“There’s so much excitement in having the film go out into the world and people being able to see the story that’s been so near and dear to me,”
― Channing Godfrey Peoples
5 Competitions for Diverse Screenwriters from October to November
Written by: Christine B.
October 21, 2021
Competitions are a great way for screenwriters to garner more experience while also providing some amazing prizes for the lucky winners. From contests to fellowships, there’s something to be gained for everyone. Here are the top 5 stellar competitions running from October through November.
Big Break Screenwriting Contest
The Big Break Screenwriting Contest is open to online entries of original feature films and television screenplays in a variety of genres and categories. The Diversity category is for scripts written by underrepresented writers. This category exists to encourage writers who have underrepresented voices in Hollywood to enter the contest. The contest is open to any writer 18 and older whose screenplay or teleplay is not currently optioned. Grand prize winners receive $10,000 in cash, an iPad, career coaching, meetings with renowned Hollywood screenwriters and literary managers, along other prizes. Submissions must be between 40 and 120 pages, although contestants can submit multiple entries. A full list of rules can be found on their website. The fee to apply is $45-$75 with the cost rising as the final November 9th deadline approaches.
1497 Features Lab
The 1497 Features Lab is designed to elevate and develop screenplays by writers of South Asian descent, as such applicants must be of South Asian descent and United States residents. The application asks for links to past work, an artistic statement, logline, script synopsis, and the first 10 pages of the screenplay uploaded as a PDF. If you are named one of the 10 Finalists, you must submit a full screenplay draft and participate in a virtual interview with 1497. The chosen top 3 finalists will participate in the in-person lab in New York City. Screenplays entered may be in any genre or combination of genres. Selected writers will receive rigorous script development, professional mentorship, industry connections, as well as full coverage for the in-person lab event in New York City. Submission fees are $25 and applications must be submitted before Oct. 31st.
Roadmap’s Diversity Initiative Competition
Roadmap’s Diversity Initiative Competition is a monthly competition for diverse screenwriters. Contestants must submit a one-page statement in PDF format highlighting your diverse background and why you would be a valuable and hardworking member of the Career Writer Program, and a writing sample (feature or pilot). Winning applicants will be selected to participate in Roadmap’s month-long On-Ramp Program for free, as well as a certificate for a Final Draft 12 copy. Submission is free and closes on the 25th of October before re-opening for November’s contest.
The Minority Report
The Minority Report is an industry-vetted fellowship program for the top diverse student screenwriters of features and TV pilots. Entrants must be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate educational institutions (class of 2021 graduates is eligible). The Minority Report accepts feature scripts, original pilot scripts, and both half-hour and hour-long teleplays. Any script submitted must not be currently optioned at time of submission. The contest is sponsored by DIVERSO, a student-run film nonprofit dedicated to changing the face of entertainment by empowering the underrepresented storytellers of the next generation. Selected fellows will receive mentorship, meetings with executives and producers, participation in a virtual panel with top industry professionals, as well as distribution to various agencies. Submission fees are $20 and applications must be submitted before October 14th.
Read Latinx Writers Initiative Year 2
The Read Latinx Writers Initiative pairs aspiring Latinx TV writers with industry professionals for script reads and mentorship. The application is open to Latinx writers of TV sample original pilots. The program provides the opportunity to be read and receive script notes from industry professionals including showrunners, WGA TV writers, executives, and reps. Winning applicants will receive over 200 script reads, free Final Draft software, and tickets to NALIP’s Diverse Women in Media Forum, along with other benefits. Select mentees will have additional opportunities to be read and have meetings with executives and representation in addition to their assigned mentor.
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