Top 5 Feature Screenplay Contests to Boost Your Screenwriting Career

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? We’ve looked at a wide spectrum of contests happening in 2019 and whittled them down to a select few to help you effectively plan your contest submissions for the coming year focusing on the best competitions and fellowships that can get you to the top of the career ladder faster.



Ok, obviously we had to start with our own contest, but we’re not blowing our own trumpet just for the sake of it, we’re one of the dedicated few who want to see our winners get their projects produced and get their careers rolling.

Key Points

  • Winning scripts are read by our 19 OSCAR & BAFTA-winning judges.
  • We’ve helped 60+ writers gain representation, option, sell, and have their screenplays produced.
  • The winning scripts get free script development from our team.
  • The writer can see their script score, which is a useful tool in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a concept. 

Notable Prizes

  • Introductions & meetings with Hollywood Agents and Managers.
  • The winning scripts are sent out to our roster of 80+ production companies.

  Every entry receives a ‘Getting Your Screenplay Produced’ book to help take them on to the next step.



Tracking Board has an impressive list of success stories stemming from its six-year run.

Key Points

  • The teamwork to promote the winner via their hungrily awaited published booklets, best script lists, and industry announcements.
  • They help prepare winners for representation meetings, pitch meetings, and generals, helping you to craft additional works.
  • They track every read of your script, letting you know who’s reading your script and when.

Notable Prizes

  • The winner is flown to L.A. for an exclusive Launch Pad Industry event featuring dozens of industry professionals.
  • Both writer and script are showcased individually to agents, managers, executives, and producers looking for new clients.
  • Free Studio Coverage from the Launch Pad Coverage Program.



This consultancy-run contest is definitely worth checking out

Key Points

  • Heavily focused on career development.
  • They’ve helped writers secure representation.

Notable Prizes

  • Feedback for every entry
  • Promises Industry Distribution for the winners.
  • 1-year Script Lab subscription



Another contest that’s often missed, but the unique prize makes this well worth the effort.

Key Points

  • Having your script read aloud by professional actors can be a fantastic help to your writing.
  • Prior to the Table Read Showcase, an established director will personally meet with the winner to workshop the script.
  • The Short Script live table read is also recorded and broadcast on the ISA’s Curious About Screenwriting Network.

Notable Prizes

  • Cash, Flights, & Lodgings are provided for the winner.
  • An invitation onto the ISA Development Slate where the team will work with the winner for a minimum of 1 year to get the writer and script in front of industry execs.
  • Plus, Table Read also flies the winner out during the featured major festival and takes him/her to events.



Script Pipeline has been around for a long time and we can see why.

Key Points

  • One of the longest-running contests out there, and the reputation of placing in this contest is probably more than enough.
  • $6 million in screenplay and pilots have been sold by competition finalists and “Recommended” writers.
  • Winners receive exclusive invitations to annual writer and industry events hosted by the Pipeline Media Group.

Notable Prizes

  • The $25,000 cash price isn’t something to be sniffed at!
  • The contest offers long-term circulation of the winning script to the industry.
  • Development assistance from Pipeline’s senior executive team is also offered.

Those were just 5 of the contests designed to help writers advance their careers, but check out our feature script competition prize comparison table below as a quick guide to finding what contest best suits your needs.


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

Contest Industry Judges Cash Script sent to Industry Professionals Industry Meetings Mentorship Script Feedback Festival, Event, or Retreat Access Extra’s, Memberships, & Discounts
American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest
Austin Film Festival Script Competition
BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Cinequest Screenwriting Competition
Film Independent Screenwriting Lab
Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest
Fresh Voices Original Screenplay Competition
ISA Fast Track Fellowship
Launch Pad Screenwriting Competition
PAGE International Screenwriting Awards
ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship
Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition
Shore Scripts Feature Screenplay Contest
Slamdance Screenplay Competition
Sundance Feature Film Program
Table Read My Screenplay Contest
The WeScreenplay Feature Competition
The Writers Lab

Don’t miss a deadline. Download our Contest Calendar!