Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 2/6/18

By Contests

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

FEBRUARY 9 — ScreenCraft Sci-Fi & Fantasy Contest — Early Deadline — $45

FEBRUARY 15 — WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Spring 2018 — Early Deadline — $35

FEBRUARY 15 — PAGE International — Early Entry — $45

FEBRUARY 26 — HollyShorts Film Festival — Early Deadline — $35


Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 1/29/18

By Contests

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

FEBRUARY 1 — ScreenCraft’s Film Fund — Regular Deadline — $35

FEBRUARY 9 — ScreenCraft Sci-Fi & Fantasy Contest — Early Deadline — $45

FEBRUARY 15 — WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Spring 2018 — Early Deadline — $35

FEBRUARY 15 — PAGE International — Early Entry — $45

FEBRUARY 26 — HollyShorts Film Festival — Early Deadline — $35


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 or via our support channel.

Happy writing!

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 1/22/18

By Contests

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


JANUARY 26 — HollyShorts Film Festival — Early Deadline — $35


 JANUARY 28 — The Tracking Board Launch Pad Pilots — Regular Deadline — $75


JANUARY 31 — ScreenCraft’s China-Hollywood Fellowship — Regular Deadline — $79


FEBRUARY 9 — ScreenCraft Sci-Fi — Early Deadline — $45


FEBRUARY 15 — WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Spring 2018 — Early Deadline — $35

Top Screenwriting Contests of 2018

By Announcements

To ring in the new year, we’ve made a simple, downloadable screenplay competitions calendar with the all the dates and deadlines for the industry’s top screenwriting contests of 2018!

Whether you’re writing a feature screenplay, a short film or a TV pilot, mark your calendar with these deadlines!

As you may know, Coverfly is the industry’s largest database of unproduced screenplays, searchable by vetted industry professionals who are looking for good scripts.

Screenwriters have the most opportunities here, but if you’re a short story writer, novelist or playwright, there are a few opportunities here for you as well! If there’s a contest you think should be on this list, please email — or reach out to us on Twitter: @gocoverfly. You’ll hear from us right away! We’re here to help.

Click here to download our calendar of top screenwriting contests.

The Coverfly Score

By Announcements

2019 update: there’s a more thorough explanation of the Coverfly Score here

For the past few years, Coverfly has helped screenplay contests and coverage providers behind the scenes as a platform for automating and streamlining administration. Today, Coverfly boasts one of the most comprehensive script databases ever seen, with millions of pages of scripts, feedback on those scripts, and evaluation data across every genre and format, from many of the top screenwriting competitions and screenplay coverage services. This database includes over 25,000 amateur and professional scripts, from writers around the world.

Now that writers will have the option of making their data available to the industry, we knew it was important to design a “quality metric.” After meticulously analyzing our database, surveying the industry on what they’d want in such a metric, and looking at the design of scoring/ranking algorithms used by technology platforms in other industries, we came up with our very own: the Coverfly Score. 

Before we dive 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 more strong evaluations. 

In designing the Coverfly Score, we required that it satisfy the following criteria:

  • A high Coverfly Score requires multiple, high-marking evaluations. Besides just reflecting high marks from an evaluation, one evaluation from a single reader shouldn’t be enough to garner a high Coverfly Score.  In other words, ten evaluations of 8/10 should rank higher than one evaluation of 10/10. The Coverfly Score requires at least 5 evaluations (from qualifying contest readers or professional coverage services) to reach the acceptable “confidence” quotient in your project’s score, since more evaluations paints a clearer picture of how the industry will receive your script because it’s based on a wider range of professional industry readers’ evaluations. The more evaluations, the better! 
  • Coverfly Scores never go down. Yup, Coverfly Scores can’t go down. This was a design requirement primarily because many screenplays are works in progress, and we don’t want to discourage writers from submitting their screenplays for feedback at the risk of reducing their Coverfly Score. Rather, we wanted to incentivize the opposite; more evaluations on a project, good or bad, help us predict the project’s quality at a higher level of confidence. However, a strong Coverfly Score must be a metric of quality not quantity, so the next point is critical.
  • Attaining a high Coverfly Score is very difficult. An obvious risk that comes with Coverfly Scores that don’t decrease is an entire database of undifferentiated, highly rated scripts, which would defeat the purpose of a quality-metric in the first place.
  • Coverfly Scores are insulated from reader bias. The average scores given by readers can vary widely from reader to reader, just like movie reviews. The metric design should take that into account and normalize for reader bias.
  • Coverfly Scores weigh different scores differently. The more prestigious the contest, the more influence its evaluations will have on a Coverfly Score. Winning The Nicholl Fellowship should boost your Coverfly Score a lot more than winning Joe Schmo’s Weekly Logline Competition.

Here’s a deeper (more mathematical) look at how a Coverfly Score is calculated:

Each project’s Coverfly Score is recalculated anytime a new evaluation is entered into the system.  Evaluations are typically submitted by readers/judges, who score the project in several categories (i.e. plot, dialogue, voice, concept) on a scale of 0 to 10.

Each category’s score is compared to the reader’s overall average and standard deviation for that category, and the score is shifted to fit a more normally distributed “bell-curve”.

Next, a composite score is determined using the weighted sum model, which applies contest-specific weights to each scoring category and this process determines a single, reader-normalized score between 0 and 10 for the evaluation.

Next, we take every evaluation for a given project and again use the weighted sum model to apply weights to each evaluation based on the quality of the competition that the evaluation came from.  We plug this composite score into the following formula:

Score = xp/10 + x(1−e−q/Q)

Where p is the composite score (after competition weights have been applied), q is the number of evaluations multiplied by their respective weights, x is the number of evaluations (capped at 5), and Q is a constant we assign based on the importance of “quantity” in our calculation.

We then cap the score depending on how many evaluations the project has.  The cap increases the more evaluations there are, and is altogether removed after 5 evaluations. Finally, we multiply the score by a constant to create a wider range of scores, and to remove the false perception of associating a score of a 60 with an F and a score of an 90 with an A if it were on a 1-100 scale.

If this new score is lower than the most recent score before the recalculation, then we ignore it (so as to satisfy the non-decreasing score requirement).

If you’re still following along, you’ll notice a few implications of this design:

  1. An Coverfly Score won’t reach its full potential until it has received at least 5 evaluations
  2. A single evaluation with an extremely high composite score isn’t enough to put the Coverfly Score into the upper echelon of scores. In fact, one strong score alone isn’t even enough to get it out of the basement of Coverfly Scores.

Thus, the Coverfly Score is not necessarily a perfect reflection of a script’s quality – rather, it is a reflection of quality and confidence of quality simultaneously. High Coverfly Scores require multiple, high-marking evaluations from prestigious competitions and coverage providers – one or the other (quality/quantity) simply isn’t enough to determine a script’s quality confidently.

Check out our top Coverfly Scores on THE RED LIST.