Best Writing Contests to Help You Break into Hollywood

"I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist; or I'd draw a big ram's head, really messy. I'd never win painting contests. I remember losing to a guy who did a perfect Spiderman."
– Jean-Michel Basquiat

Every year, thousands of hopeful creatives move to Los Angeles to make it in the Entertainment Industry. For the writers in this group, landing a spot in a writers room is often a life-long dream. Two main avenues are championed by those in positions of giving advice: 1) Become an assistant to a writer, then work your way into a writers rooms as the writers room assistant, or 2) place highly at one of the contests or fellowships. 

Below is a list of some of the most prominent contest, competitions, and fellowships every aspiring writers should know about -- compiled in one place, and listed in alphabetical order, to make your journey just a tad easier: 

  1. ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship 
  2. American Zoetrope 
  3. Austin Screenplay & Teleplay Competition 
  4. Blue Cat Screenwriting Contest 
  5. CBS Writers Mentoring Program 
  6. Cinestory 
  7. Final Draft's Big Break  
  8. Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays
  9. NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge
  10. Nicholl 
  11. Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship 
  12. Page International Screenwriting Awards 
  13. People's Pilot Competition 
  14. Screencraft SciFi Screenplay Contest 
  15. Screen craft Screenwriting Fellowship 
  16. Script Pipeline 
  17. Scriptapalooza Features 
  18. Scriptapalooza TV 
  19. Slamdance Screenplay Competition 
  20. Tracking Board TV Contest 
  21. WB Writers’ Workshop 

Tell us about your experience submitting to these contests and fellowships, and more importantly, share any guidance or advice you may have for anyone interested in writing stories for a living. 

Also, please let us know if any of these links need to be updated. 

Good Luck!