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The 2018 Screenwriting and TV Writing Competitions: Submit Today

Register by: March 1st

Winners Receive:
$50,000 | long-term industry circulation | script development

Submit a Screenplay | Submit a Pilot

"In the few days after the competition announcement, we had a slew of terrific meetings. . . . Script Pipeline was a gift from the gods: it allowed us, two unknowns from Australia, to come to LA, meet people in the industry, and begin relationships."
- Penelope Chai and Matteo Bernardini, Screenwriting Contest Winner (Cinderella Must Die)

Now in its 16th year, the Script Pipeline Competitions seek talented writers to connect with production companies, agencies, and managers. As one of the longest-running film and TV writing contests, we focus specifically on finding writers representation, supporting diverse voices, championing marketable, unique storytelling, and pushing more original projects into production.

Finalists receive immediate circulation to Script Pipeline partners, in addition to the following:

• $50,000 to winners

• Personal introductions to managers, producers, agents, directors, and others searching for screenplays

• Development assistance with Script Pipeline execs

• Long-term circulation for all finalists

"With their rapidly expanding network of industry connections, Script Pipeline has continued to champion my script long after the competition, giving me invaluable access to industry circulation and promoting my career in ways that would otherwise be out of my reach."
- Ashley Locher, Screenwriting Contest Runner-up (End of Life)

Submit a Screenplay | Submit a Pilot

2018 First Look Project - January 15th Exclusive Deadline, $20/entry

The 7th Annual First Look Project fulfills the requests of studios, production companies, agencies, and top managers by finding unique, high-concept material across two main categories:

• Screenplay - divisions for Action/AdventureComedyDramaHorror/Thriller, and Sci-fi/Fantasy

• TV Pilot - divisions for Hour and Half-hour original pilots, any genre

One winner in each division receives a share of $15,000, industry circulation, and long-term development assistance from Script Pipeline’s executive team.

"The First Look Project was an awesome experience. From our first phone call, they became our personal champions and proceeded to surprise us again and again with the extent of their support. Thanks to them, we had meetings with a manager and production companies and are now developing our pilot with Mandalay Entertainment. Entering this contest moved our careers forward in an unprecedented way and was the smartest thing we did all year!"
-Ben and Tyler Soper, First Look Project Winners (The Devil in Evelyn)

Supported by Good Fear Film + Management (Rings), Panay Films (Masterminds), Lakeshore Entertainment (Age of Adaline), Zero Gravity Management (Ozark), Silent R Management (reps the Academy Award Winning director of Moonlight Barry Jenkins), Madhouse Entertainment (Prisoners), CAA, and other Script Pipeline partners, the competition introduces the best scripts to major companies.

Register for the 2018 First Look Project

WritersForWriters now offering half-session script consults, free career consult calls

Happy New Year guys! Dave Kline and Chris Sey will be doing full-session script consults as well as half-sessions at a discounted price. We will also continue to offer up the free 10 minute career consult calls. For information on the calls and the half-session script consultations, please email us at info@writers-for-writers.com

Also, all female and diversity writers who submit for script consultations will be eligible for a recommend on our staffing page. For our STAFFING recommends page— http://www.writers-for-writers.com/staffing/

Best,

Dave, Fior, Chris, and the team at Writers-For-Writers

Learn more about Writers-For-Writers

Follow Writers for Writers on Twitter (@writforwriters) and Facebook for updates and news about the industry’s push towards diversity.

Script Pipeline Interview - Howard Jordan Jr.

It’s been two short years, and you went from runner-up in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition to staff writer on a CBS comedy. What pieces had to fall into place to get there? What was the process like? 

I’m not sure if this is a good thing, along the lines of hopeful or inspirational, or a sad thing, a little more disappointing to hear. But all the clichés are true. Keep writing. Keep networking. Keep improving.

There is no singular route to a room, or a sell. What continues to prove effective for me is making time to write and being receptive to notes. If you do that, you’ll get better. If you get better, your odds of taking a leap forward will also.

Certainly, participating in the 2016-2017 CBS Writers Diversity Program was a critical piece in your career puzzle. How much did it change your perceptions and knowledge of the industry? 

It was everything.

When I moved to LA in the summer of 2013, I knew I wanted to transition from my career in advertising as a creative director. But I didn’t know how. Worse than that, I didn’t know anyone. Oh, and did I mention, I also didn’t have any material, yet?

Through family connections and friends of friends, I began to meet working television writers at various levels. The one suggestion that continued to pop up; “Apply to the diversity programs.” But that is rarified air. Eight spots per program and applicant fields ranging between 1,300 to 2,500.

That pursuit is where my education really began. So, I have to mention it. It’s not as simple as 1-2-3. I used a further-developed version of the script named runner-up at Script Pipeline with a brand new Brooklyn Nine-Nine spec to get into the CBS program.

The program reinforced things I already knew from a long career as a creative professional. But the true discovery came in the importance of telling personal stories in conversation and on the page that only you can tell. It educated us about what the industry is looking for, what is expected of a staff writer, and it made it clear that “I can do this.”

The experience on Superior Donuts: what has met your expectations, and what hasn’t? We’re sure there was some degree of hesitation early on, but did you get comfortable with this new environment right away, or did it take some easing into? What’s been the biggest hurdle? 

My expectations were surpassed the moment I got the opportunity to step inside the room. The best thing about being a staff writer is that the success of the show has almost nothing to do with you. You are there to learn and contribute to the direction of the showrunner. It’s that simple.

As far as comfort, you have to feel out the room. In sports terms, play your position. I’m still finding my footing after 30 weeks. It takes time. But I happen to be in a very welcoming, encouraging space with seasoned, proven pros. The only hurdle is learning to be on for 10 hours a day with the same people at the same table, for 9 ½ straight months. I wasn’t ready for such a never-ending dinner party.

No secret that writers are flocking to TV. We started reviewing TV material in 2008, and it’s incredible to see the number of pilots now compared to then. What are key points a writer should keep in mind when developing an original pilot? Do they really have as much creative flexibility as they think they have, or should they take a more rigid approach to what types of concepts they pursue?

I’m no development expert just yet. But I’d suggest making damn sure you love the premise and the characters, write it with purpose, and be ready to write it as many times as it takes to get it just right. Then, take notes and rewrite it. Then, scrap it and start over again, if needed.

I do believe the field is wide open. Write what you love. There are so many outlets looking for content. If you write something that can sell, someone will buy it. Or at least I hope that’s the case. I’m kind of depending on it.

In 2015, we asked where you saw yourself in 10 years—you said having three sitcoms on-air simultaneously. Has that changed? Have you been able to balance writing your own scripts with the demands of writing for the show? 

It hasn’t changed one bit. That’s still my end game. Why not.

The commitment to the room comes first. It’s hard to do, for sure. It takes time management and a very patient spouse. But if you want it, there’s always time to push something forward or explore something new. You make it. You find it.

Keep writing. Keep networking.

Superior Donuts is on CBS Mondays at 9pm. Howard's first episode, "Sofia's Choice," airs January 15th.

Read the Interview on Script Pipeline

December 2017 Script Sales

Closing out 2017, Hollywood slowed down in December on account of the holiday season. Warner Bros. and Safehouse Pictures picked up Leo Sardarian's sci-fi/action spec The Expansion Project. The script follows a rookie female marine who ends up stranded on a planet. San Andreas's Brad Peyton is attached to direct. Guillermo del Toro's Del Toro Productions is teaming with Fox Searchlight and Phantom Four Films to produce the supernatural horror/thriller Antlers. Written by Nick Antosca and Henry Chaisson, the spec follows a young teacher who discovers a deadly supernatural secret connected to the father of one of her students. Hostiles director Scott Cooper is currently in talks. Rickey Castleberry and Zimran Jacob's college comedy Swag has found a home with Estevan/Sheen Productions. Kevin Pollack to direct.

Other script sales:

- Rashida Jones to adapt the graphic novel Goldie Vance for Twentieth Century Fox. Jones will also direct.

- Mairghread Scott to write the animated feature Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors for Marvel Entertainment.

- Guillermo del Toro will write and direct an adaptation of the noir thriller Nightmare Alley for Fox Searchlight.

- Greg Pierce to adapt Hannah Kent's novel Burial Rights. Jennifer Lawrence is attached to produce/star, and Call Me By Your Name's Luca Guadagnino will direct.

- Joel David Moore to write/direct an adaption of Huh Jung's Hide and Seek for CJ Entertainment.

- Mark L. Smith has been tapped to script a new Star Trek movie, based on an idea from Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino will possibly direct.

Read More Script Sales

SMILF - Pilot

For the better part of a decade, the half-hour dramedy has been a staple of premium cable. Led by shows like Sex and the City and Weeds, many of these series combine biting humor, sympathetic yet edgy female leads, and serious themes. Often, this combination can be a delicate balancing act, and even the best dramedies can occasionally fall too far on the comedy–drama continuum and cause tonal whiplash. It takes truly talented writers, directors, and actors to keep this balance intact.

That’s part of the reason why SMILF is so impressive. Created by and starring Frankie Shaw (who also directed the pilot), SMILF follows Shaw’s Bridgett Bird, a 20-something single mother in Boston. The title stands for “Single Mother I’d Like to...” (you can probably complete the rest), but don’t let that stop you—the title betrays what is ultimately a realistic portrayal of single motherhood with a tone that, although comedic, feels true to life. Throughout the series, Bridgette tries to navigate life as she balances work and her audition schedule, attempts to have a normal sex life, worries that her sex life will never be normal again, struggles to pay the bills, and acts like she’s fine with her ex and his new girlfriend all while raising a toddler mostly as a single mother. Bridgette is an easy character to sympathize with, and every plot point is in service of her wants and herself as a person.

Although much changed between Shaw’s original draft and the final product, the framework for the series can be clearly seen in the script, and if anything, the changes helped refine Bridgette, her goals, and her relationships with those around her. Each of the series’ actors brings it—Shaw fully and perfectly embodies Bridgette, and the supporting cast (which includes Miguel Gomez, Samara Weaving, Rosie O’Donnell, and Connie Britton) also deliver.

Ultimately, SMILF is an exquisitely funny show that doubles as an honest, unapologetic look at a character we hardly see.

Read the SMILF Pilot

Script Pipeline Workshop Notes - Screenplays and Pilots

Established in 2000, the Script Pipeline Workshop is one of the longest-running notes services in the industry, offering feedback on screenplays, pilots, and pitches for film and television. Hundreds of writers each year, from beginners to professionals, benefit from the expertise of a small, seasoned group of development execs, many of whom are active writers and producers themselves.

"My advice to aspiring writers is to keep getting (and incorporating) Script Pipeline Development Notes. Why? Because there are certain techniques that won’t make sense until your writing skills and the script itself reach a certain level. I did this with 2011 Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Diamond Payback, and it was the best screenwriting 'course' I ever took."
- Craig Weeden, Screenwriter (Painkiller JaneDiamond Payback)

Any genre or format accepted. We review everything from partially completed scripts to production-ready final drafts. Writers may also request a critique on supplemental materials (such as a TV show bible, synopsis, or logline), as well as follow up with their reader with additional questions on the feedback.

Together with our competitions, the Workshop is another outlet to funnel upper-echelon projects to an array of industry contacts and shepherd scripts into production.

"Script Pipeline gives the best notes--period. Whenever I'm struggling with a project, their staff never fails to provide feedback that elevates the story. They take their commitment to "Recommended" writers, contest winners, and finalists incredibly seriously, and do an amazing job of getting those scripts out into the world."
- Greg Wayne, Contest Winner and "Recommend" Writer

*contest entrants receive a discounted rate on General Reviews; add-on notes available during registration for any competition

Development Notes | General Review

Upcoming Competition Deadlines & Dates

2018 First Look Project - Special Deadline: January 15th

2018 Screenwriting Competition - Early Deadline: March 1st

2018 TV Writing Competition - Early Deadline: March 1st

2018 Great Movie Idea Contest - Next Season Opens in February

2018 Great TV Show Idea Contest - Next Season Opens in February

2018 Student Writing Competition - Returning 2018

Launching January 15th. 

Film Pipeline will spotlight both a short script and short film competition intended to find extraordinary directors as well as distinguished projects that merit financing and production.

Similar to Script Pipeline's process of facilitation, contest selections are circulated to agencies, producers, and managers looking for emerging directors, proof-of-concept or standalone shorts, and filmmakers across a broad spectrum of backgrounds. Unlike a typical festival, Film Pipeline promotes individual directors and plays an active role in getting content produced and distributed. 

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Script Pipeline is a division of Pipeline Media Group, LLC