Trainee Writer

Adventures of a screenwriter in training…

TV Writing Contest

If you’ve clicked on this page, chances are that you’re either a writer or somebody interested in either writing for or working in the television or film industries.

If you’re a television writer, you’ll have noticed that there are very few competitions or opportunities of exposure. As television writers, it’s usually ‘who you know’ that puts your foot in the door, not what you can do. So how does this contest help you?

First of all, ‘contest’ here is a misnomer. There’s no tangible prize for this ‘contest’ at all. You won’t win money, an option, a production deal or agency representation. The prize is exposure: people will get to hear about – and read – your script.

Unlike other contests, there is no entry fee, there is no catch and the entire process is potentially beneficial to you. I’ll read every script I’m sent, I’ll send feedback on every script I read. Those I like, I’ll blog about and post live to the world for any producers (and other industry professionals) who stumble across it to read. I’ll tell them what it’s about, I’ll tell them which demographic it’s aimed at, I’ll even tell them how to contact you, unless you’d rather I didn’t.

So before I tell you how to enter, some rules, and T&Cs:

  1. Entry to the contest is free and there is no deadline. I do, however, reserve the right to suspend the contest at any time, should I need to get caught up on my reading.
  2. Prizes for the contest are offered only in the form of recognition and exposure. There is no overall winner, no cash prize, and no offer will be made of an option, sale, production deal or agency representation.
  3. I’d like to ask that all scripts be registered with an appropriate body prior to submission. I recommend the Writers Guild Of America for registration, though there are many other alternatives. If you submit an unregistered script, I like it, and I publish it then you’ll have no legal recourse should the script be stolen by a third party.
  4. By submitting your entry to the contest, you give me permission to publish it for download by any interested parties either inside or outside the business. Should you make a sale at any point, I will, of course, remove the script from circulation..
  5. Each entry will receive feedback from me. I do not claim to hold any higher standing than being a guy who reads and writes scripts and, since I have a day job, you must understand that I will turn around feedback in my own time, though I’ll aim to do it in under a week.
  6. All scripts must be submitted in English, though by prior arrangement I may accept scripts in French, German or Spanish. Should feedback be required in another language, please allow me time to check my understanding of the script and translation of the feedback from English – I’m not a native speaker of any language other than English.
  7. Scripts in any standard television format may be entered, with the exception of MOWs. This includes, but is not limited to: half-hour sitcom, half-hour soap opera and hour-long drama. I will accept both pilots and spec scripts for existing shows.
  8. If submitting a spec, you must understand that I have no power to place the script in the hands of the show runner of the show in question, nor would I if I could. Show runners don’t read specs of their own shows.
  9. I reserve the right to end this ‘contest’ at any time. Any unread entrants will be informed should this happen.
  10. I can’t think of any more T&Cs as I write this, though I’ll add them if I do. I just wanted to make this a list of ten to satisfy my OCD.

How To Enter

Send the script to in PDF format with the following information:

  • Show Name
  • Episode Name
  • Length of script
  • Genre
  • Logline
  • Synopsis
  • Registration information
  • Writer(s)’ Name
  • Writer(s) Address(es), telephone number(s) and e-mail address(es) – can be withheld on request and made available only to interested professionals.
  • Writer(s)’ history – Previous experience/sales, contest wins, etc.
That’s all there is to it; e-mail me your script, I’ll read it and, if I like it, I’ll pimp it. Every script I like will be promoted via the medium of social networking and industry-related websites. Chief among these, the groups of which I’m a member on LinkedIn, which connect me to thousands of film industry professionals, and my personal friends and contacts within the industry.
What are you waiting for? Get writing and submitting!

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