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Which Screenplay Contests Should You Enter in 2017?

By Jerry Traynor, Associate Editor,

Screenwriting contests are not a one-size-fits-all affair. While there are obvious benefits to winning a huge and prestigious competition like the Nicholl Fellowships, smaller contests can be just as valuable if they hook you up with a judge who wants to option your screenplay, or a manager who wants to represent your work. Last year we identified more than 20 different contests that we thought were worth your consideration, and while the landscape hasn't changed all that much in the last 12 months, we've expanded the list a bit this year to include some new opportunities. Take a look:

Industry Workshops & Fellowships

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Winning a major film or television writing competition can be a great way to win attention from the industry, but the opportunities listed below take that one step further because they basically are the industry. Why settle for a cash prize and yet-another-copy of Final Draft when you can win what amounts to a writing job at Warner Bros. or Nickelodeon?

Top 20 Screenplay Contests for 2017


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These contests and fellowships may not be sponsored by industry heavyweights like HBO or Disney, but they nevertheless represent a significant opportunity for new and emerging writers. Some of them - like Page, Austin, and Scriptapalooza - are enormously competitive, while others - like CineStory - offer more realistic odds.

(Contests listed alphabetically)

Other Contests Worth Considering

Jerry Traynor is a screenwriter, and the Associate Editor of The opinions expressed here are his own. He can be reached at
Eight Managers. Your Script.
Eight Managers.  Your Script.