2019 BlueCat Screenplay Competition FAQ

CATEGORIES

 

Submission

Payment

International Submissions

Length/Formatting

Contest Process/Dates/Deadlines

Ownership/Rights

Genre

Adaptations

Multiple Submissions

Other Eligibility Questions

Pen Names

Age Requirements

Students

Outside Competitions

Readers

BlueCat Workshops

Other 

 

SUBMISSION

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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PAYMENT

 

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.

 

Do I have to pay extra for my analysis?

No, the script analysis is complementary to the submission. 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. 

 

Do you accept money orders or personal checks?

No, at this time, we only accept electronic payments through PayPal. 

 

I do not have a PayPal account, and I cannot make one. How can I pay for the competition?

The only way to pay for the competition is through PayPal. If submitting through PayPal is an issue, please contact us. 

 

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. 

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INTERNATIONAL SUBMISSIONS

 

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 the best screenplay (feature, pilot or short) 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 features, pilots 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 Fellini Award? If I submit to the Fellini Award, am I ineligible for the main contest grand prize?

The winner of the Fellini Award is selected from the main pool of applicants for the BlueCat Screenplay Competition; you do not need to apply separately for this award. Being eligible for the Fellini does not make you ineligible for the grand prize. However, the BlueCat Screenplay Winner from any category will not be eligible to receive the Fellini Award in addition to their grand prize.

 

Are short films eligible for the Fellini Award?

Yes, all scripts from any category (feature, pilot or short) are eligible for the Fellini Award.

 

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, is it eligible to win the Fellini Award?

No,  the Fellini Award is given to the top screenwriters currently residing outside the U.S.

 

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.

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LENGTH / FORMATTING

 

Where are the Rules & Guidelines?

Click here.

 

What’s the minimum/maximum required page length for feature length, pilots and short screenplays?

Feature screenplays must be between 65 and 125 pages. Hour Pilot scripts must be between 45 and 75 pages. Half Hour Pilot scripts must be between 20 and 60 pages. Short screenplays must be between 1 and 29 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 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 I need to submit a logline? Synopsis?

No, we do not require a logline and/or synopsis for entries.

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CONTEST PROCESS/DATES/DEADLINES

 

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 BlueCat Screenplay Competition?

December 16th, 2018. No entries will be accepted past our final deadline.

 

Will entrants be notified of the results?

All results will be posted on our website and sent out via our BlueCat newsletter. Our competition results announcement schedule can be found on our Rules and Guidelines page.

 

When will the winners be announced?

Our Competition Results Announcement Schedule can be found on our Rules and Guidelines page.

 

Do we get to read the winning screenplays?

Because BlueCat does not own the rights to the screenplays, we do not have the authority to distribute the scripts.

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OWNERSHIP/RIGHTS

 

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.

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GENRE

 

What genres do you accept?

We accept and welcome all genres. There are no genre restrictions for any category.

 

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. 

 

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.

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ADAPTATIONS

 

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 the 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 on 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.

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MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS

 

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 into multiple categories (Feature, Short, and/or TV Pilot)?

Yes, writers may submit into as many categories as they like.

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

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PEN NAMES

 

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.

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AGE REQUIREMENTS

 

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.

 

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.

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STUDENTS

 

Can students submit scripts to the BlueCat Screenplay Competition?

Yes, we accept scripts from writers of all ages.

 

Do you have student discounts for the Competition?

Unfortunately, we do not offer discounted fees for the Screenplay Competition. 

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OUTSIDE COMPETITIONS

 

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 a screenplay, that has 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 a screenplay, that has 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 a screenplay, that has 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 a screenplay, that has 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 February 1st, 2015?

We hope to encourage screenwriters to continue writing and create new work.

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READERS

 

How can you guarantee a script is even read and given an equal shot?

All entries submitted to BlueCat are given one written analysis that guarantees its reading. See examples here.

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BLUECAT WORKSHOPS

 

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.

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OTHER

 

Is your question not listed in the FAQ?

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for in our Frequently Asked Questions, please feel free to contact us.

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