Shoot Your Sizzle FAQ

When are the competition deadlines and announcements?

Early Deadline: Sept 11, 2019
Regular Deadline: Oct 9, 2019
Final Deadline: Dec 10, 2019

Top 100: Jan 22, 2020
Grand Prize and Top 10: Feb 25, 2020

What types of scripts do you accept?

Features and TV Pilots 

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, Thriller, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comedy, Drama, Family, Historical and Horror.

Can I submit an animation?

No, not at this time. This is for live-action projects only. We do, however, accept animations in our general Feature/Pilot screenplay competition which will open again in March.

Do you accept novels, short stories, 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 feature length screenplays and TV pilots only.

Can I just submit the scene I want to shoot, or do I need to submit the entire script?

The entire TV Pilot or Full-Length Feature script must be submitted. We want to know that the writer has a holistic vision for the story.

Can I re-enter a rewrite or corrected versions of my script if I haven't ordered analysis?

Yes, you may re-enter your screenplay for the price of the current deadline fee. NOTE: If you purchase our Deep Dive or ISA Development Evaluation for your screenplay you may re-enter that screenplay for FREE, ONCE before the final deadline.

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:

When will I receive my analysis?

Your analysis 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?

TV Pilots: 10 to 70 Pages
Features: 80 – 120 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.

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 sure can. You can also save on entry fees by submitting multiple screenplays at once!


If I enter my screenplay in more than one category, do I get a discount?

You can enter your screenplay in as many categories as you like, and yes, you’ll save $14 each on your 2nd and 3rd entries if you submit 2 or 3 screenplays together on one form.

If I want to enter additional screenplays separately can I still get the multi-entry discounts?

No, you may not receive the multi-entry discount if you choose to enter each screenplay on separate forms.To receive the multi-entry discounts you must enter the 2 or 3 screenplays on the one form, choosing the 2 or 3 entry option. Unfortunately, we cannot back-track if you do not enter your screenplays together the first time.

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?

Well, first of all congratulations! That’s exciting news! You can still participate as long as you still have rights to the material and/or permission to produce a sizzle reel to promote your winning script. If your script goes into production, however, we cannot transfer the prize to another screenplay.

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. Please also note some filming resources may be limited depending on the country you are in, but we will do our best to guide you appropriately.

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 concerns.

Are you going to shoot my sizzle for me?

No, the production consultants will guide you on what to do, who to hire, what kind of equipment to choose and help you stay on budget if you are inexperienced, but overall it will be your responsibility to produce the full sizzle project and pull together a team.

Who selects the scene or scenes to be shot for the sizzle? How are they selected?

The ISA team works in close conjunction with the writer and will offer suggestions and guidance based on the script and the industry agenda at the time in order to create the best sizzle for all parties involved.

What if I'm not a director?

If you are not a director, no problem, many writers never get behind the camera. The consulting producers will help you hire the perfect director for your project.

Can I shoot a short film instead of a sizzle reel if I have a short script in relation to my feature?

Yes, by all means! It is up to you to produce what you wish resulting in promotional material for your winning feature script.

What if the budget for my sizzle (or short) is more than $40,000 in cash and equipment?

Most sizzle reels can be shot for under $40,000 in cash and equipment. If you plan to shoot a higher budgeted sizzle reel or full short production please plan accordingly. Crowdfunding is an excellent way to procure additional funding. Any additional expenses are up to you, but this Grand Prize is a great start for any filmmaker.

What if I don’t shoot my sizzle?

You will forfeit the cash prize and project services. You will still keep all other prizes from the Top 10 and Semi-finalist categories. 

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 ISA Registry, WGA and/or the Library of Congress Copyright office.

Does the writer maintain rights to the screenplay?

Yes, always!

Who owns the Sizzle Reel when it's completed?

You do! It’s yours to share, pitch or just watch for fun. The ISA Development Team will also help you get it out to producers or potential reps. Emerging Screenwriters does have the right to use some of it for promotional material to show what the process can result to.

What does it mean when you say that employees / staff may be exploring the same ideas as my script. Are you going to take my script?

Similar ideas are thought of all the time as we do have writers on the team, but our goal is to help you get your work credited with your name to industry professionals. None of us want to take your story and put our name on it. We love to help writers!!

Shoot Your Sizzle Rules

  • Grand Prize Winning screenwriters of any previous Emerging Screenwriters SHOOT YOUR SIZZLE 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 SIZZLE 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.
  • 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.
  • Camera Equipment Package if arranged by Emerging Screenwriters / ISA is for short-term rental use only. You will not own the equipment.
  • If you are the winner of the Grand Prize you accept responsibility for the camera and equipment. Emerging Screenwriters will not be liable for any damage to the equipment.
  • Emerging Screenwriters will provide cash in the amount of $5000, which will be paid in phases over your production period with proof of progress and at the discretion of the consulting producers. Neither Emerging Screenwriters nor the equipment rental facility will be held liable to provide you more cash or equipment if you go over budget. All additional costs are at your own expense.
  • If you decide not to produce the sizzle project, all prizes and related resources will be forfeited.
  • The Emerging Screenwriters consulting producers will only be there to make suggestions on the production process. It is up to the writer and its core production team to complete the project.
  • The consulting producers will only be available in the United States, during business hours Pacific Time, and for a maximum of 2 pre-production days and 3 shooting days – for a total of 5 hours for each consultant.
  • Production consulting services, cash payment and equipment prizes will be expired and forfeited 6 months after announcement date if proof of production progress is not shown within that time.
  • Emerging Screenwriters and its staff assumes no responsibility or liability of the production set or project.
  • No cash substitute for the camera package or any other prizes forfeited will be provided.
  • 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.
  • Upon delivery of the edit by RealReels, a Maximum of 2 Rounds of Notes will be included in the initial prize, after such time the winner will be billed at the rate of $75/hour for any additional changes.
  • CONNECT Membership prizes expire after 90 days and cannot be combined with a current free CONNECT membership.
  • You may submit your entry and payment online only. We’re GREEN!
  • Multiple entries are permissible with an additional discount 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.
  • 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.
  • Winner must give the produced sizzle or short credit, such as Special Thanks or Script Facilitation credit on imdb and end credits on film.
  • Payments will be accepted via Paypal where all major credit cards are accepted, or through registrations on the ISA website or Film Freeway.
  • Promotional discounts do not apply to ISA or Film Freeway 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 sizzle project for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
  • Contestants are under no obligation to participate therein.
  • Contestants may submit their screenplay to any other person, competition, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization and will retain all rights to their screenplay.
  • 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.
  • The writer understands and accepts without reservation that he/she is 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 Shoot Your Sizzle you must agree to the Rules.

Any other questions feel free to email us here: