Screenwriting Contest

Katie Wech is the screenwriter for the new movie Prom (which the entire Figment mod squad went to see (and it's delicious))

Write a screenplay (a script for a movie) in fewer than 1500 words that begins with something getting damaged by fire. What gets damaged, how it gets burned, and who/what starts the spark is up to you!

This happens to be what kicks off the plot of Prom, the new movie written by Katie Wech. Katie will also be judging the contest!

To make your play ready for film, we’re also asking you to include these fun extras:
1) The suggested music of each scene (if any). Include the name of the song & the artist at the top of each scene/group of scenes.
2) A suggestion of who your ideal actors would be. You may include this in the description of your play. (“LISA: Eva Longoria. MARK: Zach Galifianakis”)

Formatting:
As in a play, you should include a character list at the very beginning of the screenplay (Characters: LISA, MARK) , scene direction/description (SCENE 1: Outside a large building, in the shade of a large tree. Two characters, LISA and MARK, are sitting on a blanket), character tags (“LISA” before she begins to speak), direction of movement for your actors in the middle of dialogue (LISA turns away from the sandwich, grabs a knife), and any more particular (fancier) play/screenwriting formatting you wish. We will not judge you on the correctness of the format of your screenplay, but on its content.

For more help learning how to write a screenplay, or for examples, go here. Below is an example of a screenplay, taken from PROM by Katie Wech:

EXT. REMAINS OF THE SHED — DAY
Nova’s face. Catatonic. Stricken.
PULL BACK To REVEAL she’s standing among the remains of the
shed. All around her are the remnants of the decorations.
She stands next to the singed, broken, ravaged FOUNTAIN.
We find Brandon, Mei, Ali and Rolo heading for Nova.
ROLO
Whoa. It’s like Apocalypse Prom.
ALI
Hey there…
BRANDON
How you doing, Nova?
Nova just stares at the fountain.
ROLO
At least the fountain survived.
(CONTINUE READING a longer excerpt HERE.)

How to Enter:
1) Start something new
2) Write your entry, press “publish now”
3) On the “details” page, tag your story as screenwritingcontest
4) Wait the hour or so it sometimes takes for your entries to appear below.

The deadline is Sunday, June 5 at 6pm EST. Then YOU determine the winners by hearting your favorite entries; the top hearted contest entries on Sunday, June 12 at 9PM will get sent to Katie Wech, who will choose the winner! The winner will receive 3 fantastic movies with prom in them: Pretty in Pink, Napoleon Dynamite, and 10 Things I Hate About You. Good luck, Figs!

Contest Rules

1. One entry per person, please.
2. The promotion of your contest entry is not allowed on Figment. This includes self-promotion and the promotion of other users’ contest entries in the Figment forums, the comments and reviews of stories, and the Figment Facebook page. Independent promotion on sites unrelated to Figment, like personal Facebook or Twitter accounts, is fine.
3. Works must be submitted according to the instructions above between the announcement of the contest and the closure of the contest. Entries created before the start date or after the end date will not be included in the pages of contest entries and will be ineligible to win. This means a new story must be created for the contest; adapting an old story published before the start of the contest will make the entry ineligible to win.
4. The rules of the contest are both strict and open to interpretation by a moderator.
5. The creation of multiple accounts to heart or otherwise vote for your contest entry on Figment is prohibited, and may result in the disqualification of that entry, the deletion of your Figment account, and/or the blocking of your IP address permanently from the site, at the moderator’s discretion.

66 thoughts on “Screenwriting Contest

  1. Two questions: Does it have to be the entire movie, or can we submit just a scene or two? Also, does the movie have to be about prom/a prom-like event?

    Thanks! This looks like a really cool/challenging contest. I will definitely be entering! 🙂

  2. Quick question:

    -Does the music need to be included? If so, does it have to be a specific song, or can it just be described. For example if you wrote “eerie cello music” would that be acceptable?

  3. For one of the rules, the first part says submit to the email address. The secon part is correct about entering I think though.

    I’ll enter most likely!

  4. OMG! I actually wrote a play not long ago! (Friends In The Dark) I’m really excited for this contest! 😀

  5. Oh, I just realized I had a question. XD

    Do we need to include the characters and setting at the beginning?

    • Yes, please include them at the beginning of the script, or at the beginning of each scene (if there are multiple scenes). Feel free to email me at Maria@Figment.com if you have any other questions.

  6. Does it have to be something, or can it be someone? I don’t see why it couldn’t be someone, but the prompt does say someTHING. Thanks!

  7. Are we allowed to write original music and email it to you or the such? I cannot put it on YouTube and make a link because I do not have an account.

  8. Can the music be included through a character who sings it? (this isnt really clear i dont know if it can only be playing overhead)

  9. what does EXT. mean in the example? If it means exit then what is the short term for entering or fading into?

      • i don’t mean to quibble, but “EXT.” means “exterior,” not “external.” “INT.” means “interior.” they are part of something called the “slugline,” which contains a primary breakdown of the scene for shooting purposes. INT. or EXT. what they need to shoot and when it needs to be shot.

        EXT. MANHATTAN APARTMENT BUILDING – NIGHT
        A light goes out near the top of an ornate Central Park West apartment building.

        CUT TO:

        INT. ARIANA’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
        The blue/grey glow of her Macbook Pro glistens off the fragile face of ARIANA, as she hammers a set snarky comments to the creators of Figment on the backlit keyboard affixed between her midsection and her thighs.

        [The previous scene is an exterior, which needs to be shot at night, or crafted on a computer. If the producer has the budget, we can close down Central Park West and do this late into the night, provided the residents of the San Remo don’t complain. The following scene is an interior and it takes place at night, but with proper lighting, we can shoot in the the studio tomorrow afternoon.]

        sorry for intruding….

  10. Does the story have to be about the fire? Or can it just start with something burning, like a wood stove or something.
    Thanks!

  11. I accidentally named my piece the same as an existing movie (my fried told me this). Do I have to change the title because of copyright or am I allowed to keep it?

  12. One question… Should we write the title of the movie?

    The contest really looks exciting! I’ll be sure to sign up for it!

  13. So, the winner just gets three movies, and Katie Welch is not allowed to steal your idea and actually use it, right? (Not that I have anything against her, I’m just paranoid about idea stealing.)

    • Yup! No idea-snatching here. In fact, by posting it on Figment, you can prove that it was your idea first! Let me know if you have any other questions- esteele at figment.com
      -Emily

  14. Oh my god! I thought the amount of words we could have was 1,500!!! “Sigh” I guess I’m going to have to cut a lot of things… 🙁

  15. I wrote my screenplay in Pages and copied it into figment and it lost its format. I submitted it because I couldn’t find a way to change it. Is that ok?

    • Hi Authora

      There will be a first place winner (who will receive the three movies) and a second place winner (who will receive a Figment tote). The winners will be announced as soon as Katie Wech decides.

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