Screenplay Competitions book front and back cover

Softcover, 5.5 x 8.5
264 pages
Copyright © 2019
13-Digit ISBN: 9780942617757, 10-Digit ISBN: 0942617754
Published by Bluestocking Press

View the first ten pages


Bluestocking Press




Screenplay Competitions explains the competition process (and the myriad of differences among competitions) from eligibility requirements, to how competitions advance entries, to the prizes that accompany a win.  In addition, Ms. Williams discusses what judges look for in scripts, and she reveals ways to determine a script’s rank—even if it doesn’t place. Equipped with this information, writers can better select the competitions that are most likely to reward their particular scripts and help advance their writing careers.

What makes Screenplay Competitions especially unique is that it is designed for all aspiring screenwriters (not just the few who will win). Throughout the book, Ms. Williams provides strategies to turn the competition process into an educational experience so that writers can use the competition process to help improve their scripts (and themselves as writers) no matter how far they advance in a competition.

Throughout seven sections, Screenplay Competition explains:

  • …the benefits of screenwriting competitions, even if you don’t win.
  • …how to identify screenwriting competitions that are more likely to reward the script you’ve written and are deserving of your entry fee.
  • …what judges look for in scripts.
  • …common judging criteria so you can use this information to improve your script prior to entry.
  • …types of written critiques offered in conjunction with competition entries.
  • …ways to analyze written critiques so you can determine which comments necessitate revisions to your script.
  • …the competition, judging, and advancement processes so you can better determine how far your script advanced in a competition and the ranking process utilized.
  • …how to enter screenplay competitions.
  • …common types of prizes and awards.
  • …common entry fees, eligibility requirements, and entry guidelines.
  • …how to proactively protect your script.
  • …strategies to get the most from your entry so you can improve yourself as a writer no matter how far you advance in the competition.
Screenplay Competitions includes three templates designed to:
  • …help screenwriters keep clear and consistent records of submissions and results.
  • …identify each competition’s judging process in order to better determine which competitions to enter.
  • …help determine where the entered script ranked among other entries.


“An in-depth and specific guide to how screenwriting contests operate.”

—Dave Trottier
Author, The Screenwriter’s Bible

“Writing for the screen is a fiercely competitive enterprise. In recent years, dramatic writing competitions have exploded. They represent a new and effective tool to win the attention of agents and producers. But how do you know which contests are legitimate? How does a writer determine whether or not a particular offering merits its entry fee? With her hands-on, nuts-and-bolts, information-packed volume, treating an oft-neglected aspect offering strategies to launch writing careers, Ann Marie Williams provides a welcome new addition to the literature.”

—Professor Richard Walter
former Screenwriting Area Head, Associate and Interim Dean
UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television

“While running a competition has become second nature for me, Ann Williams’ book surprised and delighted me with her acuity on this side of the film industry which is not explored nearly enough. I was amazed with the depth in which she pulls back the curtain and sieves through everything from preparing your script for submission to what judges look for in scripts. Screenplay competitions have always been a valuable opportunity for aspiring writers and Screenplay Competitions should be required reading for any prospective entrant wanting to seize their moment. I highly recommend reading this before clicking SUBMIT.”

—Matt Dy
Director of Script Competitions
Austin Film Festival

Screenplay Competitions is a strikingly thorough guide for anyone interested in pursuing a career in screenwriting. Ann Williams’ comprehensive work answers any possible question one might have about the business and creative aspects of screenwriting competitions. Her colloquial style and tales of her own journey through the competitive process gives the reader a sense you are hearing from a good friend who just happens to be an expert in the field. Very readable and utterly informative.”

—Professor Harry M. Cheney
Chapman University
Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

“[Screenplay Competitions] is a great book that is so in depth and provides a lot of guidance. For someone who has never personally entered a screenplay competition, I feel that I would be pretty well prepared to enter one after having read it.”

—Taylor Braun
Film Festival Specialist
Chapman University
Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

“I think [Screenplay Competitions] is a most valuable text for screenwriting students and anyone else who is interested in pursuing the art and craft of dramatic writing.  It’s straight forward and informative and could be very useful when entering a script in a variety of contests.  I will recommend it to my own students as I often encourage them to enter as many contests as possible just in order to accrue credits and/or getting attention, be it even a table-reading. Thanks much for sharing ‘Screenplay Competitions‘ with me and I hope the word spreads!”

Professor of Film John Bernstein
Boston University
College of Communication

The book delivers on everything it promises, breaking down all the things a writer needs to think about in terms of both submission strategy and value for money; it even offers guidance on how to work out your script’s rank and record data, with useful templates in the appendices.

—Lucy V. Hay
Script Editor
Read the full review on Goodreads

A new book called ‘Screenplay Competitions‘ by Ann Marie Williams has just been released and finally there is a lifeline for the wannabe screenwriters out there. There are tips on how to submit, who to submit to, what judges are looking for, how you can improve your chances, etc. Look, there are many hidden traps and the competition is fierce. This book offers an invaluable guide into the world of screenplay competitions. And more than that – it shows you ways how these competitions, even if you don’t win, can help you improve your writing.”

—Ken Levine
Emmy-winning writer
Hollywood & Levine
Read the full review on Mr. Levine’s blog: by Ken Levine


Screenplay Competitions is suggested reading in the UCLA extension course: Get Your Script Contest Ready

Table of Contents

Why I Wrote This Book
Competitions Referenced
Reasons to Enter Screenwriting Competitions
The Five Steps of Screenplay Competitions

SECTION I: The Competition Process
1. After You Click Submit
2. The Judges
3. The Reading Process
4. The Judging Process
5. The Ranking Process
6. The Advancement Process
7. The Competition Round Template

SECTION II: Results, Awards, and Prizes
8. Announcing Results
9. Awards and Prizes

SECTION III: Critiques
10. Aspects of Critiques
11. Ways to Analyze and Benefit from Critiques

SECTION IV: Eligibility Requirements
12. Script Eligibility Requirements
13. Writer Eligibility Requirements
14. Duration of Requirements

SECTION V: Selecting Competitions
15. Where to Begin
16. Honing Your List

SECTION VI: The Submission Process
17. Submission Dates and Deadlines
18. Fees and Payment
19. Multiple Entries and Versions
20. Submission Pathways
21. What You Will Need for Submission

One Final Thought

SECTION VII: Templates
22. Using the Templates
23. The Competition Template
24. The Competition Round Template
25. The Submission Template