Time's Up, Pencils Down: 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships Final Deadline is May 1

By now, if you're planning on submitting a screenplay to the Academy Nicholl Fellowships, hopefully you've already done so. If not, your time to submit is quickly dwindling. The final deadline for the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, Wed. May 1, but don't wait until the last minute. Get your screenplay submitted now so you're not freaking out about whether your submission made it into the system on time. Check out the details on how to submit below.

If I could give you one reason why you should not wait until May 1 to submit your screenplay to Nicholl, it would be this: last year, on the final day of submissions, the Academy Nicholl Fellowships received 2,004 screenplay entries. That's not a typo, but I'll spell it out for emphasis: two thousand four screenplay entries during the final 24 hours. That's 27.8% of all of last year's entries getting tossed over the virtual transom on the final day of submissions. That's an average of 83.5 screenplays submitted every hour on the last day. That's an average of 1.39 screenplays submitted every minute on May 1. Of course, we all know those screenplays were not submitted in an orderly linear fashion. I can only imagine what the numbers looked like between 11:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. last year.

If you submit today, you'll still be in good company. Based on last year's numbers, approximately 450-500 screenplays will be submitted today (Apr. 29). Another 725-800 screenplays will likely be submitted tomorrow (Apr. 30). The Nicholl inbox is going to be a little full for the next three days.

To submit your screenplay to the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, make sure you follow the rules (like removing your name and contact information from the title page). The fee for the final deadline is $65.

Have you submitted to the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships? Are you making final changes to your script to get it in just under the wire? Share your experiences with us in the Comments.


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I actually haven't submitted to this years Nicholl. It's actually quite liberating to not submit. I've never placed (although it's not getting that e-mail witht he double asterisk or whatever way they let you know that someone liked your script, just not enough).

April 29, 2013 at 9:19AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I meant that "although it's NICE to get that e-mail"

April 29, 2013 at 9:20AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Slightly off topic, but figured it's worth asking. If I'm looking to buy a screenplay to be made into a low budget feature, is there a website that exists for that purpose, to connect writers with production companies/producers?

Also what's considered the going rate for a script?

April 29, 2013 at 9:00PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Josh, the Academy Nicholl Fellowships publishes a list of quarterfinalists, semifinalists and finalists from its competition every year and makes it available to industry professionals. I'm not sure what you have to do to show your credentials, or if you can simply state that you are looking to produce a feature film in order to get the contact list.

You could email them at nicholl@oscars.org and explain your request to see if you can get the contact list.

You can also look at other screenwriting competitions for lists of their winning scripts and inquire about contact info.

There are some websites where writers post their screenplays for producers and production companies to read (InkTip, ScriptShark), but I don't know the quality of the screenplays on those sites.

The Black List started its screenplay database service last fall, but they claim to vet the industry professionals who have access to their database. Still, you may want to inquire with them as well to see if you can get access.

As for "the going rate" for a script, producers option scripts for a certain amount of money and time for the rights to try to raise financing to produce the film. If the film is produced, the producer then pays the writer an agreed amount of money for the story rights. The amount of the option and the subsequent payment upon production vary widely based on the writer, the producer, the budget, whether the writer is a member of the Writers Guild of America, etc.

April 30, 2013 at 5:49AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Christopher Boone

Thanks for the reply Christopher. Will definitely look into contacting those different organizations. Really appreciate it.

April 30, 2013 at 1:43PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Didn't get it together in time to finish a draft to submit this year. Stupid day jobs... Now I have more time to polish!

April 30, 2013 at 7:14AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


About how many quarter finalists do they tend to have? I am wondering about my odds of being contacted.

May 2, 2013 at 8:33PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM