Q: How do I enter Table Read My Screenplay?
A: Submit your entry here.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept all payments through PayPal, however you do not need a PayPal account to use it. Once you are taken to the payment page, you can select “Pay by Credit/Debit Card.”
Q: Do you accept check or money order by mail?
A: No; all payments must be made through PayPal.
Q: I would like to mail you a hardcopy of my script. How can I do that?
A: In an effort to maintain a green company, we only accept screenplays and teleplays through our website or one of our partner websites (the ISA, Coverfly, FilmFreeway).
Q: Should I include my contact information on my title page?
A: If you choose to do so, you may include your contact information on the title page, but it does not affect judging either way if you choose not to include it.
Q: Who will be reading my screenplay/judging the contest?
A: The final panel of judges will be comprised of screenwriting and other industry professionals, including but not limited to producers, managers and established writers.
Q: If I win will you fly me to Austin?
A: It depends which category you enter:
The Grand Prize Winner will receive coach airfare and accommodations resulting in a three-night stay. The Shorts Prize Winner will receive $500, which can be put toward airfare if they wish to attend; TRMS will not book the flight for the Short Prize Winner.
Q: Can I enter my Short script as a Pilot?
A: You may enter your script however you wish, however our judges will be looking for formatting and structural techniques that are unique to each medium.
Q: When is the Table Read?
A: The Grand Prize Showcase reading will be held during the Austin Film Festival and Writers Conference in October, 2020. The exact date is still TBD. If the final date as selected by TRMS does not work for the winner, TRMS will not provide any cash value matching for the non-accepted airfare and hotel. We will be as flexible as possible, but the ultimate decision resides solely with TRMS.
The Shorts Winner will receive a digital audio recording of their script’s Table Read.
Q: Can we gift the Festival Pass to someone else?
A: The Festival Pass is not transferrable and is forfeited if you decide not to attend.
Q: How does the Grand Prize Winner participate in the Table Read itself?
A: You sit back, relax, and observe as a director works scenes from your winning screenplay with the actors in preparation for the showcase of your first 30 pages. We will also read through your entire script in the workshop. There you can take a few notes of what’s working and what might need some tweaking. We encourage you to watch the process rather than reading off the script because you will get to listen again when you receive the recording.
Q: Does the Shorts Prize Winner receive a Table Read?
A: The Shorts Winner will receive a live audio recording of their Table Read, which will be posted on ISA’s Curious About Screenwriting Network and provided to the ISA’s list of Industry Professionals.
Q: Do I maintain the rights to my screenplay?
A: YES, you retain all the rights to your screenplay. Table Read My Screenplay seeks to support and empower writers, rather than claim their hard work for ourselves. If we select your script for recognition, you agree to grant us the right to hold a live Table Read and promote your success, but the script itself is still yours.
Q: Do I need to submit a Synopsis?
A: Synopses are not required and are not considered during the judging process.
Q: Can I submit a screenplay under a pen name?
A: Yes, you may use whatever name you wish, understanding that this is the name TRMS and the ISA will use to promote your script, should you win.
Q: Does my screenplay have to be registered with the Writers’ Guild or another organization?
A: No, but we do recommend registering your work with the WGA West, the Library of Congress Copyright office or other similar organization in your country. It’s really easy and a VERY smart thing to do.
Q: Is an adaptation of a published novel or other work written by someone else eligible?
A: You must have the legal rights to adapt the book to enter your screenplay. Either the original work must be in the public domain, or you must have the author’s permission to adapt it. Spec scripts without written permission will not be considered.
Q: Can I send you a revised copy of my script?
A: Once we have received your entry, you have 24 hours to contact us about any replacements you need to make. After the 24-hour period is through, NO script revisions will be accepted FOR ANY REASON. If you would like to enter a revised version of your screenplay, you may do so as a new entry.
Q: Can I make changes to my genre or logline?
A: Yes, you may change your listed genre or logline at any time; simply e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about the change. Once the contest is closed, we will not be able to make any changes.
Q: What stops you from taking my idea and developing it yourself?
A: Our panel of judges is comprised of respected industry professionals, and they have no intention of stealing your material. If you make it to the Semi-Finalist round, your work will be seen by these professionals, which in turn, gets you one step closer to getting your screenplay produced. You can sit at home and protect your ideas all day long hoping for that one right person to come along, or you can get your work out there and show us what you’ve got!
SHORTS AND WEB SERIES
Q: Do you accept Web Series?
A: Yes, Web Series will be considered for the Shorts Prize and should be entered as such. However, we will only consider the “Pilot” episode of your Web Series.
Q: What about series intended for streaming (Netflix, Hulu, ABC Digital, etc.)?
A: Generally–speaking, it depends on script length; any Pilot over 20 Pages should be entered as a TV Pilot (like Stranger Things, Catastrophe, etc). Series with shorter episodes like Forever 31 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot should be entered as Shorts.
Q: Be honest: can TV Pilots actually win the Grand Prize?
A: Yes, Features and Pilots compete for the same prize, and we judge each on its own merits within its medium; TV Pilots have won in the past.
Q: What’s the minimum/maximum required page length?
A: Guidelines for suggested page lengths:
Features: 70 to 120 Pages
TV Pilots: 20 to 70 Pages
Shorts: 1 to 40 Pages
Web Series: 1 to 20 Pages
Q: My Feature script is over 120 Pages. Will I be disqualified?
A: Scripts that run over suggested page lengths will not be disqualified; however, extra pages can affect everything from pacing to structure to marketability, so we would advise you to get your script as close as possible to where the industry expects it to be.
Q: Will I be charged more if I go over 120 pages?
A: The entry fee does not change. However, if you purchase feedback, we will need to invoice you $1 per page above 120 for the Reader, who will receive every cent of the additional fee.
Q: Can I enter two scripts in one document?
A: You may enter up to four scripts per entry, but all scripts MUST be in their own individual PDF document.
Q: Can I submit an episode from my series besides the Pilot for consideration?
A: We would advise against this, as our judges consider all TV episodes as if they are the first in the series. No one would read a film script that starts on page 20.
Q: Does the choice of genre matter in my submission?
A: Yes, but only to determine what your goal is for your work; ie, if you submit your script as a Comedy, we would expect it to be funny.
Q: The genre of my script is not an available choice; how should I enter?
A: You should choose the genre that is most closely associated with your script – if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com. That said, we will not consider scripts for documentary, erotica, reality TV or musicals.
Q: Can I submit my screenplay in multiple genres?
A: Yes, you can; however, you will have to pay an entry fee each time as if they were separate scripts.
Q: Can multiple scripts from one writer place in the Top 100 Semifinalists list?
A: Yes, some writers may have more than one script reach the Top 100. Table Read My Screenplay is interested in promoting scripts as well as writers, and as such we choose the Top 100 scripts that we receive to move on to the finals.
Q: Are Shorts part of the Top 100 Semifinalists list?
A: Shorts and Web Series Pilots will be featured onto their own Top 25 Finalists list. For all contests prior to 2018, Features, TV Pilots, and Shorts are all featured on the same list.
Q: I don’t live in the United States—am I still eligible?
A: Yes, we accept international entries, but all submissions must be in English.
Q: My country currently cannot do business with the US so I cannot pay; may I receive a waiver?
A: Unfortunately, at this time we cannot grant waivers.
Q: Will you pay for my flight even though I don’t live in the US?
A: Table Read My Screenplay will pay up to $1,500 for an international flight and up to $800 for a domestic flight.
Q: If I choose not to fly or stay in your hotel, is there a cash equivalent?
A: No. If you decide not to utilize the flight or hotel, they are simply forfeited.