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Slamdance Screenplay Competition
Active Since 1995
The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging writing talent.
Currently Closed. Subscribe to receive a notification when the next season opens.


The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging writing talent. We welcome screenplays in every genre, on any topic, from anywhere in the world. 

We provide constructive feedback for every entrant. We also offer a more intensive coverage service for an additional fee. 

Since 1995, the competition has established a strong track record for introducing writers to members of the entertainment industry who have gone onto to produce, option and represent submitted work. Like the Film Festival, the Screenplay Competition is a place for new, bold, and raw voices. We are looking for scripts that take risks, refuse compromises, and go places where Hollywood hacks fear to tread.

In addition to awarding the best screenplays submitted to Slamdance, our readers nominate unique scripts that, with a little more development and support, could turn into production-ready ventures. From these nominations, Slamdance selects one Mentorship Award-winner each year who will receive personal mentorship through Slamdance’s alumni network and screenwriting consultants. The competition is about much more than awards. Every entry to the Slamdance Screenplay Competition receives short constructive feedback from one of our readers.

Our competition consists of four categories. Awards are given to the top three scripts in each category. In addition to that, Slamdance will present the Grand Prize for the best screenplay, regardless of category.

• Feature
• Horror/Thriller
• TV Pilot
• Short

We look forward to reading your work!


A total of $18,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners this year.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $10,000 in cash.
The winners of the Feature, Horror/Thriller, TV Pilot, and Short categories will receive $2,000 in cash, each.
The top three screenwriters in each category will receive prize packages that include Festival Passes good for all screenings and parties at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (January, pandemic permitting) .
The top three screenwriters in the Feature and Horror/Thriller category are eligible for membership in the Writers Guild of America’s Independent Writers Caucus.
The winning Horror/Thriller feature and Feature screenplays will receive $2,500 in legal services from Pierce Law Group, LLP.

One entry from the competition will be awarded the Slamdance Screenplay Mentorship Award, consisting of personal mentorship through Slamdance's alumni network and screenwriting consultants. Including: An in-depth coverage report, an action plan for next draft development, further review of subsequent drafts, support in preparing a pitch deck, and best efforts in helping get the finished work produced through Slamdance's alumni network.

Production companies, studios, top agencies and managers request to read our top scripts.

2022 Winners on Coverfly

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Sep 27th
Oct 4th
Oct 13th



  • Scripts submitted to the competition must NOT have been previously optioned, purchased or produced at the time of entry.
  • If a submitted screenplay becomes optioned or purchased between the time of submission and the end of the judging period, the applicant must notify us and that screenplay will no longer be eligible for an award.
  • Scripts submitted to the competition must not have received awards from other competitions over $1,000 at the time of entry.
  • Screenwriters who have had previous feature screenplays produced and distributed by non-independent means are ineligible.
  • Screenwriters who earn more than $50,000 annually from screenwriting for TV or film are not eligible.
  • No adaptations of other written work will be accepted unless the writer owns the rights to the original material or the original material is in the Public Domain.
  • No specs will be accepted for the TV Pilot category. All TV Pilot entries must be for new original series.

Submission Guidelines
  • All scripts must be in PDF format.
  • Screenplays must be in English, formatted according to the current industry standards in 12-point courier font.
  • Cover page does not count towards overall page count
  • If the script is based on a true story, that should be noted on the cover page
  • No substituted pages or other revisions will be accepted once you have submitted your script. New versions of scripts will only be considered if resubmitted as new and separate entries.
  • All entries must be uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
  • We do not offer refunds for submission fees.


  • The first round of reading is done by individual readers. If your script is advanced to the next round, the script will be read and scored by multiple readers to determine whether it gets into quarterfinals and semifinals.
  • If your script makes it to semifinals, it will be discussed at the deliberations where readers will determine finalists and winners.
  • If your script did not make it into quarterfinals, it will not advance to further stages of the competition.
  • No judging decision will be included with the feedback.
  • Slamdance notifies winners only. Entrants are advised to check our website and e-newsletter for judging announcements.
  • The Slamdance Screenplay Competition readers’ decisions are final.
  • Multiple authorship is acceptable. Slamdance divides awards equally among co-writers.

We strongly encourage you register your work with the Writers Guild of America, West ( and the US Copyright Office (

Everyone who submits a screenplay to Slamdance will receive concise feedback from our Readers. The object of our Feedback Service is to provide you with constructive criticism about your work. The feedback includes a logline, genre suggestion and a small paragraph outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay. 


The object of Slamdance Coverage is to provide you with extensive constructive criticism about your work. Coverage includes a brief plot synopsis and then offers an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay. Coverage also offers the screenwriter some recommendation as to what "the next step" could be with their screenplay and writing. This may address media, films and screenplays, production companies and agencies the writer should be aware of, as well as any words of wisdom from one of our Readers. Slamdance Coverage provides you with an insight into the mind of a Reader who reads hundreds of independent screenplays each year. Our Readers' goal is to assist you in crafting your submission into something that can advance in competition and impress agents, managers and producers. The Standard Coverage will be returned within two months from the time you submit your work. Express Coverage will be returned within 21 days from the date of submission.