Q.  Can I participate if I live outside the United States?

A.  Yes, the competition is open to writers around the world and all submissions can be uploaded online.


Q.  What time does the competition start?  What if I live in a different time zone than New York?
A.  The competition starts at 11:59PM in the Eastern Time Zone (New York) on Friday, April 12, 2019.  If you live in another time zone, you will need to make sure you are aware of how many hours ahead or behind you are from New York.  For example, if you live in Los Angeles, CA the competition will begin at 8:59PM local time on Friday, April 12th.  If you live in London, UK the competition will begin at 4:59AM local time on Saturday, April 13th.  There will also be countdown clocks on the website to help writers keep track, but we also recommend you mark your calendars with the correct times so you know when the competition starts and ends so there is no confusion later.  


Q.  I signed up, but how will I receive my assignment?

A.  All registered writers will receive an email at the start of the 1st Round which begins at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, April 12th, 2019.  Emails are sent from feedback@nycmidnight.com, so make sure to add us to your safe list so you receive all the correspondence.  In some cases, the emails are filtered by spam or junk mail folders.  So, we always recommend adding the start date to your calendar so you know when to begin even if you don't receive the email.  For your reference, all the assigments will be posted on the Challenge home page and links will also be posted on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Q.  Can I participate if I'm under 18 years of age?

A.  Yes, but anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian send their consent to feedback@nycmidnight.com with the following information:

1. The subject line of the e-mail should be: Parental Consent for the Screenwriting Challenge 2019

2. Their consent for your participation in the competition in the body of the e-mail. For example, "I am the parent/guardian of __________(Participant Name) and I hereby provide consent for him/her to participate in the Screenwriting Challenge 2019 on nycmidnight.com"

3. The full name and phone number of the parent/guardian in the body of the e-mail.


Q. Can I write under a pen name?

A.  Yes!  When registering for the competition, please keep in mind that the First and Last Name fields will be posted to the website.  If you would like to write under a pen name, make sure to include your pen name for these First and Last name fields.  You will be prompted to enter your legal name at the end of the registration form for our records, but only the name you enter in the First and Last name fields will be posted to the website. 


Q.  Can we provide previously made screenplays for the 1st Round entries?

A.  No.  All screenplays must be created during the competition and must be based on the genre, subject, and character assignment provided.


Q.  Do you have some examples of past assignments?

A.  Yes, here are a few from previous years:

Drama / Fatherhood / A fast food restaurant employee
Mystery / A gemstone / A telemarketer
Fantasy / Halloween / A limo driver
Ghost Story / An oath / A chef
Comedy / A family vacation / A pharmacist


Q.  I've never written a screenplay before.  Is it important that I get the format right?

A.  If you are serious about screenwriting, it is extremely important to know the basic formatting rules.  It doesn't matter if you have an amazing story, a script that isn't formatted properly immediately jumps out as "unprofessional" to readers, producers, actors, and anyone that is accustomed to reading scripts as part of their profession.  Getting a screenplay produced is tough enough without putting yourself at a disadvantage with an incorrectly formatted screenplay.


Q.  What are the proper screenplay formatting rules?  Do you have any recommendations?
A.  There are many, many resources available to writers that want to write a screenplay.  We have put together an outline of the basic formatting rules for writing a screenplay by clicking here.  You can also Google "Proper Screenplay Format" for dozens of links explaining the basics.  If you are serious about screenwriting, you should also look into screenwriting software, which helps immensely with the planning, organization, and formatting of your screenplay.  For free screenwriting software, check out Celtx or Scripped.  If you don't mind spending money for screenwriting software, Final Draft and Movie Magic have a very good reputation in the industry.  Either way, do some quick research to find out what best fits your needs.


Q.  Can teams of writers (more than 1) work on the screenplays?

A.  Yes.  You may list additional writers on the registration form, but please note that ONLY the writer who registers will be eligible for the prizes.


Q.  Who owns the rights to the screenplays created during the competition?

A.  You, the writer.  NYC Midnight reserves the right to publish the author's name, title, and logline of any submission for publicity purposes, but that's it.


Q.  What kind of feedback will we get for our screenplays?

A.  Not only does every writer receive feedback from the judges for every screenplay submitted, but a special review forum is available for the participants to submit their screenplays for review from fellow writers throughout the competition.  During the Screenwriting Challenge 2018, there were over 2,600 comments made on the 175+ screenplays submitted on the forum.  Click here to visit the forums.


Q.  What are the acceptable formats for the screenplays?

A.  The only acceptable formats are .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) or .doc (Word Document).


Q.  What is a logline?

A.  A logline is a 1-2 sentence description of your screenplay.  It should be simple, yet very enticing (the main goal is to make the reader excited to read your screenplay).



Still have questions? 

Send us an e-mail at feedback@nycmidnight.com or ask us on twitter @nycmidnight









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