It’s no secret that the fields of film and television writing are highly competitive. Every year, thousands of screenplays and pilots are written by aspiring writers all over the world, but sadly, the great majority of them go unread and unproduced. How can you ensure that your script will get the exposure it deserves? By entering the UCLA Extension Screenplay Competition, of course! If you’ve taken one or more courses in the Writers’ Program within the last three years, you may be eligible to submit your script to this year’s competition.

Designed to showcase the best, most recent, and most relevant work created within the Writers’ Program, the top three finalists in three categories (feature film, television spec, and television pilot writing), win cash prizes and a one-on-one mentorship with a professional writer. Additionally, finalists’ names and project titles will appear in The Hollywood Reporter, and a newsletter with loglines and contact information will be sent to more than a thousand entertainment industry executives. This often results in direct meetings with agents, managers, and producers; exactly the right people to help aspiring screenwriters launch their writing careers.

Writers’ Program finalists have gone on to achieve significant career milestones:

  • Gained agent or manager representation (Neill Michael Nagib)
  • Been selected for TV network mentorship programs (Grete Heinemann)
  • Won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting (Barbara Stepansky)
  • Had their feature films optioned (Markham Cook)
  • Developed feature films with studios (Michael Werwie)
  • Sold pilots (Annabel Oakes)
  • Got staffed on a cable TV series (Denise Harkavy), and last but certainly not least
  • Had their film produced and released theatrically (Elissa Matsueda)

These are just some of the many Writers’ Program’s competition success stories. You can find a more comprehensive list of successes here:

Yes, it still takes a lot of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and even luck, but transitioning from student to screenwriter has never been more probable. Without a doubt, the UCLA Extension Screenplay Competition is an invaluable opportunity to move your screenwriting career forward. To see if you qualify, please visit the online application page here.


Jeff Bonnett is the Program Assistant for Screenwriting (Onsite & Online). Contact him at or (310) 206-1542.

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