A vibrant and busy writer's desk covered with screenplays, trophies, certificates, and a calendar marked with competition deadlines, all set against the backdrop of a cozy, creatively inspiring home o

Ready, Set, Script! Top Screenwriting Competitions of 2023

Lights, camera, and…formatting?! Oh yes, grab your best Montblanc (or that free pen from the bank), because we’re diving into the glittering world of screenwriting competitions! The stakes are high, the judges are picky, and the finalists are salty – just how we like it. It’s your chance to pivot from no-name noodler to the scribe studios swoon over. Without further ado, let’s crash into the top screenwriting competitions that deserve your keystrokes in 2023.

1. Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

Imagine floating up the steps of the Dolby Theatre, an army of flashes bursting around… Okay, so winning the Nicholl Fellowship might not get you an Oscar, but it’s just about the next best thing. Run by the folks behind the Academy Awards (ever heard of ‘em?), this competition is not just a foot in the door; it’s a rocket through the roof. Five lucky winners get fellowships of $35,000, which, let’s admit, ain’t too shabby for a stack of paper covered in Final Draft tears. Get your feature-length masterpiece ready, and who knows? You might just be the next big thing in cinema.

2. Sundance Screenwriters Lab

Grab your ski jacket and your best introspective gaze, because if you get into the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, you’re going to Park City! This lab is more than a competition; it’s a hothouse for your coolest ideas. Held annually every January, the lab offers personal screenwriting guidance from industry mavericks. It’s like having Yoda in your writing room but with less cryptic advice and more actionable feedback. Not to mention, the networking possibilities are as abundant as the hot chocolates in the lodge.

3. Slamdance Screenplay Competition

If you’ve always fancied yourself the indie darling of the screenwriting world, the Slamdance Screenplay Competition is your grunge-soaked alley. As the edgier sibling of the Sundance Film Festival, Slamdance is for those who like their scripts like their coffee: bold, raw, and with a hint of underground gusto. Winners bask in the glory of industry exposure, and the victors in the feature, shorts, and TV pilot categories also nab cash prizes. And bragging rights? Infinite.

4. PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

Turn the page to the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, where all genres get a chance to shine. Whether you’re penning a silent film script (it’s niche, but we respect it) or a rom-com that’s not just meet-cutes and run-ins with exes, PAGE is ready to offer you a platform and a handsome trophy to boot. They award gold, silver, and bronze prizes across multiple genres, and the best part? Each gold winner snags up to $25,000. That’s a lot of lattes to fuel your next writing session.

5. Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

The Final Draft Big Break Contest does what it says on the tin – giving you a big break in the film industry. This contest lavishes attention on emerging screenwriters, offering them exposure, career consultations, and the chance to win up to $100,000 to transform their screenplay into cinematic gold. They also disperse category awards, because who doesn’t love a tailored compliment? Bonus: you can write in any genre that tickles your fancy, from sci-fi to thriller to fantasy. So unfold that laptop and start typing; who knows where your big break might take you!

6. Austin Screenwriting Competition

Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about the Austin Screenwriting Competition, a key component of the Austin Film Festival. This contest is for those who also treasure the written word, not just the final flick. Notables in the biz judge your work, and finalists are invited to exclusive panel discussions (a.k.a. your chance to rub elbows with Hollywood’s finest). Winning here means you master storytelling in its truest form — and possibly snagging a manager who sees your potential.

Whether you’re a scribbling newbie or the Shakespeare of screenplays, throwing your script into the competitive ring could give it the spit-shine it needs to dazzle the decision-makers. Pick your contest, polish that drama (or comedy, or horror), and may the words be ever in your favor! Break a leg, or a pencil, or, you know, just break through. 🌟

The FREE Ultimate Screenwriting Guide!

Posted in

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are beguiled and demoralized by the charms pleasure moment so blinded desire that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble.