Our objective is to discover and promote quality screenplays of any genre.
Please keep script length to 85-125 pages (standard feature film screenplay length). No TV scripts or stage plays please. Only submit your script in Final Draft, .pdf, or doc/docx (Word) format files. Adapted scripts are fine, provided you own the rights to the material or have legal permission to write a screenplay based on the material. International scripts accepted if they are written in English and payment is provided in US dollars.
The Grand Prize winner, honorable mentions (if any), finalists and semi-finalists will be announced on the ScreenplaySearch.com website. The Grand Prize winning script will be presented to managers, producers, and directors in Los Angeles, New York, and/or London and will receive full script coverage.
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Brendan Quinn's The Wiseacre's Purgatory has been named the winner of the Screenplay Search Screenwriting Competition.
Iris, by Frank Edward Kelly, has been named the winner of the Screenplay Search Screenriting Competition
Jesse James vs. Jack the Ripper, by Alasdair McMullan, has been named the winner of Screenplay Search Competition.
David Minaskanian's Wham, Bam, Merci Ma'am has been named the winner of the Screenplay Search Screenwriting Competition.
The Screenplay Search Screenplay Contest has announced their semifinalists.
An interview with Deborah Baxtrom regarding the Screenplay Search Writing Competition.Q: Who sponsors this contest, and what is their background in the industry? When was the contest founded?
A: Screenplay Search was founded in 2008 by me, Deborah Baxtrom. I have a MFA in screenwriting/directing from Columbia University in New York City. I currently live and work in Los Angeles as a screenwriter, with two feature projects in development. Both have producers and directors attached. I'm also writing on an indie feature that I plan to direct.Q: What role do you play personally in the adminstration of the contest?
A: Actually, Jordan Abramson runs the day to day administration of the contest. He works hard and does a great job of organizing the entries, responding to entrants, and sending the scripts out to our stable of readers. The readers -- who are all excellent, working writers and story analysts -- read and score the scripts. The scripts are scored by two different readers, and those with the highest scores advance to the semi-finals. The readers then read the semi-finalist scripts (different ones than them read before) and score them. Those with the highest overall scores are the finalists. Jordan I and read the finalist scripts and decide the winners. I decide the grand prize winner.Q: Have any of the winning scripts from the contest been sold or produced?
A: Yes, we've had some successes. Jim Patton and Dwayne McKenzie won in the Comedy category in 2009 with their script POWER TRIP. As a result of their win, they signed with management (John Tomko of Rain Management Group). Also, our grand prize winning script in 2009, THE MOJO HAND (also winner in the Period category), sold to Reversal Films. The writers on that script are Marshall Hopkins and Jarad Matula. I can't say for sure if the sale was a direct result of winning our contest, but it certainly didn't hurt, and we clearly picked a winner.Q: Who judges the early rounds of the competition? What are their qualifications? Who judges the final rounds?
A: As noted above, our readers are working screenwriters and/or story analysts in Los Angeles. They've worked for many different companies, including Showtime, SyFy, Promark, etc. We have eight readers that we work with regularly, and several back up readers. I judge the final rounds.Q: Do the early-round judges read the entire script, or do they stop after a certain number of pages?
A: We require our readers to read the entire script. You can't really get a clear idea of how good a script is if you just read the first few pages. That wouldn't be fair to our entrants.Q: Are the judges looking for any specific type of script? Are scripts of a certain genre more likely to do well?
A: We select winners from seven categories: Comedy, Drama, Rom Com, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Period pics, Action/Thriller, and Family. This gives the writers more chances to win. Then we select one of the category winners as the grand prize winner. No particular genre has an advantage. It just depends on the quality of the script.Q: What do you do promote your winning writers, and to publicize their scripts?
A: We have relationships with several industry professionals, including Jeff Belkin (manager) and J. Todd Harris (producer, Branded Entertainment). There are several other managers and directors who have first look, but would rather not be named here. If none of these are a match for a script, we do a wider promotion. We send out the loglines of our winning scripts -- in all categories, not just the grand prize winner. We usually get people asking to read the scripts this way.Q: What advice can you offer to writers entering your contest?
A: Write a good script! Present it in a professional format. Make sure you have an interesting main character, and supporting characters. Structure is important as well. I suppose, for any writer, the cardinal sin is to bore your reader, so be sure you have an entertaining, tightly written story. And show, don't tell. Scripts with a lot of expository dialogue are never as engaging as a script with dynamic visuals. Dialogue should be natural and reveal character, but it should never be used to "tell" the story.