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TSL Free Screenplay Contest Frequently Asked Questions

By Admin · August 17, 2021

The 2021 TSL Free Screenwriting Competition had nearly 13,000 entries – over 1 million pages of story – entered this season! That’s more than any other screenwriting competition that we know of anywhere. The huge turnout for this year’s competition is a testament to the need for high quality, accessible talent-discovery programs in Hollywood. It’s also a testament to the recent growth of Coverfly as a marketplace for screenwriters to connect with top-tier talent-discovery programs and industry professionals. It’s exciting to be at the heart of such a quickly growing and vibrant community of creatives – and we’re looking forward to celebrating incredible talent in this year’s TSL Free Screenwriting Competition.

We want to answer as many of your burning questions as we can, since our normal support lines may be slower than normal because of the sheer size of this year’s program. Please review this information before reaching out to our customer support.

General Info:

If you’re just looking for general information about the program like dates, prizes, and the jury, there are two places where you can learn more:

  1. The Coverfly Submission Page
  2. The Script Lab Free Contest Page

The First Round Read:

For this free competition, submissions that did not purchase paid feedback received an initial first impression read, consisting of just the first few pages of each script. Your first few pages are especially important because many readers at studios and agencies make a decision about a script based on the first few pages. We asked entrants to submit their full screenplay, because the screenplays that advance to subsequent rounds will receive full evaluations from our judges.

Important: Entrants who paid for written feedback received a complete read and feedback on their entire script with their first round read – not just the first few pages.

Will the first round read affect my Coverfly Rnk?

Yes, but not very much. Because the first read wasn’t done on the entire script, the scorecard is de-weighted in the Coverfly Rank algorithm. It won’t make much of a difference on your Coverfly Rank. If you advanced to the next round, your next read will have a stronger influence on your Coverfly Rank.

What’s Next:

If you didn’t advance, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a great script. It simply means the reader assigned to your script didn’t connect with it. Many of you will go on to place in other competitions with that exact same script. It just means your particular reader in this particular competition didn’t connect with it in meaningful way. We’re running the program again and would love to give your script a fresh reader and another shot in a future cycle. Stay tuned for when we open again next year! 

If you did advance, look out for an email from Coverfly which will provide brief directions on how to update your draft or request optional written notes from your next round judge if you’re interested.

We are not able to retroactively provide notes for your first round.

We have a few more announcements coming up. Here’s when to expect more news:

  • Semifinalists — September 15th, 2021
  • Finalists — October 4th, 2021
  • Winners — October 29th, 2021

What About my Status on Coverfly?

Your placement will be visible on August 18th, 2021, and any associated jumps in your Coverfly Rank will happen shortly after. Because this is a first impression read, you should expect the impact on your rank to be relatively minimal.

If you don’t see your entry, please make sure you’re logged in with the same email address as you used to submit your project. If you have questions about your Coverfly account, please check out Coverfly’s FAQs here.

Thank you again for sharing your work. We’re so impressed by all the talented writers out there. Congrats to everyone who submitted — you’ve finished at least one screenplay which is a big accomplishment in itself. It’s a long journey, but you’re starting strong. We’re here to help along the way. Consider our partner programs for excellent script development expertise: 

Happy writing!