Every entry gets free, written feedback!
Hollywood needs a perspective shift. WeScreenplay is looking for writers with underrepresented and diverse backgrounds with cutting-edge stories. All readers for this program come from diverse backgrounds, and all entrants will be provided with at least a page of written feedback on their script from their first round judge.
Diverse Voices is a screenplay contest and lab that strives to encourage stories that are told from perspectives that are often underrepresented in Hollywood today. This includes writers of color, women writers, writers with disabilities, writers over 40, writers in the LGBTQ+ community, and any other voices that have historically been ignored by Hollywood.
Deadlines and Fees
Early Bird – August 15th, 2020 – $59.99
Regular – September 15th, 2020 – $69.99
Final – October 15th, 2020 – $79.99
*all entry fees include written feedback
**upgrade to WeScreenplay Classic Coverage for only $49.99
Semifinalists – November 15th, 2020 – Top 20%
Finalists – December 15th, 2020 – Top 5%
Winners – January 20th, 2021 – Top 3-4
Grand Prize Winners
Top 3 – 4
Cash value of ~$2,500
- Los Angeles Mentorship Trip | Flight and lodging for four nights in Los Angeles with mentors to develop your work
- Project Distribution to Producers, Agents, and Managers
- Three (3) Free Classic Coverages to be used before the Lab Experience
- Free entrance to any WeScreenplay Competition
Cash value of ~$85
- Free entrance to any WeScreenplay Competition
The Diverse Voices Screenwriting Lab Experience
The Grand Prize Winners will be flown to Los Angeles and put up in an iconic LA Hotel for a Diverse Voices Four-Day Screenwriting Lab. The Lab will include hands-on development with industry executives, WeScreenplay staff, writers, and each other. It’ll also include meetings with executives and managers about the writers, their career, and their projects in development.
Beyond that, the winners’ work will be strategically sent to producers, agents, and managers with whom WeScreenplay has a relationship. All Finalists will be publicly recognized through our website and e-mail lists.
Past winners have signed at Gotham Group, Heroes and Villains, and Industry Entertainment. Check out more successes here.
Check out our Jury
Joy Ganes, President of Tracy Yvonne Productions
Joy is the President of Tracy Oliver’s (GIRLS TRIP, FIRST WIVES CLUB) production company, Tracy Yvonne Productions, which is committed to championing diverse voices of all genres, across TV, film, and digital media.
Kesila Childers, Vice President of Development for Paul Feig’s Powderkeg
Powderkeg is Paul Feig’s (ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST, THE OFFICE) digital content company that aims to champion new voices with a commitment to female and LGBTQ creators and filmmakers of color.
Jess Burkle, TV Writer
Jess is a TV writer currently staffed on the CW show IN THE DARK — and he happens to be blind himself.
Louisa Minghella, Literary Agent at Blake Friedmann Lit Agency
Louisa is a literary agent at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency in the UK who focuses on representing diverse talent.
Founded by Ava DuVernay, Array is an independent film distribution and resource collective comprised of artist advocacy organizations, maverick volunteers, and rebel member donors worldwide. Their work is dedicated to the amplification of independent films by people of color and women filmmakers globally.
Diverse Voices is happy to provide a fellowship for a talented writer to attend The Stowe Story Labs. We want to continue our mission to champion and celebrate new and unique voices in Hollywood. The Diverse Voices Fellowship includes tuition for the labs and a travel stipend for the chosen recipient.
Diverse Voices has raised over $20,000 for charity since starting only 3 years ago. Thank you to all the amazing writers who’ve helped us get there.
Staffed on a HBO Show
“First, the feedback has been incredibly insightful and validating. Secondly, I got a meeting with a manager through WeScreenplay who I really dig, and now that manager is considering signing with me. Stay tuned!”
Tips for fellow screenwriters
“Make your writing as polished as possible. I see so many aspiring writers out here, desperate to get read by an exec, yet their work is not even ready to share. You want your script to be so remarkable that when an exec finally reads it they have no choice but to meet this undeniably talented writer.”
Got a paid writing gig
“WeScreenplay has been instrumental in my career. Its coverage was tough love, but honest and insightful. Their readers not only highlighted my weaknesses but always offered ways how I might improve. It gave me the confidence to get my stuff out there, and to place in a number of screenwriting competitions. After winning its 2018 Feature runner-up award, WeScreenplay’s staff took me under its wing and hooked me up with successful pros“
Tips for fellow screenwriters
“It can be a cruel, lonely business, so do it only if you love it. And if you do, then persevere, persevere again and persevere some more. And never forget to network with your peers.”
Signed with Zero Gravity Management
“I think one of the things standing between many writers and their goals is access. Theres plenty of talented writers who’ve yet to get their shot because they can’t get their work in front of the people making the decisions. But, entering WeScreenplay got me noticed and got me management.“
Tips for fellow screenwriters
“Consume everything; Input is just as important as output. Give written notes on your friends’ scripts; it forces you to examine a script from structure, to character voice, to tone, and strengthens your ability to examine your own work… and it helps your friends.”
Signed with manager, John Bauman
“I’m amazed at how much WeScreenplay champions their writers. After I won the TV competition, they jumped right in to support me with amazing advice, resources, and career chats. They have consistently been there to cheer me on.“
Tips for fellow screenwriters
“Network and form community with other people who are right where you are — writing and striving to get better. The people I met in my writing classes, writer’s groups, and co-working spaces really became my community, and I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without their support, kindness, feedback, and soul-searching coffee chats.”
- Overall Impression – A general feeling of your script, writing, and story
- Plot – Scene structure, conflict, tension, logic, and flow will all be taken into account
- Character – Complexity, uniqueness, and arc are taken into account
- Concept – It should be strong enough to carry the story, but doesn’t need to be marketable
- Originality – How fresh are your story, characters, and ideas
- Style – The style is easy to read, enjoyable, and consistent with the tone and story
- Structure – The overall story is built in a way that is connective and logical
- Dialogue – The characters speak in a realistic, unique, and interesting ways
All scripts are read by a first round judge and receive at least 1-page of written feedback.
Occurs for all Semi-Finalist scripts.
Occurs for all of the Finalist scripts to determine the winners.
The top scripts will be scored and discussed by a jury to select the winners (these are the only scores that are not made available because they are done verbally).
Rules and Eligibility
- Screenplays entered must:
- Not include the writer’s or writing team’s name or contact information on any page of the script OTHER THAN the title page. (Note — including a title page with name(s) of the writer or writing team is optional.)
- Be submitted in PDF form and must fit all standard screenplay format guidelines. Personal formatting conventions will be accepted but must not intentionally or accidentally alter the page count of the project as determined by the judges. A rule of thumb, if your script is formatted properly and under 120 pages, it will likely not be more than 23,000 words.
- Be owned solely by the writer or writing team listed. It may be an adaptation or reimagining of true events or fictional stories. It may not be a sequel to or prequel to any script or movie not owned by the writer or writing team.
- Be written in English. However, scripts from anywhere in the world will be accepted.
- Writer must be 18 years of age or older at the time of submission.
- To be eligible for the lab, finalists will be invited to answer a prompt that aligns with the Diverse Voices mission. The prompt will be “How does your voice, experience, or story represents a new and diverse perspective for Hollywood?”
- Screenplays entered may be in any genre or combination of genres. All will be treated equally and read by an unbiased panel of judges.
- The following formats will be accepted: Feature screenplay, TV pilot screenplay, or Short screenplay
- Entrant’s total earnings for screenwriting for either film or tv, produced or unproduced, must not exceed $50,000 in the past 18 months or exceeded $300,000 in the past 10 years. This excludes any prize money from competitions or fellowships and only applies to funds or money earned in exchange for an option or sale of a script, treatment, idea, intellectual property, or other writing for film or television. Money earned from acting, directing, producing, or any other entertainment industry work outside of writing shall not be considered as part of this eligibility criteria.
- Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was competed with no financial gain to the writer.
- For a submission to be valid it must be accompanied with the appropriate payment based on the submission deadlines. Any scripts over 120 pages will be charged an extra $1 per page at any deadline.
- Requesting optional additional written feedback to subsequent rounds of the competition will not impact the scoring of the screenplay or its chances of winning or placing in the competition.
- All deadlines are at 11:59pm PST on the date listed. Any deadline alteration or promotion of any kind does not make any entry valid for a refund of any kind.
- Alterations can be re-uploaded via our submissions management platform at coverfly.com for $5.
- Submission fees are non-refundable. Coupons may not be applied to previously submitted scripts. Coupons deemed for WeScreenplay coverage may not be used for submission to the contest or addition of coverage to any submission unless explicitly stated.
- There is no limit on the number of scripts a writer or writing team may submit.
- Prizes are award per script and teams of writers are expected to divide prizes of their own accord. WeScreenplay will send prizes to the winner who submitted the project and will in no way be responsible for how the prizes are distributed among the writing teams.
- Only 1 hotel room or comparably priced short-term rental will be provided for writing teams.
- The decision of the judges will be final and cannot be contested in any manner. There is no score on a scorecard that guarantees advancement to the next level as advancement will be based on all scores in the competition compared against each other.
- Scorecards will be distributed to each script within a week of elimination from the competition, but early distribution does not necessarily indicate placement in the contest. Feedback and Coverage will generally be distributed within 2 to 3 weeks following the submission, but this is not guaranteed. We only guarantee that coverage will be provided on or before the semifinalist announcement date.
- WeScreenplay reserves the right to delay announcements for any reason. Delay may last up to but never more than 90 days. While we do not anticipate any delays, such delays will not alter the standing of any screenplay entry and will qualify no script for a refund under any circumstance.
- By entering the WeScreenplay contest every entrant is agreeing to all WeScreenplay Terms and Conditions listed and available before checkout. If you disagree with any terms you may not submit to the contest.
- By submitting to the contest you are releasing your script to WeScreenplay and holding harmless WeScreenplay or any affiliates from any claims, expenses, and liabilities, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, copyright, libel, trademark infringement, slander, personal property infringement, etc.
- Any prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit validating their entry into the contest.
- Any cash prize winners of over $599 who is a United States citizen will be required to file a W-9 before the cash prize is distributed.
- Grand Prize Mentorship Trip Flight prize is up to $1,000 roundtrip.
- Former Grand Prize Winners of any WeScreenplay contest may enter so long as it is NOT the same script that won in a previous year. Any other placement (other than winning) in former years does not disqualify the script from being entered again in a subsequent year. New readers and judges evaluate submissions each cycle.
- No cash will be awarded if winner is under 18 years of age.
- THIS SKILL-BASED CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
- BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless Red Ampersand Inc, WeScreenplay, its DBAs, subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize.