The 8th Annual Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest is searching for the next extraordinary television writer. As a community of aspiring TV writers continue to prove their skills with both specs and original pilots, the level of talent has skyrocketed–and the demand for more quality TV material is higher than ever before.
Facilitating connections between new writers and leading TV producers, managers, and agencies has proven remarkably successful, with numerous Pipeline writers finding elite representation and gaining crucial introductions to otherwise impossible-to-reach industry execs. The result: over $5 million in spec scripts sold from Pipeline competition finalists and “Recommend” writers since 2003.
Last season, close to 5,000 scripts were entered in the Screenwriting and TV Writing contests combined, making Script Pipeline one of the leading companies reviewing spec material. Beyond prizes, finalists are given exposure to approximately 200 qualified contacts, as well as:
- Over $5,000 in cash
- Consultations with Script Pipeline’s Director of Development and Senior Consultant
- Personal introductions to managers, producers, agents, and others searching for new projects.
- An opportunity to submit other material to Script Pipeline for internal review
- A reserved spot to the 2015 Secret Door Pitchfest as a recognized finalist
Our intent: to circulate exceptional material industry-wide, support our writers long-term, and help launch careers.
Final Deadline: May 1st, 2015
– NOTABLE SUCCESS STORIES -
Script Pipeline Contest Winner Sells Spec for $3 Million, Development Network Series
After introductions by Script Pipeline to industry partner Jake Wagner, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales in years and subsequently made Evan one of the most in-demand young writers in the industry. The film was released summer 2012 and grossed over $400 million worldwide.
Evan co-wrote an adaptation of the young adult novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment (Twilight). The film released March 2014 and stars Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet.
After selling a pilot pitch, it was later announced Evan would be one of the writers and executive producers on an adaptation of the DC comic franchise Midnight Mass. for NBC. Evan is also tabbed to write and executive produce the event series Esmeralda for ABC Studios and signed on to pen the third installment of the GI Joe franchise for Paramount.
Most recently, he was one of the writers on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Michael Bay film starred Megan Fox and was released summer 2014, holding the top box office spot its opening weekend.
Among all these projects, he’ll be making his directorial debut with Ink and Bone for Dimension Films, and as of February 2015, he will write Warner Bros. and MGM’s Tomb Raider reboot.
Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Script
The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel was turned into the 2013 film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta. Corsan and Millennium Films produced the action/thriller.
Script Pipeline Winner Tripper Clancy Sells Screenplay to Fox, Writing Comedy for Sony
2010 Screenwriting Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner following a top-four finish in the contest. Just a few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material.
In September 2013, he sold the comedy The Ambassadors. Tripper’s buddy-comedy pitch Winter Break was picked up by QED International as the last spec sale of the year, and in early 2014, he was hired to write the animated comedy Shedd for Paramount.
It was announced in May 2014 that Tripper will write the action-adventure comedy Stranded for Sony Pictures, with Kevin James (Grown Ups, The King of Queens) attached to star.
Meanwhile, his contest-winning script Henry the Second is in development with 21 Laps.
“I cannot underestimate the impact that Script Pipeline has had on my writing career. Winning the contest directly led to my new representation, which in turn led to working with studios such as 20th Century Fox.”
- 2010 Winner Tripper Clancy (Shedd, The Ambassadors)
- View more news in the Success Stories section above -
- Script Pipeline Writers Workshop “Recommend” Micah Barnett sold a one-hour drama, Ricochet, in September 2013 to NBC, a few years after finding management through a Pipeline industry contact.
- TV contest finalist Kimberly Barrante gained representation with agency Verve and management/production company Madhouse Entertainment in September 2014.
- Script Pipeline industry partners Marty Berneman, Eric Balfour, and Stephanie Varella (Off the Grid Entertainment) are representing the TV project Breathers, a sci-fi/drama written by 2011 TV Writing Finalist Will Wallace and based on the comic by Justin Madson.
- 2013 contest winner Morgan Von Ancken (Cutting Numbers) signed with UTA.
- Screenwriting Finalist Craig Weeden and veteran comic writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti (Ultimate Spider-man, Jonah Hex) optioned an adaptation of Painkiller Jane to Solipsist Films (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) in 2013. As of 2014, twin directors Jen and Sylvia Soska are attached to direct.
- The Living Wake, Script Pipeline’s first produced film, starring Academy Award-Nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O’Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: “A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful.” View the film here for free on Hulu.
Contest winner Jason Kaleko signed with Energy Entertainment in 2015.
- Finalists Sean Fallon and Charlotte Barrett had their first feature, Virgin Alexander, produced after their placement in the Script Pipeline contest’s top 20 sparked interest in the project.
- Brian Watanabe’s “Recommend” script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis, Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk, and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline owner Chad Clough first brought the project to Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko) at Darko Entertainment.
- Screenwriter Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline CEO Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
- 2012 & 2009 Finalist Kevin Jones signed with Zero Gravity Management.
- Sleeping Beauty by Tony Boland, a 2010 finalist, was optioned.
- Finalist Matt Altman signed with APA and Parallax Talent Management. In 2014, he and co-writer David Matalon sold their feature script The Feud to Vandal Entertainment.
- Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) signed with WME. As of 2014, he has multiple projects in development with major producers, including Spooked, with Dan Lin producing.
- 2011 finalists Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch signed with Kersey Management. They went on to write and direct the 2014 festival hit film Starry Eyes.
- Screenwriting and TV Writing finalist Julie Anne Wight published her first children’s book after introductions by Script Pipeline to publisher Intuary.
- Finalist script Shed was optioned by producer Josh Goldstein.
- 2003 Script Pipeline screenwriting contest winning script Slammin‘ sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003.
Numerous other writers have optioned their work, found paid writing jobs, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through Pipeline’s extensive network of over 200 companies.
Script Pipeline’s criteria is based primarily on the overall quality of the script, including storytelling ability and fundamental screenplay components (e.g. dialogue, plot, structure, and characterization). Concept marketability and originality are also taken into consideration.
Although we’re strict on judging, all types of genres, styles, and voices are fair game. In the past, winning scripts have ranged from animated comedies, to experimental indies, to dramas, true stories, and everything in-between. We’re simply looking for stellar writing.
Industry contacts reviewing 2015 finalists include:
- JC Spink – The Hangover, A History of Violence
- Tripp Vinson (Vinson Films) – Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Rite
- Jake Wagner (Benderspink)
- Michael McKay (Lakeshore Entertainment)
- David Boxerbaum (Paradigm)
- Brooklyn Weaver (Energy Entertainment) – Extant
- Sean McKittrick (Darko Entertainment) – Donnie Darko, Bad Words
- Michael Ohoven (Infinity Media) – Capote
- Irene Yeung (Vertigo Entertainment)
- Will McCormack (writer, Toy Story 4)
For other industry execs interested in judging for the Script Pipeline Competition, email us. We will only consider applicants who are active producers, agents, managers, or directors.
Grand Prize Winner - announced August 2015:
- $5,000 cash
- Direct circulation to Script Pipeline’s industry network
- 1-on-1 consultation sessions with the Pipeline development team
- Airfare reimbursement (up to $250) to fly to LA and meet with execs
Runner-up - announced August 2015:
- $500 cash
- Direct circulation to companies in Script Pipeline’s industry network
- 1-on-1 consultation sessions with a development executive
Both the Grand Prize Winner and Runner-up receive ALL the finalist prizes listed below. . . .
Finalists (8) - announced July 1st, 2015:
- A seat to Script Pipeline’s Secret Door Pitchfest in August 2015 as a recognized contest finalist to pitch to 25-30 industry reps ($8,000)
- Exposure to 200 companies
- Memberships to Script Pipeline’s Writers Database ($5,000)
Semifinalists (up to top 3% of submissions) – announced mid-June, 2015
Quarter-finalists (up to top 5% of submissions) – announced early June, 2015
Everyone who enters the 2015 Screenwriting and TV Writing competitions are eligible for the following prizes (random selections unless noted):
- 100 entries to the 2015 Great Movie Idea Contest ($4,500)
- 100 entries to the 2015 Great TV Show Idea Contest ($4,500)
- 50 entries to the 2015 First Look Project ($3,000)
- 50 memberships to Script Pipeline’s Writers Database ($3,500)
- 5 free entries to the Secret Door Pitchfest with personal pitch consultation [writers hand-selected amongst quarter or semifinalists based on merit, such as those who came close to the top 20 but fell short] ($2,125)
- Contact information (name, email address, etc.) preferred, but not required, on the cover page.
- PDF preferred, but will accept Final Draft, Celtx, and other file formats.
- Script should be for a half-hour or hour-long series. All genres are allowed, and there are no length requirements. If it’s a multi-part series, please send only the first part.
- No limit on the number of entries. Each entry is a separate fee.
- Simultaneous submissions are of course allowed (i.e. you can enter other screenwriting contests with the same script).
- Previous Script Pipeline competition entrants welcome to enter again and are guaranteed fresh reads from a new judge. Former finalists are not allowed to enter the same script again.
- All rights to the material remain with the entrant, whether they place as a finalist or not. It is, however, recommended you copyright your material.
- Open to writers worldwide.
Some general rules:
- The script entered must not have been produced in its full form (shorts based on the script are fine).
- Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age at time of entry.
- You have not sold or optioned any film screenplay to any entity or individual greater than $25,000.
Our network of over 200 companies include studio-level representatives from: Benderspink (We’re the Millers), Energy Entertainment (Extant), Green Hat Films (The Hangover), WME, Lakeshore Entertainment (Million Dollar Baby), 3 Arts (Parks and Rec), Paradigm, Vinson Films (Journey to the Center of the Earth), CAA, and more.
WHEN CAN I SUBMIT? WHAT ARE THE DEADLINE DATES?
The regular deadline is May 1st. There will be an extended deadline through Withoutabox only until May 20th, but it’s recommended to get your script in early as the entry fee goes up $10 per script.
CAN INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ENTER?
Yes. Applicants outside the US are welcome to enter this and ANY Script Pipeline contest.
DO I GET FEEDBACK ON MY ENTRY?
For all contest entrants, we offer an exclusive discounted rate on General Notes that cover everything from plot and structure to dialogue and character. A sample can be found here. Additional notes are optional and are kept separate from the actual judging process. Coverage will be sent after May 1st.
CAN I SUBMIT A NEW DRAFT OF MY SCRIPT AFTER ENTERING?
All entrants, including those requesting optional written feedback, may submit an updated draft of their script at no extra fee as long as we receive before the next deadline window. After that date, writers can still re-submit before the final deadline, but must pay the difference in the new entry fee (either $5 or $10 depending on when the original submission was made).
WHEN ARE THE WINNER AND FINALISTS ANNOUNCED?
Finalists for the 2015 season will be announced on July 1st, 2015. The Grand Prize Winner and runner-up are announced in August 2nd at the Script Pipeline Secret Door Pitchfest in Los Angeles, CA.
WHAT KIND OF EXPOSURE WILL THE WINNERS RECEIVE?
Script Pipeline has a long history of connecting finalists with the industry through personal introductions and general career assistance for our writers–more so than any other competition. In August 2015, we will announce the Grand Prize winner at the Secret Door Pitchfest. Afterward, loglines and scripts are circulated to over 200 companies looking for new material, and the winner is given personal introductions to a number of producers, agents, and managers.
SHOULD I PUT CONTACT INFO ON THE COVER PAGE?
Yes. We would prefer basic contact info–name, email, address, and phone–on the cover page. If you are currently repped by a manager or agent, also mention this on the cover page.
CAN I SUBMIT TO OTHER CONTESTS OR COMPANIES AFTER ENTERING?
There are no restrictions on submitting to other writing competitions or circulating your script while entered in the contest.
DO I NEED TO COPYRIGHT MY SCRIPT?
Although a copyright is not required to enter the competition, we recommend you register your work with a copyright service, such as the U.S. Copyright Office or the Writer’s Guild of America.
WHAT IF I WROTE A PRODUCED FILM BUT DIDN’T GET PAID? AM I ELIGIBLE?
Absolutely. The rule is you can’t have made more than $25,000 specifically for writing. Short filmmakers, indie directors, producers, etc. are all eligible.
ARE WRITING TEAMS ACCEPTED?
Two or more writers are fine (please list all credited writers on the cover page). Only one writer needs to register.
CAN I SUBMIT UNDER A PEN NAME?
You may list a pseudonym on the cover page of your script, however your real name must be used during registration.
Email our contest coordinator with any other questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.