2023 JUMPSTART COMPETITION RULES, GUIDELINES, AND SCORING:
- Must be 18 years of age or older to enter Jumpstart.
- Applicants who have made over $25k in income as a writer will be disqualified.
- Screenwriters who have had previous feature or pilot screenplays produced and distributed by non-independent means are ineligible.
- Scripts submitted in the competition must NOT have been previously optioned, purchased, or produced at the time of entry.
- Must be an original idea/work, free and clear of any copyright issues, and the original work of the submitter(s).
- Material written by writing teams (or multiple writers) must be submitted by one of the writers, with the consent of the other(s).
- Please list all additional co-writers.
- If a writing team places in the competition or is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each writing team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize benefits.
- The competition is open to feature and pilot scripts of all genres.
- No TV spec episode scripts may be submitted (i.e. a spec episode of VEEP or LAW AND ORDER)
- Must be written in English in 12-point courier font and must adhere to standard industry margins and formatting.
- Pilot scripts must not exceed 65 pages. Feature scripts must not exceed 120 pages.
- Do NOT “cheat” in an effort to reduce your page count. Your script will be disqualified. As a standard rule, 1.5” left, 1” right, and 1” top and bottom dimensions are acceptable. Using screenwriting software can help with this.
- All submissions must be in PDF format.
- You must submit your script with a cover page that includes your script title ONLY.
- The cover page does not count towards the overall script page count.
- It is recommended that you do NOT include your name, WGA registration number, and/or copyright information.
- All submissions are final. No substitutions of pages, drafts, or scripts will be allowed.
- Do not include any additional documents with your submission (i.e. pitch documents, series bibles, look-books, etc). They will not be reviewed.
- Roadmap Writers’ JumpStart Writing Competition readers’ decisions are final.
- Submissions will be evaluated by experienced independent industry experts and judged on the following criteria: Premise/Concept, Characters, Dialogue, Story, Structure, and Voice/Style. Submissions will receive multiple evaluations based on the competition's proprietary scoring system.
- List of judges is subject to change. If a judge or competition partner is no longer able to serve in their specific capacity, Roadmap Writers will make best efforts to secure a replacement. Judges reserve the right not to grant an award.
- The Top 5 scripts in each category will be distributed to and voted on by our esteemed judging panel.
- Only entries that purchase Feedback Notes at the time of submission will receive written feedback.
- Feedback notes will be returned to writers at the time of the Top 50 announcement.
- To enter Roadmap Writers’ JumpStart Writing Competition, you must agree to its Rules & Guidelines.
- Roadmap Writers reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to change or modify these terms at any time without notice.
- Announcement dates are tentative and subject to change.
- All sales are final. No refunds will be issued.
- All scripts submitted will remain the property of the writer(s). Neither Roadmap Writers nor any of its judges, partners, and/or their respective companies assume any attachment to your work.
- Neither Roadmap Writers nor any of its judges and/or competition partners investigate or confirm the authenticity of an entrant’s authorship rights or claim. If it is found out that a writer or writing team has falsely claimed authorship, they will be disqualified from the competition. Their money will not be returned, and Roadmap Writers reserve the right to ban any or all of the writers from future competitions, and from any other Roadmap Writers services.
- Multiple scripts may be submitted but each script is required to pay the registration fees.
- Roadmap Writers is not responsible for any technical issue(s) that may arise from electronic submission.
- While it is not a requirement, we encourage writers to register their script with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or Writers Guild of America.
PROMOTION, MARKETING, OUTREACH:
- Entrants may be contacted as a result of the competition by Roadmap Writers, a member of the judging panel, or other industry professionals.
- By entering the JumpStart Writing Competition, you agree to receive competition updates via email and marketing emails from Roadmap Writers.
- You may unsubscribe from our emails at any time—BUT if you do so, you won’t be notified if you place in the competition. You will have to check the competition announcements on our blog at your own convenience.
Submissions will be judged by independent industry experts based on the following criteria. The explanations of each criterion below are by no means exhaustive. They are examples of some of the questions readers and judges consider in each category.
Is it unique/original? Is it a new spin on a familiar story? Does the concept have longer form potential for either film or TV? Is it commercial? Is it a festival-worthy indie? Can it be explained succinctly? Do the actions and obstacles advance the story?
Are the characters well developed? Is their purpose or struggle clearly identifiable? Do they have a clear and complete arc? Are they multi-layered? Are the characters relatable and/or accessible to the reader?
Does the dialogue elevate the scene? Does it heighten the overall story? Does it propel the story forward?
Is the story compelling? Does it serve to drive the characters and events forward in a meaningful way? Does it emphasize a deeper theme? Does the story explore new ideas? Is the story timely? Does it touch on things that are part of the zeitgeist?
Does the story have a clear beginning, middle, and end? Does it have the appropriate structural beats? Is it formatted properly? Does it follow a traditional structure or play with conventions?
Does the writer use interesting word choice and sentence structure? Do they have a unique way to view and relay what’s happening in the story? Does the writer present/have a unique perspective?
ABOUT ROADMAP WRITERS:
Roadmap Writers is a screenwriting education and training platform for Career Writers looking for a guided path to success. Our programs are hosted by working industry executives and are designed to empower writers with actionable tools and insights to elevate their craft and cultivate relationships with industry professionals. Since 2016, we have helped more than 250 writers sign to representation, and countless others get staffed, optioned, or sell their script.