Final Draft presents
20th Annual

Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Enter Contest

Grand Prizes

From $10,000 in cash, to a chance to meet with renowned Hollywood screenwriters, these are just a few of the prizes you could win!

  • A Trip to Hollywood

  • $10,000 Cash

  • Honored on stage during our live awards show at Paramount Studios

  • General Meeting Preparation with Lee Jessup Career Coaching

  • General Meetings with Top Literary Managers

  • Breakfast with Screenwriter/Producer Pen Densham

NYFA Scholarship

Co-sponsored by The New York Film Academy, this unique screenwriting fellowship is a merit-based scholarship designed to raise each writer to a higher level of storytelling craft and provide intensive real-world training in the business of Hollywood.  Attended only by Big Break finalists, the fellowship is a unique opportunity for winners to build their recent success and further develop their careers.

The Final Draft Awards

Every year we celebrate 11 Category Winners and 2 Grand Prize Winners at our annual awards show. Over 50 past winners have sold scripts, received representation or gone on to professional writing careers.

Our grand prize winners are honored on the stage of our annual awards show at Paramount Studios, Hollywood alongside our New Voice and Hall of Fame honorees.

Award Categories

  • Action/Adventure
  • Comedy/Rom-Com
  • Diversity
  • Drama
  • Family/Animated
  • Period/Historical/War
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Thriller/Horror
  • Diversity
  • Half-Hour Pilot
  • Hour-Long Pilot

Judges

Jeff Portnoy

Bellevue Productions

Daniela Gonzales

Circle of Confusion

Jewerl Ross

Silent R Management

Kailey Marsh

Brillstein Entertainment Partners

John Zaozirny

Bellevue Productions

Natalie Covault

Brillstein Entertainment Partners

Scott Stoops

Good Fear

Sonia Gambaro

Pollinate

Brian Spink

Realm

Audrey Knox

The Cartel

Markus Goerg

Heroes and Villains Entertainment

Chris Coggins

Heroes and Villains Entertainment

Zack Zucker

Bellevue Productions

Krista Sipp

First Friday Entertainment

Zach Book

All Trades Content

Chelsea Benson

Echo Lake

Jonathan Hersh

Housefire Management

Matt Dy

LIT Management

Mitch Solomon

Authentic Talent & Literary Management

Jon Karas

Infinity Management

Tony Zequeira

Super Vision

Jeff Portnoy

Bellevue Productions

Daniela Gonzales

Circle of Confusion

Jewerl Ross

Silent R Management

Kailey Marsh

Brillstein Entertainment Partners

John Zaozirny

Bellevue Productions

Natalie Covault

Brillstein Entertainment Partners

Scott Stoops

Good Fear

Sonia Gambaro

Pollinate

Brian Spink

Realm

Audrey Knox

The Cartel

Markus Goerg

Heroes and Villains Entertainment

Chris Coggins

Heroes and Villains Entertainment

Zack Zucker

Bellevue Productions

Krista Sipp

First Friday Entertainment

Zach Book

All Trades Content

Chelsea Benson

Echo Lake

Jonathan Hersh

Housefire Management

Matt Dy

LIT Management

Mitch Solomon

Authentic Talent & Literary Management

Jon Karas

Infinity Management

Tony Zequeira

Super Vision

Success Stories

Myles Reid

2018 Big Break Television Grand Prize Winner

Myles Reid has signed with Jewerl Ross of Silent R Management and has been staffed as the Showrunner’s Assistant on ‘The Lost Boys’ pilot for The CW

Natasha LePetit

2018 Big Break Quarter-Finalist

Natasha LePetit’s script ‘The Undertakers Children’ has been optioned by Chayah Masters/ Rumination Road, with Alex Gayner set to direct

Jonathan Barger

2018 Big Break Quarter-Finalist

Jonathan Barger’s script ‘Station Zero’ has been optioned by Zorg Studios (Paris, London), with Erwan Marinopoulos set to direct

Greta Heinemann

2017 Big Break Feature Grand Prize Winner

Greta Heinemann has signed with Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue Productions, who is shopping her script ‘Anatomy of a Breakdown’ alongside UTA

Nancy Duff

2017 Big Break Top-3 Finalist

Nancy Duff has signed with Jennifer Au of Untitled

She is a participant in the 2018 Universal Writers Program

Nancy’s scripts have placed in the Top 10% of the Nicholl Fellowship and in the Screencraft TV Pilot Launch Contest

Julia Mogerman

2017 Big Break Feature Drama Category Winner

Julia Mogerman has signed with Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue Productions

Greg Wayne

2017 Big Break Half-Hour TV Pilot Category Winner

Greg Wayne has signed with Brian Spink of REALM

‘Suicide 21’ placed in the 2018 Tracking Board Hit List

Director Scott Speer is set to helm ‘S21’, with Catapult and Needle’s Eye producing

Nicolas Pinzón

2017 Big Break Feature Diversity Category Winner

Nicolas Pinzón has signed with Markus Goerg of Heroes and Villains Entertainment

His screenplays have also placed him as a Semi-Finalist for both the Nicholl Fellowship and Humanitas Carol Mendelsohn Drama Fellowship, and placing him as a Finalist for the Alfred P. Sloan Grant

JJ Bailey

2017 Big Break Hour-Long TV Pilot Category Winner

JJ Bailey has signed with Markus Goerg of Heroes and Villains Entertainment

His one-hour long drama ‘Vanishing Point’ was the winner of the WeScreenplay Drama TV Pilot contest

Rowan Wheeler

2016 Big Break Television Grand Prize Winner

Rowan Wheeler has signed with UTA

Alexis Perkins

2016 Big Break Feature Grand Prize Winner

Alexis Perkins signed with Stagecoach Entertainment and agent David Rubin at Gersh

Matt Katzenberger

2016 Big Break Family Category Winner

Matt Katzenberger signed with Entertainment Lab

Julia Cooperman

2016 Big Break Hour-Long TV Pilot Winner

Julia Cooperman has been staffed on USA Network’s TV series ‘Colony’

‘Phantasmagoria’ won the Bronze Award for TV Drama Pilot in the PAGE International Screenwriting Contest and placed her as a semi-finalist in the 2016 Tracking Board Launch Pad Pilot Competition

She has also placed as a semi-finalist in the 2016 ABC / Disney Writing Program

Paul Jarnagin

2016 Big Break Top-5 Finalist

Paul Jarnagin signed with Universal Writers Management

‘The Other Star Wars’ earned 4th place in the 7th Annual StoryPors International Screenplay Competition

His writing projects have placed him as a Quarter-Finalist in the Nicholl Fellowship and as a Top 50 Semi-Finalist in Cinequest

Nick Watson

2015 Big Break Half-Hour TV Pilot Quarter-Finalist

Nick Watson has signed with Abrams Artists Agency

He is now a full-time staff writer on the animated sitcom ‘Final Space’ for TBS

G.W. Freund & Daniel Bonjour

2015 Big Break Feature Grand Prize Winners

G.W. Freund & Daniel Bonjour signed with Brillstein Entertainment Partners

Eric Buchman

2015 Big Break Television Grand Prize Winner

Eric Buchman signed with Mitch Solomon at Magnet Management and continues to write for NBC’s ‘Blindspot’ and has since been promoted to co-producer

Paula Sabbaga

2015 Big Break Hour-Long TV Pilot Finalist

Paula Sabbaga signed with Brian Spink of REALM

Paula worked on ABC’s ‘Nashville’, The CW’s ‘The Messengers’, Freeform’s ‘Guilt’, and was the writer’s assistant on CW’s ‘The 100’

Joseph Greenberg

2014 Big Break Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category Winner

Joseph Greenberg sold his script ‘Man Alive’ to 20th Century Fox for Noah Hawley of Fargo to direct

‘Man Alive’ also made the 2016 Black List

James Barclay

2014 Big Break Top-5 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Finalist

James Barclay signed with Magnet Management

Derek Asaff

2014 Big Break Hour-Long TV Pilot Winner

Derek Asaff signed with Derrick Eppich of Lee Stobby Entertainment

Peter Wulff

2014 Big Break Drama Category Winner

Peter Wulff signed with Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue Productions

Nicholas Anthony

2013 Big Break Half-Hour TV Pilot Winner

Nicholas Anthony was hired as a writer for CBS’ ‘The Inspectors’

Submission Rules

Fees & Deadlines

Early Bird March 13, 2019 $45.00
Regular June 18, 2019 $55.00
Extended July 9, 2019 $65.00
Last Chance July 23, 2019 $75.00

*Dates reflect deadlines for electronic submissions of scripts. All entries must be electronically submitted by midnight (PT) on their respective deadlines.

FAQs

  • Since I shouldn't include my personal information in the body of my script or on the title page, how do I remove or clear the title page?

    For instructions on removing your title page, click here.
  • What is the Diversity category? Is it for scripts about Diversity issues?

    This category is specifically for underrepresented writers and diverse voices. The story itself does not have to be about Diversity issues. When submitting, you can select the Diversity category and the actual genre of your script.
  • Do I retain the rights to my screenplays after submitting to the Big Break Contest, whether or not I win?

    Yes, you retain all rights until you choose to sell or option your screenplay and/or teleplay.
  • Would you accept a screenplay that is an adaptation of a published book, where the writer has contractually optioned the movie rights to the book?

    No, the source material for an adaptation must be written by the screenwriter entering the contest.
  • Can I submit multiple screenplays and/or teleplays during one contest year?

    Yes, you may enter as many different scripts as you wish. Each script must be submitted as a separate entry.
  • Is coverage provided?

    The Big Break is a rewards-based contest and offers cash, prizes and Hollywood meetings for the winner — no feedback or coverage.
  • Do I retain the rights to my screenplays after submitting to the Big Break Contest, whether or not I win?

    Yes, you retain all rights until you choose to sell or option your screenplay and/or teleplay.
  • Who will be reading and judging my screenplay?

    Our readers are professional script analysts who carefully evaluate each entry and sign confidentiality agreements to ensure that your work is protected. After screenplays are narrowed to finalists, a panel of notable industry professionals conducts the final judging to determine the winners. These jury members represent award-winning writers, producers, and A-list executives. A current list of our judges can be found here.

2019 Sponsors