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Screenplay Competitions

Screenplay Competitions: Tools and Insights to Help You Choose the Best Screenwriting Contests for You and Your Script

by Ann Marie Williams



ISBN-13: 978-0-942617-75-7
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Additional information on "Screenplay Competitions: Tools and Insights to Help You Choose the Best Screenwriting Contests for You and Your Script" by Ann Marie Williams


Trade paper.  264 pages, quality paper, 8.5 x 5.5 inches.

Copyright 2019

ISBN 978-0-942617-75-7

Reading level: Ages 16 through Adult


Screenplay Competitions explains the competition process (and the myriad of differences among competitions) from eligibility requirements, to how competitions advance entries, to the prizes that accompany a win. In addition, Ms. Williams discusses what judges look for in scripts, and she reveals ways to determine a script's rank--even if it doesn't place. Equipped with this information, writers can better select the competitions that are most likely to reward their particular scripts and help advance their writing careers.

What makes Screenplay Competitions especially unique is that it is designed for all aspiring screenwriters (not just the few who will win). Throughout the book, Ms. Williams provides strategies to turn the competition process into an educational experience so that writers can use the competition process to help improve their scripts (and themselves as writers) no matter how far they advance in a competition.

Throughout seven sections, Screenplay Competitions explains:

  • ...the benefits of screenwriting competitions, even if you don't win.

  • ...how to identify screenwriting competitions that are more likely to reward the script you’ve written and are deserving of your entry fee.

  • ...what judges look for in scripts.

  • ...common judging criteria so you can use this information to improve your script prior to entry.

  • ...types of written critiques offered in conjunction with competition entries.

  • ...ways to analyze written critiques so you can determine which comments necessitate revisions to your script.

  • ...the competition, judging, and advancement processes so you can better determine how far your script advanced in a competition and the ranking process utilized.

  • ...common types of prizes and awards.

  • ...common entry fees, eligibility requirements, and entry guidelines.

  • ...how to proactively protect your script.

  • ...strategies to get the most from your entry so you can improve yourself as a writer no matter how far you advance in the competition.

Screenplay Competitions includes three templates designed to:

  • ...help screenwriters keep clear and consistent records of submissions and results.

  • ...identify each competition’s judging process in order to better determine which competitions to enter.

  • ...help determine where the entered script ranked among other entries.


"An in-depth and specific guide to how screenwriting contests operate."

—Dave Trottier
Author, The Screenwriter’s Bible


"Writing for the screen is a fiercely competitive enterprise. In recent years, dramatic writing competitions have exploded. They represent a new and effective tool to win the attention of agents and producers. But how do you know which contests are legitimate? How does a writer determine whether or not a particular offering merits its entry fee? With her hands-on, nuts-and-bolts, information-packed volume, treating an oft-neglected aspect offering strategies to launch writing careers, Ann Marie Williams provides a welcome new addition to the literature."

—Professor Richard Walter
former Screenwriting Area Head, Associate and Interim Dean
UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television


"While running a competition has become second nature for me, Ann Williams’ book surprised and delighted me with her acuity on this side of the film industry which is not explored nearly enough. I was amazed with the depth in which she pulls back the curtain and sieves through everything from preparing your script for submission to what judges look for in scripts. Screenplay competitions have always been a valuable opportunity for aspiring writers and Screenplay Competitions should be required reading for any prospective entrant wanting to seize their moment. I highly recommend reading this before clicking SUBMIT."

—Matt Dy
Director of Script Competitions
Austin Film Festival


"Screenplay Competitions is a strikingly thorough guide for anyone interested in pursuing a career in screenwriting. Ann Williams’ comprehensive work answers any possible question one might have about the business and creative aspects of screenwriting competitions. Her colloquial style and tales of her own journey through the competitive process gives the reader a sense you are hearing from a good friend who just happens to be an expert in the field. Very readable and utterly informative."

—Professor Harry M. Cheney
Chapman University
Dodge College of Film and Media Arts


"[Screenplay Competitions] is a great book that is so in depth and provides a lot of guidance. For someone who has never personally entered a screenplay competition, I feel that I would be pretty well prepared to enter one after having read it."

—Taylor Braun
Film Festival Specialist
Chapman University
Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

Table of Contents


Why I Wrote This Book


Competitions Referenced

Reasons to Enter Screenwriting Competitions

The Five Steps of Screenplay Competitions

SECTION I: The Competition Process

1. After You Click Submit

2. The Judges

3. The Reading Process

4. The Judging Process

5. The Ranking Process

6. The Advancement Process

7. The Competition Round Template

SECTION II: Results, Awards, and Prizes

8. Announcing Results

9. Awards and Prizes

SECTION III: Critiques

10. Aspects of Critiques

11. Ways to Analyze and Benefit from Critiques

SECTION IV: Eligibility Requirements

12. Script Eligibility Requirements

13. Writer Eligibility Requirements

14. Duration of Requirements

SECTION V: Selecting Competitions

15. Where to Begin

16. Honing Your List

SECTION VI: The Submission Process

17. Submission Dates and Deadlines

18. Fees and Payment

19. Multiple Entries and Versions

20. Submission Pathways

21. What You Will Need for Submission

One Final Thought

SECTION VII: Templates

22. Using the Templates

23. The Competition Template

24. The Competition Round Template

25. The Submission Template



To visit Ann's author page, please go to: https://annmwilliams.com
Please note that by visiting https://annmwilliams.com you are leaving the Bluestocking Press website. https://annmwilliams.com is not controlled by Bluestocking Press and different terms of use and privacy policies will apply.

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