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Vera Hinckley Mayhew Student Creative Arts Contests

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Screenwriting Contest Rules

  1. Contest applicants must be enrolled as full-time students at Brigham Young University in either semester of the 2015-2016 school year. No applicant may have worked as a professional screenwriter for theatrical films or sold screen or television rights to any original story, treatment, screenplay or teleplay.
  2. Prize money for this competition is $1,700. In addition, noteworthy scripts will have the opportunity of being (1) considered part of the TMA Writers’ Intensive held each Spring Term, and (2) possible production and broadcast over BYUtv.
  3. Contest Categories: Short Script Submit a 1 to 7 page tightly crafted script that could be considered viable for an on-campus student film. Samples of student films can be checked out from the HBLL Writer’s Room Script Development Submit a 1-2 page synopsis of a 1-season, 9 episode series. Each episode will ultimately have a runtime of 25 minutes. In addition to the synopsis, attach a 1-5 page outline of the pilot episode. Feature Length Script Development Submit the first act (10 to 20 pages) of a feature-length film, along with a tight outline for the remaining acts.
  4. Each student may submit up to three entries. For each entry the student will fill out a cover sheet (available as indicated below) giving name, address, and telephone number. The student’s real name will appear only on this cover sheet.
  5. After the cover sheet, your submission will include a title page – whether or not the submission is a short script, a Writer’s Room synopsis/outline, or a feature length excerpt/outline. DO NOT USE YOUR ACTUAL NAME ON THE TITLE PAGE. Underneath the title, indicate the category of your submission: SS for Short Screenplay, WR for Writer’s Room, FL for Feature Length.
  6. Submissions must comply with standard screenplay formatting; two-sided printing is not permitted. If you have questions regarding formatting, see the Screenwriter’s Bible (D. Trottier). Submissions must be (1) the original work of the applicant and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other persons’ fictional material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced; OR (2) if based on another person’s work, writers must verify that they have rights to the material or that the original work is in the public domain. If the material is a collaborative effort, please include names and contact information for all contributors on the application form. Scripts that fail to comply with standard formatting or page length requirements are disqualified and will not be reviewed.
  7. Applicants must submit two typed copies of each entry written in standard screenplay format (synopses will be in step-outline form). Submissions should be stapled in the upper left corner. If you are submitting too many pages to comfortably staple the materials, please submit using metal brads. The pages must be numbered. No additional materials should be attached to the script (i.e. letters or recommendation, alternate pages, mention of awards, etc.). Entries submitted incorrectly are disqualified and will not be reviewed.
  8. The completed cover sheet and the accompanying submission will be accepted between February 3 and February 16th, 2017 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, D-581 HFAC. Winners will be announced in early April.
  9. Judging will be conducted by the TMA Writing Committee. The standards for evaluation will include assessments of: • Character Rendering and Development • Plot Development • Dialogue • Thematic Depth • Voice • Visualization and Detail • Research (if applicable) All scripts are to be created in accordance with the values and standards associated with the University Honor Code and the TMA Viewing and Creation Policy (available online). This isn’t to say that the script needs to be overtly religious or that it cannot examine challenging issues; it is simply a reminder that gratuitously offensive material will not be considered.

Important note: In addition to the specific rules above for the Screenwriting Contest, see the "General Regulations" giving information on all Mayhew Student Creative Contests. Both the general regulations and the specific rules for each contest should be followed by every student who enters one or more of the contests.

All submissions require a cover sheet. Cover sheets can be picked up in the Art Gallery F-303 HFAC, D-581 HFAC, or C-550 HFAC, or downloaded here for playwriting and visual arts, here for music composition, or here for screenwriting.

Contest Contact Information

Thomas Russell, TMA Writing Committee Chair
F-348 HFAC
Email: Thomas_Russell@byu.edu