Writer's Resources

Scriptwriting Competitions for Screenplays & Stage Plays

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Scriptwriting Competition List for 2017. Updated: 8 April 2017 International and UK competitions for screenwriters and playwrights – updated monthly, so bookmark this page! I can’t vouch for these comps personally, but if you have experience of any of them, I’d love to hear from you. Good luck!

More Competition Lists:

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: TV Drama 4 January 2017; TV Comedy 13 March 2017; Children’s Media 29 May 2017; Film 14 August 2017.

Entry Fee: £45

Deadlines: TV Drama 8 February 2017; TV Comedy 18 April 2017; Children 30 July 2017; Film 26 September 2017

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

BBC International Playwriting Competition

Run by the BBC World Service for writers living outside the UK. Competition for a radio play for up to 6 characters on any subject. Win £2,200 and a trip to the UK to see your play being recorded for the BBC. Entries must be approx. 53 minutes in length and written in English.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: TBC

Submit: script plus 400 word synopsis. 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: comedy scripts soon, and drama scripts end of 2017.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadlines: Comedy scripts open 17 April – 15 May 2017

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-$50 Short; $45-$60 Feature

Deadlines: Regular 1 May 2017; Final 21 May 2017

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 not have a broadcast credit. Opens September 2017 for workshops in 2018.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: TBC

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 comp in 2008 and it was definitely worth entering. Read about my experience here. Opens for 2018 later in the year.

Entry Fee: £35

Deadline: 31 March 2017 *CLOSED*

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: £15-£65

Deadlines: BIFF Extended 1 April 2017 *CLOSED*

BAFF Extended 15 May 2017

BHFF Regular 26 May 2017; Late 28 July 2017; Extended 8 September 2017

IFFW Regular 17 June 2017; Late 19 August 2017; Extended 30 September 2017

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: $40 / $50 / $65

Deadlines: Regular 26 June 2017; Extended 14 July 2017

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

Full Circle Theatre Playwriting Festival

Online playwriting festival open to plays of any genre, except musicals. Your play doesn’t need to be written for radio as long as it’s easy to adapt, but it must be in English. The best submissions will be chosen for the festival in October 2017.

Entry Fee: £5 / $7 / €6

Deadline: 30 June 2017

Submit: play and synopsis by email. Check website for full submission details and rules.

InRed Production Script Competition

*NEW* An opportunity to get your script produced by Swiss production company InRed Production who are looking for a short or feature script to be produced and entered into festivals. Winning entry receives a standard contract and 3% of the global budget of the film. Open to all genres. Script must be in English.

Entry Fee: free

Deadline: 30 April 2017

Submit: the script plus your resume. Check website for full submissions details and rules.

King’s Cross Award

Biennial award for original, unpublished and unperformed theatre scripts. Open to residents of UK and Ireland only. Win £5,000 and a stage rehearsal reading at The Courtyard Theatre, London. Next due in 2017.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: TBC

Submit: full script. 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 International Screenplay, Best UK Screenplay, Best Sci-Fi/Horror Screenplay, and Best Short Screenplay. The LIFF is on 13-25 April 2017. Fees vary by deadline.

Entry Fee: £50-£60 feature; £25-£35 short

Deadlines: Late 3 March 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: screenplay and 1-3 sentence synopsis. 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. Opens in January. Fees vary by deadline.

Entry Fee: $45-$85

Deadlines: Regular 10 April 2017; Late 1 May 2017

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

Nick Darke Award

Celebrating the best new writing for stage, screen and radio. Open to all writers and each year it focuses on one particular type of script: stage, screen, or radio. Entries should be a minimum of 45 minutes in length. Win £6,000 and mentoring. Criteria for 2017 entries is for a stage play.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 31 May 2017

Submit: full script plus 1 page synopsis. 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.

Entry Fee: $39-$69

Deadlines: Last Minute 17 April 2017

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 80 mins long. Papatango accepts unsolicited submissions all year, but the New Writing Prize opens in December.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 31 March 2017 *CLOSED*

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

Red Planet Prize

Competition for a TV pilot in the hope of finding a new hit series. Open to UK residents only. Winner receives £5,000 and script will be optioned by Red Planet Pictures for 6 months intensive development with a script editor.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: TBC

Submit: TBC. 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. Open now for early bird deadline: 6 January 2017.

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

Deadlines: Late 17 April 2017; Final 1 May 2017

Submit: screenplay in pdf, doc, or txt formats. 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. First Look Project re-opens later in 2017.

Entry Fee: $45-$55

Deadlines: Regular 1 May 2017

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 £20,000 in writing fees. All genres accepted. Fees vary by deadline. Opens 1 March 2017.

Entry Fee: £30-£40

Deadlines: Early 31 May 2017; Regular 31 July 2017; Late 31 August 2017

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. Feature and Pilot competitions will open later. Manuscript competition open now.

Entry Fee: $50-$80

Deadlines: Early 15 April 2017; Regular 15 May 2017; Late 15 June 2017; Final 30 June 2017

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

UK Film Festival Competitions

This festival runs in November every year and has two screenwriting competitions to find new talent: Feature Script, and Three Minute Script. Win UK Film Festival laurels and publicity, plus InkTip listing for producers to find your script. Opens 20 February 2017.

Entry Fee: $25 for 3 Min Script; $75 for Feature

Deadline: Early Bird 17 April 2017; Reminder 24 July 2017; Regular 30 November 2017; Final 9 January 2018

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.

More: Resources & Links for Writersresources-writers

Image: Tyneside Cinema

 

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2 thoughts on “Scriptwriting Competitions for Screenplays & Stage Plays

  1. 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

    Liked by 1 person

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