Film school can be an all-consuming experience (and an expensive one at that), so you'd be forgiven for fretting what the steps are to actually getting a feature screenplay into production. After all, a feature is such a monumental writing challenge in-and-of-itself that its life beyond the page can be hard to predict. 

Enter The LAUNCH, a brand new million dollar screenplay competition for college students created "with the mission to inspire the next generation of great screenwriters." Founded by producers Jason Shuman and Zachary Green, the competition aims to provide the financial lift necessary to encourage and strengthen the prospects of college-enrolled screenwriters. Note that you must be enrolled in an accredited two-year, four-year college/university or graduate program anywhere in the world to submit. Open for submissions beginning next Thursday, March 1st, the competition is spreading the wealth far and wide. 

The first prize-winning screenplay will be be produced as a feature film with a budget of at least $1,000,000.

The first place Grand Prize winner will have their film produced as a feature film with a budget of at least $1,000,000 (production will begin by the conclusion of 2018). The top three finalists will receive an offer of literary representation at a Hollywood talent agency and management firm, and the top eight finalists will be awarded a total of $100,000 in education grants and other prizes.

According to the contest's website, "the 25 scripts with the highest scores after four rounds of evaluation and scoring will be evaluated by The LAUNCH’s judging panel, who will select the top eight potential winners, subject to verification of eligibility and required documentation."

It only costs $20 to submit your screenplay, and everyone who does will receive professional feedback from experienced industry. It's a win/win!

The top eight finalists will be awarded a total of $100,000 in education grants and other prizes. 


  • All participants must be at least 18 years of age, as of March 1st, 2018.
  • All participants must be a student and actively enrolled and attending an accredited two-year, four-year university/college or graduate school program anywhere in the world as of March 1st, 2018.  Proof of enrollment must be provided when submitting script(s) and/or upon request by Sponsor (continuing education classes do not count towards eligibility).
  • All participants must not be a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and/or any other writer's guild/union, must not have been paid professionally for their screenwriting services for feature films and/or television, and must not be currently represented by a talent agent or manager for their feature film writing services.

Screenplay requirements

  • There is no limit to the number of screenplays you may submit. Each screenplay will require its own entry fee.
  • Entries must be received on or before the deadlines and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.
  • All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be owned solely and written only by the individual submitting the screenplay, or only by individuals submitting the screenplay as part of a writing team.
  • Material must be submitted by the writer(s) of the screenplay. Material written by writing teams must, at the time of submission, credit all writers on the title page, providing electronic signatures of all of the writers, and providing the team's election of allocation of percentage of credit that will be used to distribute any prizes among the team members.

First place winning screenplay receives

  • Winning screenplay to be produced as a feature film with a budget of at least $1,000,000 USD
  • $50,000 Educational Grant
  • Representation from a Hollywood Talent Agent and Literary Manager
  • Feedback from the Judging Panel
  • One (1) copy of the Final Draft Software
  • One (1) year subscription to Variety Premier Digital
  • One (1) year subscription to IMDbPro, the essential resource for the entertainment industry professionals 

Submissions are open from Thursday, March 1st through Thursday, May 31st. For more information about the competition and how to apply, please click here.