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Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest featuring Sheldon Turner

Sign up for a free download of Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest featuring Sheldon Turner Finalist Entries now!

Download the finalist’s entries from the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest featuring Sheldon Turner now!

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UPDATE 9/15/14

The ninth round of the Industry Insider Screenwriting Competition took place in the Spring of 2014, bringing in almost 1,000 entries that were eventually narrowed down to 10 Finalists. We are happy to be able to share with you the First 15 Pages of the Finalists' scripts based on Sheldon Turner's logline:

A corrupt detective with one month left to live tries to make all the wrongs right in a wobbly road to redemption, becoming the cop – and the person – they always wanted to be in the process.

UPDATE 9/12/14

The winner has been chosen!

Congratulations to Patrick Curran, winner of the Industry Insider Contest with his script, The Fragile Satisfaction of Us and Them.

UPDATE 5/16/14

Top 10 Finalists:

  • Russell Ward - “The Chronicles of Alestair Cade” – Cypress, TX
  • Mollie Reeder - “Deadline” – Arlington, TX
  • David Kushner & Joshua Bullock - “The 11th Hour” - Holland, PA
  • Patrick Curran - “The Fragile Satisfactions of Us and Them” – Los Angeles, CA
  • Julie Weiman - “Disjecta Membra” – New York, NY
  • Rich Figel - “Blood Moon” - Kailua, HI
  • Dave Merlino & Dustin Sweet - “Thirty Days to Life” – Seattle, WA
  • Lori Stansal - “My Back Pages” – West Haven, CT 
  • Kosta Kondilopoulos - “The Last Round” – Laval, Quebec - Canada
  • Paul Clarke - “Blood of the Butcher” – Brisbane, Queensland - Australia

Honorable Mentions:

  • Paul Macomber - "Cave Junction"
  • Justin Fox - "Contention"
  • Byron Burton - "Without Hesitation"
  • Lisa Molusis - "The Devil's Elbow"
  • Don Sano - "Ghost Dance"


Think you can turn this logline from Sheldon Turner, BAFTA Winner and Academy Award nominee for Up In The Air, and writer of X-Men: First Class, Law Abiding Citizen, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and The Longest Yard into a killer script?

A corrupt detective with one month left to live tries to make all the wrongs right in a wobbly road to redemption, becoming the cop – and the person – they always wanted to be in the process.

Break out your scriptwriting software and get to work, because the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest gives you the unique opportunity to turn this idea into a solid spec screenplay that could be your ticket to Hollywood success.

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest is an international screenwriting competition that facilitates relationships between new writers and Industry leaders looking to help aspirants embark on writing careers.

“The entire process of the Industry Insider contest was a life and career changing event for me. The mentoring accelerated my writing skills (thanks Mario!!) and I learned not only how to better write a screenplay, but how to do so in an industry standard timeline. Since winning the contest in 2011, I have written four screenplays, each of which has won first place in prestigious contests, three shorts, all currently in pre- or post- production and was hired based on a writing sample, to write a feature for an Emmy and DGA award winning director. None of this would have happened without Industry Insider.” Mary Krell-Oishi, Secret Asian Man – Contest Winner (Simon Kinberg)

“There are a lot of contests that offer lots of prizes, but Industry Insider offers something no one else does... a completed screenplay. The result of my 15 pages finishing in the top 10 yielded my first completed product, and then won the grand prize of the very next contest I entered. My story mentor, Kay, was a true pro who knew exactly how to guide me through the inevitable roadblocks and provide the accountability and confidence I needed to get all the way to "Fade Out." – Nick Schober, Given (Susannah Grant Round)

“The value of this competition can be summed up in three words: "form follows function." There is no shortage of contests where prizes are offered for work created outside the confines of the contest itself. For us, this contest was unique and superior in its approach to what ought to be the function of any screenwriting contest: to build better writers, honor the art of storytelling, and pass along unparalleled advice on the industry. Does it work? Well, this testimonial is being written between a development meeting at an independent studio to another appointment with a community-outreach program wanting to collaborate on filmmaking projects to raise awareness of teen suicide. Prior to this, only our closest friends and family even knew we wrote screenplays. Where did the sample of writing come from that opened up these opportunities? We’ll give you one guess…” - J.L. Newman & J.A. Mayfield, Forecast (Edward Saxon Round)

“Sounds like a cliche but winning the Todd Garner round of the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest was life-changing. Not only did it open my eyes to what's expected of working screenwriters, it also opened more channels with legit industry folks who will happily read my scripts now. On top of that, the mentorship that finalists get is like taking a one-person master class in screenwriting. Don't miss out!” – Paul Boyer, Triangled – Contest Winner (Todd Garner Round)

Working from Sheldon Turner's logline, you’re challenged to create up to the first 15 pages of an original script based on the given concept. Make it your own - setting, time period, character's gender, genre… anywhere your imagination takes you.

But it doesn’t stop there. The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest goes much further than your average competition, by providing the top 10 finalists with mentors to guide them through the entire script creation process, with the goal of completing a spec screenplay to be judged by a panel of Hollywood power players.

Here's how it works:

  • Entrants write up to the first 15 pages of a script based on the logline above, provided by Sheldon Turner
  • The top 10 finalists are chosen from the submissions, and receive a personalized letter of congratulations from Sheldon Turner
  • Each of the 10 finalists receives a copy of Movie Magic Screenwriter to professionally format their work as they enter into a 12-week Story Specialists mentoring program, consisting of feedback for every 10 pages submitted, with the goal of completing a spec screenplay based on the given logline
  • After the mentoring, the finalists submit their rough drafts to our professional script readers for comprehensive Development Notes, and then have two weeks to work with their mentor and notes to complete the final draft of their screenplay for judging.
  • Sheldon Turner and Production Company Benderspink judge the completed screenplays and choose a winner

The lucky winner of this scriptwriting contest receives a classic Industry experience, including transportation to Los Angeles and:

Lush Accommodations at the Chateau Marmont
The chic Chateau, conveniently nestled right off the Sunset Strip, will serve as the home base for the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest winner. Thinking of the many opportunities to network and hobnob with the Hollywood elite that frequent this hotspot is mind-boggling!

One-on-One with Sheldon Turner at The Ivy
First on the agenda? Lunch with screenwriter Sheldon Turner at Robertson Blvd.’s uber-popular bistro, known for its steady stream of celebs and location near power-agency ICM. The winner will take in some serious knowledge and know-how from Turner, while filling up on the Ivy’s famous nouvelle American cuisine.

Meeting with Benderspink
The Hollywood treatment continues through a conference with Benderspink, a diversified management/production company with credits including The Hangover, American Pie, and The Ring. Aspiring screenwriters dream of this kind of opportunity to meet with such an influential group, a fantasy that will come true for the lucky winner!

Movie Magic Screenwriter - Professional Formatting Software
Format your script and outline it, too, with the newly redesigned Movie Magic Screenwriter 6! This award-winning screenwriting software formats movies, television, novels, stage plays and even comic book scripts, making it the only program for all types of creative writing.

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest can give you the tools and the resources you need to complete a saleable screenplay. But besides the experience and the mentoring you could receive, placing in this competition shows that you can take another’s idea and turn it into a winning script - a trait that’s truly valued in Hollywood, and serves as a priceless addition to your screenwriting resume.

Contest Feedback Option Provides:

  • Overall Notes
  • A rating of Pass or Consider as a Finalist
  • A chart rating on Concept, Plot, Pacing/Structure, Format, Characters, Dialogue and Overall fifteen pages

Looking for the regulations and answers to specific questions? Check out the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest’s Rules and FAQs.

Click here for news regarding previous rounds of the contest.

Sheldon Turner

Screenwriter Sheldon Turner caught his first big break in 2005, when he wrote the screenplay for a remake of the 1974 Burt Reynolds film The Longest Yard. He would also write the screenplay for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning the next year, but the writer's big moment was yet to come, as 2009 brought the chance to adapt the novel Up in the Air for the screen. The resulting film was a massive critical success, earning Turner an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for his efforts.

Contest Closed

Want to know what the judges are looking for in the First 15 Pages? Click the orange button above to download the winning entries from this round’s finalists.

If you are an Industry Professional and have interest in reading any of the completed scripts, please contact Sadie Dean at The Writers Store.

Due to the subject matter, please be advised that some of the material in the pages available for download may be inappropriate for children.

Contest Details:

For feedback on your contest submission click on Enter Contest w/ Feedback for an additional $10 fee.

For general contest submission click on Enter Contest.

  • Contest Begins: January 24, 2014
  • Early Deadline: February 28, 2014
  • Early Fee: $40
  • Standard Deadline: March 31, 2014
  • Standard Fee: $50
  • Extend Deadline: April 30, 2014
  • Extended Fee: $75
  • Finalists Announced: May 2014
  • Mentor Program Begins: May 2014
  • Mentor Program Completes: August 2014
  • Winner Announced: September 2014
  • Lunch with Sheldon Turner: November 2014
  • Meetings: November 2014

Contest Testimonials:

“No other screenplay contest offers what the Industry Insider Contest does — a chance to develop your script alongside an industry professional. Some contests are about cash and prizes. The Industry Insider Contest is about advancing your career and developing material that can be successful in the marketplace. It’s about opening up doors.”

- Tyler Marceca, The Disciple Program – Contest Winner (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“After my wonderful experience with the contest, I became a full time writer and landed on this year’s (2014) Blacklist while securing representation at Management 360 and APA. Along with my Blacklist spec going out now, I have a TV pilot that is being produced by TV360.”

- Leo Sardarian,_ Historia_ (Simon Kinberg Round)

“I took the screenplay I wrote for the Industry Insider Contest and turned it into a television pilot. That pilot went on to win Best Original TV Drama in the 2013 Creative World Awards. The guidance I received from my Story Specialist mentor really helped me nail down the concept and the characters, and I think that’s part of the reason the pilot was so successful. Thanks to the work I did during my time with the contest, almost everything was in place when I sat down to craft the pilot. All I had to do was expand the story line a bit and change the formatting!”

- Jennifer Green,Triangle (Todd Garner Round)

“There’s a really wonderful sense – from the beginning of the contest on — of how invested everyone at The Writers Store is in helping the finalists write a great script. From Mario’s, my Story Specialist’s, weekly call to the amazingly detailed Development Notes after the rough draft, to the terrific, encouraging updates and emails throughout, there’s a great sense of motivation and professionalism that’s very inspiring. I can’t say enough about this screenwriting contest. If I could, I would be a perpetual finalist!”

- Joshua Rebell, Old Boys Club – Contest Winner (Allan Loeb Round)

“I have a B.A. in Screenwriting, but I am an even better writer for having been a finalist in the Industry Insider Competition. This is boot camp for screenwriters — and it only takes fifteen pages to open the door to an invaluable experience. You’d be crazy to pass this up.”

- Kelsey Rude, Imaginary Bachelor (Allan Loeb Round)

“The whole experience was just fun — and instilled in me a work ethic and a drive to write which has persisted even after the contest’s end. Because of the Industry Insider Contest, I’m a better writer and I have a complete screenplay that I never would have written otherwise. It’s way too awesome an experience for any writer to pass up.”

- Zan Gillies, The Dark Side of Eden (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“Just like a character in a screenplay, I started the contest hoping the reward would appear at the end of my journey and then realized that the reward was the journey itself. This is a contest you have to enter if you want to become a better writer.”

- Dan O’Donahue, The Magnesian Protocol (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“If you are going to enter a screenwriting contest, then pick this one. In my opinion, this prize package is one of the very best in the industry.”

- Kari Ciardi, Alien Underground (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“I wish everyone had the opportunity that I did and wish all of the future contestants the best of luck. Remember, being in the ‘top ten’ IS winning because the rest is up to you.”

- John Torma, Salmon Falls (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“I had an amazing experience during the Industry Insider Contest. My story specialist, Anthony, was wonderful and the experience working with him was invaluable. I’m walking away from this competition with a well written screenplay and insights that I will carry with me throughout my screenwriting career. I recommend this competition to anyone who wants to challenge themselves and really take their screenwriting to the next level.”

- Tiffany Diamond, Imaginary Bachelor (Allan Loeb Round)

“Working to deadlines, re-writing and re-working after notes and comments is the life of a professional screenwriter, and this competition has given me an invaluable chance to experience that first hand. And most importantly I’ve come out the other end with a screenplay I’m really proud of.”

- Adam Cece, The Last Viking Stag (Allan Loeb Round)

“All in all, no matter what the outcome of the contest, you walk away with pages of valuable notes and a completed spec script. The perfect reward.”

- Stephen Judge, The Man-Up (Allan Loeb Round)

“Writing a feature is such a big investment of time and energy, it’s not always clear whether or not it’s worth it. However, writing the first 15 pages of a screenplay is such a relatively small investment, you almost can’t afford not to. Then, if you’re lucky enough to be chosen as a finalist, you definitely can’t afford not to write the whole feature length script.”

- Alex Berger, Onu (Simon Kinberg Round)

“Of all the screenplay competitions in which I have been fortunate to be a finalist, this contest has been the most rewarding to my growth as a screenwriter.”

- Kenneth Lemm, Drum (Simon Kinberg Round)

“Thanks to all of you for a fantastic experience. I learned a lot about writing. More than I could have just reading the books or going to writing groups. The screenplay contest and my work with Anthony have been an integral part of my development as a writer.”

- Araby Patch, Spy Dad (Simon Kinberg Round)

Copy and past this link in your browser to read more testimonials: http://www.writersstore.com/industry-insider-contest-testimonials