The Fade In Awards deliver by working closely with Grand Prize winners to make sure their contest submission gives them the best chance at launching their filmmaking career. That’s why Hollywood’s A-list buyers and reps call the Fade In Awards one of the best screenplay contests and short film competitions in the world.

“After winning [the Fade In Awards], we free-optioned [our award-winning] script to a prominent producer who had made one of the Speed films. The award gave us motivation and encouragement, which has huge value when starting out.” – Danny Kravitz, The Marksman

Welcome to the Fade In Awards, now in its 28th year. We’ve developed nine contests for you to choose from, each specifically tailored to the genre or format of your project. Submit a script, web series or short film to the Fade In Awards Horror Competition. With over twenty-seven years experience discovering and mentoring screenwriters and filmmakers, before introducing them to the industry’s top buyers and reps, it’s no wonder our winners have gone on to sign with major Hollywood talent agencies ICM, UTA, APA, CAA, WME; write/direct top feature films and television shows (e.g., The Marksman (2020), The Blacklist, Cold Pursuit (2019), Blades of Glory, Adam, Office Christmas Party, Your Honor (2021), The Switch, If Only, Preston Tylk) and; win Academy Awards (Culture)..

The Blacklist Executive Producer/Creator Jon Bokenkamp calls his decision to enter the Fade In Awards, “The most important moment in my career.” “When CBS Studios producer Todd Nelson encouraged me to submit, my inclination was to say, ‘No.’ I remember thinking there was no way I could afford it. But my script Preston Tylk won and got me an [CAA] agent. It was huge for me.” Bokenkamp went on to work with Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry on Taking Lives and Perfect Stranger, respectively.

The Fade In Awards Horror Competition is open to screenwriters and television writers, and filmmakers of both web series and short films. Judges are looking for elevated, high-concept stories, grounded in reality and character-driven, written in a unique voice or filmed with an eye for detail. Genre-benders welcome (e.g., Action-Horror, Supernatural-Horror, Psychological-Horror, Horror-Comedy, etc.).

"I owe my success to Fade In. These guys don't just promise access - they deliver it!" - Frank Baldwin, Your Honor

Enter today. You’re just a submission away from being discovered!


• After Jon Bokenkamp entered his thriller "Preston Tylk," he signed with ICM, he was hired to write a feature for director William Friedkin, has since directed "Tylk" and sold his documentary "After Sunset" to AMC, wrote features for Julia Roberts, Halle Berry ("Perfect Stranger"), and Angelina Jolie ("Taking Lives"). Jon's new show on NBC, "The Blacklist" is a hit!
• After Alan Jenkins entered his true story pilot, "SCOTUS," Leverage gave it to Oscar-winning/Emmy-winning writer Stephen Gaghan, who is currently attached to showrun.
• After Danny Kravitz won First Prize for his script "Easy Out," he co-wrote "The Marksman" starring Liam Neeson, in theaters January 2021.
• After Josh Gordin and Will Speck entered their short "Culture," both signed with ICM, "Culture" was nominated for an Academy Award™ and they went on to direct Will Ferrell in "Blades of Glory" and Jennifer Aniston in "The Switch."
• After Darryl Wimberley entered his noir Kaleidoscope, he signed with ICM. He now has a two-book deal with St. Martin's Press and Kaleidoscope has also been published as a novel.
• After George Olson entered his script "Tesla," he signed with Endeavor.
• After Grant Jerkins entered his project "An American Crime," we gave it to Fade In Advisory Board member, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nick Kazan who, along with writer Terry Curtis Fox, adapted it for the screen. Oscar-nominated director Barbet Schroeder is attached to helm.
• After Mike Murphy entered his script "Clackers," he landed an option and within months began filming. Now titled "Javelina," you can look for Murphy's film in theatres soon.
• After Matt Krentz and Vernon Whitlock entered their action franchise, "The Blaze Brothers," they signed with APA and landed a deal with American Original Entertainment.
• After Frank Baldwin entered his genre film, he signed with the William Morris Agency [WME], landed writing assignments with Sony Pictures and director Sam Raimi, DreamWorks and director Philip Noyce, and Paramount and director Pierre Morel. His first produced feature, Cold Pursuit, hit theaters in 2019 and can currently be seen on HBO.
• After Mike Walsh entered his screenplay, he signed with Ken Sherman & Associates and optioned two projects.
• After Howard Kingkade entered his short, "Hole in the Paper Sky," the script was produced starring Jessica Biel, Gary Marshall and Jason Clarke.
• After James R. Rothenberg entered his script, "The Last Resort," he signed with Original Artists.
• After Haven Turleygood entered his genre film "Irish," he signed with Endeavor and landed a writing assignment with Arnold Kopelson and another with Joel Silver.
• After Matt Healy entered his dark comedy "Clay Pigeons," Healy signed with ICM, "Pigeons" was produced by Ridley and Tony Scott with David Dobkin directing and Healy landed a two-picture deal with Warner Bros.
• After Max Mayer entered his drama "Adam," he directed and sold the film at the Sundance Film Festival to Fox Searchlight. The film played in theatres to rave reviews.
• After Eric Howell entered his short "Ana's Playground," he signed with UTA and Anonymous Content. Now he's shooting his first feature in Paris.
• After Bandar Albuliwi entered his script "Radicalized," he signed with Luber Roklin and appeared in the Trades.

These are just some of our finalists' success stories.
Will you be next?

GRAND PRIZE: 2024 Hollywood Pitch Festival VIP Pass to meet your choice of 200 A-list Hollywood Buyers & Reps, $1,000 cash money, script analysis and additional marketing to 2,000+ buyers and reps.

FIRST PRIZE: $500 Cash plus 20 submissions ($750 value)

SECOND PRIZE: $250 Cash plus 15 submissions ($450 value)

1. Electronic entries must be accompanied by the following:

Completed official entry form.
An entry fee, as specified for each contest, in U.S. dollars if entering before the Early Deadline; an increased entry fee, as specified for each contest, in U.S. dollars if entering after the Early Deadline but before the Final Deadline.
One completed, original screenplay, teleplay or short script in standard industry format (with a fully-executed title page) submitted as a PDF; Or, link to one web series episode or short film. NOTE: You may enter as many times as you like. However, each entry must be made online separately with a separate entry form and entry fee, as indicated above. Applications will only be accepted online. Submitted material will not be returned.
2. Submissions must be an original work of the applicant/writing/directing team and not based, in whole or part, on another author’s work (unless underlying material is in public domain or underlying rights are in applicant’s possession).

3. Fade In Awards are open to filmmakers worldwide and thus are not limited to only U.S. entries. All entries must be in English or, if submitting video, subtitled.

4. Writing and directing teams are welcome to apply. If selected as finalists, both team members will determine how the applicable prize will be divided/shared.

5. Submissions may not be under option or with attachment(s) at the time of entry nor at the time the material is chosen as a Finalist or Grand Prize winner. If said submission has been optioned or sold during the judging period, the contestant will automatically be disqualified.

6. Judging consists of two rounds: Semifinals and Finals. Applicants will be notified of their advancement via email and on our website on the Notification Dates.

7. Applicant understands creative revisions may be required prior to setting up meetings/marketing to Hollywood buyers and representatives and therefore agrees to the process as outlined by the Fade In staff. Applicant also understands that if chosen as a finalist it is a requirement to sign both a general release and a W-9 tax form to receive all prizes.

8. Fade In reserves the right to grant less than or no awards, at its sole discretion, if a lesser number of, or no entries meet the submissions requirements and/or industry standards of excellence.

9. Fade In reserves the right to revoke or disqualify any finalist for a) breach of these terms, b) unprofessional behavior, as deemed by Fade In staff.

10. I have read and accept’s No Refund Policy.


Overall Rating
  • As a novice screenwriter, it was encouraging to reach the semi-finals with my screenplay 'The Dartmoor Demon'. However, it would be helpful to see some statistics on the website, like the total number of entries compared to the number of quarter-finalists / semi-finalists etc. That would give some indication of the true quality of my screenplay. It would also be great to see a synopsis or short extract from the winning entries to see what constitutes a winner!

    August 2023
  • I was fortunate enough to have my first horror feature, Mud Wooky, finish as semi-finalist in the competition. Communication was excellent and timely. I will certainly enter again.

    August 2023
  • I'm truly honored to have my horror features "Box of Glass", "Faithful Shadow" and my horror/thriller "Protector of the Emerald City" selected as a Semi-Finalists! Thank you so much!

    September 2022
  • Fade In is a really good contest, but don't expect a lot of communication and it's online so don't expect networking.

    August 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hi Colin, The festival is in person. It was virtual for the pandemic and last year's wga/sag strikes only. Thanks.

  • I loved being a part of FADE IN! Thank you for your attention, care, and communication. Definitely a festival worth submitting to! I hope to see ya in 2022.

    August 2021