13th Annual

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition


Short Film Scripts


Deadlines & Entry Fees

All fees will be charged in U.S. Dollar
...but you can display them in these other currencies:

Online Services Offered
Entry Form
Fee Payment
Submission Copy
Earlybird Deadline
July 15, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 30.00 *
Regular Deadline
September 23, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 35.00 30.00
Late Deadline
October 14, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 50.00 45.00
WAB Extended Deadline
November 4, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 55.00 40.00

Discounted fees apply to projects with pre-purchased Discount Packs, on entry fees greater than 30.00.

Category Details

Approximately January 31, 2017

Submission & Exhibition Format Requirements

Text Files
  PDF (.pdf)

Prizes & Awards

This category is a competition.

1st Place
(1) Receives $1000 USD cash prize. Winning script by more than one writer will have cash prize split evenly between members of the writing team. (2) Presented with an inscribed Crystal Award during Cinequest Film Festival. (3) Invitation to screen winning short at a future Cinequest Film Festival. Film is limited to a 20-minute run time (maximum). Cinequest is not responsible for the production of the film. (4) All Amenities listed in Top Ten Finalists section. (5) Free four-month script listing on the InkTip Executive Index. (6) Winner listed on IMDb's Cinequest Event Page (7) A six-month membership to International Screenwriters' Association (ISA Network).
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar

Top Ten Finalists
(1) Recognition on Cinequest website and through a press release. (2) Invitation to Cinequest Film Festival with two VIP All Access passes (valued at $1,000). (3) Exclusive invitation to Writers Celebration (March 2017), which includes the BUSINESS OF WRITING FORUM, WRITER MEETS PRODUCER MIXER to connect with industry leaders, PITCH TRAINING with expert pitch coaches, PITCH CHALLENGE to a panel of industry powerhouses, and an inspiriting MAVERICK SPIRIT luminary event (4) Special discounts and rates on accommodations during Cinequest Film Festival 2017. (5) Opportunity to have script read by literary agencies, studios and influential producers. (6) Top Three Winners: Free four-month script listing on the InkTip Executive Index AND special publishing in InkTip Magazine. (7) A six-month membership to International Screenwriters' Association (ISA Network).

Category Rules


Length must be less than 20 pages. Any script over the indicated page limit will receive automatic point deductions per page over. Maximum points achievable are 50 per round.

All genres accepted. Especially seeking drama, comedy, thriller/mystery, action, drama, sci-fi, action, and highly original material.

Script must be submitted in English.

Only digital manuscripts will be accepted for submission. Printed manuscripts are not accepted.

Script must be properly formatted according to industry standards.

Please include ONLY your script’s title on your cover page so that readers may remain unbiased in their decisions. Your Withoutabox tracking number will automatically be assigned to your uploaded script.

Maintain your full contact information in your Withoutabox registration. Do not include any contact information on your submitted script.


Any script that becomes purchased, optioned or put into production before the final Jury decision of February 27, 2017 will be eliminated from the competition with no entry fee refund.

Scripts written as adaptations of other works must have secured rights before being submitted.

Once the entry is received no rewritten/corrected pages will be accepted.

Submission fees are collected by Withoutabox. Cinequest does not accept payment by cash, check, money order or postal money order.

Winning scripts by more than one writer will have the prize split evenly between members of the writing team.


All contestants will receive 2-4 lines of general feedback for improvement on their script. Full script coverage services are not available at this time.

Writers will be notified on their status in the competition via the email address provided at time of registration. Please save screenplay@cinequest.org in your contact lists to receive these notifications. See below for selection process:

• Quarter Finalists notifications sent in Dec 2016
• Semi-Finals notifications sent in Jan 2017
• Top 10 Finalists notifications sent week of Jan 23, 2017
• Winners Announced during Writers Celebration (TBD Date) at the Cinequest Film Festival, February 28 – March 12, 2017.