Do you have a great horror or thriller script that's ready for the industry?

We're seeking standard and genre busting horror or thrillers in the feature and tv pilot categories. Submit your script to be considered for either the standard or genre busting Grand Prize placements.

What is a genre-busting horror or thriller?
In ALIEN, what are you truly afraid of? Is it the threat of lurking beast or the notion that space holds dangers we can barely understand? Did the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD disarm you before things turned truly tragic? And was the WITCH a supernatural horror story or a drama showcasing a young woman’s journey of empowerment?

These are the questions one asks when presented with a horror or thriller film that breaks the conventions of its genre. Such works are prized within the industry. They have a clear target demographic but are accessible to a wide audience. More importantly, their dynamic nature allows for unique narratives that remain relevant long after their release. But these “genre-busters” are difficult to find and even harder to write. Their unique nature can also leave them with unclear avenues for submission, either in contests or at development studios. We want to change that.

Do you have a genre-busting feature or series? Does the horror or thriller element of your story go beyond instilling fear? Does it play off of comedy, set up cathartic action sequences, or expand our understanding of reality? The Genre Busting Grand Prize in this competition will single out such a work.

You don’t need a genre-busting project to submit.

This contest is a celebration of traditional and idiosyncratic horror and thriller narratives. To that end, one Grand Prize will be given to a straightforward horror or thriller piece while another will be given to a genre-busting horror or thriller.

(1 Standard + 1 Genre Busting)

Grand Prize Winner - Standard Horror or hriller:
- $1000 Cash
- A Career Consultation with the ISA Development Team
- Consideration for the ISA Development Slate
- Custom Designed Movie Poster ($500 value)
- Class from Writers Store
- A 12-Month ISAConnect Membership
- Development Evaluation on a Different Script ($199 Value)

Grand Prize Winner - Genre-Busting Horror or Thriller:
- $1000 Cash
- A Career Consultation with the ISA Development Team
- Consideration for the ISA Development Slate
- Custom Designed Movie Poster ($500 value)
- Class from Writers Store
- A 12-Month ISAConnect Membership
- Development Evaluation on a Different Script ($199 Value)

Finalists - Top 10:
- A 6-Month ISAConnect Membership
- Consideration for the Grand Prizes

Semi-Finalists - Top 100:
- A 3-Month ISAConnect Membership
- Consideration for the Top 10 Finalists

What is the ISA Development Slate?
- The ISA's premier list of internationally talented screenwriters selected due to their talent, achievements, dedication to the craft, contest wins and industry-related success.
- The ISA supports, applauds and promotes these skilled individuals to producers, managers and agents in Hollywood and beyond, forging relationships and building careers.
- Relationships include: Disney+, Lakeshore Entertainment, CAA, ICM, Harpo Studios, MGM, Funny or Die, ABC Signature, Paramount Players and 80 other top studios, agents, managers and producers actively seeking content.
- 80 projects have been optioned or produced plus nearly 100 writers have been signed with a managers and agents.

Deadlines: MEGA-EARLY: July 1st, EARLY: July 21st, 2021, FINAL: August 31, 2021, Extended: to be determined
During Covid and/or until further notice, meetings or consults will be virtual.
All writers from all countries are welcome to submit; however, all scripts must be submitted in English, and application fees must be paid in U.S. dollars.
Script must be the original work of the submitting writer and may not be encumbered by any third party.
Scripts that have been sold, produced for a profit, or are currently under option are not eligible.
Original full-length feature screenplays and TV Pilots only are accepted. Anything else, including but not limited to short scripts or web series, novels, short stories, stage plays, musicals, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, documentaries, and/or spec scripts for existing TV series are not eligible. Script submissions must be an original screenplay or teleplay.
Screenplays adapted from the submitting writer's own self-published books, plays, or other source materials are eligible if the writer retains all rights to the work.
Adaptations from other works are permissible provided the writer has written permission by the owner to adapt the material.
Adaptations of works in the public domain are permissible.
Co-written material will be accepted. However, any and all prizes issued will be based on a single applicant.
Multiple submissions are accepted by one writer, however if one or more screenplays of the same writer tie, only one screenplay (the decided “best”) will be selected to determine the chosen winner.
The writer understands that script feedback can take up to 60-days turn-around time and may not be received before the end of the final application deadline.
The ISA cannot guarantee feedback for your script will be received within enough time to resubmit during the same season.
Applicants must submit materials and payment online only.
Once a script has been submitted, substitutions of new drafts or corrections may only be accepted within 24 hours of the original application. A revised draft of a script may be accepted after 24 hours if it is entered as a new application with the appropriate fee.
Promotional discounts or waivers offered may only be utilized at the time of submission.
Promotional discounts or waivers offered may not apply on all submission platforms (i.e. FilmFreeway)
Writers under the age of 18 years old must have parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate.
Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed. The Judges will adhere to our competition guidelines; however, the competition and its administrators may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions on the part of the Judges.
The writer understands that it is his/her sole responsibility to register material to be submitted with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writer’s Guild of America or the appropriate agency in his/her country.
Applicants awarded a placement understand and accept that the ISA will be free to use his/her name and likeness for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.
Writers retain the rights to their screenplay.
Applicants are non-exclusive to this competition and may submit their screenplay to any other person, competition, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization.
No transfer, substitution or cash equivalent for prizes is allowed.
The ISAConnect Membership prize may only be used within 90 days and may not be combined with any current free membership.
Length requirements are as follows: 1). Full-Length Features: 70-120 pages. 2). TV Pilots: Up to 70 pages.
If applicant orders feedback a $1 per page fee may be charged separately over 120 pages, not including the Title Page, or the reader may only read the first 120 pages.
Standard title pages should be included: listing the script title, name of author(s), telephone number, and email address. Applicants will not be disqualified if it is not included.
Under no circumstances should the writer include name or contact information within the body of the script.
ISA is not responsible for any applicant errors or omissions on any submitted application materials.
Synopses, casting suggestions, letters, resumes and photos will not be considered. TV Pilot submissions may include standard supplementary materials, such as lists of recurring characters and future episodes.
You accept without reservation that the submitted logline and screenplay will be reviewed by ISA staff and/or panel of Industry Judges for evaluation and that any one of these employees, or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to the submitted material, and the applicant hereby waives any claim that the ISA Horror & Thriller Genre Busting Screenplay Competition, its staff or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of the submission, logline or screenplay.
There are no refunds for any reason after 24 hours from submission.
The writer understands and accepts without reservation that he/she is an independent contractor and that ISA Administrators are not responsible for withholding any taxes or payments to any government agency, at any level, be it state, local or federal.
By submitting to this competition, your email address will be added to the contest database as well as the International Screenwriters' Association newsletter for weekly updates, contest promotions and other notifications. You may unsubscribe at any time.
It is our full intention to fulfill all prizes as posted. However, due to an unlikely event, act of God or other, we reserve the right to update or edit prizes.