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Emerging Screenwriters
Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition
Active Since 2010
We’re searching for the most authentic and unique features and pilots in all genre categories.
Currently Closed. Subscribe to receive a notification when the next season opens.


We’re looking for ALL emerging screenwriters! Whether you’re just beginning or a seasoned writer ready to redefine your career, we can elevate you to the next level. We’re searching for the most authentic and unique scripts in eight broad genre categories. For example, your script can be straight drama or a crossover script with dramatic elements. Mix and match any of the genres and surprise us to win cash in any category! This year we want to read your best work, the script that represents your genuine talent!

The winner of each genre category will receive $2,500 cash. Of the eight scripts selected, one of you will go on to win the Grand Prize and receive an additional $10,000 for a total of $12,500. You will also be accepted onto the ISA Development Slate*, where the Development Team will get your script in front of top industry pros from companies like MGM, Gidden Media, ICM, plus ISA vetted literary agents and managers.

**OVER 80 scripts from Development Slate writers have BEEN PRODUCED OR OPTIONED and 64 writers HAVE BEEN REPPED! **

Categories: Feature / TV Pilot

Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Historical/Bio, Horror/Thriller, Mystery/Crime, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Family/Holiday/Young Adult

The Top 8 Scripts Will Be Read by Top Agents, Managers & Producers


Readers Will Include:

Producer – Joe Restaino (Pig, Passing)
Joe Restaino is a PGA marked award winning film producer. Films include – NEON’s PIG starring Nicolas Cage, Sundance 2021 PASSING directed and written by Rebecca Hall, Diane Keaton’s MACK & RITA. Joe is a client of William Morris/Endeavor Content.

Director – Star Victoria (Lust, Death of a Telemarketer)
Star Victoria is a 2020 DGA jury award-winning director. She graduated with her MFA in Production from the University of Southern California in 2019. Star directed her first feature film in 2021 for A&E Networks/Lifetime called Lust starring Tank and Keri Hilson. She is a Director mentee of the Ryan Murphy Half Initiative Director Diversity Program where she shadowed veteran director Loni Peristere on an episode of Fox’s Scream Queens. Star is also an invaluable 1st Assistant Director. She has AD’d over 15 feature films and several Shorts/music videos and commercials. One such short, Lalo’s House, a USC thesis film won the Student Oscar in October 2018. Star is also a Mentee of Director Mike Listo, Loni Peristere, Robert Townsend, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Cindy Cowan, Garcelle Beauvais and the late John Singleton. She is currently repped by Anthony Marotto at APA.

Shooter/Editor/Producer/Director – Alrik Bursell 
(Strange Thing, Making Movies is Hard)
Alrik Bursell is a freelance shooter/editor/producer who’s worked on feature films and corporate videos. He has directed five short films including Strange Thing, which played at over 20 film festivals worldwide. Alrik has also worked on commercial videos for brands such as the NFL, Comcast Xfinity and HBO. Alrik is currently working as a Post Production Producer at Glass & Marker in Oakland, California. Alrik is also one of the hosts of Making Movies is Hard a popular indie filmmaking podcast and his first feature film The Alternate is currently playing the film festival circuit.

More to be announced soon. 


Grand Prize Winner 
(Selected from 8 Genre Award Winners)

- $12,500 Cash (Includes $2,500 from Genre Award)
- Invitation onto the ISA Development Slate, where the team will work with you to further package and champion your winning script to more industry execs for a full year. Over 80 scripts from Development Slate writers have been produced or optioned.
- 1 Year ISAConnect with access to Writing Gigs and Industry Pros
- All Additional Category Prizes

Genre Award Winners
(8 Winners Selected from 8 Genre Categories)

- $2500 Cash Each
- Genre Winner's Scripts Will Be Read by Top Agents, Managers & Producers
- ISA Development Slate Consideration 
- ISA Development Slate Evaluation (for a New Script)
- 12 Months ISAConnect with access to Writing Gigs and Industry Pros
- 8-Year Copyright from Creator's Vault
- All Prizes from Finalists

Finalists (Top 10 of Each Genre)

- The Craft Course in Screenwriting 
- 6 months ISAConnect with access to Writing Gigs and Industry Pros
- ISA Logline Review
- Digital Copy of "(Not Just) Another Book on the Craft of Screenwriting"


- 3 months ISAConnect with access to Writing Gigs and Industry Pros
- Digital Copy of "(Not Just) Another Book on the Craft of Screenwriting"

What is the ISA Development Slate?
- The ISA's premier list of internationally talented screenwriters selected due to their talent, achievements, dedication to the craft, contest wins and industry-related success.
- The ISA supports, applauds and promotes these skilled individuals to producers, managers and agents in Hollywood and beyond, forging relationships and building careers.
- Relationships include: Disney+, Lakeshore Entertainment, CAA, ICM, Harpo Studios, MGM, Funny or Die, ABC Signature, Paramount Players and 80 other top studios, agents, managers and producers actively seeking content.
- 80 projects have been optioned or produced plus nearly 100 writers have been signed with a managers and agents.

Writer Success

2024 Finalists on Coverfly

See Other Placements


Apr 14th
May 3rd
May 19th
Genre Winners
May 19th
Grand Prize Winners


At the program's request, Coverfly will automatically remove your title page for you if you include one when submitting to this program.

All writers from all countries are welcome to enter the competition; however, all scripts must be submitted in English, and entry fees must be paid in U.S. dollars.
Emerging Screenwriters Grand Prize Winners and their screenplays are ineligible to enter into any future contest season.
If you receive 2nd – 6th place awards 3 times with 3 different screenplays, you will no longer be eligible to submit.
Scripts must be the original work of the author(s) and may not be encumbered by any third party.
Scripts that have been sold, produced for a profit, or are currently under option are not eligible.
Novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, and/or spec scripts for existing TV series are not eligible. Your script must be an original screenplay or teleplay.
Screenplays adapted from your own self-published books, plays, or other source material are eligible if you have retained all rights to your work.
Adaptations from other works are permissible, provided all rights have been secured to adapt the work.
Adaptations of works in the public domain are permissible.
Collaborative work is eligible; the writers are responsible for the distribution of the competition prize(s).
Those that receive a free script feedback are not eligible to receive a free resubmission, which may come as an option with purchased script analyses or unless otherwise stated in a promotion.
You understand that a script analysis can take up to 90-days turn-around time and may not be received before the end of the contest.
Entries and payments are accepted online only. We’re GREEN!
Promotions must be used at the time of submission and will not be added to previous submissions.
Multiple entries are permissible and get a discount.
Once a script has been entered into the competition, we will only accept substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages if you contact us within 24 hours. After that, under no circumstances will we accept changes. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your script, you must enter it as a new submission and pay the appropriate entry fee.
Writers under the age of 18 years old must have parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate.
Competition applicants must accept without reservation the decisions rendered by the judges.
You understand that it is your sole responsibility to register Material with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writer’s Guild of America or the appropriate agency in his/her country.
Payments to be accepted via Paypal or through registrations on the ISA website. All major credit cards accepted.
By entering this competition, and in the event you are declared a finalist and/or winner, you understand and accept that Emerging Screenwriters and the ISA will be free to use your name, likeness and voice for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
You are under no obligation to participate therein.
You may submit your screenplay to any other person, competition, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization.
If you submit to the Emerging Screenwriters Competition, you will retain all rights to your screenplay.
No agreement for compensation, other than the prizes, has been implied.
Prizes may be distributed in the rate of 1 package per person based on the highest placement and not per winning screenplay, depending on the request of the sponsor.
The cash prizes will be distributed 3 months from the date of the final announcement.
ISAConnect Membership prizes expire after 90 days and cannot be combined with a current free ISAConnect membership.
Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed. The Judges will adhere to our competition guidelines; however, the competition and its administrators may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions on the part of the Judges.
Length requirements are as follows: 1). Full-Length Features: 70-120 pages. 2). TV Pilots: Up to 70 pages.
If you order a script analysis you may be charged separately $1 for each page over 120 pages, or the reader may only read the first 120 pages.
Please do not enclose synopses, casting suggestions, letters, resumes or photos with your submission. They will not be forwarded to the Judges. However, standard supplementary materials, such as lists of recurring characters and future episodes, may be included with a TV Pilot submission. Email them to: Submissions@
You understand that your logline and screenplay will be reviewed by our staff and/or our panel of Industry Judges for evaluation. You also understand that any one of the staff or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to yours, and you hereby waive any claim that the Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition, its staff or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of your submission logline or screenplay.
You understand and accept without reservation that you are an independent contractor and that Competition Administrators are not responsible for withholding any taxes or payments to any government agency, at any level, be it state, local or federal.
By entering the Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition, you agree to the rules.
For more inquiries, please email us at