3rd Annual

Champion Screenwriting Competition

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6404 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1776
Los Angeles CA 90048
Phone: 818 590-2201

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Screenplay (Feature-length)
Electronic copies of original, unproduced and unoptioned screenplays between 90 and 130 pages in length.
Screenplay (Short)
Electronic copies of original, unproduced and unoptioned screenplay less than or equal to 15 pages in length, not counting the title page.
Screenplay (Feature-length) with Contest Coverage
Electronic copies of original, unproduced and unoptioned screenplays between 90 and 130 pages in length and for which the writer(s) wish to receive one to two pages of coverage-style notes and the status of whether or not the script advances in the contest.
Screenplay (Feature-length) Resubmission
Electronic copies of original, unproduced and unoptioned screenplays between 90 and 130 pages in length. Only screenplays that used the Contest Coverage service (by entering in the Contest Coverage category) or that were submitted with a simultaneous order for Champion Development notes are eligible for resubmission in this category.
Television Writing
Electronic copies of original (story only for preexisting series specs), unproduced and unoptioned television scripts for dramas, comedies and pilots with a maximum of 35 pages for half-hour and 65 pages for half-hour with double-spaced dialogue or one-hour.


Our winners will be champions and we will work to champion our winners. Our motto is “Winning is just the beginning”. We don’t want to write you a check, shotgun your synopsis around and then wave goodbye. Win our competition and we will prepare you for what you can expect in Hollywood by giving you a team of mentors who will champion you, your current script or even your next script to a higher level and to help you achieve the goal of becoming a working screenwriter in Hollywood.


Champion Screenwriting Competition is sponsored by A-List Screenwriting, which is owned by Jim Mercurio. Jim has taught thousands of screenwriters and has given away more than $250,000 in prizes to writers in contests. Champion is in its third year and already helped an entrant's film be produced and helped the 2010 winners land a manager.

He is a nationally-ranked script consultant, with Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning clients. The Washington Post called the bonus material he wrote and directed for the film “Hard Scrambled” a “must-see” for all would-be filmmakers. He signed a book deal with Linden Publishing for the first ever screenwriting book to focus on scene writing.

In 2010, Jim directed a high-concept thriller feature film called Auteur Theory which is starts its festival run in April, 2011 in Australia. He and Washington Redskins’ Chris Cooley executive produced a low budget film called Ghosts Don’t Exist.

In the spirit of Jim's background as a teacher and champion for writers and filmmakers, many of the contest's writers will win entry into workshops with him or award-winning writers like TV category judge Ellen Sandler. The contest also gives career and development assistance to its top writers to help them identify and conquer their weaknesses and cultivate their strengths on their way to becoming a working writer.

Champion Screenwriting Competition will also introduce the winning scripts to several companies in the industry as well as provide them with an opportunity to contact companies themselves via Virtual Pitchfest.

Please visit www.championscreenwriting.com for more information, details of the prizes and our FAQ.


Jim Mercurio (Executive Director)


The following rules govern the submission of all material(s) to the Champion Screenwriting Competition, and each submitting writer agrees to abide by them (“Rules”):

All submitting writers must be 18 years of age or older (and able to prove it if required to do so).

Feature Screenplays must:

• be written and submitted in English;
• be an original and unproduced script that has not been optioned and to which the writer(s) retain(s) all rights, from the time of submission until the announcement of the winning script(s); be between 90 and 130 pages in length;
• have numbered pages; and
• be in industry-standard screenplay format

Short Screenplays must:

• be written and submitted in English;
• be an original and unproduced script that has not been optioned and to which the writer(s) retain(s) all rights, from the time of submission until the announcement of the winning script(s); be less than or equal to 15 pages in length;
• have numbered pages; and
• be in industry-standard screenplay format

TV Scripts that are specs for existing shows must:

• be written and submitted in English;
• be an original story that has not been optioned and to which the writer(s) retain(s) all rights except for those owned by the preexisting show on which it is based;
• be no greater than 65 pages for a one-hour pilot or spec, and no greater than 35 pages for a half-hour pilot or spec.
• be properly formatted for either half-hour or one-hour show in a standard TV structure and format.
• have numbered pages

TV Scripts that are pilots must:

• be written and submitted in English;
• be an original story that has not been optioned and to which the writer(s) retain(s) all rights;
• be no greater than 65 pages for one-hour show, and no greater than 35 pages with single-spaced dialogue or 65 pages with double-spaced dialogue for half-hour show.
• be properly formatted for either half-hour or one-hour show in standard TV structure and format.
• have numbered pages

“Screenplay” and “Script” will be used interchangeably in the rules and will apply to feature screenplays, short screenplays and television scripts.

Screenplays in any genre are accepted.

Adaptations are not accepted. TV spec scripts will not be considered an adaptation for, as they customarily are, being based on a preexisting series.

Only electronic copies of scripts submitted through Withoutabox or Champion’s online submission procedure with a valid credit card payment or with our site’s PayPal option will be accepted. Please do not send a hard copy of any screenplay.

Only script submissions in Final Draft, Movie Magic, PDF, RTF, DOC and Word file formats are acceptable.

Multiple submissions – i.e., submissions of more than one different script – are accepted so long as each separate submission is accompanied by a separate application and entry fee.

Writer(s) may submit only one copy, draft or version of any single screenplay, (i.e., the same script can’t be submitted more than once, or one that is basically similar to another being submitted, even if a different title or author name were to appear on the cover of a similar script). Warning: Any attempts to submit the same or similar scripts under different titles or different author names will result, if discovered, in the immediate disqualification of all entries by the submitting writer(s) with no possibility of any refunded payment(s).

After the submission of any script(s), no subsequent substitutions – of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entry screenplays – shall be allowed, except for feature screenplays that are initially submitted in the “Screenplay (Feature) with Contest Coverage” category or that are submitted with a simultaneous (within 24 hours) ordering of the Champion Development Notes service, which may then subsequently be resubmitted in the “Screenplay (feature) Resubmission Category.” Once a script is validly resubmitted, only the most recent draft will remain in consideration for the competition prizes. If the original submission advanced to the Quarterfinalist round, the resubmitted script will automatically be placed in the Quarterfinalist round. Writers entering in the Contest Coverage or using the Champion Development Notes service are not required to resubmit their script.

Collaborative work undertaken by two writers is eligible for submission. Collaborative work by three or more writers is not eligible for submission. All prizes will be automatically split 50-50 by collaborators. If a submitted work has two authors, the names of both authors must appear on the submitted work and, when possible, the application.

Entering the competition constitutes permission for us from the submitting writer(s) to, as we see fit (a) use (or not use as we see fit) finalists' names and likenesses for publicity and promotions with no additional compensation, and (b) publicize and promote the progress, development and success of the entered script(s).

Partners, affiliated members, sponsors employees of Champion Screenwriting Competition or of A-List Screenwriting LLC, and any members of the immediate families of these entities, are not eligible to compete in this contest, nor are competition judges and their immediate families.

No applicant may have earned more than $10,000 in cash or other consideration (combined) as a screenwriter for theatrical films or television, or for the sale of, or sale of an option to, any original story, treatment, screenplay or teleplay. Applicants also may not have received, between the time period between the submission of their script and the final announcement of winners, a screenwriting fellowship or prize which includes a “first look” clause, an option or any other quid pro quo involving the work of any submitting writer(s).
The decisions of the judge(s) of the Champion Screenwriting Competition are final and not subject to dispute.

The Champion Screenwriting Competition reserves the right to substitute prizes for other noncash prizes of equal monetary value and to extend the final deadline.

The Champion Screenwriting Competition will disqualify scripts and/or any writer(s) for not adhering to these Rules. No refund(s) will be issued for any disqualified scripts or writer(s). The Champion Screenwriting Competition reserves the right to remove submitted material from the competition with or without cause and the writer(s) will be notified. If without cause, the entry fee alone may be refunded.

In an effort to make a contribution toward a better environment, the Champion Screenplay Competition is a paperless contest. We only accept scripts and payments electronically through Withoutabox or our online submission procedure. All submission payments must be made in US dollars by credit card or PayPal option in Champion’s online submission procedure. Please do not mail scripts or payments, as such scripts shall not be returned nor such payments accepted/credited.

All monetary prizes will be paid in US dollars. The winners of time spent with consultants, coaches and mentors and/or industry professionals agree to work within the schedule and time constraints of the professionals who are donating their services.

All participants will be automatically registered to the Champion Screenwriting Competition’s email Updates list and our free enewsletter, Craft & Career. Clear instructions on how to unsubscribe are available in every email we send.

It is suggested to all submitting writer(s), for their own protection, that prior to submission they register their materials with either the WGA or the US Copyright Office.

All submissions must be processed through Withoutabox or our online submission procedure system and adhere to the submission process and procedures, and anyone submitting scripts agrees to fully abide by any and all Champion Screenwriting Competition rules.

Please note there are 3 different categories for feature-length screenplays:

• Screenplay (feature-length) – For feature-length screenplays that have not and are not planning to use the coverage service.

• Screenplay (feature-length) with Contest Coverage – For feature-length screenplays that are using the coverage service.

• Screenplay (feature-length) Resubmission – Only for screenplays that entered in the Contest Coverage Category or for which Champion Development notes had been ordered simultaneously with its submission.


By submitting any script(s) ("Material") to the Champion Screenwriting Competition (“CSC”) for evaluation/judging by CSC and its employees, affiliates, partners and/or sponsors (individually or collectively, “CSC Associate(s)”), each submitting writer (who may or may not be one of two joint authors of the Material, hereafter “Writer”) agrees to and understands the following terms and conditions of this Release Form Agreement (“Agreement”) as well as rules of the screenwriting competition (“Rules”).

1. Because of CSC's position in the entertainment industry: (a) CSC and CSC Associates receive many ideas, formats, stories, suggestions and other materials which CSC does not solicit or otherwise request; (b) CSC and CSC Associates would not accept this Material, consider or review the material without Writer agreeing to these terms and conditions; and (c) no confidential or professional relationships, including without limitation a partnership, agency, employer/employee or joint venture, is established between Writer and CSC and/or CSC Associates.

2. Writer will not hold CSC responsible if the Material is accidentally lost, misplaced, damaged or destroyed, in whole or in part, and agrees only to send a copy, not the original, of any Material, to CSC.

3. Licenses from Writer to CSC So Writer May Submit and Compete

(A)Writer is not waiving, and this Agreement will not in any way limit any intellectual property rights (including copyright rights) that Writer may have in the Material. Writer hereby grants CSC and any CSC Associates a limited nonexclusive worldwide license to use, copy and display the Material for the purpose of evaluating it for coverage, judging it in the screenwriting competition, and/or, at CSC’s sole option, publicizing scripts or their associated screenwriters that have had some success in the competition; provided however that: (1) CSC shall only provide the Materials to: (a) CSC Associates;
(b) industry professionals (i.e., agents, people at production companies, etc.) that may have expressed, to CSC or a CSC Associate, interest in Writer and the Material; and/or (c) industry professionals that CSC, in its sole discretion and judgment, otherwise believes might perhaps be helpful in advancing Writer's screenwriting career; and (2) CSC shall never display online, nor provide to any publication to publish, Writer's screenplay in its entirety. (B) Notwithstanding the foregoing, Writer hereby grants to CSC a limited nonexclusive worldwide license to post online, and/or to publish (or provide for publication), in a newspaper or periodical of CSC’s choice: (1) the Material's logline; (2) a brief synopsis of the Material; or (3) a portion of the Material chosen solely by CSC that is a small percentage of the overall entire submitted screenplay yet nevertheless is, in CSC's sole judgment and discretion, large enough to serve as a sample of the script's overall quality and/or Writer’s writing talent. (C) Other than as licensed herein, CS will not use the Material or any part thereof unless Writer: (1) enters into an agreement granting CSC rights to the material; or (2) CSC determines in good faith that Writer does not own or control the Material because features or elements were independently developed by someone other than Writer.

4. Writer understands and agrees that CSC and CSC Associates may use in any fashion, no matter how similar to the Material and/or any elements or aspects thereof, any works that are: (a) independently developed by CSC or any CSC Associates without reference to the Material; (b) otherwise made available to CSC by some third party; (c) neither original with Writer(s), nor new, unique, concrete, novel; and/or (d) in the public domain (individually or collectively, the “Works”).

5. Writer releases CSC and CSC Associates from any and all liability to Writer for the use by CSC or any CSC Associates of any Works, or the use of the Material according to the license grant in Section 3 above, and Writer agrees not to sue CSC or any CSC Associates or bring any action or proceeding against CSC or CSC Associates for CSC or any CSC Associates for (a) using any such Works; (b) using the Material according to the license grant; and/or (c) failing to compensate Writer(s) for CSC's use of the Material, unless CSC had otherwise agreed in writing with Writer(s) to do so; CSC and/or CSC Associates are entitled to an injunction or other equitable remedy if Writer brings such a suit, action or proceeding against them.

6. Writer represents and warrants that: (a) the Material is original to Writer, who has the full and exclusive right to submit the Material to CSC; (b) Writer knows of no dispute related to or associated with the Material; (c) Writer shall fully comply with any and all Rules and the terms and conditions of this Agreement; and (d) Writer will fully indemnify and hold CSC or any CSC Associate harmless if Writer incurs any losses, damages or expenses (including, without limitation, lawyers' fees and expenses) due to (i) Writer’s breach of any of the Rules or terms and conditions of this Agreement; (ii) any or all of the representations or warranties of Writer in this Agreement not being true or having been made in bad faith; (iii) claims by any person, firm or corporation that any or all of Writer’s statements, representations or warranties in this Agreement are not true; (iv) the possession or licensed use by CSC, or any CSC Associate, of the Material; and/or (v) any claim by a third party that the Material or any aspect thereof violated, breached or infringed any intellectual property rights (including without limitation any rights related to copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, publicity, or patents) of such third party or that the Material or any aspect thereof was defamatory, obscene or otherwise illegal.

7. Writer understands that the nonperformance of any party shall be excused to the extent that performance is rendered impossible by strike, fire, flood, earthquakes, war, governmental acts or orders or restrictions, acts of God, or any other reason where failure to perform is beyond the reasonable control, and not caused by the negligence of, the non-performing party.

8. Writer understands that all federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. All taxes (including, without limitation, federal, state, and local taxes) on or connected with any prize, and the reporting consequences thereof, are the sole and exclusive responsibility of respective winners. All winners will be responsible for their own U.S. income tax withholding.

9. Writer hereby grants CSC the nonexclusive right to use Writer’s name, photograph, and likeness in connection with any and all promotional activities without any additional compensation. Each winner must, if so requested by CSC, complete CSC’s winner verification process and/or execute an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability/Publicity Release within a reasonable period of time if so required by CSC.

10. If more than one writer enters this contest, references to the submitting party as Writer, Writers or Writer(s) throughout this Agreement shall apply to each such party, jointly and severally. Any headings used in this Agreement are intended for convenience only. They are not a part of the written understanding between the parties and shall not be deemed to affect the construction and interpretation of this Agreement.

11. Writer may not assign Writer’s rights and/or obligations pursuant to this Agreement, in whole or part, without the prior written consent of CSC; provided, however, that all such assignees, licensees or successors-in-interest shall assume, via a written instrument, the original party’s duties to comply with the terms herein.

12. The failure to exercise any right provided in this Agreement shall not be a waiver of prior or subsequent rights.

13. If any provision of this Agreement is invalid under applicable statute or rule of law, it is to be considered omitted and the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall in no way be affected.

14. Writer agrees to notify CSC of any address change by email within a reasonable time of moving.

15. The parties agree that every dispute or difference between them, arising under this Agreement, shall be settled first by a meeting of the parties attempting to confer and resolve the dispute in a good faith and timely manner.

16. In no event will CSC or any CSC Associates be liable under the rules or this agreement for any kind of damages other than actual, direct and provable damages (i.e., consequential, special, statutory, indirect, or incidental), regardless of whether characterized as arising from breach of contract, warranty, tort (including negligence), strict liability, breach of warranties, failure of essential purpose or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss or damage, or if such loss or damage is foreseeable.

17. Each Writer agrees that they have read and understand this Agreement and the Rules. This Agreement and the Rules together state and constitute the entire agreement between Writer(s) and CSC and supersedes (if any) all prior and contemporaneous representations, agreements and understandings, whether written or oral.

18. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of California, exclusive of its conflict of law rules. The courts located in Los Angeles, California (federal or state, as applicable) shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all disputes arising hereunder.