TRUE STORY SHOWCASE (Submissions Open December 5, 2023)
The True Story Showcase recognizes scripts, books, short stories & stage plays in any genre that feature a story based on, or inspired by, true events.
Year: 2024 | Season: 10 | Award: $3,500
SUBMISSIONS OPEN: December 5, 2023
Early Deadline ($55): January 22, 2024
Regular Deadline ($65): February 19, 2024
Late Deadline ($75): March 19, 2024
Final Deadline ($85): April 22, 2024
All deadlines 11:59 pm Pacific Time
Winner & Official Selections announced by: June 30, 2024
* One (1) Winner will receive a $3,500 cash prize.
* Official Selections receive a laurel and a listing on the website.
Story Showcases are conducted exclusively online.
For more information on submission requirements, and answers to FAQs, see the dropdown tabs on this page.
Submissions are accepted via FilmFreeway.com
Submission Requirements (Rules & Eligibility)
* Feature film screenplays - up to 160 pages
* Television scripts - up to 90 pages
* Short scripts - up to 25 pages
* Stories in any genre
* Produced or unproduced
BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & SHORT STORIES
* Fiction or narrative nonfiction
* Any length
* Stories in any genre
* Published or unpublished
* Any length
* Stories in any genre
* Produced or unproduced
TITLE PAGE IS REQUIRED
* Name(s) of writer(s)
* If an adaptation, also include the title & writer(s) of the source material
* If a true story, also include the name of the person or the event the story is based on or inspired by
* Entrant(s) must be 18 years of age or older.
* All entries must be in English.
* All entries must be submitted in PDF format. No exceptions.
* Scripts/manuscripts/plays must be in standard format. No exceptions.
* Both produced and unproduced scripts/plays are eligible.
* Both published and unpublished books/manuscripts are eligible.
* Both represented and non-represented writers are eligible.
* Teams of writers are eligible.
* Stories that have previously won a competition are eligible.
* Substitutions of corrected pages, revised material, or new drafts require a new entry and payment.
* We DO NOT offer deadline extensions.
* We DO NOT offer fee waivers or discounts.
* WE DO NOT RESPOND TO REQUESTS FOR FEE WAIVERS, OR DISCOUNTS, OR DEADLINE EXTENSIONS.
* We DO NOT offer individual feedback on submissions.
* All submission payments are final. We do not provide refunds.
* By submitting a story you confirm that you own the rights to the material submitted.
* By submitting an adapted story, you confirm that you have permission from the copyright-holder or the material is available in the public domain.
* By submitting a story you confirm that you have read and agree to our eligibility and rules.
* Judges decisions are final.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need to include a title page with my submission? Yes. A title page is required.
What information do I need to include on the title page? The title page MUST include:
- Title of Story
- Name of Writer(s)
- Contact information is optional (and not required)
- For adapted stories, also include: Based On [Title and Writer]
- For true stories, also include: Based on [Name of Person or Event]
What format do you accept for submissions? All entries must be submitted in PDF format. No exceptions.
Do I have to include a Copyright or WGA registration number with my submission? No, it is not required.
Do you accept international submissions? Yes, we welcome international writers. All submissions must be in English.
Can I enter more than one story in a showcase? Yes, multiple submissions are accepted. Each submission requires a separate entry.
Can I submit a story under a pen name? Yes. If you use a pen name, be sure to include and indicate your pen name on the title page.
If I rewrite my story after entering the showcase can I submit my new draft? Yes, new drafts of submitted stories can be uploaded via your Film Freeway account page (where you submit your story and pay the entry fee). Updated drafts are accepted at no cost through the final submission date.
Can I send a paper copy of my story to your mailing address? No. We do not accept paper copies.
Why do you ask for a Writer Bio and what should I include? Winning writers may have their profiles and story logline included on the website, therefore, we collect writer bios at the time of submission. Your bio has no impact on the judging process. Simply share what you feel we should know about you. This may include your writing accolades, training, and experience, as well as any current and past projects.
Payments & Refunds
Is there a way I can enter the showcase for free? Do you provide fee waivers for writers with financial hardships? No, we do not offer fee waivers of any kind.
What if I change my mind about entering the showcase after making payment, can I receive a refund? No, we do not offer refunds for any reason. No exceptions. Be sure to carefully read and verify your submission meets all criteria prior to entry.
Where does the money go for the entry fee? Entry fees are used to pay professional readers, administrative expenses, and delivery costs.
Ownership of Rights of Submitted Material
Does the entrant retain rights to the submitted story? Yes, entrants retain all the rights to their works.
If I win, will I have to assign any rights to the story, or any percentage of sales or future profits? Absolutely not. Entrants retain all the rights to their works. Neither Ink & Cinema nor its readers, judges or sponsors will attach themselves to your material as a condition of you being designated a winner, nor will we demand any percentage of any sales you make as a result of entering or winning a showcase.
Privacy / Confidentiality
Can anyone have access to the story once submitted? No, submissions are only accessible to the assigned reader, judges, and our staff. Ink & Cinema owns no rights to the submitted material and will not distribute your publicly publicly in any way.
How will you use my contact information? Rest-assured, we will never sell or rent your contact information to anyone.
Selection & Judging Process
Who are your readers ? All of our readers have significant experience and credentials in the industry. They have worked for production companies, studios, managers, publishers, agents, and talent.
How can you guarantee my submission will be reviewed and receive a fair chance? Rest-assured all entries are carefully considered.
Can I talk with a reader or judge about my submission? Do you provide notes or feedback? The showcases do NOT offer feedback or notes of any kind on individual submissions.
Announcements & Awards
When will I receive notification about my submissions placement in the showcase? All entrants will receive notification of their placement in the showcase, with a link to the the announcement page via email once a winner has been selected (see "Winners Announced By" date on the specific showcase submission page).
When will I received my recognition laurel? “Official Selection” and ‘Winner” laurels are distributed after judging is complete and winners have been announced. Winners receive a “Winner” laurel. Official Selections receive an “Official Selections” laurel. You will receive an email with a link to access and download the online laurel.
What is the definition of an adapted story? An adapted story is based on underlying source material. Underlying material could be a book, short story, film, television show, song, magazine article, news story, stage play or musical.
What types of underlying source material can be used to create the adapted story I plan to submit? The showcase accepts adapted stories based on the following types of previously written source material:
- Non-Fiction Book (Narrative or Other)
- Short Story
- Graphic Novel
- News or Magazine Article
- Stage Play or Musical
- Film or Television Show
- Podcast or Podcast Series
Can my adapted submission be based on material in the public domain? Yes, we accept adapted stories based on material in the public domain, in which copyright protection has expired.
Can I submit an adapted story based on a book, article or play I wrote? Yes, we accept submissions from writers who authored the underlying material and who, therefore, already control the rights.
Do I have to own or control the rights to the underlying source material my story is based on? No, you do not need to own or control the rights to the underlying material, however, you must have permission from the copyright holder to adapt the material or the material must exist in the public domain.
Do I have to provide proof that I own or have permission to adapt the source material used for my adapted story submission? No, you don't need to provide documentation. However, by submitting an adapted story, you confirm that you own the rights or have permission to adapt the material or that the material is in the public domain.
True Story Submissions
Can I submit a story to the True Story Showcase that is inspired by true events but not a completely true story? Yes. The True Story Showcase accepts stories that are “based on a true story” or "inspired by true events".