From an original field of over 1,500 writers around the world and after four intense writing challenges, we finally have a winner of the Short Screenplay Challenge 2020!  Congratulations, yet again, to M. Rowan Meyer (Woodside, NY, USA) for winning the competition with his final round screenplay "Vas Defiance". Amazingly, that makes it two years in a row winning the Short Screenplay Challenge for M. Rowan. He and 44 other finalists were challenged to create a short screenplay no longer than 5 pages based on the open genre, an assembly line (location), and an envelope or letter with no return address (object) in 48 hours. Congratulations to the top screenplays listed below and thank you to everyone that participated!


Top Screenplays from the Final Round

HM = Honorable Mention


#1 - ''Vas Defiance'' by M. Rowan Meyer LOGLINE - A mild-mannered scientist makes a brilliant discovery, but faces resistance in its insemination.

#2 - ''Wotsitt'' by Alex Sutton LOGLINE - Wotsitt the elf is smashing his trial period at Santa's Workshop. Then a letter with no return address completely throws him off his game.

#3 - ''Making Do With Multiples'' by Jennifer Gunner LOGLINE - The parents of TV's favorite multiples, the Kowalczyk Quints, run their home like a well-oiled machine. But could a few more tweaks bring their household closer to perfection?

#4 - ''The Gulag Took My Pen-Pal'' by Robbie Gottlieb LOGLINE - Boris Borishevsky is sent to Siberia for the unspeakable crime of pen-paling around with the world's biggest Green Bay Packers fan.

#5 - ''Afterglow'' by Chad Frame LOGLINE - Edna is glowing--she's going to be married, she's surrounded by wonderful friends, and she has a great job at the Radium Dial Company. What could possibly go wrong?

#6 - ''The Quackenbush Candy Factory'' by Arianna Drumond LOGLINE - Nothing is sweeter for candy factory workers, George and Maggie, than a low-key start to the work day. This is not one of those days.

#7 - ''Buscador'' by Sam Parker LOGLINE - When LAURINDO, a Mexican national, loses his way in unfamiliar territory, he must rely on the help of strangers to find the way back to his family.

#8 - ''Returned to Sender'' by Harriet Gillian LOGLINE - When a very important Christmas wish arrives at the North Pole, Santa must instruct his top team of elite elves to see the wish comes true.

#9 - ''Down The Line'' by Mikaela Cumbers LOGLINE - Congratulations on concluding the final hour of your service.
Genesis thanks YOU for your service.

#10 - ''Canary Girl'' by Graham Brand LOGLINE - With the men at war in the trenches, their bombs were filled by girls with yellow hands.

#HM - ''Cobbler of the Month'' by David Piechowski LOGLINE - A North Pole elf tries to prove she has what it takes to be Cobbler of the Month, but the previous honoree has other ideas.

#HM - ''The Night Shift'' by Daniel MacKay LOGLINE - An elderly assembly line worker, struggling to maintain a routine in a world in chaos, is thrown off by a letter he receives from a coworker he has never met.

#HM - ''Sprocket'' by Andrew Kaberline LOGLINE - A factory worker attempts to keep the human element in her workspace, while the company is hellbent on erasing it.


#HM - ''Reassemble My Heart'' by Ricardo Bravo LOGLINE - A security guard in a sandwich factory searches the floor
for the anonymous writer of a love letter.


#HM - ''Body Parts'' by Karen Mitani LOGLINE - Terror escalates on an assembly line after Glenda receives a disturbing photo in the mail.




Challenge #1: Kickoff Email / Assignments / Results

Challenge #2: Kickoff Email / Assignments / Results

Challenge #3: Kickoff Email / Assignments / Results

Challenge #4: Kickoff Email

Rules: Official Rules & Participation Agreement

  Thank you to the participants for helping to donate over $3,000 to global charities currently dealing with some of the most critical issues affecting our world.  Click here to learn more.


The Short Screenplay Challenge is a competition that challenges writers around the world to create short screenplays (5 pages max.) based on genre, location, and object assignments in 48 hours. Each writer will participate in at least 2 writing challenges and as many as 4 depending on how well they place in each challenge.  When the competition begins, writers are placed in groups where they will be judged against other writers within their same group.  Each group receives its own unique genre, location, and object assignments (see past examples here).  After 2 challenges, the top 5 writers that score the highest advance to the next challenge.  In Challenge #3, writers are placed in new groups and given a new genre, location, and object assignment.  The top 5 writers from each of the groups in Challenge #3 advance to the fourth and final challenge of the competition where they are given the final genre, location, and object assignment and compete for thousands in cash and prizes.  Sound like fun?  Join the competition below or click here for a more detailed description of how the competition works.  Good luck writers!


Never written a screenplay before?  Click here to learn the basics.


Registration is now closed.  We'll be announcing more challenges soon for 2020, so make sure to join our mailing list or follow us on facebook, twitter, or instagram to be the first to know.  Thank you and stay safe! 


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 challenge, especially the first challenge at 11:59PM EDT (New York time) on Friday, September 25th, so that you know when to expect an e-mail!


  Challenge #1: September 25-27, 2020 Add to Calendar
  Challenge #2: November 13-15, 2020 Add to Calendar
Challenge #3: January 8-10, 2021 Add to Calendar
Challenge #4: February 26-28, 2021 Add to Calendar



Not only does every writer receive feedback from the judges for every story that is submitted, but a special review forum is available for the participants to submit their stories for review from fellow writers throughout the competition.  During the last Short Screenplay Challenge, there were over 2,800 comments made on the 250+ screenplays shared on the forum.  Click here to visit the forums.



Stephen W.
Wellesley, MA, USA
“This was a fantastic challenge. Had to make a script using Suspense on a high speed train. Just a blast!”
Amy L.
Oakland, CA, USA
“That was the first screenplay I've ever written! I've been meaning to for a long time, and finally decided I needed a deadline. Looking forward to the next one.”
Sergio S.
Bournemouth, GB
“A great challenge! My script is done and it is amazing what you can do within 5 pages! Mentally and artistically stimulating! Thank you!”
Shia S.
Oakland, CA, USA
“Submitted my Round 2 script. I whined the entire time. I will be all nerves until we get results. I LOVE this process. I can feel my growth as a writer/creative/human. Good luck to us all!”
Maria C.
Malden, MA, USA
“First Suspense script for me...It was tough!!!! Really not my thing...But thanks for the new experience, NYC Midnight! Hoping for a Romantic Comedy next time.”
Randy B.
Portland, OR, USA
“That was a great exercise! It came really fast and then just the tweakin'. 5 pages, it has to be TIGHT.”
Debra H.

Lambton, Australia
"Exhausted. The challenge is real and the relief of having completed it is awesome.”
David W.

Royersford, PA, USA
“Script submitted with just 2 minutes to spare. Had a blast!”
Tammy M.

Bolingbrook, IL, USA
“First time trying this. I loved the creative challenge. Came out to 5 pages exactly.”












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