Love is in the air and, hopefully, springs from your keyboard as well.

Poe Films proudly sponsors its third 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. In collaboration with Poe Film Festival, Inc., dedicated to honoring Poe's talents and inspiring the next generation of writers, "Burning Love" seeks drama and comedy features, shorts and teleplays -- driven, at least in part, by love in its many forms.

EXCITING NEWS: If your screenplay is 10 pages or less, Poe Film Festival, Inc., may contact you as a qualifying writer for PRODUCTION of your short film as an Official Selection Film for the 2019 Poe Film Festival in Richmond in October! There is no additional cost to you and you will earn an IMDB/industry writing credit. Qualifying short scripts must be submitted by July 15, 2019. Even if not selected for production, your short script submission will compete in the shorts category.

So bring your A-game to your A,B,C-stories. "Burning Love" contest opens in March with winners announced by September 1. Feature length screenplays (80 to 120 pages), short screenplays (up to 40 pages), and pilot teleplays (up to 85 pages) of any genre are accepted.

Check out our website,, 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 and shorts winners will receive trophies and $250 expense reimbursement at our Red Carpet Awards ceremony in Richmond on October 27.

This contest is open to anyone except all employees and immediate family members of Poe Films.
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 Films 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 Films, 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 – (80 to 140 pages), Shorts – (up to 40 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 Films 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.
For those writers who qualify for the 10-pages or less film production project, no rights, title or interest in the creative work shall pass to any third party without the express consent of the writer, which shall be requested directly by Poe Film Festival, Inc.
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 Films, 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 Films intends to submit the winning script titles, writers’ names, and loglines to InkTip and for publication. Poe Films 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
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 Films 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 Films may develop a series or documentary style program based on the inner workings of the contest and the production resulting therefrom. Poe Films 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
  • 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
  • Randy Gross

    This is one of the most "feel-good" competitions I've ever entered. And I say that not just because my teleplay was awarded 1st Place.
    The organizers do such a good job at communicating and praising you throughout the entire process. I would definitely submit again!

    September 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Randy. Our judges marveled at your "Son of Kolchak" story structure and forceful voice. You have an excellent career ahead of you in this biz.

  • I love the theme of Poe Film Festival Screenplay Contest and that this contest celebrates him. Edgar Allen Poe is a great inspiration for me personally and to know that there are others who walk in his cryptic boot steps on the path to the dark and fantastic unknown is a true pleasure indeed. Great communication from the festival. I was honored to receive 2nd place for Short Screenplay for my Civil War Fantasy Romance "This Cold, Still Place."

    September 2017
    Response from festival:

    So honored to read your work, Mike. I think Poe would be spooked by "This Cold, Still Place." Great writing. Best wishes for your screen career.

  • Travis Opgenorth

    This is a well-run screenplay contest. The organizers made their announcements on (or even before) their posted deadlines. Communication was great, either via Facebook/Twitter or emails. I'd recommend.

    September 2017
    Response from festival:

    We couldn't find a more Poe-like structure in our hundreds of submissions. "Aurora" was exemplary, as is your writing talent, Travis. Great job!

  • Ben Fiore

    Was happy to have my short script, "Condemned", score as a Semifinalist in the Poe Films 2017 Contest. The selections were made on time and the results were also conveniently posted on This contest is a credit to the great name of Poe.

    September 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Ben. We are honored that such a talented writer contributed to our Poe contest this year. Our judges enjoyed "Condemned" and wish you great success in your writing career.