Writing

Scriptwriting Competitions for Screenplays & Stage Plays

Scriptwriting Competition List. Updated 19 February 2020. Includes International and UK competitions for screenwriters and playwrights. Details are accurate as far as possible and updated monthly – bookmark this page! I can’t vouch for all these comps personally, but if you have experience of any of them, I’d love to hear from you. Good luck!

Please be sure to check the websites for more information, submission requirements and deadlines.

BAFTA Rocliffe Competitions

Four competitions run through the year: TV Drama, Comedy, Writing for Children, and Film. Open to UK residents only. All entries receive feedback. Win in-depth script report, industry introductions, and more. Deadlines vary depending on script type. Competition opening dates: Film 18 January 2019; TV Comedy 4 March 2019; Children’s Media 27 May 2019; TV Drama 26 August 2019. NOTE: deadlines dates subject to change…

Entry Fee: £42

Deadlines: all *CLOSED*

Submit: pitch, treatment, character breakdown, 10 page extract of script. Check website for full submission details and rules.

BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition

Open to anyone who is NOT a resident of the UK for a play written in English with a maximum of 6 characters and length of about 53 minutes. Two entry categories: one for English as a first language, and one for English as a second language. Win £2,500 and a trip to London to see your play being recorded and broadcast.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 31 January 2020 *CLOSED*

Submit: full script and short synopsis plus entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

BBC Writer’s Room

Writing opportunities and events from across the industry. Open to UK residents only. It’s worth checking regularly for the latest competitions in screenwriting and theatre. You can also submit scripts to the BBC from The Script Room which opens for submissions in two windows: either drama or comedy scripts. Comedy scripts submissions open 23 March 2020.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: Comedy Scripts 20 April 2020

Submit: varies per opportunity. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Blue Cat Screenplay Competition

International contest with multiple awards. Win $10,000 for a Feature script, plus 4 finalists receive $1,000 each. Win $5,000 for a Short script, plus 4 finalists receive $500 each. Awards for TV Pilot and Stage Play too. Further prizes of $1,000 for scripts from outside the US. All entrants receive a script analysis with constructive feedback. Fees vary by deadline and script type.

Entry Fee: $35 – $80

Deadlines: Final Resubmission 17 February 2020 *CLOSED*

Submit: screenplay in pdf format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Channel 4 Screenwriting Competition

Contest run by 4 Talent for 12 writers to get an insight into how the TV drama industry works. Win a place at two script workshops and develop your screenplay with a script editor. Channel 4 may option the script for 6 months. Open to residents of UK and Ireland only. You must be available to attend two weekend workshops. Opening windows are short – keep checking site.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: check site for latest

Submit: screenplay in pdf format and CV. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Euroscript Screenwriting Competition

Win £1,000 worth of script development and work on 3 drafts of your screenplay with an editor. All entrants receive feedback. I won this competition in 2008 and it was definitely worth entering. Read about my experience here.

Entry Fee: £40

Deadline: 31 March 2020

Submit: 2 page treatment for feature film and 10 page script sample and entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Film Festival Guild Competitions

Four festivals with international screenplay contests: British Animation Film Festival (BAFF), British Horror Film Festival (BHFF), British Independent Film Festival (BIFF), and International Film Festival of Wales (IFFW). Awards are mostly for films, but you can submit a script to win Best Unproduced Screenplay. Fees vary by deadline.

Entry Fee: $10-$45

Deadlines: BIFF – Extended 3 April 2020

BAFF – Extended 3 April 2020

BHFF – Early Bird 6 March 2020; Regular 5 June 2020; Late 31 July 2020; Extended 18 September 2020

IFFW – Early Bird 28 March 2020; Regular 27 June 2020; Late 22 August 2020; Extended 10 October 2020

Submit: screenplay in pdf or doc format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

International contest with various cash prizes, software, books, listings on InkTip, and meetings in Hollywood. Grand prizes for feature and TV. Feature screenplay categories: Action, Comedy, Drama, Family, Period, Sci-Fi, and Horror. TV scripts for half-hour, hour, specs, and pilots. Fees vary by deadline.

Entry Fee: $45 – $75

Deadlines: Last Chance 23 July 2019 *CLOSED*

Submit: screenplay in pdf or Final Draft format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Green Stories Screenplay Competition

Open to full-length film scripts that use ideas about environmental sustainability and building a sustainable society. Your script can be in any genre as long as it has a positive and inspiring vision rather than a dystopian one. Win £500 plus the BBC Writer’s Room and Red Production Company will read the top entries. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 18 April 2020

Submit: full screenplay. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Green Stories TV/Netflix Series Competition

Open to screenplays for a TV series that uses ideas about environmental sustainability and building a sustainable society. Your script can be in any genre as long as it has a positive and inspiring vision rather than a dystopian one. It should contain 6 episodes, 25-60 mins each. Win £500 plus the BBC Writer’s Room and Red Production Company will read the top entries.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 30 November 2019 *CLOSED*

Submit: first episode and 3 page outline of series. Check website for full submission details and rules.

London Independent Film Festival Screenplay

To recognise and support new and unrepresented screenwriters. Winning scripts are read by production companies, studios and agencies. Four entry categories: Best Feature Screenplay, Best UK Screenplay, Best Sci-Fi/Horror Screenplay, and Best Short Screenplay. The LIFF for 2019 is on 4-15 April. Fees vary by deadline and script type.

Entry Fee: $35-$80

Deadlines: Late 21 February 2020

Submit: screenplay and 1-3 sentence synopsis plus entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Nicholl Fellowship

International competition to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. Open to writers who have not earned more than $25,000 writing for film or TV. Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded each year. Fees vary by deadline.

Entry Fee: $48-$88

Deadlines: Early 6 March 2020; Regular 9 April 2020; Late 1 May 2020

Submit: screenplay in pdf format and online application form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

To discover the most exciting new scripts from around the US and elsewhere. Ten award categories: Feature Scripts in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Historical, Sci-Fi, and Thriller/Horror, plus Short Film, TV Pilot, and TV Comedy Pilot. Win $25,000, an InkTip listing, and more. Fees vary by deadline. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: $45-$75

Deadlines: Regular 20 February 2020; Late 20 March 2020; Last Minute 20 April 2020

Submit: screenplay in pdf format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Papatango New Writing Prize

Annual award to guarantee an emerging playwright a full production on the professional stage. Open to residents of UK and Ireland only. Win a four week production at Southwark Playhouse in London and support for your next play. The play must be at least 60 mins long. Papatango accepts unsolicited submissions all year, but the New Writing Prize opens in December.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 2 February 2020 *CLOSED*

Submit: stage play in pdf or doc format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Red Planet Prize

In partnership with ITV Drama. Competition for a TV pilot in the hope of finding a new hit series. Open to UK residents only. Win a script commission and development opportunities with ITV. Up to 10 shortlisted entrants will attend a pitching masterclass and 4 writers will have a final interview to choose the winner. Submissions open 27 March 2020.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 3 April 2020

Submit: original spec script, 1-2 page pitch for series, plus writing CV. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Screencraft Contests

Multiple contests dedicated to finding talented screenwriters and connecting them with producers and agents. Contests for feature, short, and TV scripts, plus cinematic short stories, film production funds, and more. Deadlines run through the year. Cash prizes vary by contest. Fees vary by deadlines.

Entry Fee: $29-$59

Deadlines: check website for latest contests

Submit: screenplay in pdf format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Scriptapalooza

Scriptapalooza promotes and pitches the semi-finalists and winners for a full year to the industry. Prizes for feature and short scripts. Win $10,000, access to producers and more. Genre winners receive $500. Fees vary by deadline.

Entry Fee: $45-$65 for features; $25-$45 for shorts

Deadlines: Late 2 March 2020; Final 13 April 2020

Submit: screenplay in pdf, doc, or txt formats. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Scriptation Showcase Script Competition

Run by professional scriptwriters to connect screenwriters with the industry and circulate scripts to the directors, showrunners, and producers of your favourite movies and TV shows. Win cash prizes, a Scriptation Showcase, and industry access. For teleplays, screenplays, and shorts written in English. Fees vary by deadline. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: $39 – $59

Deadlines: Final 15 March 2020

Submit: script in pdf format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Script Pipeline

Three contests: First Look Project, Screenwriting, and TV Writing. First Look scripts must be ‘studio level’ projects. Cash prizes vary by contest. Winners also receive industry circulation for their script. Deadlines and fees vary by contest.

Entry Fee: $45-$55

Deadlines: check website for latest contests

Submit: screenplay in pdf format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Shore Scripts

Discovering new exciting screenwriting talent from around the world. Three contests: Feature, TV Pilot, and Short screenplays. Win cash prizes, software, script feedback, InkTip listing, and more. Cash prizes vary by contest. To enter you must not have earned more than $30,000 in writing fees since 2013. All genres accepted. Fees vary by deadline. Opens for entries 1 March 2020.

Entry Fee: $45 – $60  ($40 – $50 for Short)

Deadlines: Early 31 May 2020; Regular 31 July 2020; Late 31 August 2020

Submit: screenplay in pdf format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Tracking Board Launch Pad

Dedicated to launching writing careers. Three competitions: Pilot, Feature, and Manuscript. Each competition has multiple possible prizes and categories and add-ons, or you can get an All Access Pass. Includes mentorship opportunities to develop your script. Fees vary by deadline and contest.

Entry Fee: $50-$80

Deadlines: check website for latest contests

Submit: 50 pages and 1 page synopsis in pdf format. Check website for full submission details and rules.

‘Two Prints’ Screenwriting Competition

*NEW* Run by Cartridge People inspired by the hit BBC series Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. Open to UK and Channel Islands residents only. Win £1,000 for the opening scene of a comeback episode, between 750 and 1,000 words. The competition is just for fun and the organisers have no connection to the BBC, but entries will be judged by screenwriter Jilly Gardiner. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 31 March 2020

Submit: opening scene and entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

UK Film Festival Competitions

This festival runs in November every year and has three screenwriting competitions to find new talent: Feature Script, 10 Minute (or less), and 3 Minute Script. Win UK Film Festival laurels and publicity, plus InkTip listing for producers to find your script.

Entry Fee: $25 for 3 Min Script; $45-$50 for 10 Min Script; $80-$84 for Feature

Deadline: Final 9 January 2020 *CLOSED*

Submit: screenplay in pdf format, plus treatment and synopsis for Feature. Check website for full submission details and rules.

More Competition Lists:


Before entering any competition make sure you check the entry requirements and rules. If I’ve missed any good screenwriting competitions, please let me know in the comments below…

Note: This is a list of competitions I’ve compiled from information available online. I have no connection to any of the companies. Any problems or queries should be directed to the companies concerned.

10 thoughts on “Scriptwriting Competitions for Screenplays & Stage Plays

  1. Hi Jessica,

    Would you mind adding our free radio short competition, as described here in the BBC Writers Room: https://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/opportunities/little-wonder, that is open for short full cast audio dramas until August 30th.

    I’m particularly keen to add that we have additional opportunities for feedback to writers who identify as BAME (ie. non-white) or LGBTQ+, but so far while having had a huge number of entries have not had many from these groups. We’d love to hear from anybody who wants to write radio, but we’d be especially delighted to hear more diverse voices!

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  2. Hi Jessica, Please will you consider adding our One Act Play Writing competition details to your website?
    Now in its 7th year, Sterts Theatre One Act Play Writing Competition is looking for 30 minute one act plays for up to 4 adult actors suitable for performance in a studio space. Deadline 31st July 2018. Full details of competition rules and prizes can be found on our website http://www.sterts.co.uk. Many thanks. Ruth

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  3. Hi Jessica
    I’d be very grateful if you would feature our new online playwriting festival on your pages. We’ve been supporting new writing for the last 5 years with local theatre productions featuring new work, and are now taking this online to reach a much wider audience. Details available from http://www.fullcircletheatre.net Radio Theatre page! Thanks, Amanda

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