of Screencraft: you can enter the genre that suits you best. For example, one of their competitions awards a scholarship. If you want to learn from the experts this can be a great option!

Sundance – Feature Film Program


The scenario submissions begin April and end of May. It seems the price was 40 $, but that could change for 2018 and beyond.

Chances are you’ve heard the name “Sundance”; it is a film festival that starts many careers, discovers a number of excellent films! Their writing program focuses on this end goal. Your film will be taken into consideration for grants intended for a possible production.

Blue cat

Blue cat

Take yours feature films, short films and TV pilots! The costs range from $ 35 to $ 50. As for the deadline… it’s September this year, and that’s all we can say.

He moves at will, a bit like a cat!

Bonus: Bluecat provides written analysis on all entries! At first glance, this analysis can be quite detailed. As we mentioned before with the Austin Film Festival: Feedback can make all the difference.


There are many other competitions available, but these are the best starting point for beginners and veterans alike. As you go, you can try everything out or target the competitions you prefer the most. Remember that reading is subjective.

And in the meantime, keep reading, writing and revising!

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