Can I send a paper copy of my script to your mailing address?
No. We do not accept paper copies of scripts. Please only submit PDF versions of your screenplay on our Submit page.
Why do we ONLY accept electronic entries?
In the early years of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, every entry was a "hard copy" screenplay, printed on paper and mailed to us via postal services. At first, it was exciting to see the piles and piles of screenplays. But every year, when it came time to recycle all those scripts, the thought in our minds grew louder: "Wow, this is a lot of paper!"
Shortly after we began to accept screenplays electronically, it became quite clear how much waste was created by BlueCat's acceptance of paper entries.
Everyone knows the importance of respecting our natural resources, and we all love to write and read stories set on Earth and beyond. BlueCat is now asking all writers to join us as we strive to act responsibly as inhabitants of our home, this planet.
In light of this, BlueCat will no longer accept paper submissions. Join BlueCat in using the wonderful tools we have today to create and discover the stories we will see on the screen tomorrow! ENTRANTS MAY STILL PAY ENTRY FEES BY POSTAL MAIL, please follow the submission procedure for directions.
How do I convert my file into a PDF?
Click on this link to find out how.
What happens if I submit the wrong screenplay file?
Under absolutely no circumstances will substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entry screenplay(s) be made. Screenplays will not be returned.
Can I submit the same script I submitted last year?
Yes, screenwriters are able to submit the same script or a new draft of the same script submitted the previous year as long as it currently meets our eligibility requirements.
If I submit my script for analysis and decide not to change anything and not resubmit, is the script still considered for the contest?
Yes. All scripts submitted to our competition remain in our competition through the judging period. We encourage writers to consider their feedback and re-submit improved drafts, however that is not necessary and does not in any way affect the scoring or eligibility of the original submission.
I submitted a script draft last year but have a revised one for this year's contest. Is this considered a new submission, or a resubmission?
As we are now in a new contest year, all entries are treated as new submissions. Only entries already submitted for the current year may be resubmitted in the “resubmission” category.
Your contest details say, "Any screenplay submitted early and having received our early analysis can be resubmitted by December 15th, 2015 for a reduced fee." What is "early"? What is the deadline to qualify for an "early submission" and "early analysis"?
Any screenplay submitted before the Regular Deadline of October 15th may be resubmitted by our Final Deadline of December 15th.
Is there an option to submit multiple screenplays at once when we submit online, or must I submit each script separately?
Each script must be submitted separately at this time; please only upload one PDF file per entry.
Do you accept international submissions?
Yes, we welcome screenwriters from around the world to participate in our competition. We offer a special award opportunity for feature length screenplays from screenwriters residing outside the United States: The Fellini Award.
Is the short screenplay competition open to international screenwriters?
Yes, we welcome short screenplays from around the world.
Do you accept foreign currencies for entry fees?
No, all entry fees must be submitted in U.S. dollars.
Are the international screenplays judged separately from domestic American screenplays?
No, we only divide screenplays into feature and short categories, not by region. Regardless of country of origin, all submitted screenplays are eligible for the grand prize awards in their respective categories.
How do I submit my screenplay for The Cordelia, The Roshan, or The Joplin Award? If I submit to The Cordelia, The Roshan, or The Joplin Award, am I ineligible for the main contest grand prize?
Winners of The Cordelia, The Roshan, and The Joplin awards are selected from the main pool of applicants for the BlueCat Feature Screenplay Competition; you do not need to apply separately for these prizes. Being eligible for one of these awards does not make you ineligible for the grand prize. However, the BlueCat Feature Screenplay Winner will not be eligible to receive either The Cordelia, The Roshan, or The Joplin Award in addition to their grand prize.
Are short films eligible for The Cordelia Award, The Roshan Award, or The Joplin Award?
No, The Cordelia Award, The Roshan Award, and The Joplin Award are limited to feature screenplays only.
Do screenwriters need to be present in the United States to receive their award?
No. Although we would love to meet all of our winners in person, we understand that they might not be present in the U.S. to receive their award. We will make adequate arrangements for all winners to receive their prize money, regardless of their location.
If I live in the United States, but set my story in a different country, can it become eligible for The Cordelia Award, The Roshan Award, or The Joplin Award?
No, The Cordelia Award, The Roshan Award, and The Joplin Award are given to the top screenwriters currently residing in the U.K. (Cordelia), India (Roshan), or a country outside the U.S., U.K., and Canada (Joplin).
The screenplays I would like to submit are registered under the screenwriter’s association of my country of origin (not the U.S.). Do I need to register somewhere else to protect my screenplays as a part of intellectual property?
No, you do not need to register your screenplay anywhere else. All screenwriters maintain the rights to their works throughout the competition.
LENGTH / FORMATTING
Where are the Rules & Guidelines?
What's the minimum/maximum required page length for feature length and short screenplays?
Feature screenplays must be between 65 and 125 pages. Short screenplays must be between 1 and 49 pages.
My feature screenplay is longer than 125 pages/My short screenplay is longer than 49 pages. May I still submit my script?
No, we cannot accept feature scripts longer than 125 pages or short scripts longer than 49 pages. Absolutely no exceptions will be made to this rule.
My feature screenplay is less than 65 pages. May I still submit my script?
No, we cannot accept feature scripts less than 65 pages. Absolutely no exceptions will be made to this rule.
Do the minimum/maximum page lengths include the title page?
No, the title page is not counted towards your page count.
Do you have any specific formatting requirements?
No, standard formatting is acceptable.
Do you have to submit a title page with your script?
No, we do not require submitted scripts to have a title page.
Do you allow author information such as name & contact details on our title pages?
Yes, screenwriters may include their name and contact information on their title pages.
Does the screenplay have to be a specific font size?
While we do not have strict formatting requirements, we recommend using the standard font for a screenplay: 12 point - Courier.
Does it matter where the page number is placed on my script pages?
No, we do not have strict formatting requirements regarding the placement of page numbers. Standard formatting of page numbers in the upper right corner is perfectly acceptable.
Does my script have to be spec script format, or can it be a production draft?
While we accept screenplays in all formats, we prefer submitted scripts not to be production drafts.
Can I title my screenplay 'Working Title'?
Yes, however please note that if a script is submitted as “Working Title,” the title cannot be changed upon resubmission..
Can I submit an unfinished script to your competition so I can receive feedback?
We prefer that the submitted scripts be finished works; it is not advisable to submit a partial screenplay to the competition.
Do you accept Celtx files?
No, we only accept scripts in PDF format.
Celtx.com has the format for screenplays and this is where my screenplay is located. Do you have instructions on how to convert my screenplay from the Celtx website into a PDF form?
According to the Celtx website, PDFs can be created using the Typeset/PDF feature. Typeset/PDF is accessed through the sub-tab at the bottom of the editor. Once in Typeset/PDF, you will see the 'Save as PDF' option in the Typeset toolbar. Please refer to the Celtx website for any further instructions.
Do I need to submit a logline? Synopsis?
No, we do not require a logline and/or synopsis for entries.
How much does it cost to submit my screenplay?
All of our fees and entrance deadlines can be found on our Rules and Guidelines page.
How much does it cost to resubmit a feature/short script?
A list of our resubmission fees can be found on our Rules & Guidelines page.
Do I have to pay extra for my analysis?
No, our competition entry fees include one analysis per script.
Is there a way to enter for free? Do you provide fee waivers?
We do not provide fee waivers for economic hardship at this time. We do, however, occasionally host contests on our social media sites for free entries. Be sure to like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be informed should a contest be posted.
Do you accept money orders?
Yes. You may send a money order through postal mail just as you would a check. Please be sure to include the name of your screenplay on your payment to ensure it is matched with your entry. All money orders must be in U.S. Dollars.
Do you accept personal checks?
Yes, we accept personal checks. All checks must be in U.S. Dollars.
Whom should I write my check/money order out to?
Please make all checks and money orders payable to “BlueCat Screenplay Competition”. Be sure to include the name of your screenplay on your payment to ensure it is matched with your entry.
Is it possible to pay via credit card without having Paypal?
No, at this time we only accept electronic payments through PayPal. If you are unable to use PayPal, we accept checks and money orders through regular postal mail.
I do not have a paypal account, and I cannot make one. How can I pay for the competition?
In addition to PayPal, we also accept payments made via check or money order sent through postal service. Click on the “Postal” option when submitting your screenplay and you will receive our mailing address for your payment. Please be sure to include the name of your screenplay on your payment to ensure it is matched with your entry.
I am paying through PayPal. How can I make sure my payment will be correctly paired with my entry?
PayPal allows users to add a note to the payee. Be sure to note the title of the submitted screenplay and the author’s name on your payment to ensure your payment is applied to the correct submission.
May a family member or friend pay the entry fee for my screenplay? Can I use a friend or family member’s PayPal account to pay for my entry, or must it be under my own name?
Yes, we accept payments from a party other than the applicant. Please make sure that the title of the script and author are clearly noted with the payment so we are able to match the payment with your entry. Entries not marked as paid will not be included in the competition and will not receive an analysis.
I accidentally clicked the Postal option, and would rather pay by paypal. Can I change my payment method?
Yes, you may still submit your payment electronically through Paypal. If you would like to pay online, please go to Paypal.com and submit your payment directly to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send us an e-mail at email@example.com with the title of your submission once you have made the payment so we can confirm your submission has been marked as fully paid.
When I submitted my script I clicked on Paypal, but I would now like to change my payment method to regular mail. How can I do this?
If you would like to change your payment method from Paypal to Postal, please inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To send us a check or money order, make your payment out to “BlueCat Screenplay Competition”, and mail it to BlueCat Screenplay Competition, PO Box 2635, Los Angeles, CA 90078. Please be sure to include the name of your screenplay on your payment to ensure it is matched with your entry.
I just submitted my script, but wasn't directed to PayPal to pay the fee. How can I pay my entry fee?
If you would like to pay online, please go to Paypal.com and submit your payment directly to us at: email@example.com. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of your submission once you have made the payment so we can confirm your submission has been marked as fully paid.
If you would like to send us a check or money order, make your payment out to “BlueCat Screenplay Competition”, and mail it to BlueCat Screenplay Competition, PO Box 2635, Los Angeles, CA 90078. Please be sure to include the name of your screenplay on your payment to ensure it is matched with your entry.
How much time do I have to deliver the payment if I choose the Postal option?
Please send out your payment as soon as possible after you have submitted your script. We allow a reasonable amount of time for your payment to be delivered to us, and we will contact you if a payment has not been received after a few weeks. Payments received in excess of 2-3 weeks after a deadline may cause your analysis to be delayed.
I submitted my script on a deadline date, however am sending my payment through the Postal Service. Does my submission still meet the deadline?
Yes, your script still meets the deadline date, however if we do not receive your Postal payment within 2-3 weeks of the deadline, your analysis may be delayed.
Is there anything I need to include in my postal payment to ensure my payment is associated with my entry?
Please be sure to include the name of your screenplay on your payment to ensure it is matched with the correct entry.
I have submitted multiple screenplays to your competition and selected the Postal option. May I write you one check for the total amount or must I write a separate check for each individual screenplay?
You may write one check to cover the total amount, however please clearly denote the titles and author(s) of the scripts to ensure that your payment is correctly paired with your entries.
Should I submit my scripts online first or mail the check first and wait for receipt of payment?
Please submit your script online before sending out your check. This will alert us to expect a Postal payment from you and allow us to process your entry in a more timely manner after receiving your payment.
What elements of the script are taken into consideration during the judging?
Story, Characterization, Dialogue, Description, Clarity, and Originality.
Where can I find a list of all deadlines and entry fees for your competition?
A complete list of all deadlines and associated entry fees can be found on our Rules and Guidelines page.
Where can I find the Screenplay Analysis Schedule? When will I receive my analysis?
Our complete Screenplay Analysis Schedule can be found on our Rules and Guideline page.
When is the final deadline for the 2017 BlueCat Screenplay Competition?
November 15th, 2015. No entries will be accepted past our final deadline.
Will entrants be notified of the results?
When will the 2016 BlueCat Screenplay winners be announced?
Our Competition Results Announcement Schedule can be found on our Rules and Guidelines page.
Do screenwriters need to be present at the BlueCat Offices in California to receive their award?
No. Although we would love to meet all of our winners in person, we understand that they cannot always be present at our offices to receive their award. We will make adequate arrangements for all winners to receive their prize money, regardless of their location.
Why is it called the “2016 BlueCat Screenplay Competition,” when we are submitting in 2015?
It’s the “2016 BlueCat Screenplay Competition” because our winners will be announced in March of 2016.
Do we get to read the winning screenplays?
As BlueCat does not own the rights to the screenplays, we do not have the authority to distribute the scripts.
Does the writer maintain rights to the screenplay?
Yes, all screenwriters who submit to the BlueCat Screenplay Competition maintain the rights to their works.
Can anyone have access to the screenplay once submitted?
No, submitted screenplays are only accessible to the reader assigned to that specific screenplay and our staff. We do not own the rights to the submitted screenplays, so we do not distribute them publicly in any way.
Does my script have to be registered?
No, however we do recommend registering your work with the WGA and/or the Library of Congress Copyright office.
What genres do you accept?
We accept and welcome all genres.
Do you accept television pilots?
No, we do not accept television pilots at this time.
May I submit a screenplay for an animated film?
Yes, we accept screenplays for animated films.
Does BlueCat lump submissions into groups by genre, or are all submissions judged in the same manner, regardless of genre?
All scripts submitted to BlueCat are processed and judged in the same manner, regardless of genre. Our only two categories are Feature Length Screenplays and Short Screenplays.
How can screenplays from different genres be fairly judged against each other? How can I be sure my genre script will be given a fair chance?
Our competition honors individual screenwriters who excel at their craft. As we judge submitted works we look to see how that individual writer crafted the story and characters, as well as how those pieces fit within their chosen genre. We feel that the best writing rises to the top regardless of genre, and encourage writers to submit works in the genres they are passionate about.
Do you accept adapted screenplays?
Yes, we accept and welcome adapted screenplays. However, screenwriters who wish to submit an adapted screenplay must possess all rights to the source material or use source material in the public domain.
I have optioned a book and written a screenplay adaptation. Is my screenplay still eligible for the competition?
No, screenwriters must own all rights to the source material. When source material is optioned, the screenwriter has not actually purchased the rights to use the work; he or she has simply purchased the exclusive access to purchase the rights at some point in the future.
My screenplay is based off of a work in the public domain, may I still enter it in your competition?
Yes, we allow screenplays adapted from works in the public domain.
Can my screenplay be a sequel to a major motion picture? Can I use a popular fictional character in my own original screenplay?
No, all screenplays must be original works and the sole property of the applicant(s). Scripts containing fictional characters, settings, or other aspects gleaned from another author’s work are ineligible for our competition.
Must I provide documentation that I own all the rights to the source material?
We reserve the right to ask for verification that you own all the rights to the source material of an adapted work. Failure to provide verification if requested will result in the screenplay becoming ineligible for our competition.
Can I base my screenplay on historical events? Can my screenplay be based on a true story?
Yes, screenplays based on true stories and historical events are eligible for our competition.
Can one writer submit multiple scripts to the competition?
Yes, writers may submit as many screenplays to our competition as they would like.
Can I submit both a feature length script and a short script?
Yes, writers may submit to both categories.
Can I submit two versions of the same screenplay as two separate entries?
No. We will only accept one version of the script as a regular submission, even if you attempt to make two separate payments. Once your script is submitted and you have received feedback, you are allowed to resubmit a new version of the script once.
OTHER ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS
Do you allow screenplays with multiple authors?
Yes, we allow screenplays with more than one author.
Can I submit a script that has previously been optioned?
No. If a submitted screenplay has been optioned, produced or purchased at any point before the end of the judging period, that screenplay is ineligible for our competition.
My screenplay was a semi-finalist in last year's BlueCat Screenplay Competition. I've re-worked it quite a bit -- can I submit it this year?
Yes, you are more than welcome to submit your screenplay again.
If my script becomes ineligible to win the BlueCat Screenplay Competition after I have submitted my script and payment, do I still receive my analysis?
Yes, all entrants who have paid for a valid entry will still receive their analysis, even if their screenplay becomes ineligible for the competition after the point of submission.
Can I attend one of the BlueCat Screenplay Workshops with my screenplay after I submit the script to the BlueCat Screenplay Competition?
No. Because resubmissions are allowed until the final deadline and Gordy Hoffman judges the works, we do not allow screenwriters to bring their submitted scripts to the BlueCat Screenplay Workshops until after the current contest year’s winners are announced.
The eligibility rules state that a submitted script cannot be produced at the time of entry or until the end of the judging period. Does this include efforts by the creator to solicit interest, plan, audition, and seek support through Crowd Sourcing to produce on his own?
Yes, if you successfully raise the money through Crowd Sourcing, your screenplay is ineligible for our competition.
If I submit my screenplay and then film it myself, does my screenplay become disqualified?
Yes. If a screenplay is produced in any way prior to the announcement of our winners for the current year, it becomes ineligible to win our competition.
Are screenplays for independent films that have already been produced, but not released, eligible for entry into this competition?
No. To be eligible for our competition screenplays cannot have been optioned, purchased, or produced at any time prior to the announcement of our current year’s results.
If a screenwriter wins one of your short screenplay prizes, would that person be allowed to enter the feature length version of that script for a future BlueCat Screenplay Competition feature contest?
No. Past winners of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition are unable to enter the competition again in future years in any category.
Can I submit a screenplay under a pen name?
No. Due to abuses in the past whereby entrants were resubmitting submissions under various names, we no longer accept pen names.
If I were to win the competition and do not want my real name publicized to protect my privacy, do I then have the right to tell BlueCat to use only my pen name in association with any publicizing of my winning script?
If your screenplay advances in the competition and appears published on our site, you may inform us of the name you would like to use. However, we stress that for our application process, we do not allow pen names under any circumstances - all screenwriters must use their legal name on all submitted materials and applications.
I am a professional actor that works under a stage name (registered with SAG-AFTRA, AEA, AGVA -not my "legal"name). I also use that name for my writing. Will it disqualify me to enter my script under that name?
Yes, all screenwriters must use their legal name for the application/submission process. We do not allow stage names or pen names under any circumstances. If your screenplay advances in our competition and appears published on our site, you may inform us of the name you would like us to use in relation to your screenplay.
What if I legally change my name during the competition?
Names of screenwriters cannot be changed on submissions or upon resubmission. If your screenplay advances in our competition and appears published on our site, you may inform us of the name you would like us to use in relation to your screenplay.
Do you have to be over the age of 18 to submit a screenplay?
No, writers of all ages are encouraged to enter our competition.
I am under the age of 18. Can I submit my screenplay to the competition for free?
No, all entrants must pay the entry fees for their screenplays. We do, however, offer discounted student rates for short screenplays.
Can beginners join the competition or is this just for experienced writers?
We welcome submissions from screenwriters at all levels of experience - from beginner to veteran. Whether it is your first screenplay or your fiftieth, we look forward to reading your work.
Does the student rate for short screenplays only apply to college students, or do high school students also qualify?
The student rate applies to anyone currently enrolled in an academic institution. This includes high schools, colleges, and universities.
Do I need to submit any verification that I am currently a student?
We reserve the right to ask for verification of enrollment from any student rate entrant. If asked for verification, you must be able to provide official documentation of enrollment - such as a current report card, current student ID, or official note from your academic institution. If you are unable to provide verification, you will be charged the current entry fee for a regular submission.
Is there a discount for students on feature scripts?
No. At this time we only provide a discounted student entry fee for short scripts. Feature length scripts must be submitted at the normal fee.
I paid a student rate for the Short Screenplay competition. Do I receive an analysis of my script?
Yes. All submitted scripts receive one analysis regardless of category or fee type.
My script has reached the finalist level in another competition, however it did not win first place. Is it still eligible to be entered into the BlueCat Screenplay Competition?
Yes, your script is still eligible. Our Rules and Guidelines state, “Screenplays, including outlines, treatments, pitches, log lines or any developmental material related to screenplay, that have previously won any contest, competition, grant, lab, fellowship, mentorship, reading or award of any kind, are not eligible.” If your screenplay has not won first place in another contest, competition, grant, lab, fellowship, mentorship, reading, or award, you may still submit the screenplay to the BlueCat Screenplay Competition.
My screenplay won a small-time competition (no monetary prizes or writer’s aid). Does this disqualify the screenplay in BlueCat's contest?
Yes, our Rules and Guidelines state, “Screenplays, including outlines, treatments, pitches, log lines or any developmental material related to screenplay, that have previously won any contest, competition, grant, lab, fellowship, mentorship, reading or award of any kind, are not eligible.”
My script has won another competition in the past, however it has been completely revised so that it barely resembles the original script that won the award. Is it still ineligible for this competition?
Yes. Our rules state, “Screenplays, including outlines, treatments, pitches, loglines or any developmental material related to screenplay, that have previously won any contest, competition, grant, lab, fellowship, mentorship, reading or award of any kind, are not eligible.” This includes previous screenplay drafts.
If my screenplay wins another contest after I have submitted to BlueCat, is my script disqualified?
Yes. If your screenplay - including any outlines, treatments, pitches, log lines or any developmental material related to the screenplay - wins a contest any time prior to the awards announcements for our current BlueCat competition year, the screenplay will become ineligible for any BlueCat Screenplay Competition prizes or awards. However, even if your script becomes disqualified from winning, all entrants will still receive the analysis from their submission.
I would like to submit my script to the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, but I also want to submit the same script to other contests around the world. Will I be disqualified if I do this?
Screenwriters are welcome to submit their scripts to other contests, but if the screenplay - including any outlines, treatments, pitches, log lines or any developmental material related to the screenplay - wins a contest any time prior to the awards announcements for our current BlueCat competition year, the screenplay will become ineligible for any BlueCat Screenplay Competition prizes or awards. Even if your script becomes disqualified from winning, however, all entrants will still receive the analysis from their submission.
My script participated in a screenwriting lab. Is it still eligible for the competition?
No. Our rules state, “Screenplays, including outlines, treatments, pitches, log lines or any developmental material related to screenplay, that have previously won any contest, competition, grant, lab, fellowship, mentorship, reading or award of any kind, are not eligible.” Screenplays that have participated in labs are ineligible for the competition.
Why do you not accept scripts submitted to other contests prior to November 2012?
We hope to encourage screenwriters to continue writing and create new work.
How can you guarantee a script is even read and given an equal shot?
All entries submitted to BlueCat are given one written analysis. See examples here.
I don’t have any experience in screenplay writing. Can I still attend one of your workshops?
Yes, we encourage screenwriters of any level - from beginner to veteran - to attend our workshops. Even if you do not have a script to submit to the workshop, you may sign up for regular registration, which allows you to attend the workshop, read the full registration attendees’ scripts in advance, and participate in the discussion.
The workshop I want to attend is full. Is there any way I can still attend?
Yes, a workshop may sell out in regards to full registrations, but the regular registration option is always available. Regular registration allows you to attend the workshop, read the full registration attendees’ scripts in advance, and participate in the discussion.
Can I submit a short screenplay to the workshop or must it be feature length?
Yes, short screenplays can be submitted to our workshops.
Women screenwriters are often underrepresented as both winners and entrants in screenplay competitions. I also find that often times men greatly outnumber women as readers in these competitions. What do you do to help women writers from being shut out of the system?
At BlueCat we strongly encourage diversity and strive to foster a welcoming environment for screenwriters of all genders, ethnicities, and nationalities. We employ a diverse group of both male and female readers, and have honored many female screenwriters with awards throughout our competition years. In our 2015 Competition alone, Kimi Howl Lee was the Feature Award winner for her screenplay, Mouth; Susan Fleming won Best Short Screenplay with her script, Six Months of Wonder Woman; Danielle Barcena was honored as one of three Shorts Finalists with her script, Silk; and Kitty Percy was chosen as our Cordelia Award Winner for Butter Side Up.
In 2014, Kateland Brown was honored as one of four Feature Finalists with her screenplay, Hambone; Jennifer Cui won our Short Screenplay competition with her script, Winged; Wenonah Wilms and Athenia Paris Mekaenia were honored as Short Screenplay finalists; and Savion Einstein was chosen as our Joplin Award Winner for The Longest Birthday.
If you win, do you have to put the award money towards making that specific screenplay? Or can you use the money how you wish?
Our winners may use their prize money however they wish; it does not have to be applied to producing that specific screenplay.
I have no experience writing a screenplay. Can you suggest a resource for me to learn how to craft a screenplay?