frequent questions

What category should I select for my script?

The best answer is, “Select the category comes closest to how you see your script.”

The categories do not come into play while the judges are reading the scripts. The judges have no idea what category or categories have been selected by the writer. They read them blind to category and give each script a 1 to 10 score. We then take the scores from all of the judges and average them, which becomes that script’s final score.

After we have all of the final scores, we do a sort of each category from highest to lowest final score. Therefore, the scripts are judged solely on their quality, and not how they fit anyone’s notion of a genre.

In other words, if a violent, R-rated horror script writer accidentally chose “Comedy” for a brilliantly written script, that script would end up at the top of the Comedy category. (If this happens, we will retroactively change the category. So far it has not.)

We do this because we want the judges to only consider the quality of the writing, while at the same time we do not want the non-Drama genres to be short changed.

We also separate the winners by category because it is useful for producers, directors, agents and managers who are interested in specific genres to be able to look at a particular category.

Do I have to customize the Title Page of my entry?

Please submit your script with a standard cover page. It can include your name and contact information. We do not need it to be anonymous, as we will assign it our own cover page after the script is entered, but is helpful to us that the script you upload or mail has the standard title page.

Can I use a pen name?

Yes, you may use your pen name. Simply enter the contest under the pen name, and we will treat that name as the author of your script.

If I’m sending my script electronically, what should the file name be?
We recommend that you name your script’s computer file with simply the script title (shortened if necessary).  And please note, if your title starts with “The” it helps us that you include “The” in the name of the pdf.  In other words, if your script is “The Amazing Script” please name the pdf “The Amazing Script.pdf”.

Who are the judges for Screenplay Festival?
This is the second most frequently asked question. The readers who will be judging the scripts for Screenplay Festival are all industry professionals from the festival’s sponsors. This includes literary agents, literary managers, and development executives from production companies. Additionally, one feature-film Music Supervisor is reading scripts for Screenplay Festival because she loves to read scripts and we know she has good taste. Look at our sponsors for a better idea of who the judges will be.

What exactly is the judging process?
During the first round, each judge grades the scripts on a scale from 1 to 10 and then the grades are tallied to see which scripts continue to the next round.  Judges are not assigned to specific categories or genres to prevent one judge’s bias from affecting the results in a particular category. In the second round, the top scripts in each category are read by all the judges who missed them in the first round, again being given a 1 to 10 grade. At the end of the second round, the grades are calculated and the judges have shouting matches until the Grand Prize and Honorable Mention Winners are decided.

How do I enter Screenplay Festival?
Screenplay Festival is easy to enter. You may also enter Screenplay Festival entirely online. If you want to receive an application in the mail, you can print one right now. The brochure provides you with all the information that you need.

Can I submit more than one screenplay?
Yes, you can. Each screenplay submitted must be accompanied by its own entry form and payment. For everyone’s convenience, multiple screenplays may be submitted in the same envelope or attached to the same email.

What are the Prizes?
In each category, the Grand Prize Winner will receive a $500.00 cash prize. Additionally, every Grand Prize Winner and every Honorable Mention in each category will be announced and openly available to agents, producers, directors and investors. In all cases, the writer will be contacted either by Screenplay Festival or the inquiring party when interest is expressed in their material. Only Feature Length Screenplays are eligible for prizes. There are additional prizes given to writers by our sponsors.

Can writers who live outside the USA enter Screenplay Festival?
Yes. If you live outside the USA, you are welcome to enter Screenplay Festival. All Entree Fees must be paid in United States Dollars.

What happened to the “Family” category?
This was a bummer.  We LOVED having this category. But over the years, the number of entries to this category was continually dwindling.  We accepted that Family no longer justified being it’s own category, as all Family scripts can also be considered Action/Adventure, Comedy, or Drama.  In 2017, the Family  category was dropped.

What happened to the “Arthouse/Experimental” category?
The Arthouse/Experimental category was once included to ensure that non-traditional scripts could still receive recognition. However, due to the excessive confusion about what constituted an “Arthouse/Experimental” script, as well as the fact that not many writers seem to be writing terribly experimental material, the category has been dropped.

What happened to the “Romance” category?
The Romance category was intended to give a fair opportunity to those scripts that are intended to be love stories, often called date movies. These stories generally appeal more to women and rarely receive the attention they deserve. However, the vast majority of writers did not consider their work “Romance” and therefore our attempt to recognize an often ignored genre failed.

What is the Screenplay Festival mailing address?
Submissions are only accepted at the mailing address. Walk-ins to the Screenplay Festival office are not permitted. The Screenplay Festival mailing address is:
Screenplay Festival
15021 Ventura Blvd. #523
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

If I am submitting for Script Analysis as well as the competition, do I send two scripts?

If you want written feedback on your script by submitting your script for Script Analysis and you want the script entered into the competition as well, you only need to send one copy of your script. The person who reads your script and provides the written feedback will be instructed to make certain that your script goes directly into the competition after they are done with it.