Best 5 Screenplay Contests to Enter in 2023 | USA, UK and Worldwide

We all know that winning or placing in a screenwriting contest can be a great way for new and emerging writers to get that important first foot on the ladder, but not all contests are created equal, meaning that different contests can open different doors for you. There’s plenty on offer out there, but while that big enticing cash prize can feel like a well-earned reward for all of that hard work you’ve put into your script, you need to ask yourself whether it’s going to help you advance your writing career in the long run or just pay some short term bills?

How competitive a contest is, the quality of its readers and the reputation it has within the industry are all important factors to consider when submitting a screenplay. We’ve looked at a wide spectrum of contests happening in 2023 and whittled them down to a select few to help you effectively plan your contest submissions for the coming year.


Ok, obviously we had to start with our own contest Shore Scripts, but we’re not blowing our own trumpet just for the sake of it, we’re one of the dedicated few who proactively push our writer’s work out there to the Film & TV Industry, which is how we’ve managed to create over 100 writer success stories. 

Reasons to Enter

  • Winning scripts are read by our 44 OSCAR, GOLDEN GLOBE, EMMY & BAFTA-winning & nominated Judges.
  • Dedicated Writer Development Team who will get on calls and work with over 50 of our writers in 2023 to help them grow as screenwriters and get their work out there into the industry and create successes. 
  • Industry Roster of over 300 managers, agents, production companies, producers, and directors who are onboard to read the best scripts entered this year. 
  • We’ve helped start the careers of over 100 writers who have gained representation, optioned, sold, and have had their screenplays produced.
  • Over $47,000 in Cash Prizes to be given out in 2023. Plus, much more in other prizes. 
  • We finance 2 short films per year.



Launch Pad is consistently ranked highly for their professionalism and significance as a contest that’s able to kick-start the careers of aspiring screenwriters. With a decade of experience in promoting up-and-coming writers, The Launch Pad Competition has firmly established itself as the premier hub for Hollywood to discover fresh voices and new ideas.

Reasons to Enter

  • Grand Prize winners will be invited to an exclusive yearly virtual event where they will get the chance to meet and pitch industry professionals in a one-on-one setting. 
  • The top 10 winning scripts will be read, reviewed, and voted on by an impressive roster of industry judges. 
  • The top 50 winners receive one-year free membership to The Tracking Board. 
  • A minimum of 1 project will be selected to receive a guaranteed development prize.



There’s a wide range of categories to enter here, there’s undoubtedly something for everyone. This is a highly-rated and competitive contest that’s well-known and with a strong reputation. They are very transparent about their judging process, which should help instill confidence in submitting.  


  • A whopping $25,000 goes to the Grand Prize winner!
  • The Grand Prize winner is also invited to attend the Nostos Screenwriting Retreat Fellowship. 
  • There are the expected promotional services and memberships to various things like, InkTip, Filmarket Hub Pro, Roadmap Promo Package, and 10 Pitches on VPF. 



This contest isn’t on everyone’s radar, but we can’t think why when there’s a really valuable prize up for grabs. Getting your script read and workshopped by actual actors isn’t just an eye-opener, it’s valuable production and writing experience too. 


  • The winning script receives a virtual table read workshopped by a professional director and actors, followed by a roundtable with industry executives with a Q&A. 
  • The Grand Prize includes two 1hr sessions with a reputable screenwriting mentor.
  • A meeting with an established executive. 
  • Pitch Practice & Guidance – Including revision notes and advice on pitch deck creation. 
  • 1-year ISAConnect Membership.
  • There’s up to $1,000 cash prize money to be won.



WeScreenplay has been gaining traction for some time now. They run several Screenwriting Lab’s which is great for helping you develop your work and connect with the industry. 


  • At least 4 winners will be invited to participate in WeScreenplay’s exclusive Virtual Lab, which is a once-in-a-career opportunity to network, get exposure, and learn from other successful writers. 
  • Winners will take meetings with development executives, attend notes sessions, and learn how to make the most of a client/rep relationship from managers and agents. 
  • There’s also ongoing mentorship from WeScreenplay.



This may be another contest that you’re unfamiliar with as it was founded in the UK, but don’t worry, it’s a well-received international competition well worth entering regardless of where you’re based due to its very impressive 60+ OSCAR and BAFTA-winning judges all lined up to read the winning scripts. 

Recognized by MovieBytes as one of the top screenplay contests of 2022, the contest promotes its own ‘Golden List’ of winning scripts. (Think along the same lines as the Black List here). In its short lifespan, the contest has helped many of its winning writers advance their careers and gain representation. 


  • This lesser-known contest may have better odds to win – but that doesn’t mean scrimping on the quality of your scripts! 
  • The First-Place winner receives a one-on-one masterclass mentorship with OSCAR-winning producer Bobby Moresco.
  • Inclusion on the Golden List, which allows their roster of esteemed executives, producers, and directors access to the winning scripts. 
  • The top 3 winners receive a 1-year ISAConnect Membership, a 1-year Screenwriting Staffing Membership, 1-year FILMUSTAGE subscription, and unlimited subscription @ Filmarket Hub & Spotlight Mailing to Filmarket Hub’s International Database. 


Our contests have helped over 100 writers kickstart their screenwriting careers

See how our Feature, TV Pilot & Short Film Fund Contests can help you break through as a screenwriter