Calling all writers for year six of The Script Lab’s FREE Screenplay Contest!
Come celebrate with us as we re-open our search for top new writers and projects. We’ve already helped past winners sign with Hollywood managers and option their work to producers. You could be next. We’re accepting features, TV pilots, and short screenplays because great writing comes in all genres and formats.
Who said nothing good in life is free? Clearly they haven’t met The Script Lab yet.
Free to Enter
Opens on October 2, 2023
Feedback is a very effective tool that can help you jumpstart your evolution as a screenwriter. Get your screenplay in the best shape possible by having someone with industry knowledge give you their insights to help your script stand out. Add notes to your entry and get three pages of notes from a qualified industry reader.
“With The Script Lab’s affiliation with Coverfly, I knew there would be actual industry eyes on the winners. In short, I knew the contest mattered.”
Signed with a Literary Manager at Empirical Evidence
Here’s What All Three Winners Receive
- Distribution to our network of nearly a thousand industry professionals.
- Career consultation session with Coverfly’s Writer Development team.
- One Year Membership to TSL 360 screenwriting video library.
- 20 tokens for free peer-to-peer notes through coverflyX.
Plus, an optional written article published on The Script Lab about your work and journey, distributed to over 200,000 monthly readers and over 100,000 members.
Previous Success Stories
After winning the 2020 TSL Free Screenwriting Competition, Patrick Holden optioned his feature screenplay to a major UK production company after working with our team.
After placing as the Runner-Up in the 2020 TSL Free Screenwriting Competition, Khaila Amazan signed with Literary Agents at Verve and a Literary Manager at Grandview after working with our team.
After placing as the Runner-Up in the 2019 TSL Free Screenwriting Competition, La’Chris Jordan signed with a Literary Manager at Circle of Confusion after working with our team.
1,000 Quarterfinalists – April 5, 2024
250 Semifinalists – May 3, 2024
50 Finalists – May 24, 2024
3 Winners – June 14, 2024
First Impressions Are Important
The first round scripts for free entries in this competition will be judged on a first impression of the project. We’re using the same criteria on the first few pages that many readers at studios and agencies use to determine if they should continue reading.
Please enter your full screenplay and ensure those first few pages are engaging and polished. As your screenplays advance in subsequent rounds, they receive full evaluations from our judges.
- Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only and must be entered by the final deadline.
- Only one submission per writer is allowed. Any other submissions will be disregarded. Duplicate free submissions will be automatically eliminated.
- Screenplays may be any length, however we recommend shorts be between 2 – 30 pages, 1/2 hour TV between 20 – 35 pages (with the exception of multicam scripts), 1-hour TV between 40 – 65 pages, and Features between 80 – 120 pages.
- Feature screenplays must be a maximum of 120 pages. Screenplays over 120 pages will be automatically eliminated if submitted into our free category.
- Feature screenplays over 120 pages submitted to the coverage category will be charged $1 per page over 120 pages.
- Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates listed above by 11:59 PM Pacific Time, with a final deadline of Feb 29, 2024.
- All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
- Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). All writers must be credited on title page.
- If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submitted the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money.
- Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $6 re-entry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
- It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or Copyright Registration with The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however, we do not require registration.
- Your contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however, it is not required.
- All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders.
- All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible.
- All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however, the material submitted must be in English (occasional dialogue in other languages is acceptable, if subtitle translation is provided).
- All material submitted to other competitions or contests is eligible for this contest.
- There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
- Screenplay and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).
- Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
- We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
- Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly.
- Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.
- All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.
The winners will be chosen based on internal criteria for excellent writing including, but not limited to, craft, character, plot, originality, and dialogue. The winners and top finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility. Any entrant may be deemed ineligible at the sole discretion of The Script Lab. Finalists may be required to sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that The Script Lab or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification will result in disqualification. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.
COPYRIGHT AND OWNERSHIP:
The Script Lab or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.
All entries are non-refundable.
ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE:
BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless The Script Lab, 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 Script Lab and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of The Script Lab 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. By entering the contest, you authorize us to use any trusted third-party online and cloud-based services and databases for hosting, managing and/or transmitting your submission file(s).