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How 64 Emerging Screenwriters Signed with Hollywood Managers This Year

By | Success Stories

Nearly all Hollywood screenwriters rely on a literary manager, lawyer and/or agent to help them navigate complex deal-making, set up meetings and shepherd their writing into actual careers. Signing with a great manager is perhaps the most important first step in a new writer’s career. 

“How do I get a manager?”

This is one of the most common questions that writers ask us. There are many ways to sign with a literary manager, and one of the most proven and efficient ways is to gain industry interest and exposure by placing as a finalist or winner in a major industry-recognized screenwriting competition. Coverfly has dozens of the industry’s top screenwriting competitions, carefully curated and all in once place. As a service to writers, Coverfly carefully considers a screenwriting competition’s merits before allowing a competition to be listed on Coverfly. A screenplay contest, fellowship, lab or writing program on Coverfly must adhere to all of these criteria.

We’re thrilled to celebrate these 64 writers who found their managers through Coverfly-qualifying screenwriting competitions and talent-discovery programs within the past several months. We’re honored to have such effective screenwriting competitions on our platform:

Coverfly
Pipeline Media Group
PAGE International Screenwriting Awards
HollyShorts Film Festival
Shore Scripts
ScreenCraft
WeScreenplay
Filmmatic
The LAUNCH: Million Dollar Screenplay Competition
Launch Pad Competitions by The Tracking Board
Scriptapalooza

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Coverfly

Lele Park signed with literary manager Eric Borja of EMB after pitching to him during Coverfly Pitch Week!

“Before Pitch Week, I was in a stagnant spot and needed direction. I was seeking guidance and really was on the cusp of what seemed to be a turning point. I felt the usual roller coaster, accepting creative life is feast or famine. And it still is that way, but being matched with Eric Borja was eyeopening. Participating in Coverfly’s Pitch week really was the much-needed fill-up! Thanks to Coverfly’s reputation as a legitimized presence in the screenwriting landscape, being selected and engaged in their Pitch Week brought momentum. I had in-depth conversations with Eric and learned a lot about how he evaluates talent. If you’re on the fence about Pitch Week I suggest you just do it. I genuinely feel grateful. They take the navigational process that screenwriters go through seriously, by vetting the competitions, festivals, and the connections they bring. It all lends itself to build a germane space, that has hard-earned credibility.” – Lele Park

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Nicole Jones signed with a literary manager after her screenplay Shrimp topped The Red List and was discovered via Coverfly.

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Vanessa Carmichael signed with management after submitting her script through Coverfly.

“For me, Coverfly has proven to be more than a script submission service – it’s a vital resource. I submitted my script for a contest and requested coverage. Within a matter of weeks, I had not only incredible notes, I had a Coverfly Writers Advocate who accomplished in a matter of months what I had not been able to do in years—secure representation. Today, I have capable and responsive literary management all because I chose to submit my script on Coverfly.” — Vanessa Carmichael, screenwriter

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Jennifer Cooney signed with Kevin at The|Machine after submitting her script through Coverfly.

“What Coverfly is doing is a much-needed service and is an absolute gift to writers. I can’t thank Coverfly enough. Working with the reps at Coverfly has been a dream. And I absolutely love how it came together, leading me to the wonderful pairing with Kevin at The|Machine, whom I’ve found to be the perfect fit as my literary manager. I’m speaking for myself, and I know many writers share my story; not being able to just pick up my life and move across the country can feel daunting, especially when all you hear is that you have to live in Los Angeles to make it in the film industry. And in this age of technology where we can FaceTime and Skype and be in touch instantaneously, ‘having to live’ anywhere seems archaic. So in this way and many others, I feel that what Coverfly is doing with this advocacy program is visionary and paving the road for the future of our storytellers. Brava. Coverfly will always be ‘how I got my foot in the door,’ and I would be delighted to be a mouthpiece for the benefits of this program. Thank you Coverfly” – Jennifer Cooney, screenwriter

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Crystal Ro signed with literary manager David Baggelaar at Good Fear after he discovered her via Coverfly.

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Colin Dalvit and Andrew Lahmann signed with management after Coverfly introduced them to their manager.

“Coverfly gave our screenplay valuable exposure to industry management. After years of hard work, it was through Coverfly that we were introduced to our manager. Not only was the Coverfly staff amazingly proactive, they were communicative every step of the way, which is a blessing for emerging screenwriters.” – Colin Dalvit & Andrew Lahmann, screenwriters

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Patrick Byrne signed with a manager after an introduction from Coverfly.

“After Coverfly put me in contact with a producer, I was fortunate enough to get signed this week! I’m now working with a literary manager whom I trust to guide me and my screenwriting career. Thank you Coverfly for working so hard and so passionately on behalf of screenwriters… and most of all for believing in our stories.” – Patrick Byrne, screenwriter

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Bandar Albuliwi signed with manager Randy Kiyan at Luber Roklin Entertainment.

“After years of sifting through countless screenwriting competitions, I am now able to simply search through an easy-to-read list on Coverfly and submit my projects all in one place. Never before did I know that the Nashville Film Festival had a screenwriting competition until I was introduced to it through Coverfly. I submitted my project and subsequently ended up winning the top screenwriting honor for my TV Pilot, Radicalized. Subsequently, I signed with manager Randy Kiyan at Luber Roklin Entertainment and I’m now in pre-production on my feature film, A Brotherhood, with David Moscow attached to produce.” – Bandar Albuliwi, screenwriter

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And here are some success stories from our partners that we are honored to work with:

Pipeline Media Group

Established in 1999, PMG filters over 20,000 scripts, books, plays, and short films annually, supplying its comprehensive network of executives with countless clients and projects. Their overall mission is to advance the careers of original artists, support diversity and socially conscious storytelling, encourage new generations of creatives, and foster a much-needed outlet for those with limited access to the entertainment industry.

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Jess McKillop signed with Grandview after Script Pipeline industry circulation and introduction. She was a runner up in the 2019 Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition.

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Peter Malone Elliott signed with manager Zach Book. He is the winner of the 2018 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest. Peter’s biopic on Frank Sinatra Jr. was hailed as one of the best true story screenplays Script Pipeline ever reviewed. Elliott wrapped production on his first feature, Wired Shut, in 2019 and has multiple other film and TV scripts in development.

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Joshua Johnson and Jamie Napoli signed with Octagon EntertainmentScript Pipeline execs introduced Octagon manager Jeff Diamond to the writing team, who have another feature in development.

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PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards has a long track record of helping to match talented new writers with top-notch representatives. Each year, dozens of PAGE Award winners and finalists are contacted by agents and managers who read their scripts during the judging process, and anywhere from 20-30 writers end up signing with those reps as a result. PAGE just announced their 2019 winners on October 15, and thus far the PAGE judges have approached 36 of this year’s winners and finalists with interest and offers. In conjunction with their promotional partners, PAGE does a huge post-announcement promotional push for their winning writers, and, as needed, the staff will make individual introductions and offer specific recommendations and advice.

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Clifford Yost signed with literary manager John Ferraro at Valleywood Entertainment.

A year later, Cliff shares this update with the PAGE team: “Just wanted to thank you for leading me to John Ferraro. You were spot on when you said that John is selective and that his aesthetics would likely match my own. He really understands my stories. He gives honest, kind, and meaningful notes. He doesn’t fill me with hype or false promise. Rather, he helps me see my profession as one of relationships, patience, and collaboration. He was/is the right choice for me, my style of writing, my aspirations as a storyteller. While I don’t want to share specifics just yet, John is responsible for several projects being close to a reality.” 

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Mike Kujak signed with PAGE Judge John Zaozirny at Bellevue Productions.

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Elizabeth Werner signed with PAGE Judge John Ferraro at Valleywood Entertainment.

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Amanda Prentiss signed with PAGE Judge Lee Stobby at Lee Stobby Entertainment.

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Michael Moskowitz signed with PAGE Judge Derrick Eppich at Empirical Evidence and by UTA. 

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Miley Tunnecliffe and Jerome Velinsky both signed with Fictional Entity. 

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Ryan Lee signed with Good Fear.

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Lucy Luna signed with 831 Entertainment. 

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Michelle Davidson and Jeffrey Field signed with Writ Large and the Hudson Agency. 

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Oskar Nordmark signed with Epidemic Pictures.

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Glenise Mullins signed with Management 360.

“I signed with Management 360, and found representation at Paradigm Talent Agency. And then, incredibly, was staffed on the new Lord Of The Rings TV show on Amazon. You guys were a great jump start to my career and I greatly appreciate it,” says Mullins.

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Brady Nelson signed with PAGE Judge Tony Zequeira at Super Vision.

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Stuti Malhotra signed with PAGE Judge John Zaozirny at Bellevue and Zac Simmons at Paradigm. 

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HollyShorts Film Festival

HollyShorts Film Festival is devoted to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe, advancing the careers of filmmakers through screenings, networking events, and various panel and forums. Categories include Short Animation, Short Live Action, Short Documentary, Music Video, Webisode, Commercials, Youth Film and Digital Microbudget. 

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Tricia Lee signed with Jon Levin at Fourward.

Her short film Still Me was a semifinalist at the 2019 HollyShorts Film Festival. She recently signed with manager Jon Levin at Fourward after attending the Athena Screenwriting Lab. “They introduced Jon Levin,” says Lee, “as the person who found the script On The Basis Of Sex off The Athena List and helped turn it into a movie. I didn’t meet him at that event, but wrote him an email the next day. He read my script because it was in the lab, and loved it.” 

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Shore Scripts 

Shore Scripts is made up of a small number of filmmakers working in the US and UK film industry. Along with our Oscar, Cannes, Emmy, Golden Globe & BAFTA winning judges, we have strong industry connections. Over 100 production companies, agents & managers are all onboard to read each year’s best scripts. They also recently set up a director’s roster, creating another avenue for writers to have their work considered.

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Beth Curry signed with Elevate Entertainment.

After meeting a number of literary managers through Shore Scripts, Curry signed with Elevate Entertainment. Her winning feature, Moonflower, has been picked up by Oscar-nominated producer, Todd Black. “Shore Scripts is in a category all of its own,” says Curry. “After I won, they sent out my script to industry professionals that I would’ve never had access to. They have incredible industry connections, but more importantly, they have industry respect. They even did a follow-up mailing, reaching out to more industry folks. They helped me get amazing representation. Now, I feel like I’m finally on the road to being a working writer.”

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ScreenCraft

ScreenCraft’s mission is to foster the careers of emerging writers and filmmakers by providing inspiration and insight into the craft of screenwriting and the business of Hollywood, and by connecting emerging talent with working industry professionals. Every year dozens of talented writers find Hollywood career momentum via ScreenCraft’s educational programs, writing competitions, fellowships and events.

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Lucy Luna signed with manager Kailey Marsh of Brillstein Entertainment Partners via an introduction by the ScreenCraft team.

“Before entering the ScreenCraft Fellowship, I was trying to figure out how to navigate the industry, my needs and wants as a writer, and what next step would be the best or smartest thing I could do for my career. Before ScreenCraft I was listening to so many opinions, and I realized I had no real specific direction because all the advice was great but were so different, and were not tailor-made for me. After winning, everything changed. Everything became clear. I knew what I wanted and needed and knew what next steps to take. There are so many contests out there and it can get scary. I get it: I’m afraid to go back and see how much money I spent on competitions that were not worth it. ScreenCraft isn’t one of them. ScreenCraft cares. They are proactive, supportive, and are willing to push hard for you. They have the connections and the passion. They listen. They immediately understood where I wanted to go, and what I needed and they worked with me as if my dream was theirs. They are my guardian angels!” – Lucy Luna

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Caroline Franklin signed with literary manager Dash Aiken of Romark Entertainment.

Caroline worked closely with the ScreenCraft team who introduced her to the Romark team. – “I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the support I got from the ScreenCraft team. After my plays were named Finalists, the ScreenCraft team contacted me and has provided on-going advice, mentorship, and support ever since. They have worked for months sending out my material and discussing who may be right for representation. This industry can feel incredibly elusive and cold, especially for playwrights trying to break-in but Tom and the ScreenCraft team changed that. I can’t believe they invested so much time and energy into promoting my writing. Getting a foot in the door felt impossible for so long, but today, I am thrilled to have found my first rep. ScreenCraft is the real deal; you won’t find anyone more passionate or committed to helping emerging writers. If you are wading through the sea of screenwriting contests wondering which ones are worth it, there is no one I’d recommend more than ScreenCraft. I’ll never be able to say thank you enough!” – Caroline Franklin

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Nabil Chowdhary signed with manager Bash Naran at Writ Large less than one month after winning the grand prize in the ScreenCraft Sci-fi & Fantasy Screenplay Competition for his project Pod.

“Within hours, I was in touch with Bash at Writ Large. Three weeks later, we are officially working together. I was in constant communication with the ScreenCraft team, seeking advice and looking for guidance on how to navigate this very new situation for me and the couldn’t have been more helpful.” – Nabil Chowdhary

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Ivan Tsang signed with Jermaine Johnson at 3 Arts Entertainment.

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Michael Mirabella signed with manager & producer Scott Carr when he read Michael’s winning script Paper Thieves.

Now titled Joppatowne, Michael and Scott are developing the project together. – “The effort the ScreenCraft team has put forth in developing my relationships within the industry and carving a path for my career as a writer cannot be understated. The team fostered my script and showed genuine interest in my success– pairing me with manager, Scott Carr, who took interest in my talent and ethic. The ScreenCraft team continues to work closely with me even after all they’ve done to help thus far. If you have a screenplay you feel has a chance at success within the industry, then the ScreenCraft competitions and programs are a great way to test your script and possibly jumpstart your career.” – Michael Mirabella

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Molly Miller signed with managers Rachel Miller and Jesse Harra of Haven Entertainment after placing as a top 3 finalist in the 2018 ScreenCraft Comedy Competition with her feature spec, Eat Dead Bird.

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Rich Van Tine signed with literary manager, Jon Hersh of Housefire Management after placing as a Top 5 Finalist in the 2019 ScreenCraft Action/Thriller Competition with his contained, terrifyingly real thriller, Stuck.

Rich was also previously a 2017 ScreenCraft Fellowship Semifinalist with his twin detective thriller, Until the Candle Burns Out. – “I can’t thank ScreenCraft enough for championing me as a writer. I worked closely with the ScreenCraft team to get Stuck out there for agents and managers to see. They kept pushing the script forward and were super involved in the entire process. It was a great experience and I highly recommend any and all ScreenCraft competitions. Thank you to the whole ScreenCraft team.” – Rich Van Tine

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Gabriel Cruz signed with Scott Carr of Scott Carr Management after winning the half-hour category of the 2018 ScreenCraft Pilot Launch TV Script Contest with his script The King is Dead

“Winning the ScreenCraft Pilot Launch Competition really jumpstarted my journey. Almost like the flip of a switch, I went from total outsider to multiple managers requesting meetings with me, which was critical for someone with minimal to no connections like myself. Thanks to ScreenCraft, I never felt like I was navigating this new world on my own; I always felt like I had someone in my corner. I still feel that way. Burning for a chance to get my writing out there, I feel tremendous gratitude for ScreenCraft’s dedication.” – Gabe Cruz

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Kaycee Hughes signed with Abrams Artists Agency after winning the 2018 ScreenCraft Pilot Launch TV Script Competition, and through an introduction by the ScreenCraft team!

“Winning ScreenCraft’s Pilot Launch Competition cracked open the floodgates, and within weeks, I had multiple meetings lined up not only with some incredible literary managers and agents but with networks eager to chat about my winning pilot as well. Ultimately, this led to me landing representation with a top-notch agent, a hurdle I had expected to spend years trying to overcome. I am so grateful for their hard work and motivation, and for joyfully championing up-and-coming writers with all the passion and determination of people who truly understand just how vital writers are to this industry. Thank you, ScreenCraft. You have done me an incredible service and kindness.” – KL Hughes

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Shiwani Srivastava signed with literary manager Nicholas Bogner of Affirmative Entertainment. ScreenCraft recommended Shiwani’s project Wedding Season and introduced her to Nicholas Bogner.

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Brock Newell signed with a manager through Coverfly‘s Rep Week program after winning the ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship.

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Ian Southwood signed with literary manager Adrian Garcia during Coverfly‘s Rep Week after winning the 2018 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Competition.

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Tate Hanyok signed with manager Kendrick Tan and Carrie Isgett at Lit Entertainment Group, formerly Madhouse Entertainment after placing as a finalist in the ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship and a semifinalist in other ScreenCraft competitions.

“As a character actor I was used to adapting to various tones and worlds, so when it came to writing I truly didn’t know what kind of writer I was. I hadn’t found “my voice,” and so many types of stories interested me as a writer. So I started using ScreenCraft as my own personal development program by utilizing each contest as a self-imposed deadline to explore writing in different genres and formats, simply as a learning experience. I was submitting early drafts to the contests for the feedback, and to get a gage of how far I had to go. It’s easy to work in a bubble, but the subjective opinions of the readers became a fantastic tool. Watching my scores increase with each submission was a great source of encouragement, and motivation! Eventually I wrote a script that was reflective of what I now consider to be “my voice.” It spoke to Tom in particular, and he contacted me to say that ScreenCraft would like to help connect me with a manager. I was floored. I hadn’t won a contest but I had consistently been submitting a growing body of work. Soon we were sitting down and brainstorming who to put on the wish list for representation! Tom was so incredibly knowledgeable, a talented filmmaker himself, who was acting like my guidance counselor helping me apply to and choose the right college. This was such an exciting time and he was so incredibly attentive. I kept thinking, “how lucky am I!?” Here I was just do’n my thing, in my bubble, and this fellow artist I have so much respect for, is helping ME get to this very important step that can be so hard to access on your own. Sometimes it does take a village. I’m so very grateful that ScreenCraft has been an essential part of mine.” – Tate Hanyok

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Erica Tachoir signed with a literary manager at MXN Entertainment through an introduction by ScreenCraft. Erica’s screenplay Scattering Jake placed as a semifinalist in three ScreenCraft competitions, including the 2017 ScreenCraft Screenwriters Residency Program, the 2017 ScreenCraft Drama Screenplay Competition, and the 2018 ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship.

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Peyton McDavitt signed with manager Sydney Blanke at Fourth Wall Management an entertainment management company that represents actors, writers, directors, and filmmakers across all media.

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Rhonda Baraka signed with her manager at Heroes and Villains after meeting her manager at the 2018 ScreenCraft Writers Summit in Atlanta. The ScreenCraft Writers Summit brings together emerging writers and industry professionals so that relationships like this can be made.

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WeScreenplay

WeScreenplay is Hollywood’s #1 script coverage service. Best of all, your coverage is delivered within 72 hours. All WeScreenplay readers have at least one year of relevant industry experience – this means they’ve worked in a reading capacity for an agency, studio, management company, or production company. Nearly all of our readers are still working these jobs and read additional scripts on nights and weekends. When you get your coverage back, you’ll receive a brief bio about your specific reader.

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Faisal Azam and Erica Velis signed with Zero Gravity Management, after winning the 2018 WeScreenplay TV Pilot Competition with their riveting script H8.

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Eric Glover signed with his manager at Zero Gravity Management. He is both a Diverse Voices Finalist and WeScreenplay TV Pilot Winner.

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Filmmatic

Filmmatic is an online-magazine and industry-networking site, created by entertainment professionals, for entertainment professionals and is a great source for entertainment news and movie reviews.

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Joe Leone signed with Zero Gravity Management for his feature-length political thriller True Destiny after winning the Filmmatic Screenplay Awards.

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The LAUNCH: Million Dollar Screenplay Competition

The LAUNCH: Million Dollar Screenplay Competition is a first of its kind competition co-founded by Zachary Green, Jason Shuman and philanthropists Chuck and Marni Bond, to find the next generation of great collegiate screenwriters from around the world. The Top eight winners will split $100,000 in education grants and other prizes, with the top three gaining representation at APA and Valor Entertainment. The grand prize-winning screenplay gets produced by Zachary Green and Jason Shuman as a feature film, with a budget of approximately $1 million.

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Stanley Kalu and Jacob Stock signed with agency APA and management company at Valor Entertainment.

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Brittney Worthington signed with TCA Management after The LAUNCH: Million Dollar Screenplay Competition in 2018.

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Abdullah Alhendyani, Lee Whitten and Brady Morell all signed with APA and Valor Entertainment after The LAUNCH: Million Dollar Screenplay Competition in 2019.

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Launch Pad Competitions by The Tracking Board

Launch Pad has helped hundreds of emerging screenwriters connect with the entertainment industry and launch professional screenwriting careers. Since its start in 2009, Launch Pad’s parent organization, The Tracking Board, quickly became Hollywood’s premier source for insider news, spec screenplay sales, exclusives, film rights, development tracking, reviews, analysis and more.

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Dennis Curlett signed with a manager at Romark Entertainment, an agent at Verve, and landed a deal at Netflix, with his Launch Pad-winning script Just. One. Kiss. The movie is about a woman who can see her future with any man after one kiss.

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Paul Chang signed with Romark Entertainment after his screenplay, Please Let Everything Be All Right, not only won the Launch Pad screenwriting competition, not to mention a writing staff position on the new Disney Channel show The Curse of Molly McGee.

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Alexander Vargas signed with a manager at Recon Entertainment.

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Bradley Starr signed with Romark Entertainment after his script Point Nemo earned a top finalist spot in the Launch Pad feature competition. The script follows a shipwrecked man who thinks he’s been rescued when a mysterious woman comes to his aid.

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Alan Baxter signed with Abrams Artists Agency and Recon Literary after his pilot, Lost Eden Canyon, made it to the Top 50 in the 2018 Launch Pad Pilots Competition. His show is about a man who resorts to robbing luxury yachts to pay for a surgery his daughter desperately needs.

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John Wikstrom signed with an agent at Verve and a manager at Romark Entertainment and Good Fear + Management.

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Brian T. Arnold signed with management company Romark Entertainment and Verve Agency.

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Scriptapalooza

Founded in 1998 the Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition has become one of few most relevant screenwriting competitions in the industry. Over the last two decades, the company has developed several departments to nurture talent and create career opportunities.

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Jonathan Clancy signed with Abrams Artists NY.

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New Coverfly Features: Understand Your Projects Better

By | About Coverfly, Announcements

We’re excited to share new updates to Coverfly. Before we dive into the details, here are three big changes in this month’s update:

  1. Improved Project Page
  2. New Coverfly Score Page
  3. Request Projects from The Red List

Let’s dive into these new updates:

An Improved Project Page

Writers have been asking us for greater insights into their projects’ Coverfly scores, and we’ve listened. Now, on the project page, you can better gauge how well your script is doing, see clearer score updates, and find out if your script made The Red List.

Here’s how you can get the most from your new project page:

  • COMPARE. Compare your project’s Coverfly Score to other projects in the same format and genre
  • STORY TRAITS. Use our new “story traits” to get an idea of your project’s strengths and weaknesses. We base these off of numerical scores that coverage and competitions on Coverfly have shared.
  • RECOMMENDED DEADLINES. View recommended upcoming competition deadlines that fit your project, right on your project page
  • COVERAGE. View coverage entry types you’ve previously received from Coverfly coverage partners
  • SEE DRAFT HISTORY. Track your draft update history and download old drafts

A new score page for each project

Our Coverfly Score algorithm is complex, but understanding your Coverfly Score should be easy.  We’ve created new charts to help you compare your score with other projects on The Red List in that specific format and genre.  Now you can see your score increases more simply:

  • See how your project’s Coverfly Score has increased with each submission
  • View upcoming and past Coverfly Score updates for every competition submission
  • We’ve published an improved article on the Coverfly Score and how it works

Request top projects from The Red List

Is there a project you’ve noticed on The Red List that you’ve been dying to read? Or maybe you just wanted to get in touch with a writer? Now you can. Visit The Red List and click “Request” next to any project to send an email to the writer requesting to read their script.

None of this would’ve been possible without the help of the members of our new Sneak Peek program. Thank you to the writers who generously donated their time to provide feedback on these new features!

What is the Coverfly Score?

By | About Coverfly, Announcements, Screenwriting 101

Helping Writers Get Discovered by Tracking Progress on Submissions and Coverages

Our goal is to become the most efficient way for writers to be discovered by the entertainment industry, and the most trusted guide for emerging writers to achieve their goals. We do this by offering a free database for screenwriters to host their screenplays. In addition to hosting your projects for free, Coverfly uses your project’s reviews from submissions to top-tier festivals, competitions, fellowships and coverage services to provide a measure of our confidence that an Industry professional would be interested in your screenplay.  We’ve also pulled together dozens of highly regarded screenwriting competitions and free fellowships and programs to help you improve your score. Check out those tips and resources at the end of this article. 

The Coverfly Score is simply a tool to help writers better understand how their project is improving while also helping industry professionals discover great writers and great projects. It is, of course, not the only or even most important factor in determining the success of your script.  While we want the score to be helpful and empowering, we don’t ever want it to dissuade you from writing more projects or putting your work out there. The best writers write a LOT of projects!

A Special Metric Aggregating Screenplay Evaluations 

Aggregating scores

To help industry professionals discover great matches on Coverfly, we have found it important for projects to be vetted several times.  This allows for greater confidence in identifying the strengths, weaknesses, and general quality of the piece. On average, it takes about five reads before we have gathered enough data to confidently rate a project for Industry consideration. Remember, many contests read a script multiple times, so 5 reads can happen quickly.

More Evaluation Data is Better (up to a point)

Chart showing confidence in score increasing

Larger score updates will occur for the first five scores as we build confidence in the quality of the project.  Once a Project has a mature score, larger jumps may still occur with draft updates and strong placements in fellowships or competitions, but mature scores often change less because Coverfly is more confident in how your script is being received. If you submit an updated draft for coverage, we’ll weight that score more than the previous coverages you received.

Each score increase takes many factors into consideration, but essentially, your Coverfly Score increases as readers from well-regarded programs respond positively to your project. Our algorithm needs 5 reviews to be fully confident in your Coverfly Score. After 5 reviews we’re more confident, and placements will change your score less. It’s also worth knowing that 5 reads doesn’t mean you need to enter 5 competitions, most competitions read a script multiple times as it advances, so you may only need to enter one or two.   But, rest assured, we follow a strict rule: a Coverfly Score can never decrease. So, you’re free to experiment as you hone your story, without concern that it will negatively impact your score.

A Project’s Coverfly Score Won’t Ever Decrease 

Chart illustration showing that the Score never decreases

There will be times when your score does not increase.  A common reason for this is that the most recent screenwriting competition placement or coverage is not strong enough to outweigh the recent historical scores on your project.

When your project places in a festival, competition, or fellowship, we usually wait until after the placements have been announced publicly to update your score.  To determine a fair score for the increase, we take several core variables into account: how your project placed or scored, the thoroughness of that specific script evaluation process, and the success rate for writers in that specific screenwriting competition, fellowship or lab. It’s worth noting that larger score updates will occur for the first five scores as our algorithm collects more data and builds confidence in the quality of the project.  Once a Project has a mature score of at least 5 evaluation data points, larger jumps may still occur with draft updates and strong placements in fellowships and competitions, but mature scores often change less dramatically because Coverfly is more confident in how your script is being perceived across many different readers and judges.

Your Coverfly Score Consists of 3 Types of Information From a Competition 

Chart illustration showing the variables that help define score updates

Two things to consider:

  1. Coverfly Score updates may take up to 30 days to appear after a Competition or Fellowship announces their placements.  To help you keep track of your Coverfly Score updates, you can see a list of all pending and completed updates from your Project’s Score Update Page.
  1. While a lot goes into our algorithm, a simple way of thinking of these submission variables is:
    • Placement Score = Placement Position / Amount of Submissions, 
    • Evaluation Thoroughness = Number of Reads x Detail of Reads, and 
    • Writer Success Rate = Number of Writer Successes / Amount of Submissions 

In order to help you gauge your project as our algorithm builds confidence in the current quality of your project, we provide guides on your Coverfly Score graph to help writers predict where their current draft will place once it becomes a mature score with at least 5 evaluations. The Red List is Coverfly’s leaderboard of top projects, filterable by genre, format and time range. The Red List guide is a line that lets you see  how average Red List projects in your project’s genre and format performed for each score update.

The Red List Guide Line Shows Your Project’s Estimated Current Trajectory 

Illustration showing how the Average Red List line helps compare your project's score

One thing to keep in mind: The Red List line is merely an estimation, and not a guarantee that your project will follow the same trajectory as the projected guide.  Your project may be shown as below a guide, but one strong placement in a major fellowship or competition can dramatically boost your aggregate Coverfly Score.

The moment you list a script as “discoverable” on Coverfly, your project can be discovered and downloaded by vetted industry professionals, no matter how many reads or submissions it has received.  In order to bubble up the top projects for our industry professionals, we use the Coverfly Score to create The Red List. Scripts with the best Coverfly Scores are listed by genre and format, allowing professionals to discover the best matches for their needs. However, you do not need to be listed on The Red List to be discovered by Industry Pros.

The Red List is Coverfly’s Leaderboard of Top Projects 

Illustration of different ways to be on the Red List

By default, your projects are “private” on Coverfly and viewable only by you, and by the competitions to which you submit your project. While everyone can see and search “discoverable” Coverfly project profiles, only vetted industry professional members can download your script.  And we’ll notify you if an industry member downloads your project.

We would love to hear your feedback on how we could improve the Coverfly Scoring system to better impact your improvement as a writer and facilitate Industry discovery. The important thing is to continually improve your craft and keep getting your material out there. Remember, writing is rewriting!

Happy Writing

Tips for Improving your Coverfly Score

  1. Use feedback to improve your script. This can be from friends, coverflyX, or just trading notes on social media — the important thing is to take the feedback and re-write process seriously. Once you’ve updated your script, you can update Coverfly with your latest draft.  While new drafts do not advance your score, a polished script will do better in competition submissions and script review services.
  2. Get professional script coverage to help identify areas of improvement. Writing is rewriting! The average produced screenplay undergoes no less than 30 rounds of notes, or more from various creative stakeholders. Getting and implementing notes is an important part of the craft.  
  3. Submit to top competitions.  Please be sure to research opportunities carefully. We only allow reputable and proven talent-discovery programs to accept submission on Coverfly, so it’s a great place to find appropriate competitions, festivals and fellowships for your project.
  4. Take advantage of free submissions whenever available. Check out our extras for free opportunities.
  5. If you’re low on funds, check out Coverfly’s fee waiver program which helps writers who demonstrate financial need.

Announcing Coverfly Pitch Week

By | About Coverfly, Announcements

We’re very excited to announce Coverfly Pitch Week.

Pitch Week is a free-for-writers initiative that pairs talented emerging writers with industry professionals for virtual general meetings. These virtual meetings allow writers to pitch themselves and their projects to industry pros (agents, managers, and producers).

Coverfly Pitch Week is unique in two simple ways:

  1. Coverfly Pitch Week is free.
  2. Coverfly Pitch Week is merit-based. Writers opt-in to having their profile reviewed on Coverfly, and we select the top writers for Pitch Week.

Managers and agents who choose to hear pitches from top Coverfly writers understand that the writers they’ll be hearing from are talented and uniquely ready to have their work optioned or sign with a literary agent and/or manager.

We already quietly launched our first Pitch Week this past spring, and it was a big success. We set up 160 virtual meetings between about 50 writers selected from The Red List and 20 representatives from companies such as CAA, Good Fear, Circle of Confusion, Zero Gravity, Lee Stobby Entertainment, Cartel Entertainment, and Management 360, among several others. We helped multiple writers sign with reps as a direct result of the event.

Now, we’re opening it up to all Coverfly members to apply to have their profile and work reviewed. We’ll be running this event 2-3 times per year – so be sure to apply every few months. Are you interested in practicing your pitch and meeting industry professionals who are looking for talented emerging writers? Apply for free now!


See what writers are saying about Coverfly Pitch Week:

“Coverfly’s Pitch Week was a great icebreaker to gain access to the people who make things happen- it’s a good opportunity to be read and considered, everything else is up to the quality of writing.”

Brock Newell

“Coverfly is unique. They actually care. They care about their writers and want to do what they can to facilitate their success. So grateful to have a platform to be “heard.””

Beth Curry

“The chance to chat briefly with legit lit managers for free seemed too good to be true. But it was just as promised. A great opportunity for screenwriters trying to break in.”

Clint Williams

“The Coverfly Pitch Week is a great way to connect with reps from the comfort of your own living room, and given that you’ve only got 12 minutes, having that comfort zone helps make the most out of your limited time.”

Ned Farr

“I love Coverfly! Submitting my work to various contests and placing or winning them is great, but driving up that Coverfly score is almost more gratifying. A great score draws attention and, in this industry, that is what we are all looking for.”

Karl Archer

“Coverfly has been an absolutely incredible experience for me from top to bottom! Not only has it provided me valuable exposure and reads through the Red List, it’s also afforded me some invaluable opportunities to connect and meet with some amazing executives! Not to mention the fantastic staff at Coverfly who have been nothing but caring, wonderful and unwavering in their support! Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s all FREE? I am so grateful to have Coverfly in my corner!”

Aarthi Ramanathan

“Coverfly keeps expanding their free services, helping to connect writers with managers, agents and producers in search of powerful material to represent and produce. It’s a fantastic matchmaking service that benefits both sides of the industry.”

Cari Daly

“Coverfly is responsive, attentive, and really cares about their writers. I feel like they take an active interest in me and my career.”

Robin Fusco

“Coverfly is a fantastic service! It’s obvious that the Coverfly team have a sincere passion for helping new talent breakthrough!”

Mukilan Thangamani

“Coverfly has been great as a site where I can show that I’m a writer that’s less of a risk to take a chance with, and won’t waste anyone’s valuable time.”

Erik Sternberger


“Kudos to Coverfly! This organization is extremely classy. I felt like they had my back every step of the way. “

Heather Ragsdale

“Coverfly is great for streamlining the process of submitting my scripts, but for them to proactively set up ACTUAL manager meetings through ‘Pitch Week’ was a totally unexpected benefit that takes the service to another level. Looking forward to seeing this continue to grow as a resource and opportunity for writers.”

Gareth Smith

“Coverfly raised the profile of my scripts for the past year. Now Coverfly Pitch Week has given me an extraordinary opportunity to introduce myself and my work to some top reps in a relaxed setting. Thanks much, Coverfly!”

John Dummer

“After only a year of entering contests, I am certain much of the success I’ve received was directly related to Coverfly. My script is not the norm, so their support has helped it move up the ladder at a significantly faster pace. They actively promoted me as a writer and have set up meetings with top representation. They have also invested their time and energy coming up with ways to support me as a filmmaker. If you get taken under their wing, Coverfly offers a writer, free of charge, more than you could ever ask for.”

Nicole Jones

“Coverfly Pitch Week was an unexpected surprise…just having the chance to connect with managers was really fantastic. I appreciate Coverfly doing all they can to help writers.”

Ervin Anderson

“This was a great opportunity to pitch to managers and make introductions that typically aren’t open to writers. Thank you for making the connection.”

Rich Orstad

“Coverfly is a refreshingly democratic and merit-based ranking system that encourages writers to improve and to branch out while giving them an effective platform to be seen by decision makers. Can’t wait for the next Pitch Week!”

Carlo and Erin Carere

Announcing Free Live Table Reads

By | Announcements

Today we’re thrilled to announce the rollout of our latest writer discovery initiative: free, bi-monthly live table reads of projects atop The Red List.

Coverfly’s core mission is to facilitate the discovery of talented writers. That means helping writers get started, develop their projects, and gain exposure on those projects when they’re ready.

We already offer various free tools that help writers gain exposure on their projects, including free hosting on our Industry Dashboard (where hundreds of industry execs are currently browsing), Coverfly Pitch Week*, free project file sharing, a curated list of screenwriting competitions and fellowships, and The Red List.

Live table reads, on the other hand, bolster the tooling we provide for the bottom end of the project development pipeline – helping writers write. We think this complements the other two programs in this category, our fee waiver program and coverflyX.

The inaugural Coverfly Live Table Read (June 2019)

We are selecting writers with high Coverfly Scores who have a project that could benefit from a live performance. Basically, if there is a project with two characters and hardly any dialogue, it probably wouldn’t benefit from this. As much as THE QUIET PLACE was a great movie, a silent film may not make for an exciting table read. There needs to be something performative about the piece.

We are doing it on the first and third Saturday of each month. The table reads are produced and cast by our partner Shaan Sharma and his team at The Storytellers Conservatory and professional CSA (Casting Society of America) casting directors. The cast are entirely professional union actors. They are held at Culver City Casting Studios, the American Film Institute (AFI), or the Writers Guild Foundation Library.

The events basically serve three purposes: (1) a chance for actors, writers, casting directors, and creators to network, (2) allow the writer to workshop the latest draft of their project by seeing and hearing it aloud, and (3) the fun for the writer of actually seeing their material on their feet for typically siloed writers.

We hope this free program will enrich the work and careers of 24 writers on Coverfly each year. Click here to apply!

Happy writing!

*Coverfly Pitch Week is a week where we set up hundreds of virtual meetings between top Coverfly writers and literary managers and agents. It has been in stealth-mode and hasn’t been formally made public yet. There will be a public announcement about it soon!

 

Announcing Hosted, Shareable Coverfly Project Pages

By | Announcements

Today we’re rolling out a feature that we think writers are going to love: hosted project landing pages that writers can easily share with their network.

Let’s say you’ve got a project on Coverfly. If you’ve made the project public, it may show up on The Red List, and Coverfly industry users can access it on their industry dashboard. But what if you want to share your project with colleagues, friends, and family?

A sample project landing page.

Now you can. Just go to any project from your projects page and click “Share” to get a beautiful, shareable landing page for your project that displays your project’s key details and competition successes. By default, no one except you has access to this page, but you can change the page’s privacy settings to allow anyone with the link to that page to view and download your project.

We won’t list the link/page anywhere, so if you enable anyone with the link to view your project, only those with whom the link is shared will be able to find it.

No more uploading your latest draft to Dropbox to share it – now you’ve got a free, hosted URL for your project. Coverfly doesn’t charge a penny for this service, and no credit card or personal information is needed to use it.

Happy sharing!

Announcing coverflyX: A Peer-to-Peer Script Notes Exchange

By | Announcements

Today, we’re excited to announce coverflyX,  a new service from Coverfly – and we think it’s going to be a game-changer for screenwriters.

Up until now, if a writer wanted feedback on their screenplay, they’d have to either pay for professional feedback from a coverage service or screenwriting competition, or they’d have to ask a friend to read it. But not everyone has money, and not everyone has friends.

coverflyX, short for “Coverfly eXchange”, is a free service that allows writers to get peer notes on their screenplays in return for Coverfly tokens. Coverfly tokens have no monetary value and cannot be sold or bought.  Instead, writers can earn tokens by providing notes on the work of other Coverfly users, and in turn they can exchange those tokens for feedback on their own projects.

Upon receiving the feedback from the peer reviewer, the writer will be prompted to rate their reader’s feedback. Readers with higher ratings will have access to more scripts in the coverflyX marketplace, and will also be able to guarantee a certain quality of readers that have access to their own scripts.

coverflyX tokens are also given out to writers on Coverfly with Coverfly Scores above 400.  In addition, tokens can be spent by submitting to Coverfly’s list of Open Writing Assignments.

coverflyX writers can offer a “bid” of tokens for feedback on their projects. These tokens go to the reader that claims and completes the feedback. So, for example, you might bid 3 tokens on one of your feature scripts that’s 120 pages in length. If the bid is too low (and there are other scripts of similar length offering more than 3 tokens on the marketplace), then it may go unclaimed by readers, in which case, the writer might have to increase the bid to have it claimed.

coverflyX readers will have five days upon claiming feedback to complete their notes, which consist of 300 words on the strengths of the script, 300 words on the weaknesses of the script, and an optional section for any additional thoughts. Readers who do not complete the feedback on time will be penalized with “strikes“. Too many strikes, and the reader’s account could be suspended.

This concept is new, and largely experimental.  We don’t know yet if the marketplace will be able to balance itself and meet the demands of writers requesting peer notes, so we’ll be constantly monitoring and evolving the platform in the coming months.  Please feel free to reach out with any feedback!

Coverfly doesn’t charge a penny for this service.  No credit card or personal information is needed to sign up.  We hope coverflyX becomes another arrow in the quiver of writers as they develop their stories.

Of course, Coverfly also offers many other services to screenwriters. Notably: The Red List, a curated list of Screenwriting Competitions, and OWAs (Open Writing Assignments).

 

 

An Open Letter to Our Community

By | About Coverfly, Announcements

UPDATE 6/3/2018: The blog post referenced in the letter below was taken offline by the post’s author a few hours after we posted this response. We have preserved the language from the blog post, and our line-by-line responses, below.

To the Screenwriting Community,

I’m Scot, the co-founder of Coverfly. I’ve spent the last few years of my life building Coverfly. In the past few weeks, Coverfly has been the target of a coordinated effort by a competitor to smear our company amongst writers and screenwriting contests alike.

TL;DR: The short version of this long post is that Coverfly is and always has been committed to helping, protecting and promoting emerging screenwriters. At the bottom of this letter is a point-by-point response to the defamatory blog post by a competitor which claims too many false things to succinctly state in this opening paragraph.

When we first launched the writer-facing side of Coverfly a few months ago, we genuinely believed that writers were going to be thrilled: for the first time, there was a platform that made it easy to track your submissions across all of the best talent discovery platforms, and we made it free. 

And for the most part, writers have been thrilled. We’ve had over 8,000 writers sign up in just a few months and have facilitated multiple success stories on behalf of writers just in the past few weeks. We take the responsibility of providing excellent technology and service to our partners and customers very seriously. 

Still, there has been a rumor peddled– without any substantiating evidence– that we were somehow scamming or mishandling writers’ data. Many of these defamatory posts by anonymous authors were driving home the same erroneous charges against us, even as we provided evidence against them. Most recently, a blog post by an anonymous author began circulating. If you haven’t seen the post from the anonymous poster, we have included it below this letter. The same person who posted it also created fake Twitter, Stage32, Reddit and Gmail accounts and sent the post to many top festivals and competition administrators. The post is riddled with fabrications and half-truths that intentionally portray Coverly in a nefarious light. 

My objective here will be both to address the claims made in the blog post, and also to show why someone would go to such an extent to make all of this up and share it so persistently.

I address each of the claims in the post, point by point, below this letter. 

When we first read it, we saw right away that somebody was intentionally manipulating and misrepresenting the facts. We did have some reason to suspect a specific competitor. While we were careful not to jump to any conclusions, we decided to look further into it.

Fortunately, the author did a poor job of covering his tracks, and failed to realize that screenshots hold potentially identifying information about the individual who took them. The author neglected to remove the metadata from the screenshot of The Script Lab’s announcement of its partnership with Red Ampersand. This metadata (also known as “exif” data) includes the date and time that the screenshot was taken (which is also directly in the filename), as well as information about the make and model of the computer monitor it was taken on.

I was able to look at The Script Lab’s traffic logs to see the visitor on the screen-shotted page at the exact time indicated by the image the author posted. The only user who visited the page within several hours of the timestamp came from an IP which geolocates to where we had predicted the competitor was, and is, operating from, in a specific city and neighborhood (not in California).

While this piece of evidence was substantial, we came across further evidence that validated our hypothesis. Months ago, we corresponded privately with this competitor and they emailed us a screenshot of something unrelated to the current situation. I scanned the metadata on that screenshot and found that the signature on the monitor matched exactly the signature on the monitor of the screenshot on the blog post. This would indicate that whoever posted the blog post uses the same exact type of monitor (make and model) as the competitor we corresponded with a few months ago; it’s an expensive large-screen Apple display that was discontinued by Apple a couple of years ago. The metadata also reveals that the specific color configuration (also known as an ICC profile) of the monitor was identical, as well. 

Given the evidence I was able to extract from the image in the post that fully corroborated our hypothesis, we are very confident that as we continue to pull this string, the truth will continue to come out.

We’ve had this information for about a week, and had decided to keep it under wraps until we could consult with a legal team, gather more information, and figure out how to approach it properly. As such, yesterday we enlisted a team of lawyers to pursue this case.

However, the recent flare-up of posts on Twitter and elsewhere left us no choice but to speak up immediately – if we don’t defend ourselves in the court of public opinion with the information we have at this moment, our brand and reputation that we’ve worked so hard to build could be tarnished forever. Our legal team has advised us not to publicly expose the name of the subject of our investigation at this point until we know all the facts.

I am, and always have been, an open book regarding Coverfly. I am immensely proud of what I and the rest of my hardworking team have created, and I’m committed to staking my reputation on it. I realize there are people in this industry who take advantage of aspiring screenwriters, but there are also people who work hard to do great things for emerging writers. I’m a software engineer who didn’t expect to end up in this space, but I’m not going anywhere, and I will continue to strive to make it a nicer place while I’m around. I promise complete transparency and honesty as this story develops. 

I believe that we’ve created an immensely valuable tool for writers. I welcome examination of Coverfly and the other brands owned by Red Ampersand. To that end, I ask that you examine the claims levied against us in the defamatory post with careful attention. We are here, and we are real. Don’t let anonymous con artists shake your faith. 

Best,

Scot Lawrie

Co-founder, Coverfly


Below is the original post by the anonymous source, with my point-by-point response in turquoise.


Unmasking the Coverfly Scam Network

Yes, this is our logo.

 

I recently uncovered a complex scam called Coverfly that is using a variety of deceptive and illegal schemes to steal personal information from screenwriters in order to exploit their intellectual property and cheat them out of money.

Coverfly is free – I’m not sure how the author means we’d be cheating anyone out of money. No one has ever come forward and claimed to have been charged for something they didn’t purchase from a contest.  We charge the competitions that accept submissions a small percentage of their submission fees. We aren’t sharing any intellectual property with anyone without express permission. The only people who have access to screenplays are the writers who submit them and the contests they submit them to. If writers then choose to make their projects public, their projects become viewable to the industry (via our Industry Dashboard).

When we first launched, I don’t think we had clear enough messaging around how our service worked. There were some understandably concerned writers who weren’t sure why they could create an account and subsequently find past contest placements and scripts already in their dashboard.

To explain – every contest and festival uses technology to manage their competition, whether it’s Google Drive, Dropbox, Salesforce, or other platforms. That’s exactly what Coverfly was prior to October 2017 – a private, secure, best-in-class place for contest administrators simply to manage submissions. When we launched our writer-facing dashboard in 2017, there were thousands of writers’ submissions already in the Coverfly system, within each contest administrator’s account, and we made the decision to give those writers (and only those writers) access to their own submissions upon creating a Coverfly account. The alternative would have been to hide screenplays that contest administrators had on the Coverfly platform. The idea was to create transparency, but it created confusion. 

 

The young “frat bro” owners of Coverfly also operate a large network of shady screenplay contests under various brand names, which are detailed below, and other related websites whose primary business is to prey upon naive screenwriters.

The network isn’t large at all (just WeScreenplay and ScreenCraft), and we’re quite proud of being associated with both of these services’ sterling reputations and many success stories and prestigious industry partnerships. There are indeed shady, anonymous contests, festivals and services out there, but ScreenCraft and WeScreenplay have a track record of transparency and generating success and real career momentum for their many winners and finalists. Just ask a winner or check out some success stories listed on ScreenCraft’s website. And Google reviews. 

 

Don’t be fooled by the many major logos featured on their website. I reached out to the the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and was told they have absolutely zero affiliation with Coverfly and that they will be demanding their logo be removed from the Coverfly site immediately.

We had the logo there because we have an integration to allow writers optionally to sync their Academy Nicholl Fellowship placements data automatically on Coverfly, which has been a very popular feature with our users (both writers and industry professionals). This feature is integral to the value proposition we have of offering centralization for talent-discovery programs for the industry to see lots of data all in one place, and to offer emerging writers more control over how their data is presented to the industry.  We’ve spoken with the heads of Nicholl and they are aware of this integration.

 

The good news is that word about the Coverfly scam is rapidly making its way around the screenwriting community. And it looks like there are many others like me that have been burned by these crooks.

This “word” has mostly spread by the very author of this post, hiding behind different aliases.

 

Check out these threads below for more helpful information about the Coverfly scam:

Reddit

Stage32

After many back and forth emails and phone calls with contests, submission platforms, and other screenwriters, along with some good old fashioned internet sleuthing, I have uncovered some very disturbing information that all writers should be aware of.

PART 1: How Coverfly Steals Screenwriters’ Personal Information

Screenplay contests pay Coverfly a small fee to read and score their screenplay entries.

This is partially true – we do offer to hire carefully vetted and hand-picked readers on behalf of contests who need help finding experienced script readers. These professional readers are separated by contest, and each contest has its own judging criteria, metrics, goals and unique juries.  Almost all of the competitions on our platform hire their own readers directly, though. 

 

Contests don’t want to read and judge hundreds, maybe even thousands of scripts. So why not pay Coverfly to do the grunt work? Not exactly ethical for a contest to be outsourcing their script reading, but I digress. The real question is how can Coverfly turn a profit reading scripts for so little money? And how can they possibly read all those thousands of scripts?

Coverfly doesn’t turn a profit, yet. We’re a young and quickly growing platform and we expect to be profitable soon. We make money by charging contest administrators a small submission fee, just like other submission platforms, in exchange for offering our software for automating admin and keeping the process of evaluating thousands of screenplays organized and very efficient – so they can focus on the important work of reading screenplays, deciding on winners, and organizing their festival or mentorship programs. 

Every single script that comes through our system gets read and evaluated at least once. We keep meticulously organized records, and those evaluations are closely reviewed and maintained. 

 

Well, it turns out Coverfly is not interested in making money providing script reading/judging services so much as they are interested in stealing the sensitive and valuable customer data (screenwriters) of the contests they supposedly serve.

We steal no data. We have a transparent and stringent data use and privacy policy which is clearly stated on our website. User privacy and protecting the intellectual property of writers is of paramount importance to us. The only data we collect at checkout are writers’ emails, names, and script information. We haven’t sent a single marketing email to anyone who has signed up to Coverfly. We’ve certainly never sold our email database to anyone, nor will we. It’s hard to respond to an accusation that’s so vague, but we’ve always been very careful with the limited data we have on writers. 

 

My unfortunate experience with the Coverfly fraudsters all started when I submitted my screenplay to a contest called the Page International Screenwriting Awards, which is a legitimate contest with a good reputation in the industry. Then something weird happened…

I received an email from a company called Coverfly telling me how to access my new Coverfly account. Huh? Coverfly was also trying to get me to pay money and upgrade to something called “The Red List” (a blatant rip-off of a legitimate service called the Black List). Wait, hold on. I’ve never even heard of Coverfly, and I sure haven’t registered for their service. So how is it possible that I have an account with them? And why are they spamming me trying to get me to give them money? How in the world did they get my personal information in the first place?

Coverfly is free for writers and there is no “upgrade” to be on the Red List. What most writers don’t know is that Coverfly’s backend administration platform for contests is quite robust. Many organizational partners use us to manage their submissions and readers, which requires importing submissions from third party platforms into Coverfly so that those scripts can become available to their readers and judges, all in one easy-to-manage place. This is similar to contests using Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other 3rd party cloud-based platform to manage their submissions. When this import happens, we email the writer a confirmation receipt with a link to let them know that they can update their submission in Coverfly, if they want. For competitions that don’t allow draft updates, we don’t send those emails. 

It’s worth also mentioning that The Red List is not in any way a ripoff of The Black List. While the name is a nod to the prestigious annual ranking of best unproduced screenplays, the actual purpose of The Red List is to present a dynamically updated leaderboard of the top projects currently opted-in to Coverfly’s industry-facing database. 

When we launched in October of 2017, we sent confirmation emails to writers when they submitted to contests that tracked placements on Coverfly letting them know that they could see their placement on Coverfly itself. In early February of 2018, we stopped sending those confirmation emails, as we didn’t feel they were critical to the writer’s experience in the competition.

 

Here’s how.

When a contest hires Coverfly to read scripts, Coverfly will ask for sub-user access to the contest’s FilmFreeway or Withoutabox account so that they can access the contest’s scripts “for judging purposes.”

To clarify, every contest on Coverfly has its own set of readers. 

FilmFreeway and Withoutabox have settings that allow festival sub-users (judges) access to anonymized scripts only, with no cover pages, no names, and no contact information of screenwriters. To get around this, Coverfly told contests that in order for their so called “software to interface correctly” they needed full sub-user access to the script files. A little tech jargon goes a long way.

I’m not sure what the author is trying to say here. Some contest administrators give Coverfly access to their accounts on FilmFreeway and Withoutabox so that the entries can be aggregated and judged in one centralized place. That’s an awesome feature for contests, and a lot better for writers than the contest just storing the submissions in Google Drive, for example, because with Coverfly, the writers can now have access to their submissions, to track or altogether delete them if they want. We’re helping give more control and transparency to writers over their data. 

 

Little did the festivals know that Coverfly then downloaded the personal information of ALL their entrants and then used that information to create Coverfly accounts for each of them, all without the knowledge or permission of the contest, and more importantly, the screenwriters!

The contests’ administrators were the ones explicitly using Coverfly to manage and aggregate their submissions. Not a single contest, festival, lab or fellowship that has used this functionality is unaware that they’re using it. We’ve never created Coverfly accounts for writers without them explicitly signing up. As addressed several paragraphs above, some writers have signed up, seen their past submissions, and been confused as to how they got there. We recognized this confusion when we first launched and we improved functionality and communication on the site in January to address the issue. Again, we have NEVER created accounts for writers without their permission.

 

Coverfly, being the brazen con-artists that they are, then had the audacity to email the very writers whose information they stole, welcoming them to Coverfly and trying to upsell them a variety of B.S. screenwriting services. WHAT THE ACTUAL F@&!?

We’ve never sent a single marketing email to writers that have signed up for Coverfly. The only email we’ve ever sent to any segment of the Coverfly user list was an email updating our users on our GDPR compliant data use policy a few weeks ago. We send transactional emails to our users, such as receipts when they submit to one of the many organizations on our platform, or when their scores are updated (if they have created a Coverfly account). 

 

Since I only use FilmFreeway and Withoutabox to submit to contests, the first thing I did was email them both and ask them how the hell Coverfly got my information. I received a reply almost immediately from FilmFreeway:

“Similar to what you describe, recently we have received multiple complaints from customers informing us that Coverfly has gained access to their personal information through festival subuser accounts and used this information to market their own services. This is a violation of our Terms of Service and absolutely not tolerated on FilmFreeway.

We take the protection of our users’ information very seriously and have permanently banned Coverfly from FilmFreeway, severed their access, and deactivated all of Coverfly’s festival subuser accounts. Festivals that were using Coverfly’s services have been informed of the deactivation of Coverfly’s accounts.”

It’s true that FilmFreeway emailed our contests’ administrators with incorrect information that they did not verify first.

 

So Coverfly tricked contests and film festivals into giving them full access to their entries and then used that data to market and sell their own crappy services. This is fraud.

This is completely false. We never “tricked” any contests. We have direct relationships and clear written agreements with every contest administrator that uses our platform. Regarding the accusation that we’ve used any data to market to our services – see above – we’ve never marketed our services to Coverfly users via email. 

 

Once FilmFreeway cut off their access, Coverfly was quick to adapt. Coverfly opened their own submission platform for screenplay contests, basically a crappy WordPress version of Filmfreeway and Withoutabox. With their own submission platform in hand, they no longer needed sub-user access to screenplay contests because writers’ personal information and scripts are now uploaded directly to Coverfly! All under the guise of “processing submissions” for other screenplay contests and film festivals.

Actually, we just recently opened our writer-facing submission platform (which is not a WordPress site, by the way) in October 2017. Plus, we encouraged writers to submit and contests to accept submissions from any platform that was best for writers — FilmFreeway, Withoutabox, ISA, Submittable. We were first and foremost a management tool for festivals and competitions. Coverfly is a robust submissions management platform used by dozens of top industry organizations. 

 

I did not receive a response to my email to Withoutabox, so I am unable to confirm whether or not Coverfly has also been banned from Withoutabox. It is possible that Coverfly may still using Withoutabox to steal screenwriter information from contests.

Same as above, we do not steal data. Also, in my experience, Withoutabox has always responded to customer support emails. It’s hard to believe that they would ignore the claims made above. 

 

I have also written to several screenplay contests that are listed on Coverfly’s website. Virtually all of them expressed shock and claimed they had no idea that Coverfly had been using their data to create Coverfly accounts for their submitters. Several of them, including Page Awards, have already vanished from the Coverfly website and I expect that the rest will too when they find out how Coverfly operates.

This is completely incorrect. We have direct, warm relationships with every contest administrator on Coverfly and speak to many of them on a weekly basis to make sure their competitions’ staff, readers and judges are having a good experience and that their processes are running smoothly. 

We still have a great relationship with PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, which is an excellent organization and one of the best competitions available to writers. Their most recent contest submissions cycle just ended, which is why their contest is no longer listed on our active competitions page. You can read PAGE’s own statement about their relationship with us here.

 

It gets deeper…

Part 2: A Network of Contests and Websites Preying on Screenwriters

The owners of Coverfly also own and manage a large network of screenplay contests and screenwriting related websites all operating under different brands. As others have noted in the Coverfly threads linked above, at minimum, this amounts to a HUGE conflict of interest.

WeScreenplay and ScreenCraft are organizations that we are very proud to be affiliated with. We’re transparent with both writers and contests that our parent company owns both of these services, as well. Our parent company Red Ampersand is linked to on every one of our websites and all of this information is in our “Meet the Team” page which is linked on the homepage menu bar of Coverfly.

 

Screenwriters who submit their scripts to these umbrella-owned contests think they’re entering their script into several contests, but are unwittingly sending their script (and their money) to the SAME DAMN COMPANY, and paying triple, quadruple, or even more (depending on how many of their shitty contests they get duped into entering).

WeScreenplay and ScreenCraft have different juries, different readers, different staff, different read structures, and different prizes. They’re owned by the same company, but beyond that, they’re completely different services, and we’re proud of both of them. 

 

The owners of the Coverfly companies go out of their way to hide, obfuscate and conceal the true ownership, management and relation of their contests and brands.

This is false. Almost every single screenshot/link that the author cites below is from a page on one of our properties.  Our parent company Red Ampersand is linked on every one of our websites and all of this information is in our “Meet the Team” page which is linked on the homepage menu bar of Coverfly. 

 

The parent company is called Red Ampersand Inc., and here is a list of the contests and companies we know they own so far.

Screencraft

Screencraft operates at least 15 different screenplay contests.

Technically, this is correct, but it’s misleading when taken out of context. Most competitions lump all genres and formats into a single contest with separate categories. ScreenCraft, on the other hand, breaks their competitions into separate contests by genre and format, which explains why there are this many.

One of the reasons ScreenCraft goes to the trouble of producing so many genre-specific annual screenwriting competitions is that they see value in tailoring the industry jury to each major genre, to eliminate genre-bias and to create a more focused, valuable experience for their writers because they know they’re submitting to readers and judges who love and specialize in the genre of their screenplay. 

ScreenCraft spends a lot of time and energy coordinating top-notch industry jurors for ScreenCraft’s targeted genre-specific competitions, as well as time spent developing and promoting winners to the industry. It’s the reason why ScreenCraft has such a long track record of writer success stories.

 

And here’s a real doozy. It turns out that the winner of Screencraft’s Fellowship $1,000 prize was none other than Coverfly’s co-founder and CEO, Mark Stasenko. But I’m sure that was just a crazy coincidence. I’m sure his script really was the best.

Mark won the ScreenCraft Fellowship in the beginning of 2015. Mark’s first encounter with ScreenCraft was when they called him to notify him that he had won the contest, and there’s a back-and-forth email thread to prove it. I didn’t meet John or Cameron from ScreenCraft until mid-2016, about a year and a half after Mark won their contest, to show them Coverfly (at the time, a fledgling software with very few industry partners). 

In the beginning of 2017, about two years later, ScreenCraft merged with the teams behind WeScreenplay and Coverfly, under one umbrella: Red Ampersand, Inc.

The only reason we came to know ScreenCraft is because of Mark’s interactions with John and Cameron after he won. One of the reasons Mark advocated for joining ScreenCraft was because he experienced firsthand how valuable ScreenCraft’s approach had been for him; his ScreenCraft win landed him a manager who has actively shaped his writing career. If you can’t tell, I’m immensely proud to be on the same team as Mark, who experienced firsthand the benefits of screenwriting competitions.

 

Screencraft offers screenwriter “consulting” services ranging from $40 to $1,095.

This is true. Ask anyone who’s ever bought “Cameron’s Notes” and they’ll tell you they’re the best notes they’ve ever gotten. They’re not only notes –  they’re also phone calls, multiple reads of new drafts, and additional projects and ongoing development attention. It’d be hard to honestly argue anyone cares more about aspiring writers and the story development process than Cameron, who has been sought out to read for many organizations besides ScreenCraft, including the Sundance Institute, Lionsgate, Paradigm, Amazon Studios, Resolution, and many other companies. 

 

WeScreenplay

WeScreenplay operates at least 4 different screenplay contests.

This is true – except WeScreenplay only runs 3 now – one for TV, one for features, and one diversity-focused screenwriting program that has raised over $12,000 for charity (Books for Kids and Array Alliance).

 

We Screenplay offers “coverage” services ranging from $69 to $199.

This is also true, and I’m quite proud of it. $69 for 5 pages of notes in 72 hours. 

 

The Script Lab

A writers “educational blog” that serves as a funnel directing writers right back to Coverfly’s website.

Yes, The Script Lab is an educational blog. We have one link to Coverfly and have sent a single email out to the TSL subscribers announcing Coverfly’s new features. The Script Lab also hosted the online TSL Writer’s Summit that raised over $10,000 for industry nonprofits last year.

 

The People Responsible

Mark Stasenko

The real CEO of Coverfly is Mark Stasenko.  He is also listed as the Founder of WeScreenplay. We remember Mark as the winner of Screencraft’s $1,000 Fellowship Prize.

This is true. Mark is a damn good screenwriter. Winning the Fellowship is also how Mark first met John and Cameron – see a few paragraphs above for details.

 

Not surprisingly, Mark and his team go through great effort to hide the fact that he is the Coverfly CEO. Perhaps because Mark was awarded the Screencraft Fellowship prize they want to distance his perceived involvement with Coverfly and Screencraft?

Mark was the CEO of Coverfly into 2017 and never attempted to hide it. In fact, this post itself links to 3 different places where Mark publicly announces he’s the CEO, on record. In late 2017, he got a job writing on a Netflix show and had to take a backseat with his duties at Coverfly. I’ve taken on the leadership role at this point, but I prefer to focus more on the technical development of Coverfly than the business side.  

 

If you visit the Coverfly website, Mark is listed waaaay down near the bottom of the site as simply “an advisor,” with just a very brief, 2-line biography. Just an advisor, right? Certainly not a decision maker.

Mark is certainly a decision maker and helps out with day-to-day operations when he can. I’m not really sure what the author is getting at here.

 

Ah, but they left a paper trail. The Internet never forgets. Back in October 2016. Mark issued a press release where he identifies himself as the “CEO of Coverfly” and talks about how Coverfly “acquired” another of their own companies, The Script Lab. Hmm, how convenient.

But in fact we were the ones who posted that press release on our own website. Mark was justifiably proud of the early version of Coverfly back in 2016. Also, The Script Lab has been around for a decade. It became Coverfly’s “own company” when we acquired it in 2016, as stated.

 

Interesting how the CEO and founder of Coverfly is now just a lowly “advisor” on the Coverfly website.

Also, in April 2017, there was an announcement made on The Script Lab website that “The parent company, Red Ampersand, Inc., formed in January 2017, is owned by partners John Rhodes, Scot Lawrie, Mark Stasenko and Cameron Cubbison.”

Mark also left a trail on the Internet where he is listed as CEO and Co-founder of Coverfly here, here, and here.

Again, the above is simply a screenshot of our website. We were the ones who posted and shared this information. If we had been trying to hide it, we wouldn’t have posted it. When Mark was hired as a full-time staff writer on a Netflix show, he stopped working for Coverfly and WeScreenplay for a few months. During that time Coverfly added its “Meet the Team” page, and we listed him as an advisor because he wasn’t able to be involved in the day-to-day work and decisions. Mark has recently been added back on in a more full-time capacity until his next writing gig.

 

John Rhodes

John Rhodes is the Co-founder of Screencraft and is also listed on Coverfly as just a lowly “advisor,” again, way down near the very bottom the advisors list.

Oddly, John has been doing multiple podcast appearances where he describes himself as “Head of Marketing and Business Development of Coverfly.” Seems like a greater role than that of just an advisor to me.

Interesting how Coverfly has its “advisors” handling all its important PR and media appearances. Lies, lies and more lies.

There are no lies here. John spends most of his time leading the ScreenCraft team. When he is working on Coverfly, it’s in a marketing and business development capacity, and sometimes speaking with press. These days, Coverfly is mostly focused on technical development and operationally interfacing with our industry professionals who use Coverfly to discover emerging talent, and our organizational partners who use Coverfly to host their competitions, festivals, fellowships and labs. John is one of four partners and owners of our parent company Red Ampersand. 

 

John is also listed in first position on the ownership list of Red Ampersand.

Correct — we’ve posted publicly about our ownership.

 

Scot Lawrie

Scott Lawrie is listed on the Coverfly site as its President and CTO and one of the 4 principal owners of Red Ampersand.

As others have noted, depending on what site you check, Scott lists his occupation as either “Software Engineer” or “Script Consultant,” yet on the Reddit thread he admits, after bringing questioned by a reader, that he is “not a qualified script reader.”

My name is spelled with one t. I’m a software engineer.  Stage32 asked for my occupation when I signed up for an account and there was no (and there still is not) option for “software engineer”. Since I was working on WeScreenplay at the time, I simply put “Script Consultant” because that was the closest thing to what I was doing. 

 

Cameron Cubbison

Cameron Cubbison is listed as the Co-founder of Screencraft and one of the 4 principal owners of Red Ampersand.

This is true.

 

How Deep Does it Go?

I have a feeling we are just scratching the surface of how deep this Coverfly, Red Ampersand, WeScreenplay, Screencraft, and Script Lab network goes.

There are no other products or services owned by Red Ampersand.

 

If you don’t want your information stolen by Coverly, stay FAR AWAY from any contest or film festival that is listed on their website, otherwise you might as well just give them your personal information, your scripts, and all your IP.

These guys should be investigated immediately for deceptive business practices and criminal fraud.

We’d welcome an investigation. 

 

Please share this information on social media and pass this information along to your screenwriter friends.

Don’t let any more naive screenwriters fall victim to these predators!

If you got through this entire point-by-point response, thank you for taking the time to give us a fair shake. We welcome any further questions, comments or ideas. Our goal is to provide an innovative new platform that brings transparency, efficiency and organization to the process of screenwriter talent discovery in Hollywood. We’re collaborative, and open to feedback of all kinds. Please feel free to email us or ping us on social media. We want to hear from you. 

Coverfly Data Use and Privacy Updates

By | About Coverfly

Judging by how boring this blog post title is, there’s a good chance you won’t read beyond this first sentence – but you should be interested in how Coverfly handles your data! Please read this post for a quick summary of our data policy.

TL;DR: we’re GDPR compliant which means we’re committed to protecting your data to the highest standards.

In our effort to provide the best quality service to all our users (writers, administrators and industry professionals), we’ve made some updates to our Data Policy and Terms of Service. All of these updates merely clarify how and when we use your information. You can read our full Data Policy here, and we’ve distilled some of the key points for easy reading:

  1. We won’t sell your data to a third party or advertiser.
  2. We will only collect and use data that is essential to providing you with our services.
  3. We give our users full control to choose how, when and if their data is displayed or shared.
  4. Projects are only included in our database that is searchable by industry professionals if and when you choose to add them to the searchable database. By default all projects are private and not searchable.
  5. Additionally, because some producers, managers and agents have asked to be able to search by a writers’ and/or characters’ gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity, we may allow users to optionally include this information in their user profiles.

As you probably know, Coverfly is a submissions management platform for third party organizations, and for our users who choose to create Coverfly accounts to track the status and history of their project submissions via Coverfly’s Writer Dashboard. Coverfly is also a database of unproduced screenplays to which writers may opt in, and which vetted entertainment industry professionals (such as agents, literary managers and producers) may search for projects, writers and filmmakers.

Coverfly’s organizational partners (film festivals, screenwriting competitions, labs, fellowships, writing workshops and conferences) each have their own terms of service and data privacy policies. We recommend that all our users make themselves familiar with the terms of service and privacy policies of each organization to which they submit their information via our Services. We have reached out to each of our organizational partners urging them to have clear, transparent, fair and compliant data and privacy policies.

We’re dedicated to complying with global standards of data use and transparency, such as The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union, as well as exporting user data outside of the EU. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email our team at any time for a prompt response: support@coverfly.com.

 

A Brief Introduction to Coverfly for Writers

By | About Coverfly

What is Coverfly?

Coverfly is three things:

  1. Writer Dashboard – a writer-centric platform designed to help emerging screenwriters track successes across competitions, fellowships, labs, festivals and talent-discovery platforms
  2. Festival Dashboard – a software platform for screenwriting competitions, film festivals, fellowships, labs and writing retreats to manage submissions, readers and evaluations
  3. Industry Dashboard – a universal database of unproduced film and TV screenplays (by default screenplays and scores are private until and unless writers choose to opt in) that vetted industry professionals can peruse for screenplays and writers they may be interested in optioning, purchasing, signing or producing

We realized that even the best writing contests only actively promote their winners. Coverfly is an opportunity for you to take the best of your contest and coverage evaluations and aggregate them into a composite metric that can help you gain exposure, and can help the industry easily gauge your project’s potential quality.

Ultimately, our intent is to help you put your competition successes to work. Coverfly is free to use for writers and doesn’t have any of its own competitions. We explain how we make money later in this introduction.

The Coverfly Score

The metric we’ve designed to quantify your projects’ evaluations is called a Coverfly Score.

Without diving into the details of the algorithm, it’s important to note that the Coverfly Score is not a metric of quality, it’s a metric of confidence of quality, which increases with strong scores or placements. Read more about the nitty-gritty of the algorithm.

Your Coverfly Score and data are completely private by default.

By default, your Coverfly Score is only visible to you. It is completely private and cannot be seen by industry members unless you choose to make it public to the industry, and it does not affect your performance in (nor is it used by) Coverfly partner competitions. The Coverfly Score is a combination of your scores and rankings from all contest entries and evaluations that are currently partnered with Coverfly. We’d love to have it include 100% of festivals and are rapidly adding new ones, but we don’t currently have the bandwidth to manually add all results. With that said, you can add all your successes as a note next to any project on your Writer Dashboard.

If you choose to make your project public, we may promote it to the industry and it may show up on The Red List.

Coverfly has staff dedicated full-time to promoting the top public projects in our database to producers and managers. We also have dozens of producers, managers, and agents browsing public projects on our industry-facing dashboard.

Public projects and their scores may also appear on The Red List, which is a public leaderboard of all public projects in the Coverfly database. Only vetted Industry members may download your project or contact you about your work.

This is completely free for the writer and it is not how Coverfly makes money. We think if we can turn competition successes into career success, writers will want to enter competitions through Coverfly and no other platform.

Your Writer Dashboard

You can use the Writer Dashboard to sync all of your entries and placements into one place and build out your Coverfly Score. Since many contests are already using Coverfly as a management platform, all of those individual scores are instantaneously added to your projects page and sometimes assigned a Coverfly Score. It is completely up to you if you want to make a project’s score public, and all future entries to contests and festivals partnered with Coverfly will be added to your dashboard unless you delete your account.

Cost and Fees

Coverfly is free to use for writers.

We charge festivals and contests a fee for using our platform, but our rates are cheaper than other submission platforms. As an administration platform, Coverfly charges festivals 5%, compared to 8.5% on Withoutabox and FilmFreeway. We also have significantly more features that make judging fairer and easier – like normalization of scores to help balance “tough” or “easy” judges. As a hosting platform, Coverfly is free for unlimited scripts versus Inktip, which is $15/mo per script, or Black List, which is $25/mo per script. One way Coverfly makes money is by charging writers $5 to update a contest submission draft mid-contest – this is a totally optional feature that allows writers to send in an updated draft to the judges instead of completely resubmitting. The goal is to get contests the best drafts, to prevent writers from having to pay full cost for a resubmission, and to allow Coverfly to keep hosting and tracking free.

Say Hello!

Coverfly is a writer-first platform, and we are committed to introducing new features and improving existing ones. If you have ideas or feedback that would make your Coverfly experience better, or just want to say hello, don’t hesitate to reach out to support@coverfly.com or via our support channel.

Happy writing!