Top 10 Screenplay Contests Around the World

Do you have a story burning a hole in your mind, begging to be told on the silver screen? If you’re a screenwriter ready to take your work to the next level, consider submitting your work to a screenplay contest. These competitions offer aspiring writers valuable opportunities like:

  • Exposure: Get your script in front of film industry professionals like producers, agents, and managers.
  • Validation: Receive feedback and recognition for your work from experienced readers.
  • Prizes: Win cash awards, fellowships, or even production deals to bring your vision to life.


But with so many film contests out there, choosing the right one can be daunting. To help you navigate the options, here is a curated list of 10 top screenplay contests across the globe:

. Academy Nicholl Fellowship: This prestigious competition, run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars!), awards fellowships of $35,000 to five winning writers. While competitive, it’s a dream opportunity for any aspiring screenwriter.

. Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition (USA): Offering cash prizes, film industry feedback, and film industry networking opportunities, this competition is known for its support of diverse voices and stories.

. PAGE International Screenwriting Awards (USA): This diverse competition offers multiple categories for features, shorts, and TV pilots. It provides comprehensive written feedback and is recognized for its fair judging process.

. Sundance Screenwriters Lab (USA): This esteemed program selects a small group of writers for an intensive development workshop with renowned mentors. While highly competitive, it can be a life-changing experience for chosen participants.

BlueCat Screenplay Competition (International): This international competition welcomes screenplays in various genres. They offer cash prizes, script consultations, and industry connections, making it a great choice for writers of all backgrounds.

. Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest (International): If your passion lies in television, this contest is for you. It offers cash prizes, script coverage, and potential representation from top agencies for writers of TV pilots.

.Cinestory Foundation Fellowship (USA): More than just a contest, this program provides a year-long fellowship with mentorship, workshops, and industry meetings. It’s particularly valuable for writers seeking in-depth guidance and career development.

. Script Pipeline (International): This online platform offers numerous screenplay contests with diverse categories and entry fees. It’s a good option for writers seeking specific genre recognition or feedback.

. Austin Screenwriting Competition (USA): This established competition provides cash prizes, industry feedback, and access to workshops and seminars. It’s known for its supportive community and focus on helping writers improve their craft.

. Tracking Board Launch Pad Pilots Competition (USA): For aspiring television writers, this contest offers cash prizes, script coverage, and potential representation from top agencies. It’s a stepping stone for those aiming to break into the world of television.

Remember, the “best” contest depends on your specific needs and goals. Research each competition, read submission guidelines carefully, and choose the ones that align with your genre, budget, and aspirations. Good luck, and happy writing!