The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging writing talent. We welcome screenplays in every genre, on any topic, from anywhere in the world. A unique feature of the competition is providing constructive feedback for every entrant. In addition to this, we also offer a more intensive coverage service for a supplementary fee. Now in our twentieth year, we have a history of highlighting talented, independent screenwriters and introducing them to the entertainment industry. All of our readers approach scripts differently, but in general we are looking for originality and promise in a work. As an organization, we strive to foster an independent spirit among new writers and filmmakers. We've established a strong track record through our competition successes and are committed to continuing our pursuit to champion outstanding new work.
Our competition consists of four categories. Awards are given to the top three scripts in each category. In addition to that, Slamdance will present the Grand Prize for the best screenplay, regardless of category.
• Original Teleplay
We look forward to reading your work!
Awards & Prizes
A total of $13,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners this year.
The Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 in cash.
The winners of the Short, Original Teleplay, Feature and Horror categories will each receive $2,000 in cash.
The top three screenwriters in each category will receive prize packages that include Festival Passes good for all screenings and parties at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (January 2017)
The top three screenwriters in the Feature and Horror category are eligible for membership in the Writers Guild of America’s Independent Writers Caucus.
The winning Short and Feature screenplays will receive $2,500 in legal services from Pierce Law Group, LLP.
The top three screenwriters in each category will receive merchandise from the Slamdance SHOP
(T-shirts, beanies, etc.).
The top three screenwriters in each category
will be included in the 2017 Slamdance Film
Festival program which is distributed to industry professionals in Park City and year round.
Production companies, studios, top agencies and managers request to read our top scripts.
Rules & Terms
September 16th, 2016 - Announce Quarter-Finalists - in no particular order
September 23rd, 2016 - Announce Semi-Finalists - In no particular order
September 30th, 2016 - Announce Top 12 scripts - In no particular order
October 6th, 2016 - WGAW Party for Finalists - Announce Winners
1. Scripts submitted to the competition must NOT have been previously optioned, purchased or produced at the time of entry.
2. Scripts submitted to the competition must not have received awards from other competitions over $1,000 at the time of entry.
3. Screenwriters who have had previous feature screenplays produced and distributed by non-independent means are ineligible.
4. Screenplays must be in English, formatted in 12-point courier font.
5. Don’t cheat in an effort to keep the page count to 120 or less. We will notice and ask that the extra fee be paid for the screenplays in excess of 120 pages. As a standard rule, 1.5” left, 1” right and 1” top and bottom dimensions are acceptable.
6. To enter the Slamdance Screenplay Competition, you must agree to its Terms and Conditions.
7. The Slamdance Screenplay Competition readers’ decisions are final.
8. Slamdance is not responsible for screenplays or coverage stolen or lost in transit.
1. In the event of multiple writers, list all additional co-writers. Please NOTE: Slamdance divides awards equally among co-writers.
2. For screenplays longer than 120 pages, fifteen dollars is added to the regular entry fees.
3. With all teleplay or webisode submissions, supplementary written materials may also be included but are not required. These could include up to five pages of concept, character analysis, and future episode mini-synopsis. Attach these to the end of the script in your PDF file.
4. Cover pages are optional. If you decide to use one, it should include the title, author name, WGA registration number and/or Copyright information (if applicable). The cover page does not count towards the overall script page count.
To protect your script, we strongly suggest you register your work with the Writers Guild of America, West (www.wga.org or call 323.782.4500) and the US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov).
EXPLANATION OF SERVICES
Everyone who submits a screenplay to Slamdance will receive concise online feedback from our Readers, three to five sentences in length. The object of our Feedback Service is to provide you with constructive criticism about your work. The feedback includes a logline, genre suggestion and three to five sentences outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay. The Feedback is very brief and basic compared to the extensive notes provided with our Coverage Service, which is available for an additional fee.
Standard Coverage Service: The object of Slamdance’s online Coverage Service is to provide you with extensive constructive criticism about your work. The Coverage Service includes a brief plot synopsis and then offers an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay. The Coverage Service also offers the screenwriter some recommendation as to what "the next step" could be with their screenplay and writing. This may address media, films and screenplays, production companies and agencies the writer should be aware of, as well as any words of wisdom from one of our Readers. Slamdance’s Coverage provides you with an insight into the mind of a Reader who reads hundreds of independent screenplays each year. Our Readers' goal is to assist you in crafting your submission into something that can advance in competition and impress agents, managers and producers. The Standard Coverage will be available within two months from the time you submit your work. A notice will be sent to the e-mail address you provided in your screenplay application form when your Coverage is available.
Express Coverage Service:
Slamdance’s online Express Coverage is an added benefit for those that would like to receive coverage within 21 days of your screenplay submission arriving at the Slamdance office.
One on One Screenplay Consultation Services:
As a service separate from the screenplay competition, we also offer year-round, one on one screenplay consultation services. This gives writers a chance to meet with one of our readers to discuss in depth the strengths, weaknesses, and methods for improving ones script. The sessions last an average of 90 minutes and cost $250. The majority of this fee will go directly to our reader, who prepares extensively before each consultation. For writers not located in the Los Angeles area, we could set up a skype meeting for you and a reader. For further details please call the Slamdance office: 323-466-1786.
Slamdance Readers are industry professionals and all have a combination of the following qualifications: professional coverage background, production and development background, and/or are professional writers, Slamdance alumni, playwrights and journalists. Readers’ Competition decisions are final.
SCREENPLAY COMPETITION FAQ:
Q: What is script registration, and why is it mandatory?
A: Slamdance only wants to look at copyrighted material. All writers should be concerned with protecting their work. Copyrighting can be as easy as sending yourself a copy in a sealed envelop, and as all-inclusive as registering with the WGA. We accept all forms of registration and copywriting.
Q: Should I include a title page?
A: Cover pages are optional. If you decide to use one, it would ideally include just a title, author name, WGA registration number and Copyright information. The cover page does not count towards the overall script page count.
Q: Can I enter the same script two years in a row?
A: We encourage screenwriters to resubmit, but we also want you to use our coverage service and edit your script. Your script should be as tight as possible before you resubmit.
Q: What kind of scripts are you looking for? If my screenplay is very unconventional or experimental will it be overlooked?
A: We are always looking for outrageous scripts that do not follow the rules! Look at the top ten from the past ten years; we have awarded everything from epic period pieces to low-budget indie gems.
Q: Is there an age requirement to submit to Slamdance?
A: No! You can submit if you're 10 or 110 years old. We at Slamdance are not ageist and encourage work from a variety of age groups.
Q: Can I also enter other competitions?
A: Definitely. We encourage you to get your script into the hands of as many people as possible. Because we are for first-time writers only, we are a good competition to start with. There is a section of the FAQ below, dedication to competitions we endorse.
Q: Does Slamdance sell or trade e-mail lists?
A: No, we do not. Please include your e-mail because we contact quarter-finalists and semi-finalists by e-mail before the official announcement. You have the option to stay off of our e-mail list and will not be contacted after the competition is over.
Q: Do you accept adaptations?
A: Yes. Generally you must own or acquire permission to the rights to another person's work before you can sell it. There are a few exceptions, such as 'Public Domain' (you have to look into the legalities of this).
Q: What format/font should I use?
A: Stick with Courier 12 point. This is industry standard, and every script you write should be in this format.
Q: My script is really, really long - at least 200 pages. Bigger is better, right?
A: No. Feature length screenplays should be between 40 and 120 pages; short screenplays up to 40 pages (and please number the pages). Feature/Horror scripts between 120 and 150 pages will be charged extra in the submission fees. Short scripts between 11 and 40 pages will be charged extra in the submission fees. EDIT. Edit for grammar, exposition and excess. While there are a few exceptions, scripts should be as tightly edited as possible. Screenplays over 150 pages will be disqualified from the writing competition.
Q: What if my check bounces?
A: Checks returned to us for whatever reason will incur a standard $25 fee on top of the original entry. It may take up to a week for your check to be deposited (depending on when it arrives in the office), so keep that in mind.
Q: Can I call to check if my script has arrived yet?
A: No. Please do not call the Slamdance office to check if your script has arrived. You can check your FilmFreeway submission status, as soon as it's received this will change to "In Consideration"
Q: What is a Teleplay? And what is the difference between an original pilot and a “spec” script?
A: A teleplay is another way of saying “television script”. An original pilot is the first episode of an original series or the first hour-length episode of a miniseries. A “spec” script is written for existing shows.
Q: Do you accept “spec” scripts?
A: No. We will only accept original pilots for this year’s competition.
Q: When you say to submit additional story ideas with subplots and resolutions, are you looking for any particular length? Or any particular number of them?
A: You can include as many additional storylines as you like, and the descriptions should be short, no longer than 10 lines. Just make sure the supplementary materials you submit with your teleplay does not exceed 3 pages.
Q: Who is looking for shorts at Slamdance?
A: Slamdance is a great place to submit short scripts because our festival screens roughly 40 short films a year, and those filmmakers are always on the lookout for new projects.
Q: What are the page requirements for a short screenplay?
A: Short screenplays can be as short as five pages, and as long as 40 pages. We accept all short screenplays that fall between these page requirements. Please note different payments apply for scripts between 1 and 10 pages and scripts between 11 and 40 pages.
Q: What is coverage?
A: Coverage is written feedback that is a blunt, honest reaction from a reader that reads hundreds of scripts a year and wants to help you avoid the common pitfalls of screenwriting. The aim of every piece of coverage is to constructively help you develop your script into a final draft.
Q: Who are your readers?
A: Our readers are comprised of Slamdance alumni, past winners, filmmakers, journalists, playwrights, screenwriters and other writing professionals, some of whom also do development coverage for major studios.
Q: What is the advantage of submitting early?
A: Check out the deadlines. The sooner you submit, the sooner you will receive your coverage. The coverage will not indicate if your script has moved on, but it will give you a sense early on, of the scripts strengths and weaknesses (in the eyes of one reader). And, it's cheaper to submit early, the submission fees increase with each deadline.
Q: What if I am extremely unhappy with the coverage I receive?
A: Please let us know by e-mailing email@example.com. We will review the coverage, and work with you to solve the problem. In most cases that means getting someone else to read it at a discounted price (there are no refunds).
Q: How long should I wait until I call about missing coverage?
A: Two weeks. If there is a delay, we will let you know ahead of time. Except when you request rushed coverage. In those cases e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org right away.
Q: What should I do if I get the wrong coverage?
A: Please e-mail email@example.com right away.
Q: Am I able to contract the reader who did my coverage?
A: Yes. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will forward your message on to the reader, and they will respond directly to you.
PLEASE CALL US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:
If you have any problems while submitting, or any questions about the submission process just e-mail us or call our offices: 323-466-1786