What Genres Are Commonly Accepted In Screenplay Contests?

Do you have a burning desire to showcase your storytelling skills in a screenplay contest, but you’re not sure if your chosen genre is widely accepted? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the most commonly accepted genres in screenplay contests, giving you the key information you need to make an informed decision. Whether you’re leaning towards a romantic comedy, edge-of-your-seat thriller, or mind-bending science fiction, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your pen and let’s dive into the exciting world of screenplay contests!

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Character-driven Drama

Character-driven dramas are stories that revolve around complex and fully developed characters. In this genre, the focus is on the internal conflicts and emotional journeys of the characters. The plot often takes a backseat, as the primary goal is to explore the depth and authenticity of human emotions. These dramas delve deep into the complexities of relationships, personal experiences, and introspection. They can tackle a wide range of themes, including love, loss, family dynamics, and personal growth. Character-driven dramas have the power to elicit genuine emotions from the audience and offer thought-provoking experiences.

Social Issue Drama

Social issue dramas aim to shed light on important societal problems and provoke discussions and awareness. These stories tackle pressing issues such as discrimination, poverty, inequality, and human rights. They often aim to challenge and confront existing systems, norms, and values. Social issue dramas can serve as a powerful tool to bring attention to critical matters and encourage positive change. They have the potential to evoke empathy, stir emotions, and inspire audiences to take action in addressing social problems.

Historical Drama

Historical dramas transport viewers to different time periods, offering a glimpse into the past and showcasing significant events, stories, and individuals. These narratives can be based on true historical events or fictional stories set in historical contexts. Historical dramas provide an opportunity to explore different cultures, societies, and historical periods. They often combine elements of romance, war, politics, and personal narratives, creating a rich and immersive experience. The genre allows for the examination of human triumphs and tragedies while offering valuable insights into the complexities of history.


Romantic Comedy

Romantic comedies, or rom-coms, are light-hearted and entertaining stories that center around love, relationships, and humor. These films often explore the ups and downs of romantic relationships, presenting relatable and endearing characters who find themselves in comical situations. Romantic comedies typically incorporate witty dialogue, playful banter, and comedic misunderstandings. The genre offers a pleasant escape, providing audiences with laughter, heartwarming moments, and a sense of hope for love.


Satire is a genre that uses humor and irony to criticize and mock various aspects of society, often with the aim of bringing about social and political change. Satirical comedies employ satire as a tool to exaggerate and expose flaws, hypocrisies, and foibles in individuals, institutions, or cultural norms. These films can be both comedic and thought-provoking, challenging the status quo and inviting audiences to question societal or governmental practices. Satire provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the world and encourage critical thinking.

Dark Comedy

Dark comedies combine humor with darker and more morbid subject matters, often exploring taboo or uncomfortable themes. These films embrace the absurdity of life and find humor in situations that are typically considered serious or distressing. Dark comedies can cleverly tackle sensitive topics such as death, crime, and dysfunction, offering a unique and unconventional perspective. This genre appeals to audiences who appreciate a blend of humor and the exploration of the human condition in unconventional ways.

What Genres Are Commonly Accepted In Screenplay Contests?



Adventure films take viewers on thrilling journeys, filled with excitement, danger, and exploration. These stories often follow protagonists as they navigate through treacherous environments, facing formidable challenges along the way. Adventure films can feature epic quests, global explorations, or adrenaline-pumping escapades. They provide audiences with a sense of escapism, transporting them to exotic locations and immersing them in high-stakes adventures. The genre encompasses a wide range of subgenres, catering to different tastes and preferences.


Thrillers captivate audiences through suspense, tension, and unexpected twists. These films keep viewers on the edge of their seats, constantly guessing and anticipating what will happen next. Thrillers often involve intense psychological battles, intricate plots, and a sense of impending danger. They can span various themes, including crime, espionage, and paranoia. Thrillers aim to keep the audience engaged and intrigued, providing an exhilarating and exhilarating cinematic experience.


Crime films revolve around criminal activities, investigations, and the consequences that follow. They often feature protagonists from law enforcement agencies or those involved in illicit activities. Crime movies can delve deep into the world of organized crime, heists, or detective work. They provide audiences with a glimpse into the criminal underworld and explore themes such as justice, morality, and corruption. Crime films offer a captivating blend of suspense, action, and intricate storytelling.

Science Fiction

Space Opera

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that combines grandiose space settings with epic and sweeping narratives. These films often feature large-scale conflicts, space battles, and otherworldly landscapes. Space opera stories can take place in distant galaxies, exploring advanced civilizations, interstellar travel, and futuristic technologies. This subgenre offers awe-inspiring visuals, imaginative worlds, and a sense of adventure on an intergalactic scale.


Dystopian films portray bleak and oppressive futures, where societies have deteriorated and authoritarian regimes rule. These narratives often highlight the dark consequences of technology, environmental disasters, or political turmoil. Dystopian films offer a cautionary tale, provoking contemplation about the direction of society and the potential consequences of unchecked power. These stories can be introspective, focusing on the resilience of individuals or groups who resist or challenge oppressive systems.

Time Travel

Time travel stories revolve around characters who travel through time, altering the past or future. These narratives explore the possibilities and consequences of altering history or witnessing future events. Time travel films can span various genres, incorporating elements of romance, adventure, or science fiction. They often delve into philosophical questions about fate, the nature of time, and the implications of changing the course of history. Time travel stories offer a captivating blend of imagination, suspense, and exploration of temporal paradoxes.

What Genres Are Commonly Accepted In Screenplay Contests?


Epic Fantasy

Epic fantasy films transport viewers to richly detailed and imaginative worlds, filled with mythical creatures, magic, and grand quests. These stories often follow heroes on heroic journeys as they battle evil forces and strive to fulfill an important destiny. Epic fantasy films can incorporate elements of adventure, romance, and political intrigue. They offer audiences a chance to escape reality and immerse themselves in fantastical realms of magic and adventure.

Urban Fantasy

Urban fantasy blends the fantastical with the contemporary, setting magical tales in modern urban settings. These films often feature supernatural beings, mythical creatures, or magic-infused societies coexisting with ordinary humans in urban landscapes. Urban fantasy stories provide a unique blend of familiar cityscapes and extraordinary elements, creating a sense of wonder and intrigue. They often explore themes of identity, hidden worlds, and the clash between the magical and the mundane.

Magical Realism

Magical realism films blur the line between reality and fantasy, seamlessly incorporating magical or supernatural elements into everyday life. These stories often take place in ordinary settings with ordinary characters who encounter extraordinary events or phenomena. Magical realism allows for a fusion of fantastical elements with grounded narratives, exploring themes of wonder, perception, and the human condition. It offers audiences a thought-provoking experience, challenging conventional notions of reality and inviting contemplation.


Psychological Horror

Psychological horror films focus on the fear within the human mind, exploring psychological and emotional states of terror. These stories often delve into themes such as paranoia, trauma, and mental instability, creating an unsettling and eerie atmosphere. Psychological horror films rely on suspense, tension, and psychological manipulation to impact the audience. They aim to tap into primal fears and evoke a sense of unease, encouraging introspection and examination of the human psyche.

Supernatural Horror

Supernatural horror films introduce elements of the supernatural, including ghosts, demons, or otherworldly entities. These narratives exploit the fear of the unknown and the inexplicable, often invoking a sense of dread and suspense. Supernatural horror films aim to evoke fear through supernatural occurrences, jump scares, and atmospheric tension. They tap into deep-seated fears of the supernatural and provide spine-chilling experiences that keep audiences engaged and on edge.

Found Footage

Found footage horror films utilize a first-person perspective, presenting the story as if it were recorded by the characters themselves. These films create a sense of realism, immersing the audience in the harrowing experiences of the characters. Found footage horror often involves characters documenting supernatural or terrifying events, capturing raw and unsettling footage. This subgenre can evoke a heightened sense of fear and tension, as viewers feel like they are witnessing the events firsthand.

What Genres Are Commonly Accepted In Screenplay Contests?


Detective Mystery

Detective mysteries revolve around investigative protagonists as they unravel complex and enigmatic cases. These films often feature talented detectives, private investigators, or amateur sleuths who use their deductive skills and intuition to solve crimes. Detective mysteries offer compelling and suspenseful narratives, inviting audiences to piece together clues and unravel the mystery alongside the characters. They often balance suspense, intrigue, and intricate plot twists, keeping viewers engaged until the very end.

Crime Mystery

Crime mysteries center around criminal investigations, focusing on the process of uncovering the truth behind a crime. These films often involve forensic experts, law enforcement agencies, or journalists who work tirelessly to solve mysteries and bring criminals to justice. Crime mysteries provide audiences with captivating and suspenseful narratives, exploring the complexities of criminal activities, motives, and the pursuit of truth. They can shed light on the intricacies of investigations while keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.


Whodunit mysteries follow a particular structure, introducing a crime and challenging the audience to unravel the identity of the culprit. These films often incorporate elements of suspense, riddles, and red herrings, keeping viewers guessing until the revelation at the end. Whodunit mysteries provide an engaging and thrilling experience, encouraging active participation from the audience to piece together the clues and solve the puzzle. They often offer unexpected plot twists and satisfying resolutions.


Love Story

Love story films center around romantic relationships, exploring the complexities of love, passion, and human connection. These narratives often follow couples as they navigate through various challenges and obstacles on their journey towards love and happiness. Love story films can incorporate elements of drama, comedy, or even other genres. They evoke a range of emotions and offer audiences a chance to experience the joys and tribulations of love, resonating with their own personal experiences.

Historical Romance

Historical romance films combine elements of romance with historical settings and events. These stories often transport viewers to different time periods, exploring love and passion against the backdrop of historical events or societal norms. Historical romance films can incorporate elements of drama, tragedy, or adventure, adding depth and complexity to the love stories portrayed. They provide audiences with a blend of romantic escapism and valuable insights into the cultural and historical context of love.

Erotic Romance

Erotic romance films explore the sensual and passionate aspects of romantic relationships. These stories often depict intense emotional and physical connections between characters, embracing themes of desire, attraction, and personal exploration. Erotic romance films can incorporate elements of drama or even other genres, but they prioritize the exploration of explicit romantic and sexual content. They provide audiences with a sensuous and intimate experience, capturing the complexities and intensity of human desire.

What Genres Are Commonly Accepted In Screenplay Contests?


Pixar-style Animation

Pixar-style animation refers to the computer-animated films produced by Pixar Animation Studios. These films are known for their high-quality animation, compelling storytelling, and emotionally resonant narratives. Pixar-style animation appeals to both children and adults, offering beautifully crafted worlds, memorable characters, and heartfelt stories. These films often tackle universal themes of friendship, family, and personal growth, creating a positive and uplifting cinematic experience for all.


Anime is a distinctive style of animation originating from Japan, characterized by its unique art style, narrative structures, and cultural references. Anime covers a wide range of genres, including action, romance, fantasy, and science fiction. These films often incorporate complex character development, philosophical themes, and visually stunning animation. Anime appeals to a diverse and global audience, offering a captivating blend of storytelling and visual aesthetics that set it apart from traditional Western animation.

Stop Motion

Stop motion animation is a technique where physical objects and figures are manipulated frame by frame to create the illusion of movement. These films offer a visually distinctive and tactile experience, showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship involved in animating physical objects. Stop motion animation can cover a wide range of genres and themes, from family-friendly adventures to darker and more experimental narratives. The meticulous attention to detail and the charm of physical animation make stop motion films a unique and engaging form of storytelling.


Celebrity Biopics

Celebrity biopics explore the lives and careers of notable individuals from the entertainment industry, such as actors, musicians, or athletes. These films offer insights into the personal and professional journeys of celebrities, shedding light on their struggles, successes, and the impact they have had on popular culture. Celebrity biopics provide an opportunity to delve into the complexities of fame, the creative process, and the human stories behind iconic figures.

Historical Figures

Biographical films about historical figures bring to life the stories and legacies of influential individuals from different periods of history. These films aim to provide an accurate and engaging portrayal of historical events and characters, highlighting their achievements, challenges, and impact on society. Biographies of historical figures offer a glimpse into the past and the chance to explore significant events, political movements, or cultural shifts through the lens of individuals who shaped history.

Sports Biographies

Sports biographies focus on the lives and careers of athletes, showcasing their triumphs, setbacks, and personal journeys within the world of sports. These films provide an opportunity to delve into the dedication, sacrifice, and passion that drive athletes to excel in their chosen field. Sports biographies can inspire and entertain, offering insight into the physical and emotional challenges athletes face and the impact they can have on society. They often celebrate the power of perseverance, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence.

In conclusion, screenplay contests widely accept a diverse range of genres. From character-driven dramas to comedic escapades, from thrilling mysteries to fantastical adventures, aspiring screenwriters have the opportunity to explore an array of storytelling possibilities. These genres cater to different tastes and preferences, offering audiences a diverse range of cinematic experiences. Whether it’s the emotional depth of a character-driven drama, the laughter induced by a comedy, or the adrenaline of an action-packed thriller, each genre has its unique ability to captivate and engage viewers. So, embrace your creativity, choose a genre that resonates with you, and embark on a captivating storytelling journey.

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