The judges for the 2021 competition will be announced soon! To get an idea of who will be reading the screenplays, check out the judges from previous competitions below.



Scott Anderson has been teaching screenwriting since 1993, beginning at U Mass - Lowell and currently at Emerson College where his "Business Of Screenwriting" course was the first ever offered at the college level. He was the director of the acclaimed screenwriter's workshop The Harvard Square Scriptwriters for 14 years and is currently the Creative Director for Johnston Media LLC. His website is


Gina Andreoli is the creator of the Webby Honoree web series comedy "Gemini Rising". Her current project "The Weirdness" is an original science fiction web series drama. Gina teaches screenwriting and video production out of her studio in Bristol, PA.

Kate Beacom graduated from School of Visual Arts with a BFA in screenwriting. She has written six features including "Rehab Cabin," which is in pre-production with Kate directing. She is the co-writer/director/producer of the web series "What Boys Like" and writes horror movie reviews at Splats of Blood. She has read for several New York screenplay festivals including Gotham Screen International Film Festival, WilliFest, and New York City Indie Film Festival.


Lizette Clarke was born in Barbados, raised on Long Island, and now works as an editor, author, and blogger in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA in Writing for Screen and Television from University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, and in 2009, her thesis pilot script "A Little Pain" was awarded with distinction. Currently, Lizette works as an editor for the Author Accelerator, an online program assisting authors in completing a first draft and building a platform for their work. She has taught storytelling and screenwriting at the Art Institute and has previously been a screenplay judge for the National Hispanic Media Coalition TV Writers Program and American Black Film Festival.   

Pearl Gluck
is a filmmaker and professor of film. Her award-winning first film, a feature documentary, Divan (2004) opened theatrically at the Film Forum in NYC, premiered on the Sundance Channel, and played across the country and internationally at festivals. Her work has been part of the Sundance Lab, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, and won prizes such as Best Actor at the Starz Denver Film Festival for her first narrative short, Where Is Joel Baum (2012). Her TV documentary, Williamsburg (2007) is a walking tour of he native Hasidic Brooklyn and aired on Paris Premiere. She continues to make both documentary and narrative films that explore themes of faith, class, and gender. Her latest film is a feature narrative, The Turn Out (in post-production), which blurs the lines of fiction and documentary to tell the story of a trucker who inadvertently gets involved with a girl who is being sex trafficked at his local truckstop. Pearl teaches Screenwriting and Directing at Penn State University.


Lauren Gorski is a writer and editor who will receive her Master's in Writing with Emphasis in Stage and Screen from the University of Southern California in August 2015. Besides reading scripts for agents and production companies, she is the editor-in-chief of The Southern California Review, a multi-genre literary journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenplays, and stageplays. She has studied the principles of dramatic structure with screenwriting guru Syd Field while at USC. Her screenplay "Roulette" won Audience's Choice Full Feature at UC Irvine's 19th Annual Screenwriting Festival.


Jaclyn Gramigna is the founder/Director of Whippersnapper Films. Her short films have screened in film festivals all over the USA as well as featured in the Short Film Corner at Cannes. In the summer of 2013 she was highlighted as an "emerging filmmaker to watch" in Miramax's blog and is currently a member of the Brooklyn chapter of The Filmshop (a filmmaker's collective). While studying at NYU, Jaclyn was accepted into the prestigious screenwriter's lab in Dublin, Ireland and since then has written 3 feature-length scripts and many shorts. Other than making films, she is an avid home cook and musician (she plays trumpet, ukulele and sings). She is currently writing the feature expansion of her recent short thriller, CROW. Follow her on Twitter @JACoLYNtern.


Phillip E. Hardy is an award winning screenwriter who has written several historical, biopic screenplays about Angela Davis, Paul the Apostle, Michael Rockefeller and J.D. Salinger. He has also penned several action thrillers and emphasizes creating strong female lead characters. He currently has nominations for “best screenplay” at three film festivals and is working with Producer Zane W. Levitt and Steve Roeder.


Brad Johnson is a screenwriter, producer, and in-demand script consultant. Through his website,, he works with screenwriters of all levels to improve their craft, and actively promotes the mantra "read scripts, watch movies, and write pages." Brad also writes a weekly column for Script Magazine on techniques to improve the writing of beginning and advanced screenwriters alike. You can find Brad online through the ReadWatchWrite Facebook page, or by following him on Twitter at @RWWFilm@RWWFilm.


Rory Johnston created the "kids as secret agents" genre with his screenplay The Secret Agent Club. He is the writer of Prey of the Jaguar, and writer/director of the upcoming feature film, Guard Dog. He has had numerous screenplays optioned and has been a writer for hire and script doctor on over a dozen projects.


Mary Kobayashi was raised in Missoula, Montana and has written for The Ellen Degeneres Show and Funny or Die since moving to Los Angeles five years ago. Her comedy-based Twitter account has been featured multiple times in The Huffington Post, Playboy, Splitsider, and on The Ellen Degeneres Show. More recently, she was Head Writer on a pilot called On Your Mark which was picked up by Netflix.


Kristin Livingstone is a Los Angeles-based writer. She studied film at Smith College and graduated with Distinction from the University of Southern California's Writing for Screen & Television MFA program. She has been a Quarterfinalist for the Academy's Nicholl Fellowship, had her online writing featured on Huffpost Live, and worked as a script reader for top tier production companies and television networks.


Bonnie Maffei lives in Santa Cruz, California, she grew up in L.A., and taught in Europe, South Africa and the U.K. She has a B.A. in Art from San Jose State University, and has diplomas from Schule fur Eurythmische Art und Kunst in Berlin, and the Goetheanum in Switzerland. Maffei is a three-time Award-Winner at The Moondance International Film Festival, having won The Spirit of Moondance Award for "A Recipe To Die For", and the Gaia Award for "Written in Sand", two of her screenplays. The third honor was a Columbine Award for "Lalibela, Priest King of Ethiopia", a story for young adults. She’s written several other scripts, and is a ScreenwritingU ProSeries Alumna, an advanced screenwriting course taught by Hal Croasmun. Over the past ten years, she has worked intensively in Chris Soth’s Mentorship Program specializing in the Mini-Movie-Method, and with other industry professionals, including David Freeman, Dov Simens, Madeline DiMaggio and Terri Zinner. Currently, Bonnie teaches English online. She's also an accomplished artist, Therapeutic Eurythmist and self-published author, and is in the process of becoming a professional script consultant


Kevin McCarthy is a writer, director and performer from New York. He studied Cinema Studies, Drama Studies and Playwriting at Purchase College, during which time he also interned for The Daily Show and Comedy Central. His short films have been screened as part of the 30UNDER30 Festival, the 48 Hour Film Project and the Focus on French Cinema Festival, where his film won Grand Prize. He is currently directing his play The All-Nighter for a premiere in July. He writes sketch comedy and performs improv in New York after training with the Upright Citizens Brigade.


Jason Noto works as a Member of the Writers Guild of America, East. His most recent accolades include participation in the Berlinale Talent Lab, being shortlisted for the Berlinale Talent Project Market, an invitation to the Rekyavik Talent Lab, a finalist in the CineMart: International Film Festival Rotterdam, and currently a finalist in the 2016 Sundance Episodic Lab. In 2005, Jason wrote his first produced feature film, The Woods Have Eyes, distributed by Echo Bridge Entertainment. Jason’s original screenplay The Nail(2010), starring William Forsythe, received the Audience Award at the Philadelphia Film Festival. The Nail was promptly purchased by Showtime, rating top five in online viewers. Currently Rebel Yell, Jason’s first original television series, is in development with Reckless Productions and All Day Every Day Productions.

Boston-born Jean-Paul Ouellette pursued filmmaking after completing studies in literature and graphic design when he moved to Los Angeles, apprenticing to filmmakers Russ Meyer and Orson Welles and mentored by television directing legend Don Richardson. Mr. Ouellette worked for such companies as Cannon Pictures, New Line Cinema, Orion Pictures, and Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. He directed the second-unit action sequences for the Hemdale/Orion film “Terminator,” directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. He wrote and directed the cult horror films “H.P. Lovecraft’s The Unnamable” and its sequel. He has worked as an international television co-producer and produces documentaries, industrials, and indie films. He works as a screenwriter and script consultant. He consults with independent producers; developing projects from concept and script through breakdown, budget, marketing, and funding documentation. He is on the board of the Woods Hole Film Festival, teaches at Emerson College’s professional screenwriting program, and is the author of “The New Elements of Standard Screenplay Format.


Tyler Plosia is a playwright, screenwriter and theater critic who currently writes for Pittsburgh City Paper and Pittsburgh Stage Online Magazine. He has had two plays produced: The Happy Hour as a part of the 2014 Thespis Theater Festival in New York City, and most recently The Village Hotel as a part of the 2015 Pittsburgh Fringe Festival. His full-length screenplay Crown Heights received a reading at the 2013 Dorothy H. Hirshon Film Festival. In the past he has done editing work for Fourth Wall Review, a Pittsburgh-based playwriting journal, and La Critica, a New York-based film and theater criticism magazine. He has also been a contributing writer for Stage Magazine and Curtain Up. Tyler has worked in casting for theater and film and is currently working on penning a new full-length play.


Mikkel Blaabjerg Poulsen, Danish film director and producer, with 16 years of experience in film & television. Educated at Danish Film School Super16 (2008), has produced a series of short fiction and documentaries, that has been shown at a wide range of international film festivals, among these Cannes Shorts and Rome International. He maintains a living directing commercials, while working on his upcoming project "Life Matters".

L. Elizabeth Powers
has an M.A. and M.F.A from Wilkes University in Playwriting and Screenwriting. Her short screenplay, “The Importance of Sex Education,” received top honors at Sidewrite 2014, the 16th L.A. Comedy Fest and the 2014 Marquee Lights Short Screenplay Competition, along with various other honors. Her short film “Killing Time” was a finalist in the Louisiana Film Prize in 2012, and she is a produced playwright and published author. Before returning to school to get her M.F.A., Ms. Powers studied visual effects at Vancouver Film School and worked in the industry for over 15 years on such films as “Eternal Sunshine off the Spotless Mind” and “The Amazing Spiderman.” She was a co-founder of East 20 Productions in Shreveport, LA where she was a creative director. More info available on her website at Or follow her on Twitter @LizabethPowerss.

Amanda Russell-Bolio
is a Boston based writer of stage and screen with works appearing at The Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and The Strand. Her screenplay, “The Devil You Know” based on the stage-play “Jack and Diane” is currently being considered by producers in NY and LA. She has worked as a show consultant for the web series “Boston Play Café” as well as the on set photographer for the film “50 Shades of Cray”. Amanda is a writer’s assistant for the Emmy award winning show “The Folklorist”, and privately coaches’ new screenwriters with a particular focus on character development and dialogue.

Matt Snell
is a fiction and non-fiction writer from Peterborough, Ontario. His work has appeared in Existere, Punchnel’s, and PRISM International, and his short screenplay “Vigil” was a quarter finalist for the 2014 Canadian Short Screenplay Competition. He is currently completing his MFA thesis at the University of British Columbia, where he is also teaches creative writing for the non-credit mentorship program Booming Ground. As a musician, he has performed throughout Quebec and Ontario, accompanying his original songs on guitar, banjo, and musical saw.

Jason William Spencer is a Screenwriter/TV Writer residing in Hollywood, CA. His current project is with S.H.Y. Films out of London, England where he is the Screenwriter for the feature-length thriller, "Lost Within." His feature-length drama, "To Here Knows When," won Project of the Month on IndieWire in August, 2014. His TV Pilot, “Hicks,” was featured at the LA Scripted Comedy Festival in February, 2014. He's the Screenwriter and Executive Producer for the short drama, “Change of Heart,” currently in pre-production. He's also a proud alumni of James Franco's Studio 4 School for the Interdisciplinary Arts.

Dave Stauffer attended USC Graduate School of Cinema where one summer he worked on the sound crew of the Paramount release FRATERNITY ROW. He followed that with a master class in comedy writing run by Danny Simon (Neil’s brother) where he sampled the famed ruined brisket of beef that launched The Odd Couple. Since then he has written several features on assignment, including an adaptation of Joan Samson’s American classic novel, "THE AUCTIONEER," which inspired Steven King’s Needful Things. His action-thriller RUNNING RED was produced and played SHOWTIME and most cable outlets and is now on Netflix. He also co-wrote a documentary on the LA Police Academy and another on anti-Terrorist target training. He has judged in the Beverly Hills Theater Guild Youth Plays contest for the past several years and also reads for their Adult contest.

Mary Trainor-Brigham, M.A. is the author of DEEP CINEMA, Film as Shamanic Initiation, and a Scribe~for~Hire, Writing Consultant and lecturer based on the tenets of that work. The book was included in the swag bag of the Los Angeles inaugural event of GATE: Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment. She has been a Film Critic for 15 + plus years and her column was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize when she worked for the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Massachusetts. A lifelong fascination with Indigenous cultures has accrued over the decades, culminating in a M.A. and development of workshops which she facilitates nationally and internationally. Currently she and her husband, Ciaran, are designing a Mersapien Sea Chapel in order to have a site where people can be restored to enchantment and their Indigenous Souls. Mary's clients mainly include, but are not limited to, screenwriters, as her Deep "C" insights can be applied to any great story.

Sarena Ulibarri has taught screenwriting, fiction, and poetry at the University of Colorado and the University of New Mexico. Her short script "Edge of the Universe" was performed at a CU Theater and Dance department festival in 2012. She currently works as an Assistant Editor for World Weaver Press, where she acquires and edits SF/F novels and novellas. Her flash fiction has appeared in magazines such as Bartleby Snopes, The Cafe Irreal, Monkeybicycle, and, and her longer fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, A Cappella Zoo, Kasma SF, The First Line and elsewhere. Find more at her website: sarenaulibarri.comm

Steven J. WellerSteven J. Weller has written such diverse projects as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and the award-winning romantic thriller screenplay Fearless Love. His latest screenplay, Saving Love, about an Iranian war orphan being adopted by an American nurse, goes into production in July, and his pulp-style novel Ruby, about a lesbian vampire hunter, will be published in the fall. Born and raised in Michigan, he started writing for other people’s amusement at 17, working on a local sketch comedy television program there. He also has a blog on low- and micro-budget filmmaking techniques, Weller's Words of (Semi-) Wisdom, at A writer-for-hire, he's done rewrites on several low-budget feature scripts, and has even had one of his own produced (The Strangers), though the film bears remarkably little resemblance to the original screenplay. He currently lives in Los Angeles and has worked in the film industry for more than two decades, as an actor, director, production designer, and screenwriter.

Greta C. Wink is a researcher and archivist for the Hudson-on-Hudson Historical Society in Hudson-on-Hudson, NY. A writer and historian, Greta co-produced OWNING THE WEATHER for 4th Row Films and has read scripts for the Nantucket Film Festival for five seasons. She has also co-written and consulted numerous independent projects. Make contact or keep up with her historical discoveries at Hudson-on-Hudson's Facebook pagee.

Crystal Wood is a Toronto-based writer working in television, film and theatre. She studied television writing at the prestigious Canadian Film Centre, founded by Norman Jewison. She’s worked in the writing department on the CanWest Global television shows Falcon Beach and Inside the Box, and for the web series Tights and Fights. She has been the recipient of the Banff Media Festival CTV National Fellowship and the Screenwriter Mentorship Award at the WIFT-V Vancouver International Women in Film Festival. Crystal also wrote the short film The Morning After, which screened at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. For the stage, Crystal has had her plays presented by Steady State Theatre, Toronto Cold Read Series, the InspiraTO Festival and the Lab Cab Festival in Toronto, and FemFest in Winnipeg..

Mariusz Zubrowski has published over three hundred film reviews. He has written for dozens of online publications, most notably The Critical Critics and Obsessed. His critiques have been sought after by many major distributors, including Warner Bros. and Fox.









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