We welcome author/producer Sara Shepard (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS) as our VIP mentor! Our jury includes Showrunner Charlie Craig, and industry professionals from Appian Way, Color Force, & Howland Agency.

More info coming soon

Current Season Announcements

Jan 17


Feb 7


Mar 20


Apr 17


Our Jury is looking for great stories with potential to be adapted for the screen. We’re looking for novels, novellas, true stories and biographies. 

This year we welcome VIP mentor Sara Shepard is the author of nearly 40 books, including the #1 New York Times bestselling series, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, which aired for seven seasons on Freeform.

Add feedback notes to your entry, and receive insight into the story, characters, and commercial potential showcased in the first 50 pages and synopsis of your project.
Hear some words of wisdom from previous Official Industry Expert, Gillian Flynn.
Is your book under 20,000 words?
Apply to the Cinematic Short Story Competition

VIP Mentor

Sara will identify two writers from this year's competition who will receive personalized feedback on their project, as well as a general meeting.

Sara Shepard is the author of nearly 40 books, including the #1 New York Times bestselling series, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, which aired for seven seasons on Freeform. She has also had two other book series adapted for television, writes and illustrates novels for teens, adults, and elementary age children, and writes and produces for television and podcasts as well.


Receive feedback notes to strengthen your project


Participate in a general group meeting


Learn and gain perspective on next steps to take with your project



Writer, Showrunner, Pretty Little Liars
Charlie Craig is an award-winning TV Writer/Showrunner who’s credits include everything from the X-FILES, EUREKA and THE 100, to running PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and its spin-off THE PERFECTIONISTS. He most recently sold and developed a pilot for NBC. He has taught Television Writing both at USC and UCLA.


Assistant Producer, Color Force
Linda is an LA-based producer originally hailing from Austria. She is now the assistant producer at Color Force, in film and TV production (HUNGER GAMES, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, AMERICAN CRIME STORY), and produces her own content.


Executive, Appian Way Productions
Taylor DiGilio graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Film & Television before moving to Los Angeles. He started his career working under the President of Jerry Bruckheimer Television on projects such as P-TOWN, LUCIFER, and AMERICA GIGOLO, before taking an executive role at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way. He was most recently a Co-EP on the Netflix documentary THE VOLCANO: RESCUE FROM WHAKAARI and has sold projects to Sony, Apple, and CNN Films, among others.


Literary Agent, Howland Literary 
Erin Clyburn is a literary agent with Howland Literary, representing middle grade, YA, and adult fiction and nonfiction. Prior to joining Howland Literary, Erin was an associate agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She has over a decade of experience in magazine publishing, having worked for brands including Food & Wine, Cooking Light, People, and Entertainment Weekly.


Runner-Up Prizes


$500 cash award

Accepted into ScreenCraft Development Program

An exclusive invitation to a Finalist+ workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry


An exclusive invitation to a Finalist+ workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

Previous Success Stories

See More Successes

Noel Zamot

Signed with a Literary Manager

"Much of the initial feedback for my novel, THE ARCHER’S THREAD, noted how readers could visualize the story in the their mind, and how they’d love to see the book adapted to the screen. This inspired me to not only keep writing, but to submit the novel for consideration to a handful of competitions. Becoming a finalist in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition was an inflection point that arrived shortly after winning the Gold medal for popular fiction at the Florida Book Awards. These two milestones were confirmation that years of work had paid off. The biggest [result] was being asked to meet the members of Gravity Squared as part of a select group of finalists of the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition. That fifteen minute conversation — which was less pitch and more an opportunity to share my background, approach and inspiration—changed everything."

Ken Mora

Signed with UK-based publisher Markosia and Optioned Graphic Novel

"Keep at it, and never discount the power of even incremental progress. Write, rewrite, and submit your work to the highest caliber competitions. Every writer tends to swing between thinking their work is great, or absolute crap – only a competitive arena with qualified judges will give you an honest sense of your story’s true quality."

Raqiyah Mays

Semi-finalist in the 2018 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition

"After my book, The Man Curse, made Screencraft's semi-finalist list in the cinematic book contest in 2018, and my adapted screenplay for The Man Curse (a pilot) was a quarterfinalist, I signed with a management team at Echo Lake Entertainment last week. I now have two managers working with me. They're part of a larger team of about 20 or so who will give me the lift I need. I found this management thanks to a fellow writer on the Screencraft finalist FB page. Echo Lake immediately requested my novel, The Man Curse. They were also impressed with some of the other things I've managed to do - like currently developing two shows with Ed Burns, co-creator of The Wire. I also signed a shopping agreement with a producer for my novel The Man Curse. This all happened after my random decision to enter a Screencraft contest. Becoming both a semi-finalist and quarterfinalist gave me the confidence I needed to push forward and believe I have a chance at success in this crazy world of TV writing. "

As Featured In


This optional add-on prize category will identify two winners to learn, workshop, and strengthen their project with guidance from an industry mentor. Horror competition mentors are Greg Newman (Exec. VP at Dark Sky Films/ Queensbury Films) and Jim Klock (actor, writer, producer, and head of Terror Films). Each mentor will select one writer/writer team that includes this unique add-on benefit with their entry.

Dark Sky Films works with emerging talent as well as established veterans to develop, produce and finance feature films and episodic television projects. The company produced Netflix's THE GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR, the writing and directing debut of Queensbury partner Travis Stevens.

Actor and filmmaker Jim Klock is the head of Terror Films. Most recently, Jim produced the feature film ALREADY GONE alongside Keanu Reeves, starring Sean William Scott and directed by Chris Kenneally, and released theatrically in September 2019. He also directed the Amazon exclusive horror film, SLAYED.

Only projects submitted to the ScreenCraft Horror Competition AND that select this add-on are eligible for consideration in this category. Additionally, all projects that place in the Top 10 of the competition will automatically be considered.

Cinematic Book Articles

Read More Articles
5 Screenwriting Lessons From Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Paul Haggis

5 Screenwriting Lessons From Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Paul Haggis

June 20 | by Ken Miyamoto

Academy Originals' Creative Spark Series features Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis as he takes viewers inside his screenwriting process. Haggis moved to California from Canada in his...

The 5 Biggest Differences Between Screenplays and Novels

The 5 Biggest Differences Between Screenplays and Novels

June 18 | by Burt Weissbourd

As a producer developing a screenplay, you learn to look for stories with strong, complex characters and emotional intensity. You want a screenplay with conflict...

7 Famous Films You Didn’t Know Were Based On Books

7 Famous Films You Didn’t Know Were Based On Books

April 29 | by Katie Porter

Screen adaptations of our favorite books can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we can fall in love with our most beloved characters...

Selection Criteria
Additional Legal
  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.
  2. Entry fees are as listed on the site and checkout form. No coupon or discount is applicable on a previous entry.
  3. Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry for your submission. Please note: feedback will only be provided on the first 50 pages and synopsis of your project.
  4. Books must be 150,000 words or less - - in early rounds of reading the writing will be judged based on the first few opening sections of the book. Files should be in PDF format when submitted and should be double spaced.
  5. If a writer would like multiple books that are part of a series to be considered, each book must receive their own individual submission. While each submission will receive its own evaluation we cannot guarantee they will be evaluated by the same reader.
  6. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
  7. Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59PM Pacific Time, and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.
  8. All submitted material must be owned by the writer(s), however the material may be based on other works not owned by the writers.
  9. Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s).
  10. If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing any prizes awarded as they deem fair (whether there is a cash value or not).
  11. Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $6 reentry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your book carefully before submitting.
  12. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the book, however it is not required. ScreenCraft uses Coverfly to manage submissions and automatically removes cover pages before books are read by the judges.
  13. ScreenCraft claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the books submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders. 
  14. The decision of the judges will be final and cannot be contested in any manner. There is no score on a scorecard that guarantees advancement to the next level as advancement will be based on all scores in the competition.
  15. In the event a juror, partner organization, mentor, or prize partner is no longer able to serve in their specified capacity, ScreenCraft will make its best effort to secure a replacement.
  16. ScreenCraft reserves the right to change deadline and announcement dates at any time.
  17. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
  1. All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible. However, a writer who has earned more than $50,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional writing services for film or TV in the preceding 12 months or $500,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional film or TV in the proceeding 10 years is not eligible. (Contest winnings not included.)
  2. All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the material submitted must be in English (occasional dialogue in other languages is acceptable, if subtitle translation is provided).
  3. All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.
  4. There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  5. Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
  6. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  7. All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF. Broken files or non-PDF files may be accepted, but if the file cannot be read ScreenCraft will not judge the submission.
  8. Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.
  9. By entering the competition, user acknowledges their eligibility for the competition. ScreenCraft will verify all eligibility requirements at the finalist stage of the competition and before distributing any prizes.
  10. Scripts or projects based on underlying material not owned by the writer are accepted as samples, so long as the script itself is indisputably written by the writer and that the script does not contain any plagiarism.
  11. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: 

  • Voice
  • Concept
  • Story
  • Structure
  • Characters
  • Dialogues
  • Genre Conventions

In addition to the scoring criteria for the script, ScreenCraft may conduct interviews and send questionnaires to learn more about the entrant, their voice, perspective, and goals to help identify the winning projects. Top scripts are ready by the industry jury who votes for their favorite scripts at their sole discretion.

Mentorship Selection:

  1. The winner of this prize will be selected solely by the specified industry professional(s). The selected winner of this prize will engage with the specified industry professional(s) in an educational development capacity.
  2. The approach and manner in which the industry professional(s) and winner interact is at their discretion. ScreenCraft will have no involvement in the process beyond facilitating an introduction.

Criteria for Winners and Finalists:

  1. The winners and top finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers. 
  2. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility. 
  3. Any entrant may be deemed ineligible as a Finalist or Winner at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft. 
  4. All recognition, placements, and winners are chosen at the sole discretion of ScreenCraft.
  5. Finalists may be required to sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that ScreenCraft or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification will result in disqualification. 
  6. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.
  1. COPYRIGHT AND OWNERSHIP: ScreenCraft or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.
  2. PUBLICITY: Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to ScreenCraft and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  3. REFUND POLICY: All entries are non-refundable.
  4. SITE TERMS OF SERVICE. By entering this competition, the user agrees to all ScreenCraft Terms of Service in addition to these rules and eligibility criteria.
  5. DATA MANAGEMENT AND PRIVACY. Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform Coverfly, and ScreenCraft (a d/b/a of Red Ampersand, Inc) uses other data management tools, including but not limited to, Google Services and Amazon Web Services, to securely manage your data. ScreenCraft is not accountable for any data hacks (internal or external) or user errors that may release scripts or writer data unintentionally.
  6. ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE: BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless ScreenCraft,, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of ScreenCraft and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility. By entering the contest, you authorize us to use any trusted third-party online and cloud-based services and databases for hosting, managing and/or transmitting your submission file(s).
  7. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.


The Haunting of Hill House
The Shining
Lovecraft Country
Get Out
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Maximize Your Entry

Add feedback to your entry for over a page of notes to further improve your project.


Joanne Bellew

I have just received very constructive and helpful feedback from ScreenCraft. A reader who had actually read the script properly. Very grateful! Thank you ScreenCraft.
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