Penned In Blood is a competition that is designed to help writers improve and market their screenplays in the horror genre. We do this by offering feedback in all contest categories.

Our experienced judges focus on any potential problem areas of the submission (including format errors) as well as offering suggestions for either marketing preparation or future drafts of short and feature-length screenplays. These feedback notes are typically between 1-2 pages long.

Submissions in the First 10 Pages, Script Synopsis, and Logline categories will also receive feedback notes, although are shorter due to the length and other limitations of the submitted material.

All submissions receive an evaluation scorecard.

We have five different contest categories:

SHORT SCREENPLAYS - Scripts no more than 40 pages long.

FEATURE SCREENPLAYS - Scripts between 41-120 pages long.

FIRST 10 PAGES - In this category our judges focus solely on the first ten pages of a script with special attention to its ability to hook a reader. This category is only for scripts that are at least 30 pages in length.

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS - The one-page synopsis is crucial tool for writers seeking representation or production consideration. Submissions into this category are evaluated on elements such as structure, flow, grammar, and the ability to garner interest. Submissions may not be longer than a single page.

LOGLINE - A well-crafted logline is essentially the "calling card" of any script. Submissions may be no longer than two sentences.

Penned in Blood is a competition that is managed by Siren Productions Media LLC, who also run the all-genre film festival Siren by the Sea -

All qualifying submissions receive scorecards with notes that are sent out via email once the judging period concludes. (Please see our rules about why a submission would be disqualified.)

Criticism is standard and should be expected for an evaluation that is designed to look for flaws and potential trouble areas in the submission. (It is very rare for a submission to score above an "8" during evaluation.) These scores and notes are not seen by the jury that selects the winners of each category.

Awards are given at the discretion of the jury. The winners will receive customized digital laurels.




1. All entries must be written in English and all submitted screenplays must be in standard script format. Submissions must be made in the appropriate category and abide by any special rules for that category (script length restrictions, etc...)

2. All entries must be sent via FilmFreeway. Please do not send any hard copies or downloadable files to us directly.

3. Submissions for Feature Screenplay, Short Screenplay, and First 10 Pages contests may send their full scripts.

4. Submissions for Script Synopsis and Logline categories must send their work in as a script document on FilmFreeway.

5. Cover Pages are not counted as part of the total page count of a submission.

6. Entries are assigned to judges shortly after they have been received, so any updated drafts should be submitted as a separate entry. If you change the files on your original submission after entering this competition, we cannot guarantee that the newer one will be the one that is evaluated by the jury.

7. All entries must be original works. No sequels, prequels, “fan films” or adaptations unless adapted from the film-maker’s own original story/novel or a work that is the public domain. (For example, a re-imagining of "The Monkey's Paw" is acceptable while a speculative sequel to "Hereditary" would not be.)

8. There is no age restriction on screenplays. but they must be un-produced and not under option at the time of the competition.

9. The person submitting a project to this competition affirms that they are the writer of the work (or represents the writer) and that they remains responsible before the law. In the case of multiple writers, only one need to submit the work but all authors must be credited on the entry and have agreed to enter this competition.

10. You agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any claim made by you or any third party due to or arising out of project(s) you submit to this competition. You understand that there are thousands of film-makers, writers and other artists and the similarities in story, characters, etc... of two or more submissions are certainly a possibility. The contest directors and judges will not knowingly share your submission with any third party.


1. All qualified submissions will receive an evaluation scorecard and the corresponding notes once the judging period has concluded. These are sent electronically via email, so please make sure that your email address on FilmFreeway is correct.

2. The jury decisions are final and may not be disputed.

3. Notes are the opinions of the individual evaluator and are meant to offer the Submitter good faith advice on how to improve and/or market their work. Criticism is standard and should be expected for an evaluation that is designed to look for flaws and potential trouble areas in the submission.

4. The competition and its affiliated jurors do not guarantee acceptance into any other contest, festival, market, or sales agreement based on the advice given in the notes and/or evaluation scorecard.


1. We do not offer discounts or hardship waivers for the submission fees. There are absolutely no exceptions to this policy.

2. Submission fees must be in U.S. dollars. These fees are non-refundable, even in the case of disqualification of an entry.

3. You may submit more than one project, but each must be submitted with a separate fee. There are no discounts for multiple submissions.

Disqualified submissions will be marked as "not accepted" on the notification date.

1. A submission will be disqualified if it does not meet the criteria required for it to be evaluated as listed in the General Submission Rules section. The most common reasons for disqualification are the failure to attach a screenplay file to the submission, a submission being entered into the wrong category, or a script not being written in English.

2. Refunds are not issued to disqualified submissions, so please make sure that your entry is compliant with the competition rules before submitting.

3. In the event of a disqualification, the submitter will be notified as to the reason why the entry was not qualified for the competition once the judging period has concluded.

4. Please check your submission carefully before entering the competition. You will not be notified by us if there is a problem with your submission prior to the judging period, as it is usually the judges who discover the issue while evaluating their assigned submissions.

Overall Rating
  • Rae Ashe

    Great communication. Love the feedback and opportunity!!

    May 2024
  • Angie Baggett

    Great communication! Excellent script feedback! Thank you!

    March 2024
  • Pierfranco Allegri

    Excellent! Thank you for the feedback and for awarding my short script!

    February 2024
  • It was an honor to be a part of The Penned in Blood Screenwriting Competition and am proud to have The SICKEN: AWAKENING receive the Best Feature Screenplay award. Penned in Blood is a fantastic competition that every horror or thriller screenplay should be a part of and a tip of the hat to the organizers and judges who put in the time to make one of the best competitions for horror!

    August 2023
  • Daniel Alan Kiely

    Thank you for taking the time to read my work.

    September 2022