Launch Pad Manuscript Competition
2020 season now open
Next Deadline October 24th




Welcome to the 2020 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition! The competition that has led to more signings, success stories and careers than any other is proud to announce the return of our manuscript competition for a third year of searching for the most impressive, cinematic and captivating prose from emerging writers.


The Launch Pad Competitions have led to more than 450 signings, 164 projects set up, 68 writers staffed, 7 bidding wars, and 156 appearances on annual best of lists such as the Black List, Blood List, Hit List, and the Young & Hungry List. Over the past seven years, we’ve watched our Launch Pad writers go on to work on blockbuster franchises and Emmy-winning series, craft New York Times Bestsellers, and set up dozens of projects well beyond their original Launch Pad entries. Now, we’re ready to steer the next great wave of success stories and help you launch your career!




The more than 40 projects set up and 12 books published from our first two manuscript competitions include: “KILL CREEK” with Showtime, Scott Derrickson and Misha Green, “MR. & MRS. AMERICAN PIE” with Platform One, Laura Dern and Tate Taylor, “THE MAGUS WORLD” with Michael De Luca, “HUMAN, ANEW” with Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox, “THIS RED FIRE” with Stampede Ventures, Greg Silverman and Freddie Skov, and a Bram Stoker Award nomination for “KILL CREEK”.




So, what do you need to enter? Well for starters, you don’t need to have a 500-page manuscript ready to go. In fact, you don’t need to have ever written a book before. With the entertainment and publishing worlds more aggressively moving to acquire book partials over the past years, we’re instead inviting you to submit up to 50 pages of your best prose (including a minimum one-page synopsis). Show us your best work, hook us with your best cliffhanger, and give us an idea of where your story will go following those opening pages. You can, of course, submit 50 pages of a book you’ve already completed, but there is no requirement to have a completed book to enter. So, if you simply have an idea, have always wanted to write a book, or simply need a deadline to get your work done by, give us a shot, and see what we can do for you.



For most competitions on the market today, whether win or lose, the finish line usually comes with a brief blog post announcing winners on the competition site, immediately followed by a new competition turning on. For us, that is not even close to enough. Our focus has always been on discovery and elevation. We go to great lengths to ensure those who make any finalist rounds with us are given attention far beyond a blog post. We not only advocate for all of our finalists, and work closely with them to fine tune their project, presentation, and additional works, but we also feature all of our finalists in our highly regarded Launch Pad Alum Booklets, our industry released announcements, and our annual Spec Book, Hit List and Young & Hungry Lists.


Additionally, we work with every finalist to prepare you for what comes next -crafting your additional works and navigating the series of meetings that inevitably follow, whether representation meetings, pitch meetings or generals. We track every read received through the competition, and we share all of this info with you, working to be sure you put your best foot forward every step of the way.



As always, our judging panel features 25 heavyweights from across the industry, featuring representatives, producers, executives, and for our manuscript competition, members of the publishing industry as well. With judges from companies such as Anonymous Content, CAA, Chernin Entertainment, Good Fear, Paradigm, Verve and more, we are proud to present an elite jury representing the power players of Hollywood and beyond.  


Continuing the Launch Pad’s long tradition of helping writers to gain representation, with more than 450 signings to date, we are thrilled to announce this year’s Guaranteed Signing Partner as Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment. 

A close friend of the Launch Pad Competitions since the beginning, Brooklyn has been a judge for every competition to date and Energy Entertainment has signed more than two dozen Launch Pad writers over the years. One of the most prolific spec-selling manager/producers in Hollywood, he has been a part of many Launch Pad script sales and his clients frequently feature on major year-end lists such as the Black List, Hit List and Young & Hungry List. His clients include feature writers such as Rob Liefeld (DEADPOOL), Brad Ingelsby (RUN ALL NIGHT, OUT OF THE FURNACE) and Mark Mallouk (BLACK MASS), as well as TV creators such as Mickey Fisher (REVERIE and EXTANT) and Anthony Cipriano (BATES MOTEL). We could not be more excited for this partnership!



Our guaranteed option partners have included people such as Ridley Scott, Michael De Luca, Roy Lee, Jeremy Garelick, as well as companies such as Prime Universe, Romark Entertainment, and Bad Idea amongst others. We will reveal our 2020 Launch Pad Manuscript Option Partners soon!



  • All manuscript submissions must be submitted with a cover page containing ONLY the project title, without any of the writer(s) names or discernible marks, including but not limited to identifiable registration numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, or other.
  • All entries MUST BE submitted in English as a single PDF document with standard margin sizing.
  • Submissions must not exceed 50 pages even if your manuscript is already a completed work, and MUST include at least a 1-page synopsis outlining the entirety of your story within the single PDF document
  • Submissions must be the sole property of the writer(s), and must be your own original work, story and characters. Any submissions of existing literary figures and or stories not in the public domain, as well as any shows or films that the writer does not own will be disqualified.
  • All entries will be read blind, with no discernible marks shared with readers. We choose this option so that each entry is judged by the work, and the words alone.
  • Submissions previously optioned are allowed, but at the time of submission and for the duration of the contest, must remain the writer’s property.
  • The only manuscripts not allowed to be entered are those which have already sold, have previously earned our “TB Recommends” honors, or received a top 25 placement in a previous Launch Pad competition.
  • Launch Pad and all judges, mentors, partners and readers will utilize whatever criteria they deem appropriate in deciding a winner.
  • All manuscripts will remain the property of the writer(s) throughout the contest (at no point will anyone from the judge’s panel, or Launch Pad ever attach themselves to your work without your consent).
  • Entrants may be contacted as a result of the contest by Launch Pad, the judging panel or other industry professionals in regards to representation, production, sale and/or option of the entered work.
  • Entrants are under no obligation to sell their work or otherwise attach themselves to representation in any form.
  • General manuscript entries will not receive feedback, however, you can opt to upgrade and receive feedback on your manuscript submission.
  • By entering this competition, you agree to receive periodic emails from The Tracking Board and The Launch Pad. You may unsubscribe to these at any time.
  • During the Finalist rounds of the competitions, material will be shared exclusively with Launch Pad Partners and Judges.
  • All entrants understand and agree to allow Launch Pad to post details on their manuscript (title, writers name, logline, genre, and competition details) as well as regarding the writer (biography, picture) to their site, or sister sites to help promote the entrants work.
  • The Launch Pad reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to change or modify these terms at any time without notice.
  • The contest is open to entrants 18 or older. It is an international contest and open to entrants worldwide.
  • All purchases and submissions are final. No refunds will be issued.