Emerging Screenwriters Genre Contest

Competition presented by: International Screenwriters’ Association

See more contests presented by International Screenwriters’ Association.

The information included in on this page was provided by Jordan Trippeer, ISA Development and Contest Coordinator, on June 10, 2020.

View disclaimer.

Competition Information

One of the main aspects of this competition is to find writers for the ISA’s Development Slate where scripts are then championed throughout the industry to top agents, managers and producers, on an on-going basis.

Competition NameEmerging Screenwriters Genre Contest
Competition Websiteemergingscreenwriters.com
Competition TypeCompetition
The information included
on this page was provided
relative to:
The 2020 Script Competition
Total number of scripts
entered in the previous year
Total number of scripts
entered in the previous year
per genre
Action/Adventure: 266
Comedy: 319
Drama: 365
Historical/Bio: 169
Horror: 245
Mystery: 110
Sci Fi: 211

Entry Dates and Fees

Opens for EntriesApril 11, 2020Entry Fee: $39
April 11, 2020
May 15, 2020 @ 11:59 p.m. PST
Entry Fee: $39
May 16, 2020 @ 12:00 a.m. PST
June 18, 2020 @ 11:59 p.m. PST
Entry Fee $49
June 19, 2020 @ 12:00 a.m. PST
August 27, 2020 @ 11:59 p.m. PST
Entry Fee $59


A variety of discounts are offered, including those for previous entrants and those who are part of ISA Connect.

Type of Scripts Accepted

Feature-length80 to 120 pages
Teleplay PilotOriginal pilots only
Both Half-hour and Hour lengths accepted
Half-Hour: 20 to 35 pages
One-hour: Up to 70 pages
Scripts that fall outside the requested page counts will not be disqualified.

Type of Genres Accepted

Feature scripts are not
judged by genre
until the final round
of the competition.
Sci Fi/Fantasy
Teleplay Pilot
Teleplays are not
judged by genre
until the final round
of the competition.
Sci Fi/Fantasy
Features and pilots, no matter their genre, are judged together for every round until finalists are selected. Then they’re judged by genre.

Advancement Tiers

SemifinalsTop 25 scripts per genre
FinalsTop 10 scripts per genre
Genre WinnersOne Winner per genre
Grand-Prize WinnerOne Grand-Prize Winner chosen from Genre Winners

Advancement Notifications

EntrantsAdvancement notifications are sent directly to entrants via email and/or phone call.
PublicSemifinalists, finalists and winners are posted on the competition website and shared via social media pages. Email blasts as well.

Awards and Prizes

PromotionPublicized on the ISA and Emerging Screenwriters websites, winners invited to development slate, scripts up for submission to companies and executives.

Winning scripts sent to rolodex of agents, managers and producers, including CAA, Gersh, Disney, MGM, etc.

Entrants will be informed who their script and contact information was sent to.
The development slate is an ancillary mentorship and exclusive community where select writers are featured as writers to watch and proactively promoted to ISA contacts and for writing gigs with production companies and studios for at least one year.
Other PrizesGrand Prize: $10,000 cash prize, ISA Development Slate invitation, 12 month ISA membership, prizes in all other tiers.

Genre Winners: $2500 cash, ISA Development Slate consideration, Development evaluation for a new script ($149-$249 value), 12 months ISA Connect Membership.

10 Finalists in each genre: “Craft Course,” 6 month ISA Connect Membership, ISA logline Review.

Semifinalists: 3 months ISA connect Membership, Digital copy of (Not Just) Another Book on the Craft of Screenwriting.


Judge CredentialsAt least one year of reader coverage, and usually a degree in writing, English, or film (screenwriting, producing, etc.).

Publicized judges are usually studio executives and producers.
Judges Seeking New Writers or MaterialYes, all competition judges are seeking new writers or material.

Judges generally agree to read curated material that fits their mandate.

If a judge is interested in a script or writer, ISA will act as the go-between until a rapport forms between the judge and the writer.

Judging Process

Script assignmentScripts are randomly assigned to judges.
Judge knowledge of
script prior to reading
Judges are provided with a script’s logline
and genre prior to reading.
Script qualities the
competition looks to
Original, well structured material that satisfies
the expectations of its genre. Diverse voices,
including LGTBQIA+ and BIPOC.
Judging Criteria
This criteria is the same
for every round of
Excellent writing and craft technique
Strong structure
Pitchable concept
Unique, robust and flawed characters

Submission Information

Required materialsScript, writer contact information, logline, genre.
Logline and genre are provided to a script’s judges.

Show bibles may be submitted with teleplay entries.
Submission PathwaysCompetition website
ISA website
Emerging Screenwriters website
RightsEntrants retain all rights to their entered script and other submitted materials.

Script Eligibility Requirements

Page LengthFeatures: 80 to 120 pages
Half-Hour: 20 to 35 pages
One-hour: Up to 70 pages

Scripts that fall outside the requested page-lengths will not be disqualified.

If feedback is requested, a $1.00 per page fee is required for scripts over 120 pages.
AdaptationsAccepted if in the free domain or the writer has
the rights.
Scripts based on
true events
Previous or Concurrent
Competition Entry Restrictions
A script cannot be entered if it has won the competition previously.
Script purchases,
options, production,
Scripts that have been sold, produced for a profit, or are currently under option are not eligible.
CopyrightNot required, but is recommended.
WGA RegistrationNot required, but is recommended.

Writer Eligibility Requirements

Age RestrictionsEntrants under 18 years of age must have parent’s/guardian’s permission.
EarningsNo requirements reported.
Multiple WritersWriting teams of two are allowed to submit.

Written Critiques

Critique NameReader Feedback
First 20s
Full Feedback
Fee$20 to $149. Sometimes included with competition entry.
A $1.00 per page fee is required for scripts that exceed the requested page count.
Purchase OpportunityCritique can be added to competition entry or purchased separately.
ReceiptCritique will be sent to entrant within 90 days.
Length of CritiqueFirst 20s = 1-page critique
Full Feedback = 3-page critique
Development = 5-page critique
Number of CritiquesOne per purchase
Critique ContentsReaders address concerns and offer solutions for:
CriticsScripts are evaluated for written critiques separately from the competition and therefore the written critiques entrants receive are not written by their competition judge/s.

Critiques are written by Script Analysts (unless the critique is purchased as part of a package to speak with a producer) who must have at least one year previous experience providing coverage or working for a studio, company or agency.

A critic’s individual credentials are not included with the critique.

Critics are not seeking new writers/material.
Script AssignmentScripts are assigned randomly to critics.
Script KnowledgePrior to reading the script, critics are provided with the script’s logline and genre.