2nd Annual

Big Star Screenwriting Competition

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10455 N. Central Expressway
#109, PMB# 295
Dallas TX 75231

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This category includes drama, biopics, mystery, action/adventure, historical, family
Science Fiction/ Horror / Fantasy
includes animated in the genre
DSA Member Only
Any genre, open to DSA members only - for information about joining DSA, go to www.dallasscreenwriters.com. Submissions in this category will be verified.
Short Film Script (25 pages or less)
any genre short film (25 pages or less)
Teleplay (any genre) short or long form
Teleplay may be any genre, both short (30 minutes or less) or long (60 minute) format


The mission of the Big Star Screenwriting Competition is to discover the best unproduced screenplays and to recognize the finest talent and original storytellers from among today's emerging screenwriters. The Competition is sponsored by the non-profit Dallas Screenwriters Association, one of the oldest and largest screenwriting organizations in the country, celebrating our 30th year of nurturing and educating screenwriters and advancing their careers.


Welcome to Year Two of the Big Star Screenwriting Competition!

The Big Star Screenwriting Competition is sponsored by the Dallas Screenwriting Association, one of the oldest and largest screenwriting groups in the country. This screenwriting competition is being launched in celebration of DSA's 25th anniversary and will be an annual event, with additional categories added each year.

In this, our second year, we have partnered with some of the many industry friends of the DSA to offer great prizes for the best scripts in 6 categories. This year's expanded list of categories includes TV Pilots and Short Films.

We also have expanded prizes this year, to include cash prizes and trophies to the winners in all categories and a Grand Prize winner, who will receive not only the category prize, but a live filmed reading of the winning script at the Alamo Draft House in Dallas, with SAG actors and a professional presentation, as part of the DSA's ScriptsLive program.

The total value of this year's prizes exceed $6,000.00 But of course, the most important prize is intangible, and that is the industry recognition that goes comes to our winners. Here are some of their comments from last year's winners.

"Thank you for the consultation package. That went beautifully. Now waiting for the next Big Star contest. The Chessmaster is now in development, young director David Ponce De Leon, Executive Producer, Scott Rosenfelt (Home Alone, Mystic Pizza)"

"In regard to my very appreciated screenplay award from the Dallas Screenwriters Association, I am happy to report that Steve Kaplan and I had our meeting and I am delighted to tell you that his analysis and suggestions for improving the script were extremely helpful. He was truly amazing. A few producers are reading it now. Thank you and the Dallas Screenwriters Association again for the award. Truly appreciate it."

"Just thought I'd say THANK YOU again - I did connect with Dave and I love the iPad, I read on it constantly now and have all the Save-The-Cat series on it. I just signed with Shoreline Entertainment, so I think 2014 will be a good year. Thank you again for the recognition and the wonderful prizes."

The friends of the DSA include a who’s-who of producers, writers, directors and consultants. Our most recent guest speakers include; PenDensham (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Riding the Alligator), James V. Hart (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), Pilar Allesandra (On the Page), Danny Manus (nobullscript.net), Steve Kaplan (kaplancomedy.com), Dave Trottier (Screenwriter’s Bible),Skip Hollandsworth (Bernie,) Cynthia Cidre (The Mambo Kings, Dallas,) Marc and Elaine Zicree, Doug Richardson (Die Hard 2, Hostage), Steve Niles (28 Days Later, 30 Days of Night), Jeanne Bowerman (editor, scriptmag.com,), Marilyn Atlas (award-winning producer & personal manager), Glenn Gers – (Disfigured, Mad Money, Fracture), Kirk Ellis (screenwriter and producer of the HBO miniseries John Adams), Gary Goldstein (producer of Pretty Woman), Michael Elliott (Like Mike, Just Wright).

Among the perks of DSA membership are great live monthly speakers such as those listed above, several writing workshops each year on writing and all aspects of filmmaking from highly regarded and established industry professionals, a monthly newsletter and monthly scene readings where DSA writers have their work read by a cadre of talented local actors. To learn more, visit www.dallasscreenwriters.com.


Finals judges include nationally recognized producers, directors, screenwriting instructors, and produced screenwriters.


The Big Star Screenwriting Competition is pleased to offer outstanding prize packages to EACH of our category winners, which includes;

Grand Prize
A live, filmed, staged reading of the Grand Prize winning script, with a professional crew and cast, including SAG actors, in front of a live audience at the beautiful Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas, TX.

$500 cash Prize to the winner of each of the 5 Feature categories
A beautiful crystal Big Star trophy
loads of industry recognition
$100 for 2nd Place, $50 for 3rd Place

$250 for Shorts Category Winner
A beautiful crystal Big Star trophy
A filmed, staged reading of the winning short script at the DSA's monthly scene readings at Half Price Books in Dallas, TX

The five finalists and the winning script in each category will also receive prominent placement and recognition on the DSA website (with over 4,000 unique visitors a month and high google rankings for keywords “screenwriting” and “screenwriters,” this is no small prize. A press release blast will also go out to the many industry friends of DSA, including mention in scriptmag.com. (Valued at “priceless”)


Debra Hardy; Douglas King (Editor, DSA Newsletter Features); Jessica Beaugez (Publicity Chair, DSA); Wayne Nichols (Director, Registrar, President DSA)


1. Screenplays must be written in English, in feature format, and of a length no less than 85 pages and no more than 120 pages. (No exceptions will be made.) Screenplays must be in 12 point Courier font and pages must be numbered. All submissions must be in PDF format. Only online submissions will be accepted, and any revisions after submission will not be accepted. Deadlines are 11:59 PM on the posted dates.

2. Submissions must be the original work of the entrant(s) and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other fiction or non-fiction material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced.

3. The title page should include the script’s title ONLY. The entrant(s) name(s), contact information, or any other identifying information should not appear on the title page or any other page of the script. Scripts that contain identifying information such as writers name(s) and/or contact information WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

4. All judging will be anonymous.

5. No promotional materials, illustrations, or shooting screenplays will be accepted.

6. Screenplays should not have been produced nor optioned. Screenplays that are currently optioned or have negotiations pending and/or are sold before the Big Star Screenwriting Competition ends are not eligible for competition.

7. To accompany the online submission, all entries must include complete writer contact information where requested by the withoutabox system.

8. You may enter more than one screenplay, but you must submit a separate entry form, release form and entry fee with each submission.

9. Screenplays should be copyrighted with the Library of Congress and/or registered with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). It is the responsibility of the screenwriter to ensure that their work is protected.

10. All payments must be in U.S. Dollars and must be paid online through the withoutabox payment system.

11. Finalists and winners will be determined by a judging panel comprised of professionals in the film Industry. Winners in each category of this competition will receive Prize Packages valued in excess of $1,000. Refer to the category sections and/or the “about this festival” section for details.

12. Finalists will be posted on our website on or about July 15. Winners will be posted August 1. Winners will be notified by email and direct mail, based on the contact information provided.

13. Participation in the Big Star Screenwriting Competition implies understanding and acceptance of all terms included in this application. By submitting your screenplay, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to the General Rules, and to the Terms and Conditions listed below.

14. President and Director are ineligible for contest.


By submitting a project to the Big Star Screenwriting Competition, you agree that you have read, understood, and agree to all of the Rules and Conditions and that you are duly authorized to submit your project into competition. Entrants to the Big Star Screenwriting Competition retain all rights to their screenplays. Once a script has been entered into competition, we will not accept substitutions or revised drafts. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your script, you must enter it as a new submission. Entry fees are non-refundable. Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed. The Judges will adhere to our screenwriting contest guidelines and standard judging criteria; however, the contest and its administrators may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions on the part of the Judges. By entering the Big Star Screenwriting Competition, you represent and attest to the following; (1) that you are 18 years of age or older. (2) that your entry is your original work, and does not infringe on the copyright or other rights of other people. Submissions must be the original work of the applicant. Entries may be adapted from the applicant’s own work. (3) That you will indemnify Big Star Screenwriting Competition and/or the Dallas Screenwriters Association, hold them harmless and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any stories submitted to the Big Star Screenwriting Competition or on any screenplay developed out of such stories. (4) that you agree that you will never assert against Big Star Screenwriting Competition and/or the Dallas Screenwriters Association (or any of its judges, directors, officers, employees or agents) any claim based on an assertion of plagiarism, idea theft, confidential or fiduciary relationship or any other theory relating to the submitted material. (5) That you understand that individual feedback is not provided and that Big Star Screenwriting Competition notifies winners only. (6) That you have read, understood and complied with all guidelines and rules herein, and failure to do so may result in disqualification.