2024 Screenwriting Contest

Early Deadline: FRIDAY

SUBMIT

Winner Receives:
$20,000 | industry circulation | long-term script development

The 22nd Annual Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition connects talented writers with production companies, agencies, and managers. As one of the longest-running and most successful screenplay contests, we focus specifically on finding writers representation, supporting diverse voices, championing ambitious storytelling, helping finance independent projects, and pushing original projects into production.

The company’s unique process—consisting of long-term, 1-on-1 development, extensive promotion, and circulation of material—gives our selected writers proper guidance to advance their careers.

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.

"I was about to give up on this script and stick it in a drawer ... then I placed as a finalist in Script Pipeline, and that all changed. More has happened for my career in the month after placing than in all the months preceding it."
- Crosby Selander, Screenwriting Finalist
(sold Bring Me Back to Legendary for seven figures)

Script Pipeline selects five finalists and, from that group, one winner to receive:

  • $20,000 to winner; $1,000 to each finalist
  • Introductions to managers, producers, agents, directors, and other execs searching for screenplays
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's team
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material
  • Long-term script circulation to industry and continual guidance connecting with companies
  • Invitations to private events and Symposium panels hosted by Pipeline

Plus: all Quarterfinalists and Semifinalists receive general feedback on their work from Script Pipeline's development execs and consideration for industry circulation post-contest.

DEADLINES

Early: This Friday - $50
Regular: May 1st, 2024 - $60

Submissions may also be made on:

      

There are four rounds of selections: Quarterfinalists, Semifinalists, Finalists, and from the top 5 Finalists, one Grand Prize Winner.

- Monetary Awards -

Grand Prize Winner - $20,000

Finalists (remaining 4) - $1,000 each

- Announcement Dates -

Quarterfinalists (up to top 70): July 10th, 2024

Semifinalists (up to top 30): July 20th, 2024

Finalists (5): August 1st, 2024

Grand Prize Winner: August 10th, 2024

General feedback is provided for Quarterfinalists and Semifinalists following the end of the season, plus consideration for industry circulation and longer-term assistance from Pipeline.

The Grand Prize Winner and four remaining Finalists also receive the following:

  • Introductions to managers, producers, agents, directors, and other execs searching for screenplays
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's team
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material
  • Long-term script circulation to industry and continual guidance connecting with companies
  • Invitations to private events and Symposium panels hosted by Pipeline

*finalists are also awarded a copy of Final Draft 13 software, from our partners at Final Draft

Judging is based primarily on the overall quality of the script, including storytelling ability and fundamental components (e.g. dialogue, plot, structure, and character). Concept marketability/producibility, originality, and writing style are also weighed to various degrees.

Our best piece of advice is to submit material that highlights your distinct voice—what separates your script from the norm? Although we're strict on judging and only work with a select group of writers annually, all types of genres and styles are fair game. In the past, finalist and winning scripts have ranged from microbudget indies, to true stories, big-budget sci-fi, straight genre pieces, low-concept, high-concept, and everything in-between.

Being selected as a Quarterfinalist or higher means that we feel the script has potential, the writing is above average, and it's a project we're confident in helping further develop and promote to industry.

All contest judges are comprised of our in-house Script Pipeline development execs and senior-level staff. We do not, it should be noted, use unpaid interns or volunteers, or seasonal readers ...

Basic guidelines:

  • The cover page should include the title, but can remove any contact information (name, email address, etc.). Your entry won't be disqualified if you submit a cover page that includes contact info. Logline and genre on the cover page is preferred for us, but not required.
  • Co-writers are allowed.
  • PDF strongly preferred. All software should have a convert to PDF function, including Final Draft, Celtx, and others.
  • Script should be a feature-length screenplay. All genres are allowed, and there are no maximum length requirements.
  • Script Pipeline Screenwriting or TV Writing winners, runners-up, and finalists since 2020 are not eligible.
  • No limit on the number of entries. Each entry is a separate fee.
  • All rights to the material remain with the entrant, whether they place as a finalist or not.
  • The script entered must not have been produced in its full form. Produced short films based on the script are a-ok.
  • Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age at time of entry.

View complete rules and guidelines

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.

Some of the industry reviewing Finalists:

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

WHAT ARE THE DEADLINE DATES?

Early: March 1st, 2024 - $50
Regular: May 1st, 2024 - $60

ARE NOTES INCLUDED?

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

View sample

WHAT ARE THE ANNOUNCEMENT DATES?

Quarterfinalists: July 10th, 2024
Semifinalists: July 20th, 2024

The top 10 finalists are posted to the site on August 1st, 2024 and one Grand Prize Winner and Runner-up is announced on August 10th.

IF I MAKE UPDATES TO MY SCRIPT AFTER ENTERING, DO I HAVE TO RE-REGISTER AND PAY A NEW ENTRY FEE?

At no extra fee, writers may submit a new draft at any time up until the late deadline of May 31st, 2024. Yes, this is atypical. Yes, we're (probably) the only contest that does that. Updated drafts may be emailed to us direct.

SHOULD I PUT CONTACT INFO ON THE COVER PAGE?

It's not required. Logline and genre on the title page is preferred, but also not required.

IF I PLACE AS A FINALIST OR WINNER, DO I RETAIN THE RIGHTS TO MY SCRIPT?

Yes. All rights to the material remain with the writer, regardless of whether or not they win or place.

CAN INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ENTER?

Yes. Every year, we discover great new scripts from writers in Australia, Canada, the UK, South America ... everywhere. All Pipeline competitions are open to writers worldwide.

CAN I SUBMIT TO OTHER CONTESTS OR COMPANIES AFTER ENTERING?

Yes. There are no restrictions on submitting to other writing competitions, or sending your script elsewhere while entered in the contest. If your script is optioned while in competition, you'll still be eligible as long as you submitted prior to the option or shopping agreement. If it's sold during competition, we can pull the entry.

ARE WRITING TEAMS ACCEPTED?

Two or more writers are fine. Only one writer needs to register. If the script is selected as a Quarterfinalist, all co-writer names will be added to the announcement at that time.

WILL YOU ACCEPT SHORT SCRIPTS OR PITCHES?

Only feature-length scripts are accepted. Pitches may be submitted to our bi-annual Pitch Competition. Short scripts may be submitted to Film Pipeline.

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