Important Dates
Start Writing!
Receive and re-draw prompts.
Submit script by Tuesday, May 9, 11:59PM EST
May 5
Read Scripts
Read, give feedback, and judge six short scripts.
Complete within 5 days.
May 10
Receive Feedback and War
Access your script's feedback.
Top scripts compete in finalist tournament, 'The War.'
May 16
Winners Announced!
Professional judges elect four genre winners.
The winners split the cash prize pool.
May 22
How It All Works

Start Writing

May 5-9

At 11:59PM EST, receive prompts and start writing. You have 4 days to write a {loading max pages} page script using the prompts.

You may redraw your prompts for the first 48 hours, after which your prompts are Locked-In.

Submit your script by

Update:

Tuesday, Nov 9, 11:59AM EST

The Pools

May 10-15

All scripts are put into pools of six of the same genre. Each script is compared to every other script in its pool at least once. These comparisons are called arbitrations.

Every participant must judge three randomly assigned arbitrations: reading, giving some quick feedback, and answering one question about each arbitration:

Which script is better?

The script with the highest win rate in each pool moves on to The War.

The War

May 16-24

The top script from each pool competes in a best-of-three single elimination tournament against random scripts in their same genre.

Participants who were knocked out of the contest in the pool stage can choose to judge The War in exchange for coins.

When only 2 scripts are left in each genre, our Industry Professional Screenwriters take over and finish the last arbitrations to determine the four genre winners.

Genre and Prompts

Genre

You will never be disqualified from this competition because an admin thinks your script doesn't perfectly fit a genre; however, you may turn off judges if they were expecting a Comedy, but got Carrie. Use your best judgement.

Place

Something significant must happen at this place in your story. There are no constraints on how long your characters have to spend there.

Object

The object must appear physically in your story and must be significant in one way or another.

Official Rules and Participant Agreement

Click HERE to read the Official Rules PDF document.

FAQs

Who owns the screenplay I write?

You do. However, if you win, we have the right to show your screenplay in the Past Winners section of our website. Exceptions can be made if you do not want your script to be read by the public. Contact the admin in this case at admin@screenwritingbattle.com -- We're easy.

How do you ensure that people judge fairly?

Participants are never judging scripts that their own script is in competition with since they only read scripts in different genres than their own. The winning scripts from each genre split the cash prize pool equally.

Is it possible to draw the same card twice?

No. We keep a history of all the prompts you have received during the current battle. You will never get the same prompt when re-drawing a card.

Can I use the previous prompts after drawing new ones?

No. In the spirit of the challenge of this competition, every time you draw cards you risk drawing a prompt even less inspiring than the one it replaced. You must use whichever prompts you hold after Lock-In.

Can I use an alias?

Yes. Please check “Use an Alias” when editing your public profile. We will use the name in your public profile, or your alias if you prefer. Make sure you update your public profile before the winners of the battle are decided.

How do I submit my script?

Script submissions are done on our website, screenwritingbattle.com/battle through an online form.

How are the scripts distributed to readers?

Everything is done on screenwritingbattle.com -- During an arbitration, an arbitrator will click a button to read your script, the button opens a temporary link to your script. There is no way for the arbitrator to know whose screenplay they were reading, and there is no way for the writer to know who wrote the feedback.

Is everything done on the website?

Yes. Everything. No data ever goes to another service. You never have to leave the website. This means we have full control of security and the privacy of everyone's script and public data. Not to name names, but this was a weak spot we found in similar short screenwriting contests.

How do you ensure anonymity?

Most commonly, people will accidently put their name and address information on the title page. It happens. We all are so used to putting our information on the title page. In this competition, we autogenerate a title page for you. The metadata is also stripped from the pdf. If a title page already exists on the pdf you submitted, our software replaces the title page with the autogenerated one. We always keep your original pdf on record, but the pdf that Arbitrators read is the auto-generated version. Don't worry... the title page we generate is pretty. You will get to preview it when you submit your PDF.

What if someone puts their contact information somewhere else in the script?

Arbitrators are encouraged not to award these scripts with any points. If we find a script that reveals the writer's identity, then that entrant will be disqualified.

One of the scripts I read does not follow the Official Rules. What should I do?
Email admin@screenwritingbattle.com with the title of the screenplay in question, and which rule you think it broke. Do not email about someone not using a prompt. Let the arbitration process filter those out.

Who are the judges?
You are. All participants are also judges. You will be assigned six screenplays to read and give feedback. Then those six screenplays are put in 3 pairs, and you will have to arbitrate (judge) which is better between each pair. It is designed so that participants should be fair since you are only judging scripts in different genres than your own -- so you are not ever competing with the scripts that you read. The Professional Judges will be announced before the battle starts.

Will the submissions be 100% anonymous to those judges?
Yes! We are in full control of the data on the website, which means people will never know who wrote the screenplay they are arbitrating, or who wrote the feedback.

What is the judging criteria?
There is no 'scoring' in an Arbitration, so judges only choose which script "wins" over another script. How do they choose which script wins? That's up to the Arbitrator, but it should be in the vein of which script is "stronger."

The script I'm reading is great, but I don't think the writer used the prompts. Should I still choose it as the "winner?"

We can't tell you how to choose a winner. It is possible that the prompt is super abstract and went over your head (which in that case it was a poor decision by the writer to do that). Up to you.

I still have time. Can I re-submit a new draft of my script?

Yes! The last pdf you upload will be used in the battle.

What if I change the title or logline? Will the auto-generated title page change?

Definitely. Every time you change your title or logline, the title page also changes.

Do the scripts have to be in English?

Assuming most of the judges will be English writers/speakers, then this is probably a good idea. If an arbitrator cannot read your script, then that is not their fault, and they are likely going to vote for the other script in the arbitration. 

This seems like TOO MUCH fun. What do you recommend I do?

Join both May's and November's battles and share the site with your friends and family on social media to get the word out!