Competition Links

Final Round Assignment

2nd Round Results

2nd Round Assignments

1st Round Results

1st Round Assignments


Final Round Results

After 2 rounds of competition and from an original field of over 1,100 writers, 50 finalists were challenged to create a short screenplay no longer than 5 pages in just 24 hours based on the following assignment:
Genre: Open
Subject: A hallucination
Character: A marine biologist
The winners are listed below! Congratulations to the finalists for submitting so many amazing screenplays and to everyone that participated this year for rising to the challenges. Thanks for another great competition!


#1 - Milwaukee Deep by Ed Hicks LOGLINE - An unidentified sound is coming from the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench.  When an unmanned probe fails, a marine biologist makes a solo expedition to the ocean floor.

#2 - Shelley's World by Jenny St. Angelo LOGLINE - A children's television host has some wise words for a broken hearted woman who can't move on.

#3 - Thirst by Stephanie Grimm LOGLINE - Not too far in the future, Earth's ecosystems collapse. Now, on a planet without water, a former marine biologist shares her past in a way that earns her a bizarre prize.

#4 - Light Below The Bell by Joshua Benoit LOGLINE - A marine biologist's deadly encounter with a box jellyfish leads him on an obsessive quest to recreate his near-death experience.

#5 - A Visit from "Doc" Ricketts by Jeffrey Howe LOGLINE - On his deathbed, John Steinbeck gets the chance to say goodbye to his long-departed friend Ed Ricketts--and to forgive himself.

#6 - Celestial beings, Flying Saucers and Monsters by Jane Dotchin LOGLINE - Two old friends reminisce about their work, when a clear head was needed and people were receptive to more than just real life.

#7 - Jake's Song by Adam Sifre LOGLINE - Jake comes face to face with his life long obsession and discovers exactly how much it has cost him.

#8 - Red Tide by Juli S. Kobayashi LOGLINE - A marine biologist monitoring nesting sea turtles is haunted by visions of her recently deceased child.

#9 - The Dive by Gayatri Bajpai LOGLINE - A marine biologist risks his life for an elusive experience in the depths of the ocean.

#10 - Beneath All Else by Tim Gomersall LOGLINE - A family of marine biologists search for signs of their conservation
project's success. Beneath the waves, a different discovery awaits.

#Honorable Mention - Toxic Bloom by Adam K Tiller LOGLINE - When a Navy Lieutenant hires a scientist to solve a man-made disaster, the scientist decides to unleash something far more powerful on the world.

#Honorable Mention - O2 by Erik Candiani LOGLINE - Two marine researchers desperate for rescue during an ill-fated research project fight hopelessness as they descend into darkness.

#Honorable Mention - FIN. by Justin Luke Zirilli LOGLINE - A mermaid and a marine biologist fall in love... until reality comes between them and reveals the terrible truth.

#Honorable Mention - Whale by Kate Whiteside LOGLINE - Coleen takes a trip out into the middle of the ocean. She has always belonged to the water, and now the water needs her back.

#Honorable Mention - Aquaholic by Thomas Morgan LOGLINE - A troubled father will stop at nothing to find his daughter.


The 14th Annual Screenwriting Challenge is a competition open to screenwriters around the world.  There are 3 rounds of competition.  In the 1st Round (April 21-29), writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment (see examples of past assignments here).  Writers have 8 days to write an original short screenplay no longer than 12 pages.  The judges choose a top 5 in each heat to advance to the 2nd Round (June 15-18) where writers receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write an 8 page (maximum) short screenplay.  Judges choose a top 5 in each heat from the 2nd Round to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to write a 5 page (maximum) screenplay in just 24 hours (July 21-22).  A panel of judges review the final round screenplays and winners are selected to share in over thousands in cash and prizes Sound like fun?  Join the competition below...


Never written a screenplay before?  Click here to check out an article going over the basics.



Registration is now closed.  We will have many more exciting competitions in 2017, so make sure to join our newsletter so you're the first know when our next challenge opens for registration.


Official Rules and Participation Agreement



While we send e-mails at the beginning of each round to all registered writers, many times e-mails go to junk mail folders, spam, or are blocked by servers for unknown reasons.  We recommend that everyone marks their calendars with the start dates of each round, especially the first round on April 21st, so that you know when to expect an e-mail!


  Extended Final Entry Deadline 9PM EST on April 21, 2017
  1st Round April 21-29, 2017
  2nd Round June 15-18, 2017
  3rd Round July 21-22, 2017



Not only does every writer receive feedback from the judges for each 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 2016, there were over 1,900 comments made on the 150+ screenplays submitted on the forum.  Click here to visit the forums.



Melinda L.
San Diego, USA
“I love this contest. I got to write ghosts, history, a little action-adventure, and an ending that makes me happy in the best bittersweet way.”
Philip L.
London, GB 
“Just put mine in. Loved the challenge of working up something at speed, with given elements. Best of luck all.” 
Cierra M.

Soddy Daisy, USA
“Let's just say.. that was SUPER fun! And SUPER challenging.”
Alexi W.

Minot, USA
“YES! Finally got it done for round one! Absolutely loved the challenge, because it got me thinking about stories I would not have even considered writing otherwise. Thinking about writing down the info for the other heats in this round to practice with later. Good luck, everyone!”
Melinda T.
Perth, Australia
“Submitted! How exciting! Loved the challenge of this”
Sean D.
Laezonia, ZA
“I had immense fun stretching different parts of my writing brain to find something fun and a touch ludicrous for Comedy/Chain Letter (or Email)/Piano Player... Best of luck to all!”
Melissa M.
Rockport, USA
"I just submitted my screenplay for the 1st round of the competition and WOW!! That was super fun...and it's not just a clever name--it truly was a challenge!"
Ko M.
Los Angeles, USA
“Got mine in with 3 minutes left on the clock! Hopefully the judges can overlook a few missing comma's and typos because it's pretty solid, otherwise. It's amazing what a deadline does for productivity.  You're all winners in my book!"
Marissa P.
Greene, USA
“I've never written a mystery before! What a challenging, fun exercise (and a great break from my finals!)”
Nick C.
Sacramento, USA
“Whatever happens, I really like what I came up with despite not being familiar with fashion design or pregnancy. Best of luck to all!”
Kim W.
Bridgnorth, GB
“Being a male retired boxer was so much more fun than being a female retired Legal Practice Manager. Enjoyed that immensely! Thanks.”
Karl A.
Bellevue, USA
"Love writing Sci-Fi when you don't have to worry about budget constraints. Great fun!”
Beth S.
Bradenton Beach, USA
“This was so much fun!” 
Scotty-Miguel S.
Los Angeles, USA
“That was intensely fun (and intensely CHALLENGING - which I assume is why they call it that).” 











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