Next Deadline:
December 31st, 2019 ($40/entry)

Winner Receives:
$25,000 | long-term industry circulation | script development

The 13th Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition is searching for extraordinary television writers and original, compelling pilots for exposure to production companies, agencies, and managers. Together with the Screenwriting Competition, Script Pipeline cultivates relationships with the industry's leading executives, focused specifically on finding writers representation, supporting diverse voices, championing marketable, unique storytelling, and pushing more original projects into production. Script Pipeline contest winners have optioned pilots and been staffed on major network shows, including Howard Jordan Jr., who wrote for Superior Donuts, Netflix's Family Reunion, and the CBS sitcom The Unicorn.

The company’s intensive process, consisting of long-term writer development and widespread circulation of material, gives Script Pipeline writers access to some of the top industry execs worldwide. $7 million in screenplays and pilots have been sold by competition finalists and "Recommend" writers, with several scripts produced since 1999. As of summer 2019, over 10 films and series from Script Pipeline writers are in active development or production, with some due for release later this year.

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

  • $25,000 to winner, $2,500 to runner-up
  • Introductions to managers, producers, agents, directors, and others searching for TV writers
  • Long-term script circulation to industry and continual guidance connecting with companies
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's senior execs
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material for industry exposure
  • Invitations to writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

All entrants may request a no-cost call with our Creative Executive, who can answer general questions on the industry or the Script Pipeline process.

Deadline Dates
Pre-registration: December 31st, 2019 – $40
Early: March 1st, 2020 - $55
Regular: May 1st, 2020 - $60
Late: May 15th, 2020 - $70

Enter the 2020 season by filling out the form on the right-hand side of this page. Writers may register at any time. There is no additional fee to send an updated draft from now until the regular May 1st deadline.

Entries also accepted via:

    

"In a matter of hours, Script Pipeline achieved what I’d been trying to do for years: they got my foot in the door. . . and changed my life in more ways than I could have imagined."
- Justin Daries James, TV Contest Winner (Powerhouse)

Tripper Clancy Sells Stuber and Multiple Specs to Studios

Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner in 2009 before selling several specs.

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, the Amazon film High Five, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro, and an adaptation of The Art of Fielding for Mandalay / IMG. He also sold additional specs The Ambassadors and Winter Break.

His first 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).

Fox Buys Show from Script Pipeline Contest Runner-up

Runner-up in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition, Laura Bensick sold her show Everyday Insanity to Fox. Ken Olin (This is Us) and Sterling K. Brown producing. The drama series addresses mental illness within three different families who come together to form one supportive group.

Laura placed with the hourlong drama The Mother in the 2016 Script Pipeline season, besting over 2,500 other pilots. In 2019, Bensick’s autobiographical play Life in Paradox, premiered in Los Angeles.

Everyday Insanity is Laura’s first TV show sale.

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

SWATHposter2016After 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 has 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, as well as writing and producing roles with NBC's Midnight, Mass. and the series Five Ghosts, 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, and Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan, which is in development with Vinson Films and Disney.

Script Pipeline Winner becomes Acclaimed Indie Hit

Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek was produced with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk served as producers.

The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It was released in January 2019.

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition before being picked up by Cinestate. Writer Henry Dunham was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Lit Entertainment and UTA.

Top critics from The Hollywood ReporterSlashFilm, and others praised Henry's directorial debut, and Rolling Stone selected Standoff as one of the top 10 films to see in January 2019.

Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Screenplay

The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel by Evan Daugherty was 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 competition winner to get produced.

Following quarterfinalist and semifinalist judging rounds, 10 finalists are chosen by July 1st, 2020. From those 10, we select one Grand Prize Winner and one Runner-up, announced in late July.

Grand Prize Winner (1) - July 27th, 2020

  • $25,000
  • Immediate circulation to Script Pipeline partners

Runner-up (1) - July 27th, 2020

  • $2,500
  • Immediate circulation to Script Pipeline partners

Finalists (10) - July 1st, 2020

Semifinalists (up to top 1% of submissions) - June 23rd, 2020

Quarterfinalists (up to top 3% of submissions) - June 15th, 2020

The Grand Prize Winner, Runner-up, and Finalists receive the following:

  • Introductions to managers, producers, agents, directors, and others searching for screenplays
  • Long-term script circulation to industry and continual assistance connecting with companies
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's senior execs
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material for industry exposure
  • Invitations to writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

"While I knew Script Pipeline would help circulate my script, the amount of attention they gave my pilot, my other material, and me was mind-blowing. I wouldn't be here without them."
- Sara Monge, TV Writing Contest Finalist


 

Script Pipeline has cultivated relationships with a number of production companies, managers, agents, directors, independent producers, and other executives over the past two decades, leading to several success stories annually.

Industry reviewing 2020 finalists include:

"The Script Pipeline team went above and beyond to help find the right home for my TV pilot. I didn't have representation, and yet they managed to get my script to one of the most sought-after studios. No other contest works harder for its finalists."
- Jenny Raftery, TV Writing Contest Finalist

Script Pipeline's judging 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. Best piece of advice we can give all writers is to submit material that highlights your unique voice--what separates your script from the pack. Although we're strict on judging, all types of genres and styles are fair game. In the past, winning scripts have ranged from animated comedies, to microbudget indies, to dramas, true stories, and everything in-between. We're simply looking for stellar writing.

Basic guidelines:

  • Cover page should include the title only. Remove any contact information (name, email address, etc.) on the script. Logline and genre on the title page as well is preferred, but not required. If contact info is left on the script, we'll adjust the file accordingly—the writer will not be disqualified.
  • Co-writers are allowed. Just list each writer's name when registering your script.
  • PDF preferred, but will accept Final Draft and other file formats.
  • Script should be for a half-hour or hour-long series, original pilot or spec of a currently running show. 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 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.
  • Electronic submissions only.

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.
  • No restrictions on money earned as a writer, as long as the script entered has not been sold and is not under option at the time of entry.

View complete rules and guidelines

"Having no connections to the industry and needing some quality feedback, I turned to high-level contests like Script Pipeline. From the day I became a finalist, they've championed my work and sent it to a long list of industry members. Even through reputation alone, I’ve gotten requests to read my script."
- Sommer Rusinski, TV Writing Contest Finalist

WHAT ARE THE DEADLINE DATES?

Deadline dates are as follows. Note that you may register early for the reduced entry fee and send the script in later.

Pre-registration: December 31st, 2019 – $40
Early: March 1st, 2020 - $55
Regular: May 1st, 2020 - $60
Late: May 15th, 2020 - $70

WHAT ARE THE ANNOUNCEMENT DATES?

2020 quarterfinalists and semifinalists are selected in June. The top 10 finalists are posted to the site on July 1st, and one Grand Prize Winner and Runner-up is announced on July 27th.

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

No. You may submit an updated draft any time between now and May 1st, 2020 at no additional cost. Scripts may be emailed to our coordinator.

CAN INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ENTER?

Yes. Applicants outside the US are welcome to enter 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 kept separate from the actual judging process.

*Feedback is sent by July when judging wraps

WILL YOU ACCEPT TV SERIES PITCHES?

Only scripts are accepted. This includes hourlong, half-hour, and digital or short-form series scripts. Pitches may be submitted to our Great TV Show Idea Competition.

SHOULD I PUT CONTACT INFO ON THE COVER PAGE?

Cover page should include the title, but remove any contact information (name, email address, etc.) from the script. Logline and genre on the title page as well is preferred, but not required.

If your contact info is left on the script, we'll adjust the file accordingly—the writer will not be disqualified. However, we can replace any previous version with one you have updated.

IS THE FIELD LIMITED TO BEGINNING WRITERS AND AMATEURS?

No. Writers may have sold or optioned material in the past. However, the script you're entering must not currently be under option and must not have been previously produced.

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 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.

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.

Contact our contest coordinator with any other questions.

2020 TV Writing Contest

December 31st, 2019 - Pre-register Deadline

$40.00

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