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WeScreenplay
Diverse Voices
Spring 2022
WeScreenplay is looking for stories from writers with underrepresented backgrounds. If that’s you - we want to help amplify your voice!
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About

Managers and agents are signing writers from underrepresented backgrounds in record numbers as the industry is finally taking strides to become more inclusive and diverse. 
 
Diverse Voices is a screenplay competition and lab that strives to encourage stories that are told from perspectives that are often underrepresented in Hollywood today. This includes writers of color, women writers, writers with disabilities, writers over 40, writers in the LGBTQ+ community, and any other voices that have historically been ignored by Hollywood.

A couple of cool things about this program: since it started in 2015, Diverse Voices has raised over $35,000 for various nonprofit organizations and over a dozen past winners have been signed, staffed, and optioned. All readers for this competition come from diverse backgrounds, and all entrants will receive a page of written feedback on their script from their first round’s judge.

Benefits

The Fall 2021 Diverse Voices Jury:
Talitha Watkins -- President and Head of ColorCreative Management. ColorCreative is a management and production company founded by Issa Rae and Deniese Davis with the mission of delivering women and people-of-color creators best-in-class representation to build career-defining brands through ownership, commercial success, artistic fulfillment, and visibility amongst the multicultural community and industry at large.
Previously, Talitha Watkins served as a Motion Picture Agent and Cultural Executive at CAA, where she represented many of the world’s leading producers, directors and actors. Additionally, Watkins helped build out the agency’s multicultural business and capabilities including the multicultural leadership community and event, CAAAmplify.

Rhys Ernst -- Producer and Director on Amazon’s TRANSPARENT. Rhys also created the title sequence for the series. He was nominated for a 2015 Emmy Award for directing and producing the webseries TRANSPARENT: THIS IS ME. In 2016 he teamed up with Focus Features to create the online series, WE'VE BEEN AROUND.Rhys' debut feature film, ADAM, premiered at the Sundance 2019 Film Festival, won awards at Outfest, Oslo Fusion, and the Mezipatra Film Festival, and was nominated for a 2020 GLAAD award. Ernst has shown work at the Whitney Biennial, the Sundance Film Festival, Oberhausen, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, The Walker and The Hammer Museums; he has won two Special Recognition GLAAD Awards as well as awards at Outfest, Chicago International Film Festival, the L.A. and the Seattle Transgender Film Festivals. He has been awarded fellowships from the Point Foundation, Film Independent’s Project Involve, Sundance FilmTwo, and the Universal Director’s Initiative. He was awarded the 2015 Point Foundation Horizon Award and the ACLU Liberty Award for his work on transgender representation in the media.

Charlie Swinbourne -- Screenwriter focusing on Deaf Culture. Charlie is a screenwriter and journalist who is deaf and grew up in a deaf family. He's recently written for BBC programmes such as CASUALTY, EASTENDERS, and on new series for CBBC and CBeebies. He was a member of The BBC Writers Room's first Writer Access Group. His work as a writer/director includes the BSL comedy sketch show DEAF FUNNY, the Found documentaries, the FOUR DEAF YORKSHIREMEN comedies, and hit short film THE KISS. He's also penned the award-winning TV dramas MY SONG and DEPARTURE LOUNGE, rude mockumentary HANDS SOLO, the mini-series THE FINGERSPELLERS and YouTube smash COMING OUT. He makes ground-breaking dramas, comedies and documentaries, often with Deaf people and sign language at their heart.

Michael [Boogie] Pinckney -- Director & Creative Producer, Jax Media. Michael is a DGA Director and Creative Producer who made his feature film debut with the Lionsgate distributed film YOU'RE NOBODY TIL SOMEBODY KILLS YOU, and he has directed the digital episodic series SOLE KINGS for BRIC TV and BLACK ACTRESS for Issa Rae Productions. He wrote and directed THE TRADE, the Award-Winning film about sex trafficking, now on Amazon Prime. His recent directorial assignments were the pilot for BLUE FLAME, a new series about an all-female undercover police unit and GOD BLESS YOU, an urban drama that has gotten over 2 Million views on Youtube. Michael got his start as an assistant director on films such as INSIDE MAN and PRECIOUS as well as TV shows like BROAD CITY and LAW & ORDER CI before transitioning to writing and directing.

Jen Ray -- Literary Manager at Heroes and Villains Entertainment. Jen Ray is a manager at Heroes and Villians Entertainment who provides equal parts career management and editorial/development services to screenwriting clients, with an emphasis on helping young writers break into Hollywood and advocating for unique female voices. Her clients are known for projects such as SAUSAGE PARTY, HACKSAW RIDGE, POWER RANGERS (2017), INTO THE DARK, and more. Jen also produced the independent feature film FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and sold to Focus Features.

Grand Prize Winners
Top 3 – 4
Cash value of ~$2,500

Includes
  • Diverse Voices Screenwriting Lab
  • Three (3) Free Classic Coverages to be used before the Lab Experience

The Diverse Voices Lab is a one-of-a-kind lab experience. Those chosen for the lab will have a long weekend PACKED with workshops to hone their craft, mentorship calls with working writers, and general meetings with studio execs, literary reps, and more. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any emerging screenwriter. 

Spring 2021 Winners on Coverfly

See Other Placements

Announcements

Dec 15th
Semifinalists
Jan 15th
Finalists
Feb 15th
Winners

Rules

  1. Screenplays entered must:

    1. Be submitted in PDF form and must fit all standard screenplay format guidelines. Personal formatting conventions will be accepted but must not intentionally or accidentally alter the page count of the project as determined by the judges. Anything over 120 pages will cost $1 extra per page.

    2. Be owned solely by the writer or writing team listed. It may be an adaptation or reimagining of true events or fictional stories. 

    3. Be written in English. However, scripts from anywhere in the world will be accepted.

    4. Have pages numbered. Scripts of any length will be accepted for an additional fee, but we’d advise that scripts over 150 pages should be edited down before being submitted.

  2. Writer must be 18 years of age or older at the time of the winner's announcement.

  3. By entering this screenplay into the competition, you must have full permission from all co-writers and any attachments to the project.

  4. WeScreenplay claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holder(s).

  5. Screenplays entered may be in any genre or combination of genres. All will be treated equally and read by an unbiased panel of readers and jury members.

  6. The following formats will be accepted: Feature screenplay, TV pilot screenplay

  7. Entrant’s total earnings for screenwriting for either film or tv, produced or unproduced, must not exceed $50,000 in the previous 18 months from submission or $250,000 lifetime earnings. This excludes any prize money from competitions or fellowships and only applies to fund or money transferred in exchange for an option or sale of a script, treatment, idea, intellectual property, or other writing for filming. Money earned from acting, directing, producing, or any other film work outside of writing is not included.

  8. Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was completed with no financial gain to the writer.

  9. Purchasing Additional feedback throughout the competition will in no way impact your standing or odds of advancement.

  10. For a submission to be valid it must be accompanied with the appropriate payment based on the submission deadlines.

  11. All deadlines are at 11:59pm PST on the date listed. Any deadline alteration or promotion of any kind does not make any entry valid for a refund of any kind.

  12. RESUBMISSIONS will be accepted. Alterations can be re-uploaded via our submissions management platform at coverfly.com for $5. New drafts of an entry will be accepted at any time during the contest.

  13. There are no refunds for any submitted screenplay. Coupons may not be applied to previously submitted scripts. Coupons deemed for WeScreenplay coverage may not be used for submission to the contest or addition of coverage to any submission unless explicitly stated or exempted on the coupon or by a WeScreenplay representative via e-mail communication only.

  14. There is no limit on the number of scripts a writer or writing team may submit.

  15. Prizes are awarded per script and teams of writers are expected to divide prizes on their own accord. If the lab is in-person, WeScreenplay will provide flights and hotel accommodations up to $2000 total. WeScreenplay will send prizes to the writer who submits the project and will in no way be responsible for how the prizes are distributed among the writing teams.

  16. 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.

  17. Scorecards can be accessed on the writer’s dashboard. Feedback will be delivered before the next announcement but usually sooner. Our average turnaround time for feedback in the competition is 5 - 10 days for both the 1 page and 4 page options.

  18. WeScreenplay reserves the right to delay announcements for any reason. While we never anticipate any delays, such delays will not alter the standing of any screenplay entry and will not qualify an entry for a refund under any circumstance.

  19. By entering a WeScreenplay competition every entrant is agreeing to all WeScreenplay Terms of Service listed on the website and additional terms agreed upon at checkout. If you disagree with any terms you may not submit to the contest.

  20. By submitting to the contest you are releasing your script (but not it’s underlying rights) to WeScreenplay and holding harmless WeScreenplay or any affiliates from any claims, expenses, and liabilities, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, copyright, libel, trademark infringement, slander, personal property infringement, etc.

  21. Any prize winners will be required to sign an affidavit validating their entry into the contest.

  22. Any writer winning a cash prize of over $599 will be required to file the appropriate tax and legal documentation before the cash prize is distributed.

  23. All prizes provided by sponsors or mentors are subject to said sponsor or mentor providing the prize. WeScreenplay will do everything in its power to collect the prize packages promised, but is not responsible for a sponsor’s failed delivery.

  24. Former Grand Prize, Second Prize, and Third Prize Winners of the contest may enter so long as it is NOT the same script that won in a previous year. Any other placement in former years does not disqualify the script from being entered this year.

  25. Void where prohibited.

  26. Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to WeScreenplay and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

  27. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless WeScreenplay, Red Ampersand, Inc., Industry Arts, LLC., WeScreenplay.com, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the WeScreenplay.org and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of WeScreenplay and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.

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Website Contact Spring 2022