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Virtual Shorts Lab
$10,000 Short Film Grant
Free Feedback

Early Deadline is April 15th, 2023

Enter Now

Short scripts are a fantastic way to get your screenwriting feet wet, explore a new genre, hone your craft, and gain recognition within the entertainment industry!


At least 4 winners will be invited to take part in our exclusive Virtual Shorts Lab to help define the next steps in their projects journey – whether that’s self-producing, crowdfunding, or connecting it with producers looking for short content.


Presented by Talon Entertainment Finance


This year WeScreenplay is excited to partner with Talon Entertainment Finance who will select one project from this year’s submissions to receive a $10,000 short film grant! Talon Entertainment will also offer development mentorship and support to the selected project and writer. They will also review all of this year’s lab finalists scripts and meet with select finalists.


Plus, every entry receives one page of feedback from a professional reader!

Submit Today


  • Early

    Apr 15, 2023

  • Regular

    May 15, 2023

  • Late

    Jun 15, 2023

  • Final

    Jul 15, 2023


  • Quarterfinalist

    Aug 15, 2023

  • Semifinalist

    Sep 6, 2023

  • Finalist

    Sep 29, 2023

  • Winner

    Nov 1, 2023


Short Film Grant Partner: Talon Entertainment Finance

Talon Entertainment Finance will select one project from this year’s submissions to receive a $10,000 short film grant! Supporting this initiative is Talon’s Managing Partner Steven Demmler and Board Member Tony Armer.

Steven Demmler is the Managing Partner of Talon Entertainment Finance, which focuses on investing in everything from film equity and debt to the financing of LED Volumes for virtual production facilities. He is the recipient of screenwriting fellowships with the Raindance Film Festival and WeScreenplay. Previously he worked on the crew of Saturday Night Live for more than 100 episodes. Recently he served as a production executive on Mack & Rita and co-executive produced Spider & Jessie starring McKenna Grace and Jesse Williams. Currently Talon Entertainment Finance is Executive Producing Ant Timpson’s directorial effort Bookworm starring Elijah Wood.

Tony Armer is the Film Commissioner and Director of Creative Industries for Dallas, TX. He was the Film Commissioner for St. Petersburg Clearwater, FL from 2014-2022. He is the Co-Founder of Film USA, the National Association of Film Commissions for the United States. He is on the Board of Advisors for Talon Entertainment Finance. He is an Award Winning Filmmaker and the Co-Founder of the internationally acclaimed Sunscreen Film Festival. Tony has developed, produced and directed top-level award-winning film, TV, and media content over the years. Concept development, writing, pitching, financing, production, sales, and distribution.



Grand Prize

WeScreenplay Shorts Virtual Lab

At least 4 winners will be selected to participate in this game-changing virtual lab. This two-day lab will be PACKED with virtual meetings with industry professionals, workshops, and more so you can learn, network, and gain exposure.

Winners will also receive:

• A copy of Final Draft screenwriting software
• Ongoing mentorship from WeScreenplay team including an initial phone call, guidance for drafting query letters, research methods for finding the right representation, prep before big meetings, and strategic planning for career next steps.

Our virtual labs have directly led to writers getting staffed, signing with their dream reps, and more.

Grant Receipient

$10,000 Short Film Grant Award

Talon Entertainment Finance will select one project to receive a short film grant and mentorship


Finalist scripts read by Talon Entertainment Finance

Talon Entertainment Finance's Steven Demmler and Tony Armer will review all of this year's finalists. They will also meet with a select number of finalists.

All Entrants

Free page of feedback

All entrants will receive one page of feedback from a professional reader.


See what some of our past Lab Mentors and Lab Winners had to say!

Quotation Mark

When I’m reading scripts from WeScreenplay, one of my favorite things is to have the chance to discover such different universes! From drama to comedy, there is a really wide range of style from talented screenwriters that I enjoyed reading.

Maria Gracia Turgeon

Producer (2021 Lab Mentor)

Quotation Mark

It’s always exciting to be able to engage with emerging writers through programs like WeScreenplay because it opens the door for talent from around the world to be discovered and potentially find the right fit in terms of literary representation.

Daniel Seco

Literary Manager at Empirical Evidence (2021 Lab Mentor)

Quotation Mark

Having the wide variety of people to talk to was very helpful – I felt like I gained just as equal benefit from talking to the independent filmmakers as I did the industry executives. It was really lovely to see how many different ways there were to move forward after writing a short script.

Katy Erin

2021 Lab Winner

Quotation Mark

Speaking with a literary manager was the most beneficial to my career development at this stage. However, pitching myself over and over to executives is a close second.

AJ Dinsmore

2021 Lab Winner

Sample Lab Schedule



Notes Session


Group Mentorship 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.


Check out more of our Writers’ Successes.


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 the 2-page 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 Judges Notes for a small fee!

Semifinalists - Top 10%

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 as well as our industry jury. Scores will not be provided for this round, as judging will be discussed privately.


The top scripts selected by the Judges and WeScreenplay team! We’ll be reaching out to the winners to invite them to attend our exclusive Virtual Shorts Lab.

Rules & Details

  1. Screenplays entered must:
    1. Be under 35 pages – Anything over 35 pages will be charged an extra $1 per page.
    2. 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. 
    3. Be owned solely by the writer or writing team listed. It may be an adaptation or reimagining of true events or fictional stories. Spec scripts of existing shows are NOT accepted at this time.
    4. Be written in English. However, scripts from anywhere in the world will be accepted.
    5. 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.
  2. Writer must be 18 years of age or older at the time of the winner’s announcement.
  3. By entering this screenplay into the competition, you must have full permission from all co-writers and any attachments to the project.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. The following formats will be accepted: Short script
  7. Entrant’s total earnings for writing produced or unproduced, published or unpublished, must not exceed $35,000 in the previous 18 months from submission. A writer’s lifetime earnings can’t exceed $300,000 from writing anything produced or unproduced, published or unpublished. 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.
  8. Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was completed with no financial gain to the writer.
  9. Purchasing Additional feedback throughout the competition will in no way impact your standing or odds of advancement.
  10. For a submission to be valid it must be accompanied with the appropriate payment based on the submission deadlines.
  11. 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.
  12. RESUBMISSIONS will be accepted. Alterations can be re-uploaded via our submissions management platform at for $6. New drafts of an entry will be accepted at any time during the contest.
  13. 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.
  14. There is no limit on the number of scripts a writer or writing team may submit.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 2 Page option, will be returned before the next competition announcement.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Any prize winners will be required to sign an affidavit validating their entry into the contest.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Void where prohibited.
  27. Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to WeScreenplay and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  28. 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.,, 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 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.
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