Screenplay & Teleplay
Screenplay & Teleplay Submission FAQs
When are the deadlines?
The screenplays must be postmarked or submitted online by the final deadline Tuesday, May 15th, at 11:59PM PST to be eligible for the competition. Regular submission closes on Thursday, April 20th, at 11:59PM PST. Early submission closes on Friday, March 30th, at 11:59PM PST.
When will we hear about results?
Letters will be sent by mid September for those in the First Round and also to those that advance to the Second Round (top 15-20%). Semifinalists will receive a phone call by early September as well. Finalists are notified by early October. The winners will be announced at the Awards Luncheon at the Conference.
How many submissions does AFF receive?
In 2016, AFF received 9,100 individual script submissions across all Screenplay and Teleplay categories (excluding sponsored award categories).
Will I receive notes on my script?
Reader Comments (a brief paragraph of one reader’s “overall” notes) will be provided to all entrants. Second Rounders and above will receive further Reader Comments based on specific criteria. Reader comments will be sent by early December.
Do you accept International Entries?
Yes, we accept entries from all countries.
I'm having issues submitting online. There is an error message. What should I do?
The most common way to troubleshoot is to make sure you are allowing pop-ups in your browser, or to try using a different browser. Do not use Internet Explorer as most reported problems are through that browser. You can usually find the pop-up controls under your browser settings under “Internet options”. If you are still not seeing the pop-up window, you can also just scroll up the page after you click “submit” on the entry form and there will be a link for you to submit payment through PayPal. As long as you do not navigate away from the page, the link will still be available.
Double-check that the file is in a .pdf format and under 5MB. If you do not see the PayPal page after submitting the online form, simply scroll up the page for a direct link to PayPal. If you are still having difficulties submitting, contact the Screenplay Competition Administrative Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 512-478-4795.
I am still working on a draft. Can I send it in now and then send in an updated version later?
No. You cannot send a replacement copy of the script. You can resubmit the new version of the script (with a new entry form and another entry fee).
I want to submit online but my title page includes my contact information. I know the rules state to not include this but if I do, will I be disqualified?
No. If you include contact info on the title page, we will just black it out. We want to maintain the anonymity of the writer in the judging process.
I didn’t receive an e-mail confirmation for my online submission. Did you receive my entry?
As long as you paid through PayPal and have an e-mail receipt, then we have received your online entry form, script PDF, and payment. A separate e-mail confirmation from AFF is sent out within at least 5 business days.
Do I need to list all the writers involved on the entry form? OR someone else has a story credit on my script, should I list them as a co-writer on the application?
That is for you to settle with your collaborators. Just know that all writers listed on the application need to sign it and any prize money will be equally split between all writers listed on the application.
Do I need to copyright my script or register it with the WGA?
It is not required, but we do encourage it. Non-guild members can register their script with the WGA for a nominal fee, and it is a good way to protect your intellectual property. In order to register your script, visit: http://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/
I don’t think my script is formatted correctly and it’s longer than 120 pages. Will I be disqualified?
We don’t disqualify based on format. This includes length so long as it is feature length for screenplays. We recommend that scripts be between 90-120 pages in length but we won’t penalize a script for not falling in that range.
How long should my synopsis be?
It should be a brief summary or logline for your script. The synopsis is optional and not used for judging purposes.
I used to make a living as a screenwriter. Am I still eligible to submit to the competition?
Writers who do not currently and primarily earn a living writing for TV or film are eligible to enter the Screenplay Competition.
My script was previously optioned and is now expired, can I submit it in the competition?
As long as your screenplay is not optioned currently, it is eligible. If during the judging process the script goes under option, we will simply pull it from the competition.
Can I submit more than one script in a single category?
YES, you can submit as many scripts as you want. However, you’ll need to complete separate entry forms for each script.
My script is a drama, but it has comedic elements. Should I submit to Drama or Comedy?
If your script is not a conventional comedy, it’s probably best to submit to drama. The comedy readers are looking for comedies so if it is primarily a drama, with funny elements, it may not do as well. For a drama reader, the comedy is just a bonus. Bottom line is it’s up to the writer. We don’t disqualify scripts for being entered in the wrong category.
Do you accept adaptations?
Yes, we do accept adaptations. By submitting to the competition you are acknowledging that you have secured all rights needed to adapt the material. Our official policy is that we do not research this ourselves, but if you advance in the competition, we do publicize your name and script so any copyright issues could become problems for you. Please make sure all legal issues are settled before submitting.
My script made it to the Second Round (or top 15-20% or Quarterfinals) last year, am I eligible to resubmit?
Yes. Second Round scripts are eligible for resubmission. Semifinalists and higher are not eligible to resubmit the same script, but they are welcome to resubmit different material.
Can I submit a spec script for a show that has gone off the air?
No. The show for which you submit a spec script has to be on air, in production, or on hiatus within the previous year. In order for spec scripts to be eligible for consideration, the program must not be canceled prior to the start of the current television season (September 2017). Specs for new programs must have a series premiere date no later than May 2018. Any ineligible spec script will be disqualified and no refund will be provided.
Can I submit a pilot?
Yes! You may submit half-hour sitcom or hour-long (drama or comedy) pilots. We do not accept reality show formats or mini-series. Please do not include bibles or treatments with your pilot scripts – they will be removed before judging.
Which category should I submit my teleplay into?
You should submit to the sitcom category if your spec is for a comedic half-hour show, either three-camera (ex: The Big Bang Theory) or single-camera (ex: Modern Family). If the show you are submitting to is an hour long, either drama (ex: Mad Men) or comedy (ex: Glee), then you should submit your spec in the hour-long category.
My pilot is a half-hour “dramedy” (like United States of Tara, or Californication). What category should I submit it under?
Pilots with this sort of tone should be submitted as half-hour sitcoms.
Any other specific questions?
If you’re having technical difficulties, please contact Gabbi Lindgren at email@example.com.
For all other inquiries please contact the Competition Director, Matt Dy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-478-4795.