GENERAL QUESTIONS

Q: How do I enter Table Read My Screenplay – AUSTIN?
A: Complete the form on the SUBMIT ENTRY page.

Q: How do I enter for one of the other cities?
A: Only one Table Read My Screenplay competition is held at any time. Our next host city will be announced at a later date.

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, FilmFreeway, WithoutABox).

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 $750, 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, 2018. 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 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 20 pages. We will also do a full table read of your script. 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 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 info@tablereadmyscreenplay.com 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 130 Pages
  • TV Pilots: 20 to 70 Pages
  • Shorts: 1 to 40 Pages
  • Web Series: 1 to 20 Pages

Q: My Feature script is over 130 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 130 pages?
A: The entry fee does not change. However, if you purchase feedback, we will need to invoice you $1 per page above 130 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. All genres are in competition with one another, and there are no genre-specific prizes.

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 info@tablereadmyscreenplay.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. That said, we do not require you to enter any script more than one time. Genre suggestions are simply for guidance.

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 Semifinals.

Q: Are Shorts part of the Top 100 Semifinalists list?
A: Shorts and Web Series Pilots will be featured onto their own Top 25 Semifinalists list. For all contests prior to 2018, Features, TV Pilots, and Shorts are all featured on the same list.

TRAVEL QUESTIONS

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 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.

  • This contest is open to anyone except all employees, judges, directors, associates, and immediate families of the TABLE READ MY SCREENPLAY (TRMS) Contest.
  • The writer is under no obligation to participate in the contest, and understands that it is not a guarantee or expectation of employment.
  • We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, or disability. It is our intention that all qualified submissions be given equal opportunity and that selection decisions are based on script-related factors alone.
  • Up to four scripts may be entered on one entry form. Additional scripts can be entered through an additional entry form.
  • Promotional discounts offered may only be utilized at the time of submission and no partial refund for a promotional code may be issued after an entry has been officially submitted.
  • Once material has been entered, no substitutions of new drafts or corrections will be considered after 24 hours from original submission time and date have past. After this time the writer may complete a new entry form and pay the appropriate entry fee to submit a revised version of their script.
  • Loglines may be changed once during the competition by e-mailing info@tablereadmyscreenplay.com with a revised logline; the writer must include the Title and Date of the original submission in the body of the e-mail along with the logline.
  • Feedback is a separate service with an additional fee, and unless specifically part of a promotion, is not an expected part of any entry. Feedback is in no way tied to contest placement.
  • The writer understands that feedback, whether paid or received as part of a promotion, can take 90 days or more to be returned, and may not be received before the end of the contest. TRMS will make all attempts to return feedback as soon as possible.
  • TRMS does not provide notes and/or scoring with every entry.
  • Grand Prize Winners from previous TRMS seasons may submit again, provided the contest city is not the same for which they previously won, and they must submit a new screenplay to be eligible.
  • Previous Shorts Prize Winners may enter a Feature to any contest. If a writer wins the Grand Prize in two cities they may no longer submit.
  • Those who have placed as a Top 10 or Category Winner three times with three separate screenplays are ineligible to submit in any future contest season.
  • To be considered for the ISA Austin Writer Award the writer must currently reside within 100 miles of Austin, Texas. The ISA Austin Writer Award recipient will not receive airfare or hotel.
  • The Austin Writer Award Winner will be provided a $50 stipend to cover gas and parking for the TRMS events.
  • International writers are eligible to participate in the contest, so long as their participation is not prevented by law in either country.
  • TRMS will provide roundtrip airfare up to $800 for a Domestic flight or $1500 for an International flight not to exceed $1500. There is no cash reimbursement for flights that cost more than the limit, nor will there be a disbursement of the difference for flights that are less than the limit.
  • Adaptations from other works are permissible provided the writer has written permission to adapt the work from the original source.
  • Adaptations of works in the public domain are permissible, however the writer assumes all responsibility assuring copyright status.
  • Collaborative work is eligible; the writers are responsible for the distribution of the contest prize(s). Only one pass and airfare & hotel for a single writer will be awarded to the Grand Prize Winner.
  • Writers under the age of 18 years old must have parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate.
  • The script and any related materials must not be in a current option agreement, and/or may not have been previously sold or produced for profit.
  • The writer understands and accepts without reservation that they are an independent contractor and that the contest administrators and sponsors are not responsible for withholding any taxes or payments on prize money to any government agency, at any level, be it local, state, or federal.
  • The writer understands that it is their sole responsibility to register material with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writers Guild of America West or the appropriate agency in his/her country.
  • The writer must retain at least one copy of the submitted material, and understands that any material we receive cannot and will not be returned under any circumstances.
  • Script Length Guidelines:
Feature – (70 – 130 pages), TV Pilots – (10 – 70 pages), Shorts – (1 – 45 pages), Web Series Pilots (1-20 pages)
  • Scripts longer than recommended length will still be considered for the contest, and will not be disqualified.
  • If a screenplay is submitted for feedback and is over 130 pages, an additional service fee of $1 per page will apply; the writer will be invoiced separately for the fee. If the writer does not wish to pay an additional fee, the Feedback Reader will be instructed to read the first 130 pages only.
  • All entries must be received by Final Deadline. TRMS reserves the right to extend the contest deadline up to 90 days.
  • TRMS is not responsible for late, lost, unacceptably formatted, corrupt, or incorrect submissions, and may not be able to honor such entries.
  • The writer may submit their screenplay to any other person, contest, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization.
  • The writer retains all rights to their screenplay, subject to the terms and agreements contained herein.
  • The writer assures that to the best of their knowledge they have the legal right to submit it for judging to TRMS.
  • The writer understands that their logline and/or screenplay will be reviewed by ISA and TRMS employees and/or our panel of Industry Judges for evaluation. The writer also understands that any one of these employees or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to those contained in scripts they read, and hereby waives any claim that TRMS, its employees or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of their submission logline or script.
  • No agreement for compensation, other than the TRMS prizes listed, has been implied.
  • TRMS intends to submit the Top 100 List to respected producers on behalf of the writer. The writer may withdraw from this process at any time.
    Confirmation of entry will be received once a script is submitted with an entry form and completed with an entry fee through our payment vendor. The writer must provide a valid e-mail address with entry; if an email address should change after submission, it is the writer’s responsibility to let us know.
  • The writer understands that the ISA and TRMS will be free to use their name and likeness for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration, should the writer make it past the first round.
  • All winners agree to give permission to the ISA, TRMS and other sponsors for associated contest audio and video recordings of the Table Read and other events to be used on websites and social media platforms.
  • TRMS reserves the right to award a cash prize at its discretion. The Winner is under no obligation to accept the associated prizes but will not be awarded or owed a cash replacement upon electing not to move forward with prizes offered.
    TRMS may develop a series or documentary style program based on the inner workings of the contest and the production resulting there from. TRMS reserves the right to contact the writer with offers to participate in any such production. The writer is under no obligation to participate therein.
  • All Grand Prize, Top 10 and Semifinalist choices are made at the express decision of TRMS, and once made are considered final. The writer agrees to accept without reservation the decisions rendered by the judges.
  • There are no refunds for submissions at any time for any reason.
  • TRMS has the right to change or add to the prizes at any time, without notice, and/or substitute prizes of equal or lesser value.
  • Additional rules may be amended at the sole discretion of TRMS.
  • By selecting ‘I have Read and Understand the Contest Rules’ on the entry page and submitting, the writer agrees to all of these rules.