Congratulations to the Winners of 2020 UCLA Extension Feature Film and Television Writing Competitions!

If you are an industry professional (agent, manager, producer or executive) and interested in connecting with our competition winners, please contact the Writers’ Program Screenwriting Representative Chae Ko by clicking the button below.


Feature Film Winners

1st Place Winner | Amy Teague
The Art of Lying (Dramedy)
A middle-aged woman suffering through a painful divorce moves back in with her overbearing mother and discovers that her birth father isn’t dead, contrary to what she’s been told her whole life.


2nd Place Winner | Zdenka Turecek
Marrying Me (Romantic Comedy)
When SUNNY’s dream engagement doesn’t happen by her 35th birthday, she takes matters into her own hands and decides to marry herself.


3rd Place Winner | Sean Whitney
B.L.I.S. (Sci-Fi/Romantic Drama)
With society suffering from overpopulation, a pharmaceutical company manufactures a suicide-pill called “BLIS,” which causes death after a desired timeframe. A downtrodden young man takes the 7-day version to save his sister, only to meet a girl and fall in love.

Television Spec Winners

1st Place WinnerNat Dinga
Succession: Heart and Soul (One-Hour Spec)
On the cusp of ousting his father from the family business, Kendall has a massive heart attack, forcing the dysfunctional Roys to rally around him.


2nd Place Winner | Shari Sharpe
Fleabag: Season 3, Episode 1 (Half-Hour Spec)
When Fleabag regretfully arrives to her wedding day, she struggles with cold feet and, much to their dismay, her family and ex-lovers are along for the ride.


3rd Place Winner | Christopher Peplin
Ozark: Two Dead Men (One-Hour Spec)
After Marty is forced to kill a member of the Kansas City Mob and Wendy becomes involved in the murder of the son of a billionaire, the Byrds must work quickly to cover up their crimes in order to protect themselves and their family.

Television Pilot Winners

1st Place Winner | Oliver Cooper IV
Mercy (One-Hour Pilot)
An unorthodox African-American surgeon, fresh from duty in the Korean War, finds new hope and surprising strength during a trip to the Jim Crow South, a journey that catapults him to a life-changing decision: to convert a struggling clinic into the town’s only black hospital.


2nd Place Winner | Denise Miotke
Vigilante Nancy (Half-Hour Pilot)
Vigilante Nancy is a fish out of water dark comedy about a methodical ex-military ex-wife who struggles to adjust to suburbia, as she finds herself in the unexpected business of cleaning up her Midwestern neighborhood.


3rd Place Winner | Shira Weitz
Alice, The Most Ethical Sex-Worker In The World!!! (Half-Hour Pilot)
A morally sound sex worker gets overly involved in fixing her client’s lives.


Thanks to our Writers’ Program instructors and mentors:
Julia Camara, Cynthia Hsiung, Roberto Marinas, Donald Martin, Koji Steven Sakai, and Andrew Osborne.

Special thanks to our industry judges:
(Feature Film)
Jennifer Au, Jennifer Au Management
Elisa Oliveras, New Cadence Productions/Further Films
Chris Sablan, Avenue 2020
Lauren Dineley, Writ-Large
Isabella Mastrodicasa, Heroes and Villains Entertainment
Mette Norkjaer, BOOM! Studios

Some of our past winners have succeeded in developing successful entertainment industry careers! Expand to see a list.

To name a few:

Jonathan Redding, 3rd place 2018 Television Spec Writing Competition Winner with the script Designated Survivor: “Trauma” (One-Hour). He is now currently a staff writer on Homeland.



Christina Strain, 1st Place 2015 Television Pilot Writing Competition Winner with the script The Fox Sister (One-Hour). She is now currently a staff writer on Magicians.



Moisés Zamora, 2nd Place 2015 Television Pilot Writing Competition Winner with the script Second Coming (One-Hour). He is now currently a showrunner on Netflix’s Selena. His other credits include American Crime and Star.


Barbara Stepansky, 1st Place 2013 Feature Film Writing Competition Winner with the script Sugar in My Veins (Drama). She was nominated for the Emmy and won the WGA Award for her feature Flint. Currently she is writing for Outlander.


Greta Heinemann, 1st Place and 2nd Place 2013 Television Pilot and Spec Writing Competition Winner with the scripts The King of Valleywood (One-Hour) and Sons of Anarchy: Deliverance (One-Hour). She is writer and producer on NCIS: New Orleans.


Julie Wong, 3rd Place 2013 Television Pilot Writing Winner with the script Ana In Between (One-Hour). She is currently a staff writer on Grey’s Anatomy.



Denise Harkavy, 1st Place 2012 Television Spec Writing Winner with the script Awkward: Motherhood (Half-Hour). She is a writer and producer on Batwoman and Manhunt. Her other credits include The Expanse, The Brave, Queen Sugar, and Franklin & Bash.


Elissa Matsueda, 1st Place 2010 Feature Film Writing Competition Winner with the script Happy for You (Comedy). She’s had all four of her screenplays produced including Spare Parts, Reversion, The Miracle Season and Dog Days.


Annabel Oakes, 1st Place 2008 Feature Film Writing Competition Winner with the script Lovest(r)uck (Comedy). She is currently a writer for mini-series The Edge of Seventeen. Her other credits include Atypical, Downward Dog, Angel from Hell, and Sirens.

You Too Can Succeed! Expand here if you are a prospective student.


Contest applicants must have completed two feature film courses or one advanced course in the Writers’ Program in the 36 months for feature film submission or two television writing courses or one advanced course in the Writers’ Program in the 36 months (pilots) or 24 months (specs) for TV submission prior to the competition deadline in order to qualify. To enroll in courses to become eligible, click here.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, check this page for details on deadlines and instructions. Please note that the competition is currently on hiatus. Check back on the website for updates.

The Top Three Winners in Each Category receive:

  • A guaranteed read by an agent, producer, and/or creative executive
  • A one-on-one script mentorship (a $2,150 value) with a professional screenwriter prior to the final judging
  • Announcements with names, script titles and placing in an industry trade magazine such as Deadline, Variety or Hollywood Reporter
  • Names, loglines, and contact information sent to more than 1,000 entertainment industry executives
  • An exclusive career development seminar with a studio executive, agent, or manager to be determined by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

If you have any questions contact or 310-825-9415.


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