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Semi-Finalists (Top 100): Jan. 19th
Grand Prize & Finalists (Top 10): Feb. 23rd

Is Your Short Ready to Be Produced?

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


Grand Prize Winner

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:


Early: October 29th

Regular: November 27th

Final: December 31st


Semi-Finalists (Top 100): January 19th

Grand Prize & Finalists (Top 10): February 23rd

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.

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.

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 Goldberg

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

Sponsored by

  • Grand Prize Winning screenwriters of any previous Emerging Screenwriters SHOOT YOUR SHORT Competition season will not be eligible to submit to any further contest seasons.
  • Screenwriters who have placed 3 times in the top 6 of SHOOT YOUR SHORT are ineligible to submit to any further contest season.  
  • 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.
  • 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 analysis are not eligible to receive a free resubmission, which may come as an option with purchased script analyses.
  • Emerging Screenwriters cannot guarantee your script analysis will be received within enough time to resubmit before the final deadline.
  • The writer understands that a script analysis can take up to 90-days turn-around time and may not be received before the end of the contest.
  • Prize packages cannot be exchanged or transferred to another party.
  • The International Screenwriters’ Association (ISA) will maintain the rights to the produced short and may post, promote and submit the completed short to various media outlets. 
  • The winning writer may post, promote and submit the completed short to various media outlets at the discretion of the ISA.
  • Prizes, depending on the sponsor’s request, may be distributed in the rate of 1 package per person based on the highest placement and not per winning screenplay.
  • ISAConnect Membership prizes expire after 90 days and cannot be combined with a current free ISAConnect membership.
  • You may submit your entry and payment online only. We’re GREEN!
  • Multiple entries are permissible with an additional entry fee. 
  • 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, which may not be disputed.
  • The writer understands that it is his/her 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 will be accepted via Paypal where all major credit cards are accepted, or through registrations on the ISA website, Film Freeway or Coverfly.
  • Promotional discounts do not apply to ISA, Film Freeway or Coverfly registrations unless otherwise stated.
  • 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, likeness, and completed short project for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
  • Contestants are under no obligation to participate therein.
  • No agreement for compensation, other than the prizes, has been implied.
  • Include a standard title page, listing the title of your script, name of author(s), telephone number, and email address. This does NOT affect the judging process.
  • Under no circumstances should you include your name or contact information within the body of your script.
  • The competition and its administrators are not responsible for any errors or omissions on the writers submission.
  • Please do not enclose synopses, casting suggestions, letters, resumes or photos with your submission. They will not be forwarded to the judges.
  • You understand that your logline and screenplay will be reviewed by our employees and/or our panel of industry judges for evaluation. You also understand that any one of these employees, or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to yours, and you hereby waive any claim that Emerging Screenwriters, its employees or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of your submission logline or screenplay.
  • It is our full intention to fulfill all prizes as posted. However, due to an unlikely event, act of God or other, we reserve the right to update or edit prizes.
  • The Grand Prize Winner will be responsible for producing their short with the guidance of ISA consulting producers.
  • Emerging Screenwriters and ISA reserves the right to award the cash prize in lieu of producing the short if COVID prevents the ability to have a safe set.
  • To enter Emerging Screenwriters Shoot Your Short you must agree to the rules.

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.