Monthly Archives

July 2018

Coverfly Inside Look: CineStory

By Contests, Inside Look, Interview

Founded in 1995, CineStory Foundation is a non-profit, educational screenwriting organization. It is dedicated to nurturing new screenwriting talent through its annual screenwriting contest, retreat, and fellowship. These programs are aimed at writers with a high level of craft who are ready to enter the industry.

CineStory Foundation is based in Los Angeles with a retreat center in Idyllwild, California, but the contest and retreat are open to international screenwriters.

We had the opportunity to ask the Co-Executive Directors, Leslie Dallas and Carlo Martinelli, a few questions about the CineStory Foundation. Their answers are below.

Coverfly: When a writer wins, what can they expect from you and your contest? And what can writers do to be best prepared for capitalizing on a win?

CineStory: Attending CineStory programs allows writers unparalleled access to Hollywood decision-makers. The aim is to provide a supportive environment in which screenwriters can push their creative boundaries while discovering practical steps needed to elevate their skills to a professional level and become a working writer.

Whether a story explores dark indie fare or dishes out blockbuster action, at CineStory Foundation, the primary focus is always on the craft of screenwriting. To this end, selected screenwriters are paired with working executives, writers, directors, producers, agents and managers who share their interests and sensibilities.

The semifinalists, finalists and winners of each year’s feature & television competition are invited to the exclusive CineStory Writers’ Retreat, a four-day intensive program held in the spring & fall where writers work one-on-one with Hollywood producers, writers, agents, managers and development executives.

  • Grand Prize for the feature contest winner is a $10,000 cash prize and a 12-month mentoring fellowship (valued at $9000), free tuition & lodging for the feature retreat, with total prizes worth over $20,000.
  • Grand Prize for the television contest winner is a $1000 cash prize and a 12-month mentoring fellowship (valued at $9000), free tuition & lodging for the feature retreat, with total prizes worth over $15,000.

Top scripts are requested by numerous companies including: Paradigm, Benderspink, Energy Entertainment, FilmEngine, Symmetry Media, Mosaic Media Group, Kersey Management, House of Scribes,  Management 360, Foremost Films, Underground Films and Management and Grade A Entertainment.

An important part of winning the Grand Prizes of either our tv & feature screenwriting competitions is being named the CineStory Fellow. The fellowship includes a 12-month mentorship program.

During this time, the winner works with two Hollywood professionals hand-picked to help that writer advance his/her craft and career. Each fellow also receives a cash award, free tuition, meals and accommodation at the CineStory Writers’ Retreat, along with other prizes.

At the retreat, fellows also meet one-on-one with three mentors to discuss their work as well as their career advancement.  In addition, the fellow has a group meeting with all of the attending mentors, to assist him/her with the next steps.

Just as each writer is unique, each fellow has different needs. So every fellowship is tailored specifically to maximize the experience for that year’s winner. Depending on individual circumstances, fellows receive:

  • script/story notes from one or both mentors
  • assistance in circulating material to the wider industry
  • direction regarding which project to pursue next
  • general advice and support

Throughout the year, fellows meet with their mentors in person when possible, as well as corresponding via email and phone.

CF: Are there any special elements of the script your readers are looking for that you can share?

CS: As mentioned earlier, whether a story explores dark indie fare or dishes out blockbuster action, at CineStory Foundation, the primary focus is always on the craft of screenwriting. As such, elements which stand out tend to be a writer’s unique voice, and command of storytelling. 

CF: What does your reading process look like and who are your readers?

CS: Every script is read cover to cover at least once. Our readers are a mixture of industry professionals who volunteer their precious time to participate as judges in the CineStory contests and experienced and trusted judges who have been participating in the contests for a while. 

CF: What’s one unique piece of advice you’d give to writers who enter your contest?

CS: Make sure you submit a script that truly represents your voice and the type of material you want to create as a writer.

CF: Why is your contest valuable to writers?

CS: For one, the cash prize and fellowship stack up against any other writing contest out there. Our industry mentors are the best in the business. Second, the track record of success by CineStory fellows speaks for itself. 

CF: Do you think entering contests is a good path for all aspiring writers?

CS: Writing contests are a good path for aspiring writers, but they shouldn’t be the only path. Joining a writer’s group, expanding one’s network of contacts, and constantly improving one’s craft are all useful resources to draw upon. In addition to contests, there are now a myriad of options for aspiring writers to get their work read and seen.


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Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 7/30/18

By Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



JULY 31
 — SHORE SCRIPTS FEATURE CONTEST Regular Deadline — $50



JULY 31
 — THE FILM EMPIRE’S DIVERSITY SCREENWRITING CONTEST Last Call Deadline — $55


AUGUST 1 — SCREENCRAFT FILM FUND — Early Deadline — $25 – $35



AUGUST 1 — LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY AWARDS — Early Deadline — $39 – $59


AUGUST 10 — WESCREENPLAY TV CONTEST — Final Deadline — $59


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 7/23/18

By Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!


JULY 23 — WESCREENPLAY TV CONTEST — Late Deadline — $49



JULY 31
 — SHORE SCRIPTS FEATURE CONTEST Regular Deadline — $50



JULY 31
 — THE FILM EMPIRE’S DIVERSITY SCREENWRITING CONTEST Last Call Deadline — $55


AUGUST 1 — SCREENCRAFT FILM FUND — Early Deadline — $25 – $35



AUGUST 1 — LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY AWARDS — Early Deadline — $39 – $59


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 7/16/18

By Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



JULY 20 — SCRIPT SUMMIT — Extended Deadline — $65 – $80


JULY 23 — WESCREENPLAY TV CONTEST — Late Deadline — $49



JULY 31
 — SHORE SCRIPTS FEATURE CONTEST Regular Deadline — $50



JULY 31
 — THE FILM EMPIRE’S DIVERSITY SCREENWRITING CONTEST Last Call Deadline — $55


AUGUST 1 — SCREENCRAFT FILM FUND — Early Deadline — $25 – $35


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 7/9/18

By Uncategorized

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



JULY 9 — CINESTORY TV/DIGITAL RETREAT — Regular Deadline — $55



JULY 9 — SCRIPTAPALOOZA FELLOWSHIP
 — Regular Deadline — $45


JULY 10 — THE BREAKK SCREENWRITING COMPETITION Final Deadline — $59


JULY 10 — PUBLIC DOMAIN SCREENPLAY CONTEST Final Deadline — $69


JULY 11 — SCREENCRAFT DRAMA CONTEST — Early Deadline — $49


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Coverfly Partner Contest Criteria

By Uncategorized

At Coverfly we believe that screenwriting competitions can be effective and valuable avenues to early career success for emerging writers. To help writers wade through the hundreds of competitions, festivals, labs, and grants available to them, Coverfly maintains robust partnerships with some of the most respected programs in the industry. 

As a service to writers, Coverfly is always evaluating new partners for inclusion on the platform. We carefully consider a competition’s merits before allowing it to be listed on Coverfly. 

How We Evaluate Partners

Professionalism

Writers often look to a program’s website to determine whether or not the organization behind it has their best interests in mind. They look for clean design, easy navigation, and clear information regarding contest fees, rules, and prize packages. 

Transparency

Writers want to feel confident that their submission will be read and that when they submit their work to a competition they’ll have an understanding of when they will hear back. Transparently communicating information and sticking to the deadlines and announcement dates you set are an essential part of maintaining writer trust. We also look for competitions that are mindful of publicly maintaining lists of past winners and finalists. 

Unique Value to Writers

Writers have nearly unlimited choices but limited budgets when it comes to submitting to competitions, and we look to curate a list of partners who each provide distinct offerings to writers, which may include a unique jury, an opportunity to share work with an untapped market of industry professionals or audiences, or anything else that might set a competition apart from others. 

Industry Network

We also love to partner with programs that understand the importance of securing professional juries and mentors who are actively working in the industry in order to provide winners and finalists with tangible benefits as they build their careers as writers. 

Track Record of Helping Writers

The best endorsement of a competition or festival is one that comes directly from writers. If your past winners and finalists are satisfied with the process of working with you, it’s a great sign. We also look for competitions that keep accurate data on past competition results and success stories because it shows us you care about the ongoing development of the writers you’ve selected. 

“A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”

Ultimately, our goal is to build a community of like-minded programs all working together to level the playing field for new and emerging writers. We actively promote and support our partners and expect that support to be reciprocated. This means we look for partners who are passionate about their mission and who believe in and support ours.

How We Maintain Quality

In our initial evaluation, we take a holistic approach and meet internally to discuss the merits of a potential partner’s offerings. Our process also involves periodic reviews of all programs featured on Coverfly and a commitment to evaluating individual programs even if we’ve already worked with a partner in the past on another program, festival, or competition.

If you’re ready to work with us, fill out an application with details about your program. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the quality of any competition that is listed on Coverfly, please feel free to email us directly: support@coverfly.com. We will respond to you promptly.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 7/2/18

By Uncategorized

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



JULY 9 — CINESTORY TV/DIGITAL RETREAT — Regular Deadline — $55



JULY 9 — SCRIPTAPALOOZA FELLOWSHIP
 — Regular Deadline — $45


JULY 10 — THE BREAKK SCREENWRITING COMPETITION Final Deadline — $59


JULY 10 — PUBLIC DOMAIN SCREENPLAY CONTEST Regular Deadline — $69


JULY 11 — SCREENCRAFT DRAMA CONTEST — Early Deadline — $49


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.