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Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest with Robert Mark Kamen

By Robert Mark Kamen

The winner is...
Tyler Marceca - "The Disciple Program"

"After waking to find his wife dead in their backyard, a man conducts his own investigation, and uncovers the hidden life of a woman he thought he knew."

Breaking News: "The Disciple Program" sells to Universal Studios with Mark Wahlberg attached to star and produce

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, just like last round's winner, Tyler Marceca with The Disciple Program.

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest is an international competition that facilitates relationships between new writers and Industry leaders looking to help aspirants embark on writing careers, and Tyler's winning script garnered Industry recognition and attracted the attention of Agents, Managers, Executives and Bloggers.

"I sat down to read The Disciple Program with the intention of giving Tyler notes. By the time I reached page 10, I had forgotten about the notes. By the time I reached page 50, I was wondering if it could sell. By the time I reached page 100, I was wondering how much it would sell for," states Carson Reeves (Scriptshadow). Carson continues by saying, "The Disciple Program was the best non-professional script I had ever read, period."

Carson's buzz and press around his anticipated posted review of The Disciple Program on his blog caused a frenzy in the Industry as people clamored to be the first to get their hands on the script. The result? Tyler signed with William Morris Endeavor before he even flew to Los Angeles for his lunch with Robert Mark Kamen and meeting with Benderspink

After a whirlwind courtship with the biggest and brightest stars in Hollywood, Tyler became an overnight success when Mark Wahlberg was attached to star and produce and Morten Tyldum to direct. Shortly after, a bidding war began, with Universal Studios winning out in a mid six-figures deal. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter "the real story here is Marceca. An unsigned writer from Brooklyn, he wrote [fifteen] pages as part of a screenwriting contest run by The Writers Store." 

Tyler has been enjoying the spotlight, but took a moment to talk to us about his experience with the contest:

"No other 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. Not only was my Story Specialist, Mario Moreno a consummate professional but an invaluable source of critical feedback. He brought tremendous energy and insight to each of our weekly sessions. You would think he was earning a ten-percent manager's cut. Mario (expletive) rocks."

Download the First 15 Pages Finalist Entries


  • Dan O'Donahue, Torrance, CA, "The Magnesian Protocol"
  • Jess Phillips & Eric Day, Sherman Oaks, CA, “Carrier”
  • Hal Land, Newark, DE, “Not That Easy”
  • Nick Cotton, Los Angeles, CA, “Enclosure”
  • John Torma, South Wayne, WI, “Salmon Falls”
  • Alexander Gillies, Williamsburg, VA, “Dark Side of Eden”
  • Kari Ciardi, Bothell, WA, “The Alien Underground”
  • Tyler Marceca, Brooklyn, NY, “The Disciple Program” (WINNER)
  • Donovan Davis, Burbank, CA, “Nano”
  • Tommy Cleary, Tampa, FL “The Brave”

Kudos go out to the talented finalists, who each received a copy of Movie Magic Screenwriter, the professional screenwriting software for film, TV, and plays, along with a congratulatory letter from Robert Mark Kamen.

The finalists entered into a 12-week mentorship program with The Writers Store’s Story Specialists, which came complete with personalized coaching and detailed Development Notes on their completed screenplays.

Could you be the next winner? Click here for details on the current round of the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest.

Contest Details:

  • Contest Begins: June 1, 2011
  • Early Submission Fee and Deadline: $40 to enter before June 30, 2011
  • Standard Submission Fee and Deadline: $50 to enter between July 1 - July 31, 2011
  • Contest Deadline: July 31, 2011
  • Extended Deadline: August 31, 2011
  • Finalists Announced: September 2011
  • Mentor Program Begins: October 2011
  • Mentor Program Completes: December  2011
  • Winner Announced: January 2012
  • Lunch with Robert Mark Kamen & Meetings: March 2012

Meet the Author: Robert Mark Kamen

Robert Mark Kamen is a screenwriter with twenty-one films to his credit. A native of the Bronx, he attended New York City public schools, and graduated from NYU with a degree in literature, later earning his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

After spending a year in Afghanistan in 1971, Robert wrote a novel based on his experience. At the urging of a director friend, he turned the novel into a screenplay, bought by Warner Brothers in 1979. His second screenplay, TAPS, was released in 1980. This fall sees Robert’s twentieth feature, COLOMBIANA, released and his twenty-first film, TAKEN 2, begin production.

For t...