FAQ

Most Popular Questions

To clear the title page:
  1. Go to Document > Title Page
  2. Select all the text with Apple (Command) + A on Mac and Control + A on Windows
  3. Press the Delete key to clear the page
  4. Go to File > Close to return to your script
After the script is saved, when it’s next opened in Final Draft, Document > Title Page will be blank. Don’t worry, the entry system captures your title and provides it to the reader. To remove the title page from the PDF export: Final Draft 12 / 11 / 10: Click here For information on how to create the title page, click here.

The Diversity category is for scripts written by underrepresented writers. The story itself does not have to be about inclusion or issues of equality. When submitting, you will be asked to select the Diversity category and the actual genre of your script so we can assign it to the appropriate reader. For example, Diversity – Horror. If you are a writer who qualifies for this category you are welcome to submit in both Diversity and non-Diversity categories of the competition (each of those entries is charged a separate submission fee). The Diversity category exists to encourage writers who have underrepresented voices in Hollywood to enter the contest. These writers are also welcome to submit their scripts to any of the other categories they are eligible for.

There is a great demand in the film and television industry for stories from writers from diverse backgrounds. The Diversity category allows us to easily identify these writers for industry professionals.

Underrepresented writers, including:
  • American Indian
  • Asian/Pacific Islander
  • Black
  • LatinX
  • LGBTQIA
  • Middle Eastern
  • Women
  • Non-Binary
  • Differently-abled
  • Any other voices that have been historically ignored by Hollywood.

We recommend that you register your script with the WGA and/or the U.S. Copyright Office. We do not require such registration for entry. We are aware that we instruct you not to include a cover page (so that readers cannot see your name) and that copyright or registration information would normally be on that page. We simply recommend that you take at least one of those steps to protect your intellectual property. Whether you do or do not take those steps, your script will still be read. At no point in the entry process do we check for registration or copyright. Our contest has been running 20 years and we are very careful with our entrants’ scripts. However, those easy steps will help ensure that your work is protected.

Suggested length for screenplays is approximately 80 to 120 pages and for teleplays it is approximately 25 to 70 pages. Entries over 150 pages WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Submissions less than 20 pages or that are clearly not a screenplay (short stories, comic books, etc.) will also be disqualified.

Judging

The eight main feature genres for entries are:
  • Action/Adventure – Films with strong action scenes, exotic locales, stories of adventure.
  • Comedy/Rom-Com – Romantic comedies, straight, dark and raunchy comedy, satires, etc.
  • Diversity – Open to writers from diverse backgrounds. Who can enter? Underrepresented writers, including but not limited to:
    • American Indian
    • Asian/Pacific Islander
    • Black
    • LatinX
    • LGBTQIA
    • Middle Eastern
    • Women
    • Non-Binary
    • Differently-abled
    • Any other voices that have been historically ignored by Hollywood
  • Drama – More serious, realistic scripts exploring dramatic stories with deep themes.
  • Family/Animated – Scripts directed to the children/family market, movies that can be enjoyed by the whole family, animated features.
  • Period/Historical/War – Biopics, scripts based largely in the past, war epics, and scripts featuring historical characters.
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy – Space travel, disaster and post-apocalyptic stories, scripts set in alternate worlds and universes, stories with magical elements.
  • Thriller/Horror – Scripts that use suspense, fear and/or tension as main story elements, spy and crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, mysteries, ghost, zombie and monster stories.
For TV scripts, we accept entries in:
  • Half-Hour Original Pilot – 30 minute original television scripts, typically comedy but not always.
  • Hour-Long Original Pilot – 60 minute original television scripts, typically dramas but not always.
  • Diversity Original Pilot – Open to writers from diverse backgrounds. Who can enter? Underrepresented writers, including but not limited to:
    • American Indian
    • Asian/Pacific Islander
    • Black
    • LatinX
    • LGBTQIA
    • Middle Eastern
    • Women
    • Non-Binary
    • Differently-abled
    • Any other voices that have been historically ignored by Hollywood
Pick the genre that best fits your script. You can also enter the same script in a different genre for additional consideration, but you will need to submit another complete entry for that script. The readers and judges look for qualities such as craft and execution, originality, dialogue, and structure.

We do not provide coverage for screenplays entered into the contest, however coverage is included as part of the prize package for winning scripts.

Our readers are professional script analysts from diverse backgrounds 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 development executives. A current list of our judges can be found here.

Entering Your Script

Any rule-abiding writer 18  and older whose screenplay or teleplay is not currently optioned.

Deadines and the associated entry fees: $45.00 – Early Bird Deadline – June 22, 2021 $55.00 – Regular Deadline – September 21, 2021 $65.00 – Extended Deadline – October 19, 2021 $75.00 – Last Chance Deadline – November 9, 2021 Dates reflect deadlines for electronic submission of scripts. All entries must be electronically submitted by their respective deadlines.

Yes, the Big Break Contest does charge an entry fee to cover the costs of administration and reader fees. Entry fees: $45.00 – Early Bird Deadline – June 22, 2021 $55.00 – Regular Deadline – September 21, 2021 $65.00 – Extended Deadline – October 19, 2021 $75.00 – Last Chance Deadline – November 9, 2021 Dates reflect deadlines for electronic submission of scripts. All entries must be electronically submitted by their respective deadlines.

Yes, many entrants revise their scripts several times and re-enter. Some have gone on to become finalists after doing so. Only category winners and grand prize winners may not re-enter their winning scripts.

Yes, you may enter as many different scripts as you wish. Each script must be submitted as a separate entry.

Yes, but the revised script will be counted as a new entry and must be submitted separately.

We’re environmentally conscious and only accept digital scripts. We accept Final Draft (FDX) or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files.

We accept hour-long and half-hour original television scripts in addition to feature screenplays. We do not have a category for stage plays.

No, you do not have to use any Final Draft products to enter the Big Break Contest. Complete information on eligibility can be found in the Big Break rules on the Big Break product page. In fact, many scripts are submitted in PDF format. The judges have no idea which software generated the script.

Yes, you and up to three other writing partners will be credited as winners and will divide the prizes amongst yourselves with the exception of travel for the grand-prize feature and grand prize TV winners. Travel and hotel for up to two writers in those categories will be provided. It is the responsibility of the winners to decide who will travel and attend the meetings and how the cash and prizes will be distributed.

You may enter the contest, but the script must be written in English so that our readers can read it. If a script has other languages in it as part of the plot, simply denote that the line will be spoken in another language using a parenthetical, e.g. (Speaking in Spanish).

Scripts in the industry are judged on the merit of the story and the writing skills. Because our judging emulates the industry evaluation process, we cannot accept any supplemental materials along with your script. The exceptions are:  1. Original hour-long and half-hour TV entries, which may include standard supplementary materials, such as lists of recurring characters and future episodes, as part of the screenplay. 2. Images within the script (maximum file size is 20mb).

Our team is happy to assist you with your entry. Please note the error message you have received (screenshots are preferred) and contact us here. Below are examples of the error messages you may receive:
  • Unable to upload script (please make sure your file is 1mb or less)
  • Rejection from processor
  • Credit card decline
  • Credit card decline due to address
  • Other

Eligibility

Yes, we accept entries from most nations and territories in the world. We’ve received submissions from Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain and China, to name a few. And if you’re one of the grand prize winners, we’ll fly you from wherever you live to Los Angeles.

Notifications and Verification

Announcements regarding who has progressed in the contest will begin early 2022. These announcements will be made in our Corporate Newsletter and on our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

You will be notified by email immediately after submitting your script that your entry has been received. If you have received a confirmation email, your script is in our system and no further action is necessary. If you have not received a confirmation email, please check your junk mailbox or junk filter. If the confirmation is not in either place, email us here for a copy of your confirmation. We will contact you if there is any technical issue with the file you submitted.

Rights, Options, and Adaptations

Yes, you retain all rights until you choose to sell or option your screenplay and/or teleplay.

We do accept adaptations of true stories, however, you must be sure that the people represented in the script have given you permission to use their names and stories unless those stories are in the public domain and the rights are available. In order to enter, you must be able to grant the rights to the story you wrote to a producer, should they want to option the script. Securing the rights to the source material is the responsibility of the screenwriter. If you feel that the rights are available, you may certainly enter. Regrettably, we cannot offer any advice on whether or not the rights are available. We recommend that you consult an attorney if you plan to pursue the project, as the question regarding rights – even life rights – would eventually come up and need to be addressed prior to anyone’s optioning or buying the script.

We do not accept any adaptations, only original material.

No, the source material for an adaptation must be written by the screenwriter entering the contest.

Any script that is CURRENTLY NOT under option (or contract) is eligible to enter the contest. If a pre-existing option has expired, you are able to enter.

Yes, you would simply have to inform us that the script was optioned or sold and we would remove it from the judging. We highly encourage all writers to hold off on withdrawing their submission until any option deal is indeed fully executed.

Still need help?

Still need help?

Please complete the form below:

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