Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

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  • Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

    Hey all, I've not entered any contests in a while. I wanted to get a feel for the top contests today. Last I checked it was Nicholls, Page, Austin, Trackingb, and Slamdance. Has that changed? And what are the top 5 for genre writers?
    "All of us trying to be the camera behind the camera behind the camera. The last story in line. The Truth" Chuck Palahniuk - Haunted

  • #2
    Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

    I think Nicholls, Page, Austin are still musts, but I think Launch Pad and Script Pipeline are the next best two. Simply based on results and opportuities, I think these 5 are the best in the game.

    Slamdance and Trackingb have started to lose a lot of steam over the past few years, and places like Black List (fellowships) and Sundance (lab) have easily surpassed them with more opportunities, and results.

    Bluecat, ISA, Scriptapalooza are still a bit too fringe, and don't have a lot of results to show for the time they've been at it.

    But, just my 2 cents, of course.

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    • #3
      Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

      FYI -- Austin doesn't pay its readers. That might make a huge difference as to if that steep entry fee is worth it.

      https://twitter.com/BittrScrptReadr/...27023642378244

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      • #4
        Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

        Good post Figment. And definitely something to think about. I personally never really looked at contests as a way to make money, instead it was about helping me land an agent or manager or trying to make it far enough in a contest that my name and script were sent to, or seen by people who could help me make this writing thing a career. I tend to see those that don't offer money as a prize (or at least not a ton) tend to have better results. But hey, I'm also not faulting anyone for chasing cash either. Just my experience.

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        • #5
          Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

          I'm not talking about prizes for the "winners" or if the contest makes a profit. I was speaking about the people the contest hires to read the scripts for them.

          I just meant that if you don't pay readers anything -- how accurate are they going to be when they are reading piles of scripts? Are they chucking them after ten pages? Have they ever been readers before -- because most readers (rightly so) aren't going to read for free. They should get something for their efforts.

          Even the Nicholl, which is a non-profit, pays their first round readers at least a little.

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          • #6
            Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

            100% agree Figment!

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            • #7
              Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

              The top 4, based on seeing actual real world results are Nicholl, Trackingb, Black List, & Austin. That's the 1st tier.

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              • #8
                Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                I remember a DDer had a script that was a Page finalist, yet scored a 2 from a Blacklist reader. It's all subjective, including the "best contest" list.
                FADE IN:
                PERSEVERANCE OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
                NEVER FADE OUT.

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                • #9
                  Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                  I'd go with Nicholl, PAGE, Austin, Launch Pad, and the Black List.
                  "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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                  • #10
                    Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                    I'd recommend Nicholl, PAGE and ScreenCraft. These are reputable contests run with integrity and professionalism.

                    IMO, after those three, the rest fall into about the same middling level of quality.

                    Late Night Writer

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                    • #11
                      Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                      I wonder if agents / managers are even aware of these reputable contests. I queried the heck out of my 2015 Page Finalist script and I couldn't even get a "no unsolicited e-mail reply." No one gave a damn
                      I'm never wrong. Reality is just stubborn.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                        Nicholl, Page, Austin, Fresh Voices. For me, these have seemed to be the most professional and they stick to their timelines. Also a fan of the Black List but don't consider that part of the hard deadline contests.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                          Jai wrote: I remember a DDer had a script that was a Page finalist, yet scored a 2 from a Blacklist reader. It's all subjective.
                          You are right, Jai. It is subjective. And I have tried to stress that fact with people on this board who get upset that they had a 6 or 7 from one reader, and a 4 or 5 from another. However, in a case like that we are talking about a slightly higher than average score versus an average score.

                          By contrast, a 2 is a really low score for a script that did well elsewhere. It would be interesting to see a script like that. In all the talk here about Black List scores, I cannot remember anyone owning up to a 2. That script had to be unusual in some way to generate such a discrepancy. Ordinary subjectivity normally does not stretch that far - from finalist in a known contest to a 2 on the BL. Very strange. I would love to see that script.

                          "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                            Is the Black List considered a "contest"? I have a script up that is considered a "top unrepresented screenplay" with an average rating of 8.3 (feel free to check it out).
                            "All of us trying to be the camera behind the camera behind the camera. The last story in line. The Truth" Chuck Palahniuk - Haunted

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                            • #15
                              Re: Top 5 Screenplay Competitions to Date

                              Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
                              You are right, Jai. It is subjective. And I have tried to stress that fact with people on this board who get upset that they had a 6 or 7 from one reader, and a 4 or 5 from another. However, in a case like that we are talking about a slightly higher than average score versus an average score.

                              By contrast, a 2 is a really low score for a script that did well elsewhere. It would be interesting to see a script like that. In all the talk here about Black List scores, I cannot remember anyone owning up to a 2. That script had to be unusual in some way to generate such a discrepancy. Ordinary subjectivity normally does not stretch that far - from finalist in a known contest to a 2 on the BL. Very strange. I would love to see that script.
                              It happened a while ago, but I believe the author is still on these boards, you could ask him... (page 24 of the original "Franklin Leonard answers your questions" thread)
                              FADE IN:
                              PERSEVERANCE OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
                              NEVER FADE OUT.

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