Screenwriting Competition

"It's a perfect film festival in a glorious place." — Neil Gaiman, Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award Recipient

Please sign up for the Screenplay Competition email list below so you can be the first to know.

Cinequest voted Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers.

The Cinequest Screenplay Competition empowers global screenwriters through discovery, recognition, and opportunity. Cinequest loves writers, and we welcome you to submit your screenplay or teleplay to our renowned competition. The Top 10 Finalists receive many empowering benefits including: passes to the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival and the exclusive Writers Celebration, plus exposure to leading industry players and inspiring luminaries.

Finalists are presented alongside high profile Maverick Spirit awardees like: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Chuck Palahniuk, Neil Gaiman, Philip Kaufman, Michael Arndt, Diablo Cody, Dennis Lehane, Jason Reitman and more at the highly anticipated Writers Celebration during the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival.



A $5,000 cash prize will be presented to the winning feature-length script. Finalists will also get their scripts read by industry professionals. Previous industry readers have included: ICM Partners, Lions Gate Films, Happy Madison Productions, Entertainment One, XYZ Films, First Light Films, Lupovitz Productions, Echo Lake Entertainment, Verve, and Popular Films. This year the jury will include executives from Netflix, HBO, CBS, Vimeo, Music Box Films, Film Movement, Bond 360 and Women Make Movies. (Rules and More Information)

“After the Cinequest Writers Celebration, an angel investor has swooped in and offered to finance my film. WorkingMan will begin immediate pre-production and will be shot next winter/early spring.  Thanks so much to everyone at Cinequest for opening doors to filmmakers and artists everywhere!” -- Robert Jury, Feature Finalist, WorkingMan


Our short-film script category continues to attract a diverse international pool with a $1,000 cash prize and a future screening opportunity at Cinequest Film & VR Festival for the winning script. (Rules and More Information)

“We had an incredible time at the festival, and are very much still in complete awe of the amazing response to the film…pretty much everything you’d ever want as a filmmaker. It was a very surreal experience.” -- Travis Neufeld, Shorts Winner, Tinwife (premiered at Cinequest in 2017)

TELEPLAYS (60 Minutes)

A $1,000 cash prize will be presented to the winning 60 minute teleplay and an opportunity to be read by some of today’s top television studios. (Rules and More Information)

"I was thrilled when Cinequest selected my pilot script as a finalist for the teleplay competition. Writers need all the support they can get and Cinequest gave it in abundance. Not only at the festival, with conferences and events for the writers, but long afterwards, when you’re back at the desk and find an email from one of the devoted people at Cinequest in your box. When they get behind you, they stay behind you and continue to do everything they can to help push your project forward." -- Matthew Dixon, Teleplay Finalist, The Glass Hotel (optioned by HBO in 2016)

TELEPLAYS (30 Minutes)

Our 30 minute teleplay category offers writers a chance to showcase what could be the next hit series on TV! $1,000 cash prize to the winner. (Rules and More Information)

“I loved the artist/writer events. It was a pleasure getting to speak with other finalists— writers who are so very creative, talented and diverse in outlook…The importance of Cinequest is that it brings us together, not despite our crazy aspirations as artists, but because of them… and best of all, their encouragement stokes the fire to keep us going.” -- Ada Lee Halofsky, Teleplay Winner, Throwing Shade


Top 50 and Top 10 Notified in January 2020.
Top 10 Finalists listed on Website Feb 15, 2020.
Top 3 and Winners Announced in March 2020 at Script to Screen Event and in the Festival Awards Press Release.


Click here for screenplay finalist testimonials.


Please join us in celebrating this year's finalists!


In Love With Einsteinby Linda Shayne

Katharine to Tesla, Faithfully Yours by Natalie Paige Bentley

The Wardrobe by Peter Noel

Karma by Kwok Keong

Flat-rate Frank by Jeffrey Howe

Mother-Daughter byTricia Lee

American Eagle by Cressandra Thibodeaux

The Youngest Doughboy by Steve Sterling

NearFall by Ronny Jay

Michael Wants To Marry by Jen Bieser


Soldier On by Nicholas Garcia

Our Lady Lupe by Dominique Nieves

Going Home by Justin Burris McGowan

1450 Herkimer by Sam Godfrey

Cowboy Caviar by Rich Fowler

Cold Water by Jay Perry

Making Peace by Judah Ray

Living in the Past by Bernhard Riedhammer

Milan, 2020 by Will Graziano

The Boneyard by Megan Fitzgerald


The Line by Jeff Bower

On The Verge by Yair Karlberger

Just Super by Vanessa Leigh and Aaron Bennette

Shy Girls Lingerie by Suzanne Egan

American Psyche by Richard Nguyen and Dr. Vinita Mehta

Badass by Kelly Byrnes

Damed Nation by Jeffrey Henderson

Kindly Metal Mother by Something's Awry Productions

Road to Zion (RTZ) by Andrew Reid

Paradise, PA by Amy Monaghan


Illegal by Dorothy Nguyen

Post- by Joseph Luther

Snappy by David L

Queer Camp by Dani Messerschmidt

Super Girlfriend by Allyson Morgan

The Pheasant's Crusade 2 by Joshua Branstetter

Versailles, Florida by Henry Cline

Mars Bar by Brandon Burkhart

Runner by Adrian McNair

Twice Shy by Suzanne Reed

Thank you to our generous sponsors!