Get our free screenwriting email newsletter for the latest industry news, screenwriting inspiration, and exclusive WeScreenplay promotions!
Dec 15, 2023
Jan 15, 2024
Feb 15, 2024
Mar 15, 2024
Apr 12, 2024
May 1, 2024
May 31, 2024
Keynote mentors will participate in the Feature lab group sessions and select at least one writer for a one-on-one coaching session, tailored to the selected writer.
Chad & Carey Hayes
THE CONJURING franchise, HOUSE OF WAX, ANNABELLE
Identical twin brothers Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes have been mainstays of feature film writing since 2005, having written such films as HOUSE OF WAX, WHITE OUT and THE REAPING before creating THE CONJURING Franchise for Warner Brothers. They also wrote the screenplay for 2020’s THE TURNING and are working on projects for Fox, Sony, Mark Gordon’s eOne Entertainment, Universal/Amblin and more.
SVP of Creative Production for TriStar Pictures
THE WOMAN KING, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Shary Shirazi is Senior Vice President of Creative Production for TriStar Pictures where she has led the development, production and acquisition of several films. Her recent projects include The Woman King, a ground-breaking historical epic directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, Oscar-nominated A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and Happiest Season, a holiday romantic comedy. In 2019, Ms. Shirazi was also recognized in The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen List: 35 Rising Executives 35 and Under. She currently manages a robust development slate including adaptations of best-selling books, including The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and Burial Rights by Hannah Kent, along with musicals such as Guys and Dolls.
John Hilary Shepherd
1917, HACKSAW RIDGE, NURSE JACKIE
A graduate of the American Film Institute with an MFA in Screenwriting, producer John Hilary Shepherd is the founder of Flying Rhino Productions. Previously, John spearheaded development for Academy Award-nominated producer Brian Oliver at New Republic Pictures (1917) and Cross Creek Pictures (BLACK SWAN, HACKSAW RIDGE). John is also a WGA Award-nominated writer for his work on the Showtime television series NURSE JACKIE.
Industry guests will participate in the 2024 Feature Lab in either group sessions or one-on-one meetings with the Fellows.
Manager at Black Bear Pictures
Dominique Grund graduated from Chapman University where she studied Theatre and Broadcast Journalism. She worked for Joanne Roberts Wiles at ICM Partners for three years in both the literary and talent departments. She joined Black Bear Pictures in the management division a little less than a year ago as a manager focused on both actors and filmmakers.
Manager at 42 Management and Production
42 is a fully integrated management and production company, producing film, television and content, representing actors, writers, directors, comedians, presenters, producers, casting directors and media book rights; with offices in London and Los Angeles.
WeScreenplay Virtual Feature Writing Lab
This year, 6 writers will be invited to participate in WeScreenplay’s exclusive Virtual Feature Lab. This is a once-in-a-career opportunity to network, get exposure for your writing, and learn from successful creatives whose work is shaking up the industry!
Winners will take meetings with development executives, attend a notes session, and learn how to make the most of a client/rep relationship from managers and agents. It’s an exciting, hands-on schedule of events that will help you further your career — all from the comfort of your own home
Additionally, winners receive guidance for drafting query letters, research methods for finding the right representation, and insight for actionable next steps in their careers.
Meeting with Writer Development Team
Select finalists will have a 1:1 virtual meeting with a member of the WeScreenplay Writer Development Team to discuss you and your work.
WeScreenplay Lab Testimonials
See what some of our past Lab Mentors and Lab Winners had to say!
As an industry mentor, I witnessed WeScreenplay's incredibly effective initiative to uplift, educate, provide tools of prosperity, and help writers achieve their dreams of being working and repped storytellers. WeScreenplay is an incredible resource for screenwriters with a diverse and inclusive vision to make the landscape of the entrainment industry more representative of the world in which we live.
Literary Manager, LBI
Finding unrepped up and coming writing talent as a manager can be challenging these days as people are getting signed earlier and earlier. Programs like WeScreenplay do a great job of developing young talent and giving them access to industry professionals.
Manager/Producer, Make Good Content
It’s a great way to meet the latest wave of talent coming into the business, to get a sense of their voices, and to learn about the kinds of stories that really excite them. Every opportunity is another chance to get in front of someone who might be able to hire you someday.
Showrunner, The Expanse
You all have such interesting and great taste, that it’s been a wonderful collaboration so far finding potential clients that also fit in with our company’s vision for writers.
Manager, Stagecoach Entertainment
Working with talented writers in the WeScreenplay Lab was an unbelievably rewarding experience. In an industry where at times things can become very watered down, Screenplay was a reminder of why I decided to work in this business in the first place. The sheer passion and drive exhibited by these creators was rejuvenating, and I look forward to returning in the near future.
Asst. to Literary Partner, Grandview
Winners from past labs have met execs and reps from
Sample Feature Lab Schedule
Learn About The Different Session Types
Group Mentorship Meetings
1:1 Curated Meetings
Before the lab, we will share all the winning scripts with the group. During a one to two hour session, the group will share script notes verbally. While all the winning scripts are already strong, the purpose of this notes session is to refine your work, to get thoughts on next steps, and to practice giving and receiving notes.
We will have exciting workshops for winners to get hands on experience with industry professionals. Winners participate in curated workshops with screenwriters, literary managers which have included managers like AE Jones of Stagecoach Entertainment, and a Pitching Masterclass with Jim Arnoff.
Writers will meet with executives, literary managers and working writers to learn more about the craft and industry for a deeper 360 perspective of a career in screenwriting. Each session includes a mentor who will share their experience and area of expertise followed by a Q&A with the writers.
Writers will participate in private curated 1:1 meetings with literary managers, working writers, and/or execs. This is the perfect opportunity to connect, ask questions, and expand your knowledge of the craft and industry.
Check out more of our Writers’ Successes.
Alex George Pickering & Matthew Breault
Signed with a literary manager
The WeScreenplay Team, connected us with numerous management and production companies. As a result, we had the wonderful privilege of interviewing with several managers. In the end, Mike Diaz of ATN Entertainment left a strong impact on us, with additional support from manager Ben Pitts and ATN CEO Jennifer Aurianne DaRe. Today, we are excited to say that we are now signed with ATN Entertainment!
Signed a shopping agreement
WeScreenplay consistently delivered constructive feedback by readers who had a decent knowledge of the genre I was working within. I felt like they wanted to help me. As an emerging writer, there is nothing more demoralizing than caustic feedback from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. It makes you feel like the whole exercise is worthless. I did feel a whole lot of positive energy from the WeScreenplay team, which was helpful. And then, when I had assumed they had forgotten all about me, they connected me with a manager who was looking for work like mine. Turned out they were looking out for me the whole time.
Signed a shopping agreement
The biggest obstacle I encountered early in my screenwriting career was finding a platform to share my ideas. It’s one thing to write in a vacuum, but in our business, the experience of a reader and eventual viewer, is an integral component. WeScreenplay helped The Eremite in two important ways: first I received excellent notes on a previous draft, which I think helped to focus and sharpen my themes. It’s a big story with a lot going on, so further revisions after my WeScreenplay coverage had some much needed streamlining and clarity. I eventually entered the feature contest, and the revised script was a shortlisted finalist. I think this accolade really helped catch the attention of the producers I Iinked up with. It was a way of validating the writing abilities and project viability of an unknown/emerging writer.
Every Entry includes Judge's Notes
A FREE, 1-page mini-version of our phenomenal coverage from the entry’s first round judge, including their scores!
*Note: You can upgrade your free Judges Notes to WeScreenplay’s famous Classic Notes for an additional fee!
Quarterfinalists - Top 20%
A new reader and another read for every script that makes it to this round.
*Note: You can upgrade to include a fresh round of Judges Notes for a small fee!
Semifinalists - Top 5%
Another new reader and another full read for every script that makes it to this round … and you are welcome to submit an updated version of your script for only $6.
Scripts that make it to this round will be read internally by the WeScreenplay team. Scores will not be provided for this round, as judging will be discussed privately.
We’ll be reaching out to the winning writers for inclusion in our Feature Lab, which has exciting meetings with mentors and has resulted in numerous signings, collaborations, and staffing opportunities.
- Screenplays entered must:
- Be screenplays that are a minimum of 70 pages. (All scripts under 70 pages will be accepted, read, and considered through the finalist round – but cannot win one of the top 4 prizes)
- 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. Anything over 120 pages will cost $1 extra per page.
- Be owned solely by the writer or writing team listed. It may be an adaptation or reimagining of true events or fictional stories.
- Be written in English. However, scripts from anywhere in the world will be accepted.
- Have pages numbered. Scripts of any length will be accepted for an additional fee, but we’d advise that scripts over 150 pages should be edited down before being submitted.
- NOTE: WeScreenplay automatically removes the cover page before assigning scripts to readers, so writers may include any typical information on their cover page. Scripts are accepted with or without cover pages.
- Writer must be 18 years of age or older at the time of the winner’s announcement.
- By entering this screenplay into the competition, you must have full permission from all co-writers and any attachments to the project.
- WeScreenplay claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holder(s).
- Screenplays entered may be in any genre or combination of genres. All will be treated equally and read by an unbiased panel of readers and jury members.
- The following formats will be accepted: Feature screenplay
- Entrant’s total earnings for screenwriting for either film or tv, produced or unproduced, must not exceed $50,000 in the previous 18 months from submission or $250,000 lifetime earnings. This excludes any prize money from competitions or fellowships and only applies to fund or money transferred in exchange for an option or sale of a script, treatment, idea, intellectual property, or other writing for filming. Money earned from acting, directing, producing, or any other film work outside of writing is not included.
- Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was completed with no financial gain to the writer.
- Purchasing Additional feedback throughout the competition will in no way impact your standing or odds of advancement.
- For a submission to be valid it must be accompanied with the appropriate payment based on the submission deadlines.
- 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.
- RESUBMISSIONS will be accepted. Alterations can be re-uploaded via our submissions management platform at coverfly.com for $6. New drafts of an entry will be accepted at any time during the contest.
- There are no refunds for any submitted screenplay. 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 or exempted on the coupon or by a WeScreenplay representative via e-mail communication only.
- There is no limit on the number of scripts a writer or writing team may submit.
- Prizes are awarded per script and teams of writers are expected to divide prizes on their own accord. WeScreenplay will send prizes to the writer who submits the project and will in no way be responsible for how the prizes are distributed among the 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.
- Scorecards can be accessed on the writer’s dashboard. Feedback will be delivered before the next announcement but usually sooner. Feedback for each round of the competition, whether it’s the 1 Page or 4 Page option, will be returned before the next competition announcement.
- WeScreenplay reserves the right to delay announcements for any reason. While we never anticipate any delays, such delays will not alter the standing of any screenplay entry and will not qualify an entry for a refund under any circumstance.
- By entering a WeScreenplay competition every entrant is agreeing to all WeScreenplay Terms of Service listed on the website and additional terms agreed upon at checkout. If you disagree with any terms you may not submit to the contest.
- By submitting to the contest you are releasing your script (but not it’s underlying rights) 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 will be required to sign an affidavit validating their entry into the contest.
- Any writer winning a cash prize of over $599 will be required to file the appropriate tax and legal documentation before the cash prize is distributed.
- All prizes provided by sponsors or mentors are subject to said sponsor or mentor providing the prize. WeScreenplay will do everything in its power to collect the prize packages promised, but is not responsible for a sponsor’s failed delivery.
- Former Grand Prize, Second Prize, and Third Prize Winners of the contest may enter so long as it is NOT the same script that won in a previous year. Any other placement in former years does not disqualify the script from being entered this year.
- By entering the competition, entrants are acknowledging their eligibility for the competition. 99.9 % of entrants enter in good faith, and validating everyone at that stage would be inefficient and take away from efforts reading and finding the best scripts. We do check eligibility at the finalist stage before picking winners or distributing any prizes. We also advance a few additional scripts to ensure no one is missed by someone entering who is not eligible. We check all finalists and on a case by case basis in earlier rounds if something seems like it may not be eligible.
- 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 WeScreenplay, Red Ampersand, Inc., Industry Arts, LLC., WeScreenplay.com, its 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; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the WeScreenplay.org and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of WeScreenplay and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.