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ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition
Reads in Coverfly
Active Since 2018
The demand for films and television series based on existing IP has never been higher. Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman joins as this year's VIP Mentor!
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This unique ScreenCraft competition focuses on true stories, biographies and works in the public domain (published before 1928). 

Winners and finalists are highly sought after by managers and agents. Hundreds of ScreenCraft writers have signed with top management companies and agencies like CAA, Anonymous Content, Bellevue Productions, WME, UTA, and many more.

We’re also thrilled to offer an opportunity for a mentorship with Jenny Wood, President of Taylor Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions.

All finalists will receive a guaranteed meeting with an industry professional!

Accepting TV Pilots and Feature Screenplays!



This year's VIP Mentor Akiva Goldsman will meet with the competition finalists!


Writer, Director, Producer

Akiva Goldsman wrote A BEAUTIFUL MIND, for which he won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and WGA Award. His feature writing credits include THE CLIENT, BATMAN FOREVER, A TIME TO KILL, PRACTICAL MAGIC, CINDERELLA MAN, I AM LEGEND, THE DA VINCI CODE, ANGELS & DEMONS, INSURGENT, and I, ROBOT. Upcoming features include RAINBOW SIX and RINGWORLD. He has worked in television as a producer, writer, and director for the TV show FRINGE, for which he garnered a Saturn Award and a Hugo Award nomination; as well as UNDERGROUND, which was nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards. His recent television projects include the live-action series TITANS and Apple TV+’s THE CROWDED ROOM, a psychological thriller starring Tom Holland. Currently, Goldsman is working on Season 3 of STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS.

The top scripts are considered by our incredible industry jury.



Development Producer, Merman

Charlie is the Development Producer for Merman. Merman is a globally-renowned production and entertainment company working across the UK and US, with a reputation for scripting and producing award winning TV and film. Merman’s recent TV projects include the critically acclaimed BAD SISTERS (Apple TV+), which was created by and starred Sharon Horgan. In 2023, Bad Sisters won the BAFTA Award for Drama Series, Best Supporting Actress and Best Titles & Graphic Identity, alongside a further two nominations. It received four IFTA Awards and the Peabody Award for Entertainment, and was nominated at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, C21’s International Drama Awards, Writers Guild of America, Broadcast Awards, Channel 4’s National Comedy Awards and RTS Craft & Design Awards. 



Manager, Cartel

Over the 25 years Mr. Saul has worked in the entertainment industry, he has garnered the reputation of being able to develop clients from unknown writers or young short film directors to become some of the leading creatives in Hollywood, working on some of the biggest studio films in production. Clients like Tim Reckart (currently directing HIGH IN THE CLOUDS for Netflix), Josh Trank (CHRONICLE, FANTASTIC FOUR), and Wes Ball (MAZE RUNNER franchise, PLANET OF THE APES) all of them started as directors with shorts, and off of those shorts Ryan was able to get them their first studio films. In addition to the studio directors, he has also helped put together independent films like STOCKHOLM (starring Ethan Hawke & Noomi Rapace), MEADOWLAND (Reed Murano’s debut film), DEAR ZOE (currently in post-production – starring Sadie Sink), as well as documentaries such as HIT SO HARD, and PIERRE CARDIN. In addition to those mentioned above, he currently represents a number of upper-level television writers as well, such as Michael Alaimo (BOSCH: BALLARD), Kiersten Van Horne (OUTLANDER), and Deb Swisher. His directors have won awards all-over the globe, like Oualid Mouaness (1982 – Cannes/TIFF), and award-winning commercial director, HENRY HOBSON. He has a penchant for turning short film directors into major studio motion picture directors.


Creative Executive, Jon Watts

Kathleen Gardner is a development executive for the director Jon Watts, helping to manage a slate of projects across both film and television. Upcoming projects include STAR WARS: SKELETON CREW for Disney+, WOLFS starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney for Apple, and FINAL DESTINATION 6 for New Line Cinema. Kathleen is a native of Virginia and a graduate of USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program and the University of Virginia.


Producer and Development Executive

Since moving to Los Angeles Alex has worked on TV, Film and podcasts including HOUSE OF CARDS, MANHUNT: UNABOMBER, SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, MASTERMINDS, RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, JETT and the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY franchise. He's been a core part of development teams that have sold projects to major platforms including: Disney+, Universal Pictures, Max, FX, Amazon, Netflix, ABC Signature, Fox, UCP, MGM+ and Peacock.


Grand Prize Winner

The overall grand prize winner in either feature or TV category will be welcomed to the ScreenCraft Writer Development Program and receive personal introductions with one or more top Hollywood literary manager(s), producers, or industry exec. who are looking for talented emerging Film & TV screenwriters.

The top 3 winners’ project info and log lines will be circulated and recommended to our network of over 150 Hollywood managers, agents, producers and development executives.

ScreenCraft has a proven track record for getting writers signed with managers, agents, and staffed in writing rooms.

They'll receive:

  • • Personal Introduction to top industry professionals
  • • Accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program
  • • $1,000 cash award
  • • An exclusive invitation to a Finalist only workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry

Feature & TV Winners

  • • $500 cash award
  • • Accepted into the ScreenCraft Development Program
  • • An exclusive invitation to a Finalist only workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry


  • • Guaranteed Meeting with an Industry Professional
  • • An exclusive invitation to a Finalist only workshop to position yourself and your writing to the industry


This optional add-on prize category will identify one winner to learn, workshop, and strengthen their project with guidance from an industry mentor. This year's mentor Jenny Wood will select one writer/writer team that includes this unique add-on benefit with their entry.


President of Taylor Sheridan's, Bosque Ranch Productions

Taylor Sheridan and Bosque Ranch Productions are known for hits like Yellowstone, 1923, Lawman Bass Reeves, Mayor of Kingston, Hell or High Water and more. As head of literary at Elevate, Jenny Wood represented a talented list of filmmakers and writers, and worked on both developing and packaging clients’ material as well as Elevate’s own slate. In 2022, Wood transitioned from the role of Manager to President of long-time client, Taylor Sheridan’s production company, Bosque Ranch. There she oversees day to day operations of the company and the large slate of shows in production and development.

Only projects submitted to the ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition AND that select this add-on are eligible for consideration in this category. Additionally, all projects that place in the Top 10 of the competition will automatically be considered.

Writer Success

2024 Winners on Coverfly

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May 22nd
Jun 18th
Jul 17th
Mentorship Winners
Jul 17th


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

Rules & Info:

  1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.

  2. Entry fees are as listed on the site and checkout form. No coupon or discount is applicable on a previous entry.

  3. Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback can be done through Coverfly.

  4. Entries may be any length --  the standard 1/2 hour is between 20 - 40 pages, and the standard hour long is between 40 - 70 pages, and the standard feature is between 85 - 120 pages. Any script submission longer than 120 pages will incur a $.50 per page overage fee for each page over 120 if it does not include feedback and $1 per page if the entry does include feedback.

  5. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.

  6. Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59PM Pacific Time, and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.

  7. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).

  8. Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s).

  9. If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing any prizes awarded as they deem fair (whether there is a cash value or not).

  10. Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $6 reentry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.

  11. It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registration.

  12. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required. ScreenCraft uses Coverfly to manage submissions and automatically removes cover pages before scripts are read by the judges.

  13. ScreenCraft claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders. 

  14. The decision of the judges will be final and cannot be contested in any manner. There is no score on a scorecard that guarantees advancement to the next level as advancement will be based on all scores in the competition.

  15. In the event a juror, partner organization, or prize partner is no longer able to serve in their specified capacity, ScreenCraft will make its best effort to secure a replacement. ScreenCraft is not responsible for the failed delivery of any prize package by a juror, sponsor, or partner organization.

  16. ScreenCraft reserves the right to change deadline and announcement dates at any time.

  17. ScreenCraft reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.


  1. All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible. However, a writer who has earned more than $50,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional writing services for film or TV in the preceding 12 months or $500,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional film or TV in the proceeding 10 years is not eligible. (Contest winnings not included.)

  2. All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the material submitted must be in English (occasional dialogue in other languages is acceptable, if subtitle translation is provided).

  3. All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.

  4. The material may have been written at any time.

  5. Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.

  6. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.

  7. All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF. Broken files or non-PDF files may be accepted, but if the file cannot be read ScreenCraft will not judge the submission.

  8. Prize winners may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and proper tax documentation before prizes are released.

  9. By entering the competition, user acknowledges their eligibility for the competition. ScreenCraft may verify all eligibility requirements at the finalist stage of the competition and before distributing any prizes.

  10. Scripts or projects based on underlying material not owned by the writer are accepted as samples, so long as the script itself is indisputably written by the writer and that the script does not contain any plagiarism.

    Click here to view a complete list of rules.