We know exactly how important feedback is to writers and how hard it can be to get it! And we also know how tricky it can be to get a story out in a short script! Our goal is to recognize great writing and help others improve in their craft.

This competition is for short screenplays that are no longer than 30 pages (excluding title page.)

Screenplays are judged on both creative and technical points. Aside from the score cards, entries will also get any short notes (usually one or two lines) that the judges might jot down on the cards.

For those wishing for much more detailed feedback there is a submission option available for comprehensive notes. Writers who elect for this option will receive a full critique, generally 1-2 pages long. (Think of it as script coverage without the lengthy story recap taking up a lot of space at the beginning.)

To kick off our first season we are focusing on five main categories: Action /Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

Siren by the Sea is the sister festival to The Magic of Horror Film Festival in Virginia. (Check them out on FilmFreeway at This summer Siren by the Sea will be hosting a film festival series in Florida.

All submissions will receive the jury's score cards at the end of the judging period.

The winners of each genre category will receive customized trophies. These will be mailed to the recipients (free of charge) a few weeks after the winners are announced.

Winners will be announced on our website, social media, and mail-outs, along with loglines and other promotional materials the writers would like us to include.

Please read all of the policies and rules below. Scripts that do not follow these rules will be disqualified, so please ask any questions before submitting.


Only the writer may submit. In the case of multiple writers (up to 3), only one need to submit but all authors must be credited on the entry. The writer with the submission of the screenplay affirms that he/she has all the rights to the story and he/she remains responsible before the law.

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

More than one screenplay may be submitted by the same writer, but each must be entered as a separate submission with fee.

No works-in-progress will be accepted. If you wish to submit an updated draft, it must be done as a separate submission.


All entries must be in English.

There is no "created by" time frame restrictions on screenplays. However, all screenplays must be un-produced and not under option at the time of the festival.

All entries must be original works, no “fan films” or adaptations. (Unless adapted from the screenwriter’s own original published story or novel.)

Screenplays may have up to three writers. (Please note that in the event that a winning screenplay has more than one writer, a trophy for each screenwriter will be awarded but they will all be sent to only one address. It will be the responsibility of the submitting writer to distribute them to co-writers.)


In the spirit of fairness to all entries, we do not offer hardship waivers for the submission fees. Requests for a fee waiver will not be addressed.

Submission fees must be in U.S. dollars. These fees are non-refundable, even in the case of disqualification or withdrawal of an entry. There are no exceptions to this policy.


The judges decisions are final and may not be disputed.

All submissions will receive the score cards and any corresponding notes from the judges assigned to them. These are sent electronically, so please make sure that your email address on FilmFreeway is correct. Any submissions that are withdrawn before the end of the submission period will not be eligible for scorecards and/or feedback.


Comprehensive notes are solely the opinion of the qualified reader assigned to the script. Our criteria for a qualified reader is that the person must be a multiple award-winning screenwriter with at least ten years experience. Readers used for providing comprehensive notes may not necessarily be part of the regular jury pool.

Understand that by electing for Comprehensive Notes you will get an honest criticism that highlights trouble areas (if any) and praises strong points (if any). Our goal is to help writers and sometimes that means a lot of criticism of their work.


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 contest. You understand that there are thousands of writers and that the similarities in story, plot, characters, etc... of two or more scripts is certainly a possibility. The contest directors, judges, and comprehensive readers will not knowingly share your submission with any third party.