Mercy CATA Student

Screenwriting Competition

Submissions are now OPEN!








Our 3rd Annual Competition is Happening!

The Mercy College Department of Communication and the Arts (Mercy CATA) is committed to advancing the craft of screenwriting and encouraging the emergence of new voices through an annual screenwriting competition.

The competition is open to all currently enrolled Mercy College students. Students need not be enrolled in or have taken a formal screenwriting or playwriting course to participate.

The competition awards prizes such as professional screenwriting software, exposure on screenwriting market sites such as InkTip, entry access to other notable screenwriting competitions such as Script Pipeline’s First Look competition or the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

The competition is open to feature-length and TV pilot scripts of all genres and styles that tell strong and original stories. Future competitions may include categories for short films. These shorter script competitions may offer similar prizes or winning scripts could be chosen as projects to be produced by students as part of TV Production courses or be work-shopped for a dramatic reading by drama courses.


Guidelines and Rules

  • Mercy CATA Annual Student Screenwriting Competition accepts screenplays of any genre. Screenplays must be the original work of the author(s).
  • Screenplays should be a minimum of 30 pages in length and no more than 120 pages in length.
  • While not required, it is strongly suggested that screenplays are registered with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). (WGA Script Registration)
  • Writers entering the competition must be currently enrolled at Mercy College at the time of entrance.
  • Writers are limited to a single entry as an individual and a single entry as part of a writing team.
  • Multiple authors credited on the same screenplay are accepted, provided all authors are currently enrolled at Mercy College. If the screenplay wins an award from Mercy CATA, it is up to the authors themselves to divide the prizes/award as they see fit.
  • Once a screenplay has been submitted, no further revisions or drafts will be accepted.
  • Screenplays must be written in English and be in the industry-standard format. (Screenplay Format Example)
  • Screenplays submitted will not be returned to the author(s). Participants will receive an email acknowledging receipt of their entry.
  • By submitting a screenplay to the Mercy CATA Student Screenwriting Competition, participants attest that they have read and understand these Guidelines and Rules, and hold all necessary rights to submit the script to the competition.
  • The organizers of the Mercy CATA Student Screenwriting Competition reserve the right to rule on cases not covered by these rules and regulations.
  • In the event of an entrant winning in successive years, a substitute prize of equal value may be offered.
  • Writers will be notified of their status by email, whether their screenplay(s) was accepted into final round or not.
  • Plagiarism will result in automatic disqualification from the competition.

You could win the following prizes!

Final Draft 12 Professional Screenwriting Software

4 month Script Listing at InkTip, giving producers a chance to discover your work

Entrance fee for Script Pipeline’s First Look Project competition

Winning Screenplay

The first-prize winner will receive the following:

  • Final Draft 12 (Education license – $129 value)  
  • 4 month Script Listing at InkTip ($60 value) 
  • Entrance fee for Script Pipeline’s First Look Project competition ($65 value) 


will receive the following:

  • Final Draft 12 (Education license – $129 value)  
  • 4 month Script Listing at InkTip ($60 value)


will receive the following:

  • Final Draft 12 (Education license – $129 value)  
  • 4 month Script Listing at InkTip ($60 value)

Register to Enter (* required fields)

8 + 2 =

By clicking REGISTER, you agree to the terms set out in the Guidelines and Rules stated above.

Within 24-48 hours of registration, you will receive an email confirming your enrollment in the competition Blackboard shell along with a link to the portal where you will submit your screenplay.

Screenplays must be submitted as PDF files.  The deadline for registration and submission of a screenplay is May 1, 2023