Quarter-Finalists Announced

Accepting Features & Pilots in All Genres

We’re looking for ALL emerging screenwriters! Whether you’re just beginning or a seasoned writer ready to redefine your career, we can elevate you to the next level. We’re searching for the most authentic and unique features and pilots in all genre categories. We want to read your best work, the script that represents your genuine talent!

The Top 10 will receive $1,500 cash and be considered for acceptance onto the ISA Development Slate, where the Development Team will get your script in front of top industry pros from companies like HBOMax, 20th Century, Disney+, MGM, Harpo, Paramount+, Lucky Chap, Hello Sunshine, Gidden Media, ICM, CAA, plus ISA vetted literary agents and managers. Of the ten scripts selected, one of you will go on to win the Grand Prize and receive an additional $10,000. That’s $11,500 to the Grand Prize Winner!

How is Emerging Screenwriters impacted by the WGA Writers Strike?

Emerging Screenwriters is not a WGA signatory, but we support the strike and all writers. We are in full compliance with strike rules and will not share projects with struck companies until it is permissible to do so. We encourage you to continue to work on your career during this time and submit to contests and fellowships that will benefit you and your goals.

Prizes

Grand Prize
Winner

(Selected from Top 10)

$10,000 Cash

(In Addition to $1,500 from Top 10)

DEADLINES

Mega Early: June 30th – $29
Early: July 27th – $39
Regular: Sept. 14th – $59
Final: Oct. 26th – $79
Extended: Nov. 15th – $89

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Quarter-Finalists: Jan. 4th

Semi-Finalists: Jan. 18th

Finalists: Feb. 8th

Grand Prize Winner: Feb. 27th

Our Industry Partners Include

The Top 10 will be considered for  acceptance onto the ISA Development Slate for a full year, where our team will work to promote promote them and their scripts to top agents, managers and producers.

Over 80 Scripts From Development Slate Writers Have Been Produced or Optioned and Over 60 Writers Have Been Repped

Over 80 Scripts From Development Slate Writers Have Been Produced or Optioned and Over 60 Writers Have Been Repped

Success Stories

FEATURE PRODUCED
Wendy Wilkins

Gaining some traction after her screenplay Alone Today became a quarter finalist in the Emerging Screenwriters Competition, Wendy was able to raise investor funds, and attract some wonderful talent including Eric Roberts and Danny Trejo to direct this feature, which just completed principal photography.

WON BEST WRITING AWARD
Peres Owino

Produced by Taraji P Henson, starring Gladys Knight and Method Man, Seasons of Love garnered Peres and co-writer Sharon Brathwaite, an NAACP Nomination for Best Writing in a TV movie.

SHORT PRODUCED
Denise E Meyers

Denise’s short The Dark of Night, directed by Robin Wright and starring Leslie Bibb, premiered at Cannes. Denise has also recently won an inaugural Sloan Foundation Grant to further develop her screenplay Lucky 13.

PRODUCED GLORIOUS ON SHUDDER
Jason Scott Goldberg

He recently produced Glorious, which was named a Top FiIm to Watch at Fantasia by Forbes and is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Ryan Kruger (Fried Barry) is attached to direct his bonkers buddy/body horror film Gums, and Aaron Koontz’s Paper Street Pictures boarded his Hit List project, Flatwoods with Barbara Crampton attached to star; Padraig Reynolds (Open 24 Hours, Darklight) is helming the project.

REPPED
Lucy Luna

Lucy was accepted into the HBO Access Program, and is signed with Brillstein Entertainment Partners and APA.

Order Feedback with Your Entry

Add high quality feedback and receive up to 5 pages of notes from our experienced readers.

Sponsored by

Rules
  • All writers from all countries are welcome to enter the competition; however, all scripts must be submitted in English, and entry fees must be paid in U.S. dollars.
  • Emerging Screenwriters Grand Prize Winners and their screenplays are ineligible to enter into any future contest season.
  • If you place as a Finalist 3 times with 3 different screenplays, you will no longer be eligible to submit.
  • Scripts must be the original work of the author(s) and may not be encumbered by any third party.
  • Scripts that have been sold, produced for a profit, or are currently under option are not eligible.
  • Novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, and/or spec scripts for existing TV series are not eligible. Your script must be an original screenplay or teleplay.
  • Screenplays adapted from your own self-published books, plays, or other source material are eligible if you have retained all rights to your work.
  • Adaptations from other works are permissible, provided all rights have been secured to adapt the work.
  • Adaptations of works in the public domain are permissible.
  • Collaborative work is eligible; the writers are responsible for the distribution of the competition prize(s).
  • Those that receive a free script feedback are not eligible to receive a free resubmission, which may come as an option with purchased script analyses or unless otherwise stated in a promotion.
  • You understand that a script analysis can take up to 90-days turn-around time and may not be received before the end of the contest.
  • Entries and payments are accepted online only. We’re GREEN!
  • Promotions must be used at the time of submission and will not be added to previous submissions.
  • Multiple entries are permissible and get a discount.
  • Once a script has been entered into the competition, we will only accept substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages if you contact us within 24 hours. After that, under no circumstances will we accept changes. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your script, you must enter it as a new submission and pay the appropriate entry fee.
  • Writers under the age of 18 years old must have parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate.
  • Competition applicants must accept without reservation the decisions rendered by the judges.
  • You understand that it is your sole responsibility to register Material with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writer’s Guild of America or the appropriate agency in his/her country.
  • Payments to be accepted via Paypal or through registrations on the ISA website. All major credit cards accepted.
  • By entering this competition, and in the event you are declared a finalist and/or winner, you understand and accept that Emerging Screenwriters and the ISA will be free to use your name, likeness and voice for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
  • You are under no obligation to participate therein.
  • You may submit your screenplay to any other person, competition, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization.
  • If you submit to the Emerging Screenwriters Competition, you will retain all rights to your screenplay.
  • No agreement for compensation, other than the prizes, has been implied.
  • Prizes may be distributed in the rate of 1 package per person based on the highest placement and not per winning screenplay, depending on the request of the sponsor.
  • The cash prizes will be distributed 3 months from the date of the final announcement.
  • ISAConnect Membership prizes expire after 90 days and cannot be combined with a current free ISAConnect membership.
  • Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed. The Judges will adhere to our competition guidelines; however, the competition and its administrators may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions on the part of the Judges.
  • Length requirements are as follows: 1). Full-Length Features: 70-120 pages. 2). TV Pilots: Up to 70 pages.
  • If you order a script analysis you may be charged separately $1 for each page over 120 pages, or the reader may only read the first 120 pages.
  • Please do not enclose synopses, casting suggestions, letters, resumes or photos with your submission. They will not be forwarded to the Judges. However, standard supplementary materials, such as lists of recurring characters and future episodes, may be included with a TV Pilot submission. Email them to: Submissions@EmergingScreenwriters.com.
  • You understand that your logline and screenplay will be reviewed by our staff and/or our panel of Industry Judges for evaluation. You also understand that any one of the staff or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to yours, and you hereby waive any claim that the Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition, its staff or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of your submission logline or screenplay.
  • You understand and accept without reservation that you are an independent contractor and that Competition Administrators are not responsible for withholding any taxes or payments to any government agency, at any level, be it state, local or federal.
  • By entering the Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition, you agree to the rules.
  • For more inquiries, please email us at Info@EmergingScreenwriters.com
FAQ

When are the competition deadlines and announcements?

Deadlines
Mega Early: June 30th – $29
Early: July 27th – $39
Regular: Sept. 14th – $59
Final: Oct. 26th – $79
Extended: Nov. 15th – $89

Announcements
Quarter-Finalists: Jan. 4th
Semi-Finalists: Jan. 18th
Finalists: Feb. 8th
Grand Prize Winner: Feb. 27th

Do you accept entries via snail mail?

No. In an attempt to be green, we’re not accepting hard copies via the postal service. We’re accepting online entries and online payments via Paypal only. This includes all major credit cards.

Do I have to enter my script as a PDF?

Yes. We only accept scripts in PDF format.

Should I include my title page with my screenplay?

While you are welcome to include a title page with your title, author(s) name, telephone number and email address, the full title page is not required and will not have any effect on your placement.

Can I submit a screenplay under a pen name?

Yes.

Does my script have to be registered?

No, but we DO recommend registering your work with the WGA and/or the Library of Congress Copyright office.

Does the writer maintain rights to the screenplay?

Yes, always!

When will I receive my feedback?

Feedback is completed in the order in which it is received and will be emailed to you within 90 days of your submission date.

What if I make a mistake and send the wrong script?

If you make a legitimate mistake entering and recognize this within 24 hours, email us here, and we’ll send you instructions on replacing your screenplay: Info@EmergingScreenwriters.com

What genres do you accept?

We accept all genres. We understand scripts can be categorized in many genres. Please pick from the genres we provide on the submission form that best reflects your screenplay.

What if my script does not fall into one of the accepted genres?

We understand scripts can be categorized in many genres. We offer what we think is a wide variety of “umbrella” genres which most scripts will fall under. Please pick from the genre that best reflects your screenplay.

If I place in the competition, may I submit an updated draft for consideration?

At this time, we do not accept new drafts once the competition has closed.

Do I need to submit a logline? Synopsis?

Logline: YES / Synopsis: NO

Do you accept short screenplays?

No, not at this time.

Will my screenplay be accepted if it’s not in the traditional format?

Scripts should be written in standard spec screenplay or teleplay format, set in 12-point Courier font. Common programs for this format include: Final Draft, Movie Magic Screenwriter, or Celtx. Scripts should be standard length. While your entry will still be fully considered if it is either formatted differently or longer or shorter than these specified page counts, for your own benefit we recommend that you adhere to the page length and formatting guidelines.

What’s the minimum/maximum required page length?

Features: 70 – 120 pages. TV Pilots: Up to 70 pages.

My screenplay is longer than 120 pages. Will it be disqualified?

No, but we urge you to stay within the guidelines. It’s rare that a good screenplay requires more than the standard number of pages.

If I’m over 120 pages and receiving feedback, will my full script be read?

If you order feedback, you will be charged $1 for each page over 120 pages. You will be emailed to discuss and billed separately, or you are welcome to just have your feedback done on the first 120 pages of your screenplay at the regular price.

Do you accept novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments or synopses, reality show concepts, musicals or spec scripts for existing TV series?

No, we’re sorry; we do not. We accept ORIGINAL feature length screenplays and TV pilots only.

Can I submit an adaptation of a book or play?

Absolutely, as long as you have full rights to the material and either are the author or have a written agreement with the author allowing this script to be written and marketed.

Can I submit more than one screenplay?

You can submit up to 4 screenplays per submission form. When you do, you will receive a discount for your 2nd and 3rd script entries.

Will entering early increase or decrease my chance of winning?

Entering early will neither increase nor decrease your chance of winning, but it will save you money!

How will I know if you received my script?

You will receive an email confirming your entry immediately upon submitting. If you do not, please email us here: Info@EmergingScreenwriters.com.

What if my script is optioned or sold after I enter the competition?

As long as your script was not optioned for a contract that is still in effect or sold prior to the date you submitted it to the competition, you are still eligible for an award.

I don’t live in the United States. Can I still enter the competition?

International entries are absolutely welcome, but all scripts must be in English. No other languages are accepted at this time.

Does Paypal accept currencies other than the American Dollar?

Yes! Paypal is set up to exchange most currencies into the American Dollar. Please visit www.Paypal.com if you have any questions.