Are There Screenplay Contests For Student Writers?

Are you a student with a passion for writing screenplays? Have you ever wondered if there are any competitions that specifically cater to student writers? Well, you’re in luck because there are screenplay contests designed exclusively for students like you! These contests are a fantastic opportunity for aspiring screenwriters to showcase their talent, gain recognition, and even win amazing prizes. Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker or simply have a story to tell, participating in these competitions can be a stepping stone towards a successful career in the film industry. So, get ready to unleash your creativity and take a shot at these exciting screenplay contests for student writers!

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What are screenplay contests?


Screenplay contests are competitions that allow aspiring writers to submit their original screenplays for evaluation and consideration by industry professionals. These contests provide an opportunity for writers to gain recognition, showcase their talent, and potentially launch their careers in the world of film and television.


The purpose of screenplay contests is to identify and celebrate exceptional writing talent in the field of screenwriting. These contests aim to give aspiring writers a platform to showcase their work, receive feedback and guidance from industry experts, and potentially gain industry exposure and recognition. Screenplay contests also serve as a means for writers to build a portfolio and establish valuable connections within the filmmaking community.

Importance of screenplay contests for student writers

Gaining recognition

Screenplay contests are an excellent way for student writers to gain recognition for their work. By submitting to these contests, students have the opportunity to have their scripts read and evaluated by professionals in the industry. If their work stands out, it could lead to valuable exposure and possibly open doors for future opportunities.

Building a portfolio

Participating in screenplay contests allows student writers to build a strong portfolio of work. By consistently submitting their scripts to contests, students can demonstrate their commitment to their craft and showcase their writing abilities. A diverse portfolio of screenplays increases the chances of gaining industry attention and becoming a sought-after screenwriter.

Networking opportunities

Screenplay contests often attract industry professionals, including agents, producers, and directors, who may be screening scripts or serving as judges. Through these contests, student writers have the chance to connect with these professionals and develop valuable relationships. Networking can be a crucial step towards gaining access to future writing opportunities and potentially finding representation.

Learning and improvement

One of the significant benefits of screenplay contests for student writers is the opportunity to receive feedback and gain insights into their writing. Many contests offer feedback or evaluation as part of the judging process. This feedback can help student writers identify their strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to improve and refine their writing skills. Participating in contests also exposes writers to scripts from other talented individuals, providing a valuable learning experience.

Are There Screenplay Contests For Student Writers?

Types of screenplay contests for student writers

Local contests

Local screenplay contests are organized within a specific region or community. These contests often cater to student writers and provide a platform for them to showcase their talent at a local level. Local contests are a great starting point for student writers who are looking to gain recognition and establish themselves within their local film community.

National contests

National screenplay contests attract participants from all over the country and have a higher level of competition. These contests often offer more significant prizes and recognition, as well as the opportunity to gain exposure at a national level. National contests typically attract the attention of industry professionals and can be a stepping stone towards a professional screenwriting career.

International contests

International screenplay contests are open to participants from around the world. These contests offer a higher level of competition and provide an opportunity for student writers to gain recognition on a global scale. International contests often attract industry professionals from various countries, potentially opening doors for international collaborations and opportunities.

Benefits of participating in screenplay contests

Prizes and awards

Screenplay contests offer various prizes and awards to the winners. These prizes may include cash rewards, scholarships, mentorship programs, or even production deals. Winning or placing in a contest not only comes with monetary gains but also adds credibility to a student writer’s resume and enhances their chances of being noticed by industry professionals.

Industry exposure

Screenplay contests often attract the attention of industry professionals, such as producers, agents, and directors, who are searching for new talent. By participating in these contests, student writers have the opportunity to gain industry exposure and potentially catch the eye of someone influential. Being recognized by industry professionals can open doors to future collaborations, writing assignments, or representation.

Feedback and evaluation

Many screenplay contests provide feedback or evaluation as part of the judging process. This feedback is invaluable for student writers as it offers insights into their writing strengths and areas for improvement. Constructive criticism from industry professionals can help student writers refine their screenplays, hone their skills, and elevate the quality of their work.

Motivation and inspiration

Screenplay contests provide student writers with a sense of motivation and inspiration to continue pursuing their writing ambitions. The opportunity to compete against their peers and showcase their talent pushes students to strive for excellence. Recognition, awards, or even positive feedback from judges can fuel their passion, validate their dedication, and encourage them to keep writing and improving their skills.

Are There Screenplay Contests For Student Writers?

Screenplay contests specifically for student writers

Eligibility criteria

Screenplay contests for student writers usually have specific eligibility criteria. These criteria may include age restrictions, enrollment in a recognized educational institution, or proof of student status. It’s important for student writers to carefully review the eligibility requirements before submitting their work to ensure they meet the necessary qualifications.

Submission requirements

Screenplay contests generally have specific submission requirements that student writers must adhere to. These requirements may include formatting guidelines, word count limitations, and specific file formats for electronic submissions. It’s crucial for students to carefully read and follow the guidelines to ensure their submissions are eligible for consideration.

Judging criteria

Screenplay contests typically have established judging criteria that outline what the judges will assess when evaluating the submitted scripts. These criteria can include elements such as originality, storytelling, character development, dialogue, and overall execution of the screenplay. Understanding the judging criteria can help student writers craft their scripts according to the contest’s specific expectations.

Prominent screenplay contests for student writers

Contest 1

Contest 1 is an annual national screenplay contest exclusively for student writers. It offers a substantial cash prize, mentorship opportunities, and industry exposure. With a renowned panel of judges comprising industry professionals, Contest 1 provides an excellent platform for student writers to gain recognition and launch their screenwriting careers.

Contest 2

Contest 2 is a biennial international screenplay contest that specifically targets student writers. It attracts participants from around the globe and offers a range of prizes, including production deals and scholarships to prestigious film schools. Contest 2 provides an exceptional opportunity for student writers to showcase their talent on an international stage.

Contest 3

Contest 3 is a local screenplay contest organized by a film association in a particular city. It focuses on encouraging and nurturing student writers within the local community. Contest 3 offers mentorship programs, networking opportunities, and exposure within the local film industry. This contest is an ideal starting point for student writers looking to establish themselves at the local level.

How to find screenplay contests for student writers

Online search

A simple online search using keywords like “screenplay contests for student writers” can yield a wealth of information. Several websites and online platforms maintain updated lists of screenplay contests, including those specifically targeting student writers. These resources provide comprehensive details on contest deadlines, eligibility criteria, submission requirements, and judging processes.

Screenwriting organizations

Various screenwriting organizations and guilds offer information and resources on screenplay contests. These organizations often have dedicated webpages or newsletters that provide details on upcoming contests, as well as tips and advice for student writers. Joining these organizations not only helps students stay informed about upcoming contests but also provides access to workshops, seminars, and networking events.

Educational institutions

Many educational institutions, particularly those with film or screenwriting programs, actively promote and organize screenplay contests for their students. These contests may be limited to students enrolled in the institution or may be open to students from various educational institutions. Students should check with their schools or colleges to find out about any upcoming screenplay contests that they may be eligible to participate in.

Tips for participating in screenplay contests

Choose the right contest

When considering screenplay contests, it’s important for student writers to choose the ones that align with their goals and aspirations. Research the reputation and credibility of the contest and assess the potential benefits it offers. Consider the judging panel, previous winners, and the prizes or exposure that winning the contest can provide. Choosing the right contest increases the chances of gaining recognition and furthering one’s screenwriting career.

Read and follow guidelines

Before submitting a screenplay to a contest, carefully read and follow the submission guidelines. Pay attention to formatting requirements, word count limitations, and any specific instructions provided by the contest organizers. Failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in disqualification, regardless of the quality of the script.

Refine your screenplay

Take the time to refine and polish your screenplay before submitting it to a contest. Seek feedback from peers, mentors, or writing groups and make necessary revisions to improve the script’s structure, dialogue, and pacing. Making your screenplay the best it can be greatly increases the likelihood of gaining recognition and advancing in the competition.

Seek feedback

If a contest offers feedback or evaluation as part of the judging process, take advantage of this opportunity. Feedback from industry professionals can provide valuable insights into your writing and help you identify areas for improvement. Even if feedback is not offered, consider seeking feedback from trusted individuals who can provide objective and constructive criticism.

Submit on time

Always submit your screenplay before the contest deadline. Late submissions are typically not accepted, and all the hard work put into the script will go to waste. Plan your writing schedule carefully to allow for ample time to complete and polish your screenplay before the submission deadline.

Success stories of student writers through screenplay contests

Writer 1

Writer 1, a student who participated in Contest 1, won the grand prize, which included a cash award and a production deal for their winning screenplay. This success led to additional writing opportunities and established Writer 1 as a rising talent in the industry. Today, Writer 1 is a sought-after screenwriter, with several produced scripts to their credit.

Writer 2

Writer 2, a student who entered Contest 2, received honorable mention for their screenplay and caught the attention of a reputable production company. This recognition led to a development deal for the script, and Writer 2 went on to become a successful screenwriter, with their work being produced and acclaimed by audiences and critics alike.

Writer 3

Writer 3, a student who participated in a local screenplay contest, may not have won the top prize, but the exposure and feedback received opened doors to valuable connections within the local film community. Writer 3 secured representation and went on to work on various projects, ultimately gaining recognition as a talented and promising writer.


Screenplay contests provide invaluable opportunities for student writers to gain recognition, build their portfolios, and network with industry professionals. These contests offer various benefits, including prizes, exposure, feedback, and inspiration. With different types of contests available, student writers can choose the ones that align with their goals and aspirations. By following guidelines, seeking feedback, and submitting on time, student writers can increase their chances of success. Success stories of past winners show that participating in screenplay contests can pave the way for an exciting and fulfilling career in screenwriting. Thus, screenplay contests serve as an essential platform for student writers to showcase their talent and pursue their dreams in the field of film and television.

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