We’ve got you covered, from $5,000 to fund the production to providing all the necessary resources to produce a polished premiere-ready short. Emerging Screenwriters has partnered with ISA and BRONTOSAURUS! to bring your script to life with highly talented consultants. As the Grand Prize Winner, you’ll have a film that is not only ready to submit to festivals, but primed to present to our list of agents, managers and producers as we champion you as a writer. Not a director or producer? No problem! Writers of all levels are encouraged to apply. Accepting shorts in multiple genres up to 15 pages in length.
Nightingale by Amanda Bermudez
Finding Distance by Jodi Levitan
Full Production of Your Short
As the Grand Prize Winner, your finished short will promoted on all ISA media platforms and be championed to ISA industry contacts including top agents, managers and producers from CAA, Gersh, Madhouse, Echo Lake and more. Our support doesn’t stop there. Since our main goal is helping emerging writers develop, you’ll be invited onto the ISA Development Slate for a full year for more in depth support. Our industry partners include:
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 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.
Jason Scott 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.
When are the competition deadlines and announcements?
Early: October 29, 2020 – $29
Regular: November 27, 2020 – $39
Final: January 21, 2021 – $59
Semi-Finalists (Top 100): March 3, 2021
GRAND PRIZE & Finalists (Top 10): March 23, 2021
What types of scripts do you accept?
What genres do you accept, and can I enter in more than one?
We accept all genres except animation, musicals, reality TV, documentaries or erotica. We understand scripts can be categorized in many genres. Please pick the genre that best reflects your screenplay from the list below. You are welcome to enter in more than one genre, but another entry fee is required. Action, Adventure, Biography, Children, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction, Sports, Thriller, Western, Young Adult.
Can I submit an animation?
No, not at this time. This is for live-action projects only.
Do you accept novels, stage plays, treatments or synopses, reality show concepts, or spec scripts for existing TV series?
No, we’re sorry; we do not. We accept ORIGINAL short screenplays.
Can I re-enter a rewrite or corrected versions of my script if I haven’t ordered script feedback?
Yes, you may re-enter your screenplay for the price of the current deadline fee.
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
When will I receive my script feedback?
Your feedback will be emailed to you within 90 days of submitting your script.
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. Scripts should be standard length. While your entry will not be disqualified if it is longer or shorter than these specified page counts, or written in the designated industry standard font / format, for your own benefit we recommend that you adhere to the page length guidelines. Formatting does get taken into account in the judging process.
What’s the minimum/maximum required page length?
Shorts: 1 to 15 Pages
My short script is longer than 15 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.
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?
Yes, you can submit up to 4 scripts on the same entry form.
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.
I don’t live in the United States. Can I still enter the competition?
You sure can, but please just make sure it’s 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 concerns.
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.
Should I include my title page with my screenplay?
Yes, you should include your title, author(s) name, telephone number and email address. If you don’t, however, you won’t be disqualified.
Can I submit a screenplay under a pen name?
Do I need to submit a logline? Synopsis?
Logline: YES / Synopsis: NO
Do I have to enter my script as a PDF?
Yes. We only accept scripts in PDF format.
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.
Who owns the short when it’s completed?
The International Screenwriters’ Association (ISA) will own the completed short and maintain the right to post and promote it to various media outlets. The ISA Development Team will also champion you and the completed short to potential reps, buyers, etc.