General Questions |
How the Competition Works
Q. Can I participate if I don't live in the United States?
A. Yes, writers may participate
from anywhere in the world.
Q. Can I participate if I'm under 18 years of age?
Yes, but anyone under the age of 18 must have a
parent or guardian send their consent to email@example.com
with the following information:
The subject line of the e-mail should be: Parental Consent for
the Short Screenplay Challenge 2016
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 Short Screenplay Challenge 2016 on
3. The full name and phone number of the parent/guardian in the body of
Q. Can we provide previously written short screenplays during
A. No. All screenplays must
be created during the competition and must be based on the genre,
location, and object assignment provided.
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
Click here to check
out our own guidelines on proper screenplay formatting.
Q. What are the proper screenplay
formatting rules? Do you have any recommendations?
A. As mentioned
above, click here to
check out an article we posted that goes over the basic rules for
formatting a screenplay. In addition to our article, there are
many, many resources available to writers that want to write a
screenplay. Simply 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
If you don't mind spending money for screenwriting software,
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. Is the short screenplay meant to be the
start of a longer piece or a complete story with beginning, middle,
A. The short
screenplays in this competition are meant to be self-contained with
a beginning, middle, and end and NOT part of a longer piece.
Essentially, they are meant to be short films, NOT the opening
scene(s) of a feature film.
Q. Can teams of writers (more than 1) work on the screenplays?
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
You, the writer. NYC Midnight
reserves the right to publish the logline and personal website of
any writer that enters the competition for publicity purposes, but
Q. How closely do we have to follow the assignment?
The screenplay must be within the assigned genre, the location must
be the predominant location used in the screenplay, and the object
must be included at some point in the screenplay.
Q. Do you
have some examples of past genre, location, and object assignments?
Yes, here are a few examples of past assignments:
Sci-Fi / A drug rehab center / A wig
Comedy / A luxury spa / An exit sign
Romantic Comedy / An ambulance / Onion rings
Horror / A rooftop / A wheelchair
Open / A space station / A glass eye
Q. What are the acceptable formats for the screenplays?
The only acceptable formats are .pdf (Adobe Acrobat)
or .doc (Word Document).
Q. What is a logline for my screenplay?
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).
How it Works
Challenge #1 : October 28 - 30, 2016
Writers are placed randomly in groups. There are up to 48
groups in the 1st round. Each group is assigned a genre, a
location and an object that must be included in the screenplay.
Once the judging is complete, writers receive points based on what
place they end up in the challenge (see below):
| 15 points
| 10 points
| 5 points
| 14 points
| 9 points
| 4 points
| 13 points
| 8 points
| 3 points
| 12 points
| 7 points
| 2 points
| 11 points
| 6 points
| 1 point
Challenge #2 : December 16 - 18, 2016
Writers compete in the same group they were placed in for Challenge
#1. Writers receive a new assigned genre, location and object
which must be included in the screenplay. Writers receive
points based on what place they end up in the challenge. The
total points from Challenge #1 and #2 are added together, and the
top 5 writers in each group advance to the 2nd Round.
if a writer comes in 4th place (12 points) in Challenge #1 and 13th
place (3 points) in Challenge #2, than his/her total points for the
1st Round is 15 points. If 15 points is among the top 5
highest point totals in the group, than the writer will advance to
The points writers accumulate in
Challenges #1 and #2 are only to determine which writers advance to
Challenge #3, and have no effect on the judging in Challenge #3 or
Challenge #3 : January 27 - 29, 2017
The writers that advanced after Challenge #2 will be divided into a
maximum of 8 groups. Each group is assigned a new genre,
location, and object and have 2 days to submit a 5 page screenplay.
The top 5 writers from each group will advance to the 4th and final
Challenge #4 : March 3 - 5, 2017
that advanced out of the Challenge #3 will participate in the final
writing challenge. They are assigned a new genre, location,
and object and again have 2 days to submit a 5 page screenplay.
The judges choose winners and they'll share in thousands in
cash and prizes.
Still have questions?
Send us an e-mail at
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