Got a horror short screenplay? We want to read it.

Our Top 10 finalists will be read by a jury of over a dozen literary managers, producers, filmmakers, and absolute horror legends.

Prizes include guaranteed industry reads, career consultations, Final Draft 12, Shudder subscriptions, a killer trophy, and so much more.

Visit our website for more information.

This year's jury includes:

Xavier Burgin - Director (Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror)
Gigi Saul Guerrero - Director (Culture Shock, The Purge, El Gigante)
Joe Bob Briggs - Film Critic, Performer
Scott Stoops - Literary Manager - Good Fear Content
Aaron B. Koontz - Film Producer (The Pale Door, Scare Package)
Daniel Seco - Literary Manager - Empirical Evidence
Julian Terry - Filmmaker (Whisper, The Nurse, They Hear It)
Chelsea Lupkin - Senior Programmer at Short of the Week, Filmmaker (Flagged, Lucy's Tale)
Glenn Cockburn - Literary Manager - Meridian Artists
John Zaozirny - Literary Manager / Producer - Bellevue Productions
Barbara Crampton - Actress (You're Next, From Beyond, Chopping Mall, Re-Animator)
Jenn Wexler - Filmmaker (The Ranger, ABC's of Death 2, Slumber Party)
Scott Carr - Literary Manager - Management SGC
Sophie Carroll - Programming Manager - ALTER
Jason Tamasco - Producer - Bad Idea Films
Matthew Dartnell - Literary Manager - Writ Large
Zack Zucker - Literary Manager / Producer - Bellevue Productions

The Top 3 Winners Receive:

Circulation and recommendation to our network of Hollywood managers, agents, producers and development executives.
Final Draft 12 Screenwriting Software.
Career consultations with Coverfly's Head of Development, & a 60 minute Career Development call with a Stage 32 industry professional.
Access to Robert Mckee's 3 Part Horror Webinar Series, including three 90-minute lessons where McKee teaches the sources of horror, the hidden worlds within reality, and the secret to writing a monster that will terrify your audience.
Waived entry to multiple other contests and festivals.
A skull-shaped typewriter trophy, hand-sculpted and designed by celebrity FX artist Tyler Green (Syfy’s Face Off).
Killer swag courtesy of Rue Morgue, Slasher TV, 1313 Mockingbird Lane Toys & Collectibles, Fright Rags, Waxwork Records, Ghoulish Gary, and Horror Pack.
Shudder subscriptions (1 year, 6 months, and 3 months, respectively)
ISAConnect Memberships (1 year, 6 months, 6 months)
VIP Platinum Memberships on Script Hive (1 year, 6 months, and 3 months, respectively)
Plus, our 3rd Place Winner will receive 5 pages of in-depth analysis and actionable advice from The Script Butcher!

Top 10 Finalists Receive:

Finalist Laurels
Final Draft license
Stage 32 short script coverage from an industry professional
Plus, your script will be read by our panel of industry judges.

Semi-Finalists Receive:

Semi Finalist Laurels
Stage 32 Next Level Webinar of your choice
Plus your screenplay will be made available by request to potential producers and filmmakers.

Quarter Finalists Receive:

Quarter Finalist Laurels
Increased rank on Coverfly’s The Red List
1 free month of the Stage 32 Writers' Room
20% off of the 9th Annual Stage 32 Search For New Blood Screenwriting Contest

1 Page Script Category

We recognize that shorter scripts have a slight disadvantage when it comes to impressing literary managers, so we are thrilled to introduce the new ‘1 Page Category’, with prizes geared towards helping you produce a 1-minute horror short film.

Can you tell a horror story in just one page?

The Best 1 Page Script Will Receive:

An all-access 1 year subscription to Stan Winston School, including their Course library by The Masters of FX.
Final Draft 12 Screenwriting Software.
A QWERKYWRITER® Best-In-Class Typewriter Inspired Mechanical Keyboard.
$500 Cash.
Increased rank on Coverfly’s The Red List.
1 Year ISAConnect Membership.
A skull-shaped typewriter trophy, hand-sculpted and designed by celebrity FX artist Tyler Green (Syfy’s Face Off).

1. Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between July 1, 2021 and December 17, 2021.
2. Entry fee for each screenplay is $20 until the early deadline on September 3, 2021, then $25 until the regular deadline on October 31, 2021, $30 until the final deadline on November 26, 2021, and then $35 until the extended deadline on December 17, 2021.
3. Feedback is not provided to writers at any time during or after the competition.
4. Entrant’s total earnings for screenwriting for either film or TV, produced or unproduced, must not exceed $10,000 in the past 12 months. 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.
5. Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was completed with no financial gain to the writer.
6. Screenplays must be a minimum of 1 page and a maximum of 25 pages. Any submission longer than 25 pages will be automatically disqualified. Submissions to the 1 page category must not exceed 1 page.
7. There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
8. Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59PM Pacific Time, and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.
9. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
10. Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). All writers must be credited on title page.
11. If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money.
12. 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.
13. Killer Shorts reserves the right to delay announcements for any reason. Delay may last up to but never more than 90 days. While we never anticipate any delays, such delays will not alter the standing of any screenplay entry and will qualify no script for a refund under any circumstance.
14. By entering the Killer Shorts contest every entrant is agreeing to all Killer Shorts Terms and Conditions listed and available before checkout. If you disagree with any terms you may not submit to the contest.
15. Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will not be allowed. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
16. It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registration.
17. Any winners may have their name, script title, and picture used for any Killer Shorts promotions or promotions of our sponsors or affiliates.
18. Former Winners of any Killer Shorts 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.
19. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
20. Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to Killer Shorts 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.
21. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless Killer Shorts and 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.
22. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Russell Whaley

    Thanks for making my script Toy Rabbit a finalist!

    June 2021
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    Response from festival:

    You're welcome! Thanks for the review!

  • I was excited to have advanced to the Semi Finals in 2021! Great communicators! Looking forward to next year! Congrats to the winners!

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Congrats again and thanks for the review! Season 3 is coming soon!

  • What I love about Killer Shorts is that the contest director is a writer, who cares about other writers and their success. The contest offers really great perks for the winners to have their screenplays read by some of the best managers in the business. I also received feedback on the quality of my script. Will submit again. Thanks Killer Shorts!

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Katherine, thank you for this thoughtful review of our contest! Looking forward to seeing what little monsters you dream up for us next year!

  • Brian Lisi

    Incredibly well run. I can't say enough for how much work the people behind this contest put into it. I've submitted twice to this competition and in both cases my experience has been super rewarding.

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Brian! So kind of you to take the time to leave a review. We really appreciate it!

  • Paul Zeidman

    First time entering. Very pleased with the timely responses & updates.

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time to leave a review! So glad you entered and were pleased with the experience.