2018 Feature Script Contest

SwW logo

2018 Feature Contest

Seventh Annual Feature Film Screenwriting Competition

Sponsored By Screenwriters' Workshop

with additional generous support from

Minneapolis Community and Technical College Cinema Division

Minneapolis Community & Technical College logo

Screenwriters’ Workshop, a Minnesota non-profit organization dedicated to offering opportunities for professional excellence and recognition in the industry, is proud to announce its Seventh Annual Feature Film Screenwriting Competition, sponsored by Screenwriters' Workshop and the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Cinema Division. The competition is designed to showcase screenwriting talent, create new screenplays and promote Minnesota and its many cultural aspects. Professional out-of-state judges will evaluate the scripts entered by Screenwriters’ Workshop members, student members, and new members. The top three scripts will be awarded cash prizes.


(1) OPTION ONE:  (the Minnesota Location Option) As usual, SwW requests feature-length screenplays (90-120 pages) that can be filmed in Minnesota.

(2) OPTION TWO (the Other Location Option): This year SwW also asks for feature-length screenplays (90 to 120 pages) set in any location other than Minnesota.  (SWW assumes that Option Two will attract many entries since this non-Minnesota option has been repeatedly requested by members.)


The Option One scripts will be judged separately with its own first place prize, but only if at least 6 Minnesota entries are received in 2018.

However —

Option One and Option Two screenplays will be grouped together if fewer than 6 Option One (Minnesota features) are entered in 2018. In this case, ALL entered feature scripts will be judged together -- based solely on the quality of writing -- and awarded first, second, and third place prizes.

  • Previously entered scripts may be resubmitted with the exception of any script that has previously won first prize in this feature contest. Since first-prize winners must “wait out” 2 years before entering new scripts, Patricia Fox may enter in 2018 and Angela Andrist may enter in 2019 and Paul Coleman may enter in 2020.
  • This Screenwriters’ Workshop Screenwriting Competition is open to any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the date of entry and resides in Minnesota or Pierce and St Croix Counties of Wisconsin.
  • Board Members of the Screenwriters’ Workshop are not eligible nor are competition judges and their immediate families.


  • Submissions must be the original work of the entrant(s).
  • Adaptations are not allowed in this contest.
  • Collaborative work by up to two writers is eligible. Each collaborator’s name must be added during the application process.

Entry Fees:

  • Screenwriters’ Workshop members (must be a current paid member of the organization on the date of submission) – $50 for each screenplay up to a maximum of two.
  • Students – $25 for each screenplay up to a maximum of two.

Screenplay Format:

  • Required page length range is 90 pages minimum to 120 pages maximum. SCREENPLAYS OVER 120 PAGES OR UNDER 90 PAGES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.
  • The screenplay must use Courier 12 point with standard screenplay formatting, spacing, and margins.
  • No illustrations or photographs on the inside of pages or the cover of the screenplay.
  • Screenplays must be written in English.

Entrants Must Submit:

  • A completed application form. Please provide only one address if collaborating with another writer.
  • Two PDF’s of an original feature-length narrative film screenplay.
  • The words “Option One” or “Option Two” with the entrant’s name, address, phone number, and email address should appear on the title page of the first PDF of the script along with a second PDF script with a title page with script title only but no other identifying information. (Winning scripts with the identifying information on the title page could be posted on the SWW website with the writers’ permission.)
  • A single entry fee per screenplay entry paid via PayPal or check. Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.
  • Only one copy, draft or version of any screenplay may be submitted by entrant(s). Under no circumstances will substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered screenplay(s) be allowed. An entrant may submit a MAXIMUM of two screenplays to the competition.
  • Screenwriting Students must provide proof of their student status and transcript of screenwriting course undertaken.
  • Submissions for the 2018 competition must be received by the Screenwriters’ Workshop and entrance fee paid no later than 11:59 p.m. February 28, 2018. Submitted screenplays will not be returned.
  • PDFs should be e-mailed with a completed application to mnscreenwritersworkshop@gmail.com
  • If entrants are unable to send all the attachments in a single e-mail, they may send two separate emails. Please do not send zip files.


  • A panel of out-of-state judges will select a slate of finalists. A second panel of professional screenwriters/producers will select the winning screenplay, first runner-up and second runner-up — all to be announced in Spring 2018.
  • The writer(s) of the winning screenplay will receive $500. Winner agrees to media availability and publicity.
  • First prize: $500 for MN theme (if applicable) and $500 for general theme
  • If 5 or fewer Minnesota theme entries are received, they roll into the general theme category.
  • The winning screenplay will receive a public reading, sponsored by Screenwriters’ Workshop and MCTC. A rewritten version of the script can be used when it is read by actors at a public staged reading performance. However, the new draft must be presented before the director receives the script to begin casting and rehearsals.
  • Second place entry will receive $300.
  • Third place entry will receive $200.

Acknowledge the Terms & Conditions:

By entering, I (we) attest:

  • To the accuracy of the information supplied in this application.
  • That the material submitted is my (our) sole and original work and not an adaptation.
  • To my (our) agreement to hold the Screenwriters’ Workshop harmless from, and defend them against, all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities and expenses (including attorney’s fees) arising out of or in connection with any stories submitted to the Screenwriters’ Workshop competition or on any screenplay developed out of such stories.
  • That the Screenwriters’ Workshop may retain the material submitted for use in connection with its Screenwriters’ Workshop programs, and thereafter for its archival collection of educational materials, as to which use I (we) expressly waive compensation. Specifically, I/we give permission for my/our script to be used in SWW’s 2nd Tuesday Table Reading Series where MCTC students read, analyze, and write coverage of the script (which is later sent to the writer or writers). The top 3 scripts may be read in the 2nd Tuesday reading series.
  • That the burden of obtaining a copyright or otherwise protecting any proprietary interests in the material, if I (we) wish to do so, rests entirely with me (us).
  • That providing false or misleading information on this application, or failing in any other way to comply with the rules of the competition, will subject me (us) to disqualification, forfeiture of prize money and/or other penalties.