Got a great idea for movie or TV, but little or no industry experience?
Enter your screenplay into our competition. As well as winning consultancy, you could:
- Have your work read by over 30 leading industry professionals
- Meet with three of them to talk about kick-starting your career
Find out more about the deadlines and entry fees here.
- You submit your screenplay – for a film, TV drama or pilot in any genre. The contest is only open to Open Door subscribers, but your first entry is free – see our entry deadlines and fees.
- Our experienced professionals read every screenplay. We announce quarter finalists, semi finalists and five finalists.
- The five finalists’ screenplays are read by every single judge on our expert panel. The judges rank the finalists’ entries.
- We announce our Grand Prize Winner.
- All five finalists win meetings with three judges – wherever possible, judges of their choice. Phil Gladwin, founder of Screenwriting Goldmine, briefs each finalist ahead of the meetings, to help them make the most of this priceless opportunity.
You can win three meetings with industry leaders – a priceless opportunity that could launch your screenwriting career. Take a look at our judging panel to see which experts you could spend time with.
2. Screenplay consultancy
The Grand Prize Winner, Second and Third Place Finalists win consultancy on a screenplay of their choice – worth £150 each.
3. One year’s subscription to Open Door
Each finalist wins a year’s subscription to the Open Door industry newsletter, worth £90.
Make sure you have read our rules and FAQs. They will give you vital information on page count and so on.
Got all that? Then you’re ready to go. Click here to enter.
- Tom Nash went on to win the Red Planet competition and is now in development there.
- Tom McKay has been offered a commission on a major long running British drama series.
- Jane Eden was commissioned to write episodes of The Dumping Ground for CBBC and then more recently has been writing for Fortitude (Sky Drama). She has many projects in development at various indies.
- Kate Wimpenny’s finalist screenplay Caravan was optioned by Vox Pictures
- Amanda Duke’s crime drama idea was optioned by ITV Studios
- Matthew Coombes’ winning screenplay from 2012 was optioned by Jonathan Fisher fromIsland Pictures
- Patrick Ryan received an offer for his finalist script shortly after winning the contest, and has since been invited by another of our judges to pitch a new show to a major broadcaster.
Screenwriting Goldmine was an enormous boost to my writing. There is, of course, the giddy thrill of getting into the last rounds of any competition…then coming through and winning it – none of that’s to be underestimated – but the most precious thing that a win or a top placement gives you is the quality seal of approval that’s recognisable to people who don’t otherwise know you or have reason to trust your work. For a baby writer, you now have an opening. It gets you meetings you wouldn’t get otherwise and it get emails replied to that would otherwise go in the trash (hopefully). Because so many top industry professionals are involved in the judging, you may find yourself of interest to many of them. You’re on the radar. This is vital when you’re on the road to achieving the goals of a new screenwriter – getting an agent, getting an option (or several) and starting to work professionally.
These goals are achieved quickly for some, but for most of us they take time. You need plenty of allies along the way.
For me, winning also helped me place a lot of faith in that script and pursue it further, entering it to new places, sending it out as my first string script to new producers. I’ve stayed in contact with the judges I met and I’ve carried on writing and pitching new ideas to new content creators, some of whom I’ve met through those judges. It’s way too early to tell where it’ll all lead. Development takes ages, as we all know, but I’ll always be knocking. As a rule, I try to capitalise on wait times by going straight into writing another script.
Geoff Gedroyc, Grand Prize Winner 2015-16
I’ve always needed deadlines to write (otherwise procrastination can be a killer). And having one to aim for with the Screenwriting Goldmine prize was great. Joining up for the prize was easy and the site was clear and simple to use. I didn’t expect to get as far as I did. But to receive the news that I’d made third place was fantastic.
The best part of placing as a finalist was the access to people who work in the industry. (The prize money was nice too) Philip kindly set up meetings with three people who have been there and done it – and they gave me real insight into how the industry ticks. Opening any doors in the industry is very difficult, but when you enter the Screenwriting Goldmine competition you have the chance of opening more than just one. I’m still in contact with the industry figures I met and hope to keep talking to them about new ideas. And that’s only because of the Screenwriting Goldmine prize.
Tom Nash, Finalist 2015-16
I was told about Screenwriting Goldmine by a friend and initially I was unsure whether to enter as I was convinced my work wasn’t up to the standard required. I am so glad I took a chance on entering as the experience has been invaluable. I was lucky enough to come second in last year’s competition and the benefits were principally threefold.
Firstly, the follow up meeting with Philip was hugely valuable, both in terms of advice on my script and writing style, as well as professional advice.
Secondly, the notes I received from the panel were fantastically useful, especially those that were not necessarily positive; they were all constructive, and the fact that some were conflicting was a good introduction to taking professional notes, not all of which will be consistent.
Finally the meetings I had with panel members were my first experience of sitting down with production companies and floating ideas and this has been hugely beneficial in terms of my understanding of the industry and what is required.
All in all, I can’t recommend the experience highly enough.
Tom McKay, Finalist 2015-16
So a year ago, I was fiddling with a script, the way I do: changing a word here, a word there, getting frustrated with Microsoft Word’s indentation foibles… then the competition deadline came – and almost went – I only made it by the skin of my teeth and with a serendipitous lift up the hill from a neighbour. I had no idea what to expect from the competition (except rejection) and I saw my script make the first cut and then the semi-finals with a kind of surprised bemusement. It was only then that it got serious: having reached the semi-finals I was (almost) within reach of those meetings with producers and agents and I realised I wanted them. The morning the finalists were due to be announced, I whiled away the time playing through all the music I had in the script and trying not to check email compulsively.
Finding myself on that list of finalists, getting the judges’ feedback a couple of weeks later and the run of prize-winner’s meetings which followed were, for me, the (very exciting) beginning of a learning process I’m only just now taking on board. The meetings with the judges (and I’m including Phil Gladwin here) were exhilarating. They were also extremely different from one another: some judges gave feedback on the script I’d entered; some warned me of potential pitfalls in work I was planning to write. Those that did so challenged and helped me think of creative ways to overcome those pitfalls. More than one judge offered to support me in approaching agents. Each in his/her own way (a) helped me hone in on my own strengths, weaknesses and ambitions as a screenwriter and (b) furnished me with a little bit of the confidence I’ll need to take those ambitions seriously.
I’ve spent the 4/5 months since my meetings completing the script of a second full-length feature (encouraged by Phil Gladwin who perceptively identified this story – one I was trying my hardest to run away from – as the one I was desperate to tell, – and at the same time helped me to see that the way I’d been planning on writing it was doomed to failure!) I’ve also been writing the opening of an initial episode of a TV serial drama, as one of the fantastic surprises in reading the judges’ feedback (apart from the stunning fact that more than one person had liked my script!) was that quite a few of the judges who’d reacted most positively were ones who were deeply involved in very commercial TV. I hadn’t imagined that my script would show “commercial” potential – and exploring that side of my ambition has opened up all kinds of new possibilities. I’d say that within the next 6 weeks or so I’ll be in a position to start approaching agents with the material I’ve been working on, including the original script, and then the real challenge will begin – keeping up the energy and enthusiasm even when I meet with the inevitable obstacles, criticisms and rejections.
But it’s a challenge I now know I can face – and really want to: the potential rewards are enough. So that’s where I’m at.
Sonya Hadari, Finalist 2015-16
Winning the Goldmine Awards was a great experience, opening all sorts of doors to me that simply weren’t there before and suddenly making a career in screenwriting seem possible. After the initial surprise of hearing I’d won, I was contacted by a number of judges on the amazing panel and over the coming months found myself meeting with producers and executives, beginning to form the kind of relationships so crucial at the start of a career.
Stuart Nicholson, Grand Prize Winner, 2014
Reaching the final of the Screenwriting Goldmine Awards gave our careers a major boost … by opening doors. Firstly, we had our prize, a meeting with a film executive – with the added bonus of knowing that he’d already read and liked our script. It was a friendly, informal and useful chat, and most importantly, he said he’d welcome further pitches from us. Such contacts are gold dust.
Secondly, when pitching scripts at the London Screenwriters’ Festival, we nonchalantly dropped into the conversation that we were SGA finalists – and the effect was remarkable. The film executives perked up and leant forward. You could almost see them thinking: these guys must be good.
Janet Williams, Finalist 2014
The judging panel for this competition is stellar. They are the reason I entered. Getting read by them and having meetings is such a fantastic prize. Because I’ve been writing for 10 years I know how hard it is to open those doors.
Matthew Coombes, Grand Prize Winner 2012
The Screenwriting Goldmine Competition was a success from start to finish. Unlike many contests, run by individuals with God-knows-what credentials, Goldmine had the expertise of a highly experienced screenwriter — moreover, a writer with a successful and extremely effective writer-training programme to his name. The contest fielded a panel of judges that any contestant would have killed to have been read by.
Brian MacEvilly, Finalist 2012
If you enter a screenplay into the awards, you can ask us for feedback from our expert team. We have several levels of feedback service to help you get a real idea about what’s working well, what could work better – and whether your idea has real potential.
And if you have any questions, please get in touch – we’re happy to help.
Placing in competitions really does help a writer secure representation. I know my agent was concerned that I was a bit too ‘arty’ but having other people respond to my writing helped convince him I would be able to find an audience for my work.
Claire Fowler – Finalist 2013