Welcome to the 2017 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition. Following our inaugural manuscript competition in 2016, which saw 8 books land publishing deals, and more than a dozen picked up by film and television outlets, this year we’re continuing to expand the competition, by once again introducing exclusive first look partners with guarantees to be signed, mentored, optioned and published. Joining us this year will be three-time Oscar nominee Michael De Luca of Michael De Luca Productions (The Social Network, Moneyball, Captain Phillips) who has committed to acquiring at least one entry this year, manager / producer Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment and Adrian Garcia of Paradigm (both of whom have committed to sign at least one client from the competition this year, mentors Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Patrick Sheane Duncan (Courage Under Fire) & Zach Hines (Nine), who have each committed to mentor at least one writer from the competition, and finally out publishing partner Inkshares (The Punch Escrow, A God in the Shed), who have committed to publish a minimum of three books from this years competition.

Though this is only our second manuscript competition, we’re now entering our forth year of writing competitions overall, and above you can see some of the numbers we’ve achieved since this journey began. Considering all of the numbers above best any other writing competition on the market, we’re very proud of the successes we’ve been able to be a part of, and the careers we’ve helped launch over the years. But it’s looking beyond the numbers to see where we do our best work. What truly sets us apart is our ability to work with and utilize our extensive pool of partners, mentors, and judges to not only introduce your competition entry to the world, but to introduce you, the writer, and your goals to the influencers and decision-makers that can start your career. Whether it be representation, publishing, a film or television deal, or a combination of all of these, we go well beyond a simple list of names on a website, to make sure every single one of our finalists is introduced to both the entertainment and publishing worlds.

So, what do you need to enter? Well for starters, you don’t need to have a 500-page manuscript ready to go. In fact, you don’t need to have ever written a book before. With the entertainment and publishing worlds more aggressively moving to acquire book partials over the past years, we’re instead inviting you to submit up to 50 pages of your best prose (including a minimum of a one-page synopsis). Show us your best work, hook us with your best cliffhanger, and give us an idea of where your story will go following those opening pages. You can of course submit 50 pages of a book you’ve already completed, but there is no requirement to have done so prior to entering. So, if you simply have an idea, have always wanted to write a book, or simply need a deadline to get your work done by, give us a shot, and see what we can do for you.

The Grand Prize Winners will have their book published by Inkshares.

Everyone that enters the competition is eligible for the Inkshares publishing prize. There is no need for an add-on to take advantage of this opportunity. The Top 25 semi-finalists’ work will be uploaded on the Inkshares site, then our judging panel and Inkshares readers will select a minimum of 3 manuscripts to be published and released as part of our Launch Pad/Inkshares collection digitally and physically in bookstores worldwide. While not necessary to have the most pre-orders to win, if you do meet the Inkshares pre-order threshold, you could still be published even beyond the competition. Inkshares is commited to publish the three projects with the highest number of unique reader pre-orders.

Michael De Luca Prize
At least 1 Project Will Be Selected From Each Company From Those Who Purchased The Add On.

For decades Michael De Luca has been one of Hollywood’s elite producers. Having previously served as President of Production for both New Line Cinema and DreamWorks, his eye for great storytelling is unrivaled. A master at identifying books ripe for adaptation, all 3 of his Best Picture Oscar nominations (The Social Network, Captain Phillips, Money Ball) have been based on literary works. Michael De Luca Productions will option at least one project from this year’s competition of those who select this add-on.

Energy Entertainment and Paradigm Prize
At least 1 Project Will Be Selected From Each Company From Those Who Purchased The Add On.

When it comes to discovering new voices and emerging writers, both Paradigm Talent Agency and Energy Entertainment have a proven track record in taking projects from the page to film and television screens. Collectively their clients include Stephen King, Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers, and Deadpool creator Rob Liefield, to name just a few. Each company will sign at least one author to represent from those who select this add-on.

Mentorship Prize
3 Projects Will Be Selected From Those Who Purchased The Add On

Enter for a chance to land one of our 3 exclusive Mentorships for the 2017 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition. Learn the ins and outs of both the publishing world, as well as the world of film and television, from established veterans at the top of their game. This year’s mentors include Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Zach Hines (Nine), and Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland’s Opus, Courage Under Fire).

General Rules:
All manuscript submissions must be submitted with a cover page containing ONLY the project title, without any of the writer(s) names or discernible marks, including but not limited to identifiable registration numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, or other.

All entries MUST BE submitted in English as a PDF document with standard margin sizing.

Submissions must not exceed 50 pages even if your manuscript is already a completed work, and MUST include at least a 1-page synopsis outlining the entirety of your story.

Submissions must be the sole property of the writer(s), and must be your own original work, story and characters. Any submissions of existing literary figures and or stories not in the public domain, as well as any shows or films that the writer does not own will be disqualified.

All submissions will be read at least twice to ensure the best judgment of your work. All entries will also be read blind, with no discernible marks shared with readers. We choose this option so that each entry is judged by the work, and the words alone.

Submissions previously optioned are allowed, but at the time of submission and for the duration of the contest, must remain the writer’s property.

Each manuscript may only be entered one time. Once a manuscript has been submitted, there are absolutely no substitutions of pages or drafts.

Launch Pad and all judges, mentors, partners and readers will utilize whatever criteria they deem appropriate in deciding a winner.

General manuscript entries will not receive feedback, however, you can opt to upgrade and receive feedback on your manuscript submission.

Each Grand Prize Winner will be reimbursed up to $500 USD for airfare to Los Angeles for our Exclusive Annual Tracking Board / Launch Pad Event. Date of event is TBD.

The contest is open to all entrants 18-years or older residing in Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, or the United States of America, and any countries represented by the competition practices of the European Union.

The Launch Pad reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to change or modify these terms at any time without notice.

By entering this competition, you agree to receive periodic emails from The Tracking Board and The Launch Pad. You may unsubscribe to these at any time.

All purchases and submissions are final. No refunds will be issued.

Manuscript Competition Exclusive Period for Selection and Publishing:
All submissions will remain the property of the writer(s) throughout the contest, however if selected as a finalist you agree to grant Launch Pad and partners an exclusive 90-day window (from announcement) to all film, television and publishing rights. During this period of time you agree to not submit your book or manuscript to a literary agent, TV or film, agent, manager, or publisher other than Inkshares, without express written consent by Launch Pad. The exception to this is if you are already represented, in which case we look forward to collaborating with your representatives.

If within 90 days of being selected as a finalist you are not successfully signed by a literary agent, TV or film, agent, manager, or selected to be published by Inkshares, you are free to submit your book or manuscript to any agent, manager, or publisher.

Entrants may be contacted as a result of the contest by Launch Pad, or Launch Pad employees, partners or judges in regards to representation, production, sale and/or option of the your submitted material.