"Hell of a fest and weekend." - Paul von Stoetzel (MN), 2019 winner, Best Adaptation

Poe Film Festival proudly sponsors its fifth annual “Burning Love Screenplay Contest” to discover and promote contemporary screenwriters who bring fresh voices and creative storytelling as Edgar Allan Poe brought to his generation. "Burning Love" seeks drama and comedy features, shorts and teleplays -- driven, at least in part, by love in its many forms.

Named as a "Pacesetter" screenwriting competition by FilmFreeway, "Burning Love" contest opens on Poe's birthday, January 19, with winners announced by September 1. Feature length screenplays (31 to 120 pages), short screenplays (up to 30 pages), and pilot teleplays (up to 85 pages) of any genre are accepted.

AND CHECK THIS OUT: If your script is 10 pages or less, your screenplay will be considered by local Richmond directors for production into a film for our 2020 Poe Film Festival. Production of your story will not go forward without your later consent.

Check out our website, PoeFilmFestival.com, for up-to-date contest news, as well as on Facebook (PoeFilmFestival) page and Twitter @PoeFilmFestival. And be sure to submit your most suspenseful, mysterious, thrilling, romantic, heart-pounding, comedic, dramatic, and/or fantastic feature, short or teleplay.

Win at Poe and languish nevermore.

Final winners will be determined by a panel of distinguished Poe scholars and award-winning screenwriters. Top three finalists in each category will receive full festival passes, promotion on-screen and in programs. Attending feature, shorts and teleplay winners will receive framed honors and a $250 expense reimbursement at our Red Carpet Awards ceremony in Richmond in November 2020.

This contest is open to anyone except all employees and immediate family members of Poe Film Festival.
Multiple entries are permissible, but require a separate entry form and entry fee for each script. Following submission, no substitutions of new drafts, corrections or revisions of any kind will be considered or accepted, including revisions to the submitted logline.
Finalists may submit to later Poe Film Festival contests with a completely different screenplay. Non-finalists may resubmit their screenplays to later contests without restriction.
Adaptations from other works are permissible if in the public domain and/or with the author’s legal written permission. Entrants alone, and not Poe Film Festival, are liable for any unauthorized use or adaptation of a copyrighted or protected work.
Collaborative work is eligible; the writers are responsible for the distribution of the contest prize(s).
Writers under the age of 18 years must have parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate.
The work or submitted material must not be under a current option agreement, or may not have been previously sold or produced for profit.
Writer understands and accepts without reservation that he/she is an independent contractor and that the contest administrators are not responsible for withholding any taxes or payments on prize money to any government agency, at any level, be it state, local or federal.
Writer understands that it is his/her sole responsibility to register material with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writers Guild of America or the appropriate agency in his/her country to protect ownership interests in the screenplay submitted.
You must retain at least one copy of the submitted material, and you understand that all material we receive cannot and will not be returned under any circumstances.
Required length of your work: Feature – (31 to 140 pages), Shorts – (up to 30 pages). If a screenplay of more than 120 pages is submitted, the contest judge in his/her discretion may not consider or read pages beyond page 120. Entrants are encouraged to tighten up their work to meet these required lengths.
All entries must be received by the listed Final Deadline. Poe Film Festival is not responsible for late, lost, unacceptably formatted, corrupt, or incorrect submissions. To assure proper handling of scripts and entry fees, writers are encouraged to submit through an account at FilmFreeway.
During the contest period, contestants may submit their screenplay to any other person, contest, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization. Contestants retain all rights to their screenplay, subject to the terms and agreements contained herein.
By submitting to this contest, you warrant and guarantee that you are the sole originator of the idea and that you have the legal right to submit it for judging.
You understand that your logline and screenplay will be reviewed by our contest coordinator and our judges for evaluation. You also understand that any one of these employees or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to yours and you hereby waive any claim that Poe Film Festival, its employees or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of your submission logline or script.
No agreement for compensation, other than prizes listed, has been implied.
Poe Film Festival intends to submit the winning script titles, writers’ names, and loglines to InkTip and Moviebytes.com for publication. Poe Film Festival will not duplicate, broadcast or cause to be published any script pages to any third party other than to contest judges.
When your screenplay or teleplay, application, and payment have all been received, you will be notified by email. Please provide an appropriate email address. If your email address changes, it is your responsibility to let us know through the contact information at the PoeFilmFestival.com.
By entering this contest and in the event you are declared a semi-finalist, finalist or winner, you understand and accept that Poe Films will be permitted to use your name, script title and logline in its website and for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
All contest participants understand and agree with the following:
Poe Film Festival reserves the right to award a cash prize, at its discretion. Winners are under no obligation to accept the associated prizes but will not be awarded or owed a cash replacement upon electing not to move forward with prizes offered.
Poe Film Festival may develop a series or documentary style program based on the inner workings of the contest and the production resulting therefrom. Poe Film Festival reserves the right to contact contestants with offers to participate in any such production. Contestants are under no obligation to participate therein.
Contest applicants must accept without reservation the decisions rendered by the judges.

Overall Rating
  • Tao of Bobo -

    What's not to love? Great idea for a film festival and great execution as well. We were thrilled by your recognition which was very much appreciated. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the festival, so we missed out on your gracious hospitality as well as any Networking opportunities we might have otherwise had. But were very happy to have been a small part of your Burning Love! Thanks again!

    December 2019
  • Leonardo Costa Souza

    Nice Contest. I loved being a contest finalist.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Leonardo. We love your writing in "Bedtime" and hope to read more soon.

  • Brandon Stark

    Even though I did not place and go further, Burning Love Screenplay Contest is a wonderful experience I would recommend to any upcoming screenwriter. Everyone involved is very kind and great with responses. I’m certain I will submit again in the future when the time is right.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Great crisp writing with "The Lost Track." Thank you for contributing your amazing talents to Burning Love this year.

  • This was a very fun and interesting event. Paired with the Poe Film Festival & Pro Film Awards, the Burning Love Screenplay Contest gives budding screenwriters the opportunity to share the stage and be awarded with their creative peers. The judges truly value creative expression, and the festival showcases this terrifically. I was honored to be given the platform to talk about my script which won Best Feature Screenplay in the 2019 event, and I was glad to be able to share my feelings about Edgar Allan Poe with the audience.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Brendan. Your script, "The Cave Girl," is an outstanding story, well-crafted. We're happy you enjoyed your moment in the spotlight this weekend. Best of luck in your exciting writing career.

  • Bill Brock

    This is a wonderful contest and organization! It's quite a THRILL to have my work recognized by the fine folks at Poe Films.
    "I'll Have Another..." (2017 Grand Prize Winner for "Best Short Screenplay") and "The Dress" (2018 Finalist feature screenplay).
    BRAVO, Poe Films!

    October 2018