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The Best Screenplay Competitions with Feedback Included for Free

By April 22, 2020No Comments


Even if you don’t win a screenplay competition, the written feedback on your project can be well worth the entry fee. 

Read on for more details about how to enter, along with other screenplay competitions that provide free feedback with your entry fee.

WeScreenplay Shorts Screenwriting Contest

The WeScreenplay Shorts Competition is dedicated to connecting talented short film writers with Oscar-nominated short film directors and creators for advice on how to create emotionally impactful storytelling in short-form content.

Judges included:

  • Vincent Lambe, Irish film director, screenwriter and producer. Lambe received acclaim for directing the 2018 short film Detainment, which is about the murder of James Bulger. The film earned him a 2019 Academy Award nomination.
  • Bryan Buckley, Academy Award nominated American film director, commercial director, and screenwriter. He has been dubbed “The King of the Super Bowl” by the New York Times. He has directed 63 Super Bowl Commercials over the course of his career.
  • Yves Piat, French writer and filmmaker, best known for his short film Nefta Football Club for which he received critical acclaim and was nominated for the 2020 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film and 2020 César Award for Best Short Film.
  • Marie-Hélène Panisset, producer of the 2019 Academy Award-nominated short film MARGUERITE. Additionally, she was a line producer on the 2009 film The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt.
  • Maria Gracia Turgeon, producer of the 2020 Academy Award-nominated short film BROTHERHOOD. She had also previously worked on the Academy Award-nominated feature BROOKLYN.

Late Deadline: June 15th, 2020

Click here to learn more

WeScreenplay Diverse Voices 2020 Screenwriting Lab

Open to women, writers of color, writers with disabilities, writers over 40, writers in the LGBTQ+ community, and others that Hollywood historically has ignored. Entrants can submit features, TV pilots, web series and shorts. All grand-prize winners receive airfare and lodging for a four-night in-person screenwriting lab experience in Los Angeles, as well as mentorship, meetings, and development with industry executives and professional writers.

Past jury included:

  • Jen Ray, literary manager at Heroes and Villains Entertainment
  • Jacquelina DeMarco Jones, a manager/producer with Cartel
  • Ryan Mickels, an executive for Universal Content Production

Next Season Opens on:  July 15th, 2020


WeScreenplay Television Pilot Screenwriting Contest

The WeScreenplay Television Screenwriting Competition’s mission is to discover and expose new talent to the entertainment industry. This competition strives to provide industry exposure and support to television screenwriters who are looking to have their stories told.

Previous judges included:

  • Daniel Wolfberg, an executive for Comedy Central who has worked on Idiotsitter, Drunk History, and Jeff & Some Aliens. His expertise on getting projects green-lit is what turns scripts into television shows.

Opens for entries: May 15th, 2020


WeScreenplay Feature Screenwriting Contest:

Typically opening around October, WeScreenplay’s flagship feature contest awards more than $20,000 in prizes, along with free written feedback and access to judges’ scores.


Save the Cat! Screenplay Challenge: 

All entrants receive a 50-point analysis report adapted from the Save the Cat! Greenlight Checklist in the book Save the Cat! Strikes Back by Blake Snyder. Open to feature-length scripts and 60-minute TV scripts. A grand-prize winner receives a three-day trip to LA complete with accommodations, a live table read, and a pitch to an LA production company. Five top finalists receive a meeting with one of the judges, along with a listing on InkTip and Save the Cat! software.
Deadlines: March 20 (extended)
Entry fee: $136 to $149


Shore Scripts Short Film Fund:

Open to short scripts, animation, and proof-of-concept shorts for TV pilots and features, this contest awards production financing to one grand-prize winner with a budget of $10,000 to $15,000, including free camera rental, plus a free pass to the Raindance Film Festival in London. Five top finalists receive an exclusive feedback report from one of the judges and a free copy of Final Draft.
Deadlines: March 31 (regular); May 2 (final)
Entry fee: $40 to $50


Austin Film Festival Script Competition:

All entrants receive about a paragraph of detailed, constructive notes from this long-running competition’s professional script readers, enough to provide insight into the reader’s reaction to your project. Cash prizes range from $1,000 to $5,000. Enter a feature (drama, comedy, sci-fi, or horror), a short, or a teleplay.
Deadlines: March 27 (early); April 17 (regular); May 15 (final)
Entry fee: $35 to $70, depending on length of project and deadline


Slamdance Screenplay Competition:

Open Feb. 19, this contest gives entrants short feedback with a suggested logline and welcomes screenplays in every genre. The 2019 grand-prize winner received $8,000 in cash; winners in the feature, horror, TV pilot and shorts categories each received $2,000. The top three screenwriters in all categories also receive passes to the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Deadlines: April 6 (early); June 8 (regular); July 20 (final)
Entry fee: $25 to $90, depending on length of project and deadline

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Valerie Kalfrin is an award-winning crime journalist who now dives into fictional mayhem as an author (Quicklet on The Closer: Season 1), essayist, film critic, screenwriter, and emerging script consultant. She also writes for The Guardian, Bright Wall Dark Room, ScreenCraft, Hazlitt, Signature, and the blog for Final Draft, the top-rated screenwriting software used by the filmmaking industry. A member of Screenwriters of Tomorrow, she’s collaborated on short films and features, and she’s affiliated with the Tampa Bay Film Society. She lives in Florida. Find her online at

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