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Features & TV Pilots in 7 Genres

We’re searching for emerging screenwriters with exceptional screenplays in seven genre categories. The winner of each genre category will receive $2500 cash. Of the seven scripts selected, one of you will go on to win the Grand Prize and receive an additional $7500. You will also be accepted onto the ISA Development Slate, where the Career Development team will work with you for a minimum of one year to get you and your script in front of top producers, literary reps and other industry executives from companies like Lakeshore Entertainment, Gidden Media, ICM, and others.

 Top 7 Scripts Will Be Read by Agents, Managers & Producers

MJ Cabellero
(Dir. Of Production at Blumhouse)

MJ Caballero is a producer based in Los Angeles from Granada, Spain.  MJ has produced all type of projects for platforms and networks like Netflix, Amazon, Discovery Channel, A&E and Nickelodeon. MJ recently worked as a Director of Production in Blumhouse Television, the production company responsible for titles like Sharp Objects, The Loudest Voice and The Purge.

Janet Jeffries
(Development Executive at Lawrence Bender Productions)

Janet Jeffries has worked for over a decade with film and t.v. producers Lawrence Bender and Kevin Brown. Some of the films produced are GretaHacksaw RidgeSilenceTrumboGood Will HuntingPulp Fiction, and Inglourious Basterds. Upcoming is a period western called The Harder They Fall that Netflix is financing and will distribute.

Daniel Seco
(Literary Manager at Schemers Entertainment)

Schemers Entertainment is a full service literary management and production company based in Los Angeles, where Seco represents writers & directors for film and television. A former sports journalist covering U.S. Soccer, MLB, and the NBA, he began his Hollywood career in 2013 at Resolution. He joined CAA in 2014 where he worked in the motion picture literary department before venturing into literary management on the feature side at Writ Large in 2015 as a coordinator/junior manager. A series of consulting jobs including a stop at Netflix in its Original Film department gave way to Seco teaming up with Gavin Dorman at Schemers Entertainment as a literary manager in 2018. Seco is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Florida as well as a cancer survivor. 

(Literary Manager at Cartel)

Audrey Knox is currently a manager at the Cartel, a management and production company with clients who have written on shows including Lucifer, Happy!, Black Lightning, and Grown-ish. Audrey worked her way up from Receptionist to Executive Assistant to Coordinator to Manager. She has experience in both scripted and unscripted television, on set, in production, and in writers’ rooms, and she has a BFA in Screenwriting from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

More to be announced!


Grand Prize

(Selected from 7 Genre Award Winners)

$7500 Cash

($10,000 Total Including Genre Award Winnings)

Genre Awards

(1 Winner from Each Genre Category)

$2500 Cash Each

(7 Winners Selected from 7 Genres)


Early: May 15th – $39
Regular: June 18th – $49
Final: August 27th– $59
Extended: August 27th – $59


Semi-Finalists: November 12th

Finalists: December 1st

Genre Winners: December 15th

Grand Prize Winner: December 15th

Our Industry Partners Include

Shoot Your Short
Shoot Your Short

The Grand Prize Winner will be automatically accepted onto the ISA Development Slate for a full year, where our team will work to promote you and your scripts to top agents, managers and producers.

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

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


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.


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.

Jason Goldberg


Jason sold Stay Out of the Attic to Top Dead Center Films, which is currently in post production, and optioned his script Flatwoods to Street Worth Media.


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 to your submission for just $20, and receive 1-2 pages of notes from our experienced readers.

Order Feedback with Your Entry

Add high quality feedback to your submission for just $20, and receive 1-2 pages of notes from our experienced readers.

Sponsored by

  • 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 receive 2nd – 6th place awards 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 you have the writer’s written permission 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.
  • You may submit your entry and payment 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, you understand and accept that Emerging Screenwriters and the ISA will be free to use your name and likeness for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
  • You are under no obligation to participate therein.
  • You may submit their screenplay to any other person, competition, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization and 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 over 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: 80-120 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, if you’re submitting a TV Pilot you may include standard supplementary materials, such as lists of recurring characters and future episodes. Email them to:
  • 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 understands 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.
  • To enter the Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition you must agree to the Rules.
  • For more inquiries, please email us at

When are the competition deadlines and announcements?

Early: May 7th – $39
Regular: June 18th – $49
Final: August 27th – $59

Semi-Finalists: October 21st
Finalists: November 24th
Genre Winners: December 15th
Grand Prize Winner: December 15th

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?


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:

What genres do you accept?

We accept all genres. We understand scripts can be categorized in many genres. Please pick from the genre below that best reflects your screenplay. You are welcome to enter in more than one genre, but another entry fee is required. Action/Adventure, Thriller, Animation, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comedy, Drama, Family, Historical, and Horror.

Can I enter in more than one genre?

You are welcome to enter in more than one genre, but an additional entry fee is required.

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 your script is a Western, for example, you should decide if it best fits into the Action/Adventure category, or the Drama category (or whichever genre represents your script outside of Western). If your script is an animated film, does it fit into the comedy category, or the fantasy category? Since this is a genre competition, our professional readers will read and score your script in the context of which genre you submit it as, while of course also being aware that a script can be multiple genres at once.

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: 80 – 130 pages. TV Pilots: Up to 70 pages.

My screenplay is longer than 130 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 130 pages and receiving feedback, will my full script be read?

If you order feedback, you will be charged $1 for each page over 130 pages. You will be emailed to discuss and billed separately, or you are welcome to just have your feedback done on the first 130 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:

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 if you have any questions.