2024 Pitch Contest (Winter/Spring)

Early Deadline: April 20th, 2024

SUBMIT NOW

Winner Receives
$2,500 | extensive script development | industry circulation

The bi-annual 2024 Script Pipeline Pitch Contest is searching for original feature film and TV series ideas to be developed into screenplays and pilots—relevant, diverse, higher-concept stories that could find a home in the current landscape.

One Grand Prize Winner is chosen to receive $2,500 and additional long-term assistance with our in-house creative execs to help develop the script from the ground up. When the work is ready for circulation, we send to specific producers and reps who might align with the material.

All writers retain the rights to their pitch and script. Any genre or budget range, studio-level or indie, is accepted.

*NOTE: as this competition is focused on developing scripts one-on-one with film and TV writers, only submit pitches. Completed scripts may be entered in other Pipeline competitions.

Over $8 million in screenplays and pilots have been sold by Script Pipeline writers as well as numerous scripts produced since 1999, a notable list that includes studio films Stuber by Tripper Clancy and Snow White and the Huntsman by Evan Daugherty. Pipeline Screenwriting finalist Bring Me Back by Crosby Selander sold to Legendary in 2020 for seven figures—one of the all-time biggest spec sales by an unproduced writer. Helen Gaughran's winning script Visitation was produced in 2023, starring Olivia Cooke (House of the Dragon) and Isla Johnston (The Queen’s Gambit). Several Pipeline writers have made The Black List recently, such as Elad Ziv's Court 17, Cauliflower by Daniel Jackson, and Pure by Catherine Schetina, the latter two securing the #1 spot. And writers have signed with multiple top managers and agents over the years, landing with reps at Bellevue, UTA, Kaplan/Perrone, Alibi Management, and more following Script Pipeline development and introductions. View notable success stories.

DEADLINES

Early: April 20th, 2024 - $30
Regular: June 20th, 2024 - $35

Submissions may also be made on:

    


Grand Prize Winner (1) - $2,500: July 31st, 2024

The winner also receives:

  • Extensive development and assistance in completing a screenplay or pilot
  • Long-term script circulation to industry and continual guidance connecting with companies
  • Review of additional pitches and completed film or TV material for industry consideration
  • Invitations to private events and Symposium panels hosted by Pipeline

Script Pipeline's criteria is based primarily on the overall originality and relevancy of the concept, preferably hitting a "Goldilocks zone" between commercial/mainstream and something wholly new and different.

We're open to all types of pitches across any genre. Keep in mind, movie and TV entries compete against one another, so if you aren't sure what medium your idea fits best, that's okay.

In the past, selected ideas have ranged from lower-budget indies, to big-budget studio films, to animation, biopics, true stories, weird experimental stuff, and high-concept, mainstream genre material. Anything that feels fresh and universally appealing is fair game.

We highly recommend writers submit more detailed summaries spotlighting the elements that make your project distinct: why this concept, why these themes, and in many cases regarding stories in the public domain or "lower concept" pitches, why you, the writer, are most apt to write that story and what singular vision you can offer.

Oftentimes the concept comes across best in the form of a pitch deck, but that's not a requirement.

Some guidelines:

  • Must submit a full story synopsis and logline, at minimum. This can range from a page in length to a full treatment or pitch deck. We don't necessarily judge on format, we judge on the idea itself. The best format is usually comprised of a logline, a page-long summary, and any other comments on the originality of the premise or personal connection to the subject matter, if applicable.
  • Do not send full-length screenplays—pitches ONLY.
  • Must be for a scripted film or TV series. No reality, documentary, or game show ideas.
  • Previous Screenwriting, TV Writing, First Look Project, and Pitch Contest winners and finalists (since 2021) are ineligible.

View complete rules and guidelines here

Script Pipeline has cultivated relationships with over 250 production companies, managers, agents, directors, independent producers, networks, and other executives over the past 25 years, leading to multiple writers signed, scripts making the Black List, specs sold, and films produced.

A sampling of the industry reviewing Pipeline material:

*FOR INDUSTRY: request to read Script Pipeline winners and finalists through our Scout platform.

WHAT ARE DEADLINE DATES AND ENTRY FEES?

Early: April 20th, 2024 - $30
Regular: June 20th, 2024 - $35
Late: June 30th, 2024 - $40

WHAT IF I WANT TO SEND A PITCH FOR A FINISHED SCRIPT?

If you'd like to submit a pitch based on one of your existing scripts, that's fine! And if you're selected as winner or runner-up, we would use that draft as a starting point (if it needs further polishing) for development. But only send the pitch itself as your entry.

Completed scripts may be submitted to Screenwriting, TV Writing, or the First Look Project.

HOW DOES THIS WORK? 

The Pitch Competition is development-centric. Meaning: Script Pipeline develops the script one-on-one with our winner and runner-up before considering for industry. This could take a few weeks, or a few months, or a year. Really depends on the writer and the script. But once the material is up-to-speed, we strategize with the writer and send to select production companies and managers (or other execs) for review.

If the script doesn't land somewhere right away, we keep on hand for industry over the long-term.

Additionally—and perhaps most importantly—our team may review and help develop other pitches and scripts for future circulation. That approach is our hallmark across all Pipeline divisions and has been massively successful over the years, having connected writers with top management and production companies based off their other projects.

In short, we're very collaborative with our writers, and support their careers as much as we're able ...

IS MY IDEA PROTECTED? WILL I RETAIN THE RIGHTS TO THE IDEA?

All rights remain with the writer, regardless of the final contest results.

No one outside of Script Pipeline's team of judges will review your entry without the writer's permission. For the winner, we don't send out their completed script until we have their consent and mutually deem the project "circulation ready."

ARE NOTES INCLUDED?

Written feedback is not included on entries, but entrants may add general one-page notes as an optional service during registration for a reduced rate ($65 instead of our Workshop rate of $75). Feedback is kept separate from judging—meaning you'll have a different executive reviewing your contest entry, and the notes have no bearing on the judging process.

View sample here

HOW SHOULD I FORMAT MY ENTRY?

A logline and full synopsis is required, detailing the story's beginning, middle, and end. This can be brief, anywhere from 1-3 pages is typical. Pitch decks (any length) are also more than welcome. If you're unclear on the details of what goes into a pitch deck, you're in luck—we have a Pipeline Artists Symposium event available for streaming here.

CAN INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ENTER?

Yes. As with all Pipeline competitions, anyone worldwide can enter.

IF I WIN, DO I NEED THE COMPLETED SCREENPLAY OR PILOT?

Not at all ...

If you do, great (head start on development!), but it won't affect the outcome of the contest. We're just looking for original concepts, primed for the current marketplace. Our development team will assist in refining the pitch and getting you started on the script itself. While that might indicate the competition is open only to screenwriters, it's not: we'll help you develop a first-ever draft of a screenplay or pilot, as we've done with authors, playwrights, and other storytellers in the past.

IF I'M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR, CAN I SUBMIT A PITCH FOR MY BOOK?

You can. But we'd recommend instead submitting to the Book Pipeline Adaptation competition, which is open exclusively to published novels, nonfiction, and short stories.

Contact our contest coordinator with any other questions.

Finalist Sold Spec in Seven-Figure Deal

Crosby Selander's finalist script Bring Me Back sold to Legendary Entertainment in 2020 after a bidding war. The deal landed in the seven figures, making it one of the most lucrative spec sales in years—and one of the few specs in Hollywood history for over $1 million from an unproduced writer.

After placing in the top 10 of the Screenwriting season, Bring Me Back was circulated to several Pipeline industry partners, with Kaplan/Perrone signing Crosby.

Pipeline judges called the script a "wonderfully sprawling genre hybrid ... expertly drawn by a writer with a profound understanding of the human condition."

Winning Screenplay Visitation Produced, Releasing in 2024

Helen Gaughran's Visitation, winner of the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition and First Look Project, went into production in January 2023, with Nicolas Pesce directing. The cast includes Olivia Cooke (House of the DragonSound of Metal), Isla Johnston (The Queen’s Gambit), Stephen Rea (Interview with the Vampire), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), and Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey).

Entertainment One, Blinder Films, and Rumble Films producing.

After winning the 2019 Screenwriting season and getting wide circulation to industry execs, Helen signed with UTA. A unanimous choice for both the Screenwriting Competition and genre-specific First Look Project, Script Pipeline execs called Visitation "a haunting depiction of this time and place," "a refreshing, grounded twist on the genre," and "one of the most impactful scripts we've ever read from a new, rising screenwriter."

The horror will be Helen's first produced film.

Tripper Clancy Sold Specs to Fox, Wrote for Multiple Series

Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner in 2011 before selling several specs to studios.

A few months after the Screenwriting Competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material. Later, he was hired to write the animated feature Shedd for Paramount, Stranded for Sony, the Amazon film High Five, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro, and an adaptation of The Art of Fielding for Mandalay / IMG. He sold two specs in that span: The Ambassadors and Winter Break.

Tripper's first produced studio feature, Stuber (2019) sold in the mid-six figures. The action-comedy stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Mira Sorvino, and Betty Gilpin (Glow)Following the release of Stuber, he was brought on to write the Varsity Blues reboot and joined the staff of the Netflix series I am Not Okay With This, starring Sophia Lillis (It).

He's the co-creator, writer, and co-producer as well of the series Die Hart, starring Kevin Hart, Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), and John Travolta.

One of the Biggest Spec Sales in History from Script Pipeline Winner

After introductions by Script Pipeline to management, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3.25 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales of all-time and subsequently turned Evan into one of the most in-demand writers in Hollywood. The film grossed $450 million worldwide.

Shortly following the contest win, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite the adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of Snow White.

Amongst selling a pilot pitch, Evan wrote the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, produced by Michael Bay. Other studio projects: the adaptation of YA novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment, starring Shailene Woodley and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet, the Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander, a reimagining of the cult hit Anaconda, and Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan. In 2023, he was tapped to write The Ultimate Weapon for Allen Media.

His 2008 winning script Shrapnel was also turned into the film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta. Corsan and Millennium Films helmed the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development. It was the first Script Pipeline winner to get produced.

TV Contest Runner-up Staffed on Netflix, BET, Fox, and CBS Shows

Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Verve and Lit Entertainment. He went on to write for the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts, followed by the CBS comedy The Unicorn, Netflix's Family Reunion, where he won a WGA Award, then joined the staff of the BET show Bigger and Fox's Call Me Kat.

SUBMIT NOW