18 March 2011

Open to LGBT Entries: 2011 Writers Block International Writing Competition

Post date: 18 March 2011
Deadline: 29 October 2011

The Writers Block International Writing Competition, a 501c(3) non-profit organization has officially opened its Call for Entries and will accept submissions from around the world of short and feature length scripts and manuscripts of all genres including documentary, horror, sci-fi, Wiccan, fiction and nonfiction, Religious/Spiritual, animation, and Gay/Lesbian for the 2011 competition.

The main focus of this writing competition is to possibly give new writers the break they deserve while showcasing the talents of veteran writers.

Whether you're writing for stage, film, television or are a novelist we can help you make the best first impression with agents and producers.

Our categories include Screenplays; Teleplays; Stage Plays and Manuscripts of all lengths and genres.

The winning script will be forwarded to agents and industry professionals for consideration.

The script selected as the first place winner shall receive a $1,000.00 cash award in addition to other benefits and prizes.

Top 20 finalists will:

• Be given exposure to literary agencies, film studios and Hollywood producers.
• Included in a Writers Block press release.
• Posted on the Writers Block Web site.
• Given further opportunities by having their scripts read by influential producers, publishers, agents and / or managers who play an active role in today’s industry.

Additional prizes will be announced as they are made available.

Script selections will be announced no later than November 26, 2011

Category Descriptions and Competition Rules

Competition Eligibility:

* Must be 18 years of age or older.
* Applicants under the age of 18 are allowed to enter this contest. Any applicant who is under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian enter the competition on their behalf and provide their signature on each entry form submitted. Should an applicant under the age of 18 win the competition all monies and prizes will be made payable to the parent or legal guardian and/or that person whose name and signature appears on the application. Teachers may always submit entries on behalf of their students. Each entry must include the teacher's signature. Each entry must also include a copy of the teacher's teaching credential.
* The entered script must not be or previously been optioned, sold, or produced.

Writing Competition Rules:

* Any genre considered
* All screenplay, teleplay, stage play and manuscripts must be original work of the author
* Multiple authorship is allowed. If the script wins, the writers will divide the prize.
* Multiple entries are allowed, but their own completed entry form and their own appropriate entry fee must accompany each entry.
* No corrected pages or additional pages will be accepted after the script has been entered.
* All screenplay, teleplay, stage play and manuscripts submitted must be in English.
* Do not send originals, scripts will not be returned.
* All screenplay, teleplay, and Stage Play must be submitted in the particular industry standard format and bound with 2 or 3 brads unless submitted electronically as an Adobe PDF or Word File.
* Body pages must be correctly numbered.
* All screenplay, teleplay, stage play and manuscripts title page should only contain name of script.
* All screenplay, teleplay, stage play and manuscripts submitted must be on white paper.
* Covers must be card stock only
* Teleplays must be original material. We will not accept spec scripts for existing shows, treatments or reality television pilots.
* Teleplays must be hour or half-hour or one hour pilots. Additional material will not be read or considered.
* Teleplays must not have been previously optioned, purchased or produced.
* Manuscripts must not be bound or stapled. Please only send loose pages held together with a paperclip or by rubber band.

Screenplay and Teleplay Length:

* Feature Length screenplays should be 70 pages or more.
* Shorts length screenplays should be 69 pages or less.
* Teleplay Feature Length scripts no more than 60 pages.
* Teleplay Short Length Scripts should be no more than 42 pages.
* Stage Play Full Length scripts should be 50 pages or more.
* Stage Play Short Length Scripts should be 49 pages or less.

Manuscripts Length:

Short Length Manuscript:

* Micro-Fiction up to 100 words
* Flash Fiction 101 - 1,000 words
* Short Story 1,001 - 7,500 words
* Novellette 7,501 - 20,000 words

Full Length Manuscript:

* Novella 20,001 - 50,000 words
* Novel 50,001 -110,000 words
* Epics and Sequels Over 110,000 words

Stage Play Guidelines:

Script formatting is standardized to aid those who will be considering it for production or publication. Generally a page of a play means a minute to a minute-and-a-half of production. The standardized placement of the character names makes it easy for the actors, and the spare layout makes it simple to keep notes on the page as they go along.

Stage directions and scene descriptions are the main format elements unique to stage plays. Stage Palys scripts should include:

* Staging Directions
* Dialogue
* Acts and Scenes
* Time
* Synopsis of Scenes
* Staging directions should be indented
* Dialogue should not be indented


* Use 12-point font throughout the manuscript.
* Avoid italics (except for occasional word emphasis).
* Use an ordinary serif face type such as Times New Roman or Palatino.

The title page and other preliminary pages should be arranged in the following order:

* Title Page
* Character Page (characters are listed in approximate order of importance with a short description of each next to his or her name)
* Setting & Time Page
* Scene Breakdown Page (optional)
-A scene breakdown page may be useful if you change locations and time periods. It’s also a good way to make complicated time structure clear to a reader. But if you have fewer than six scenes, it works as well to list them under each act on the Setting & Time Page.
Dialogue pages are formatted with a top margin of 0.75” – 1.0”, and a bottom margin of 1.0” – 1.5”.
* Left and right margins are set at around 1.0” (the first letter of each character name is centered, with the name then continuing out toward the right margin. Use tab settings for the alignment of character names rather than the center alignment function)
* Dialogue is single-spaced.
* Opening stage directions are centered on the page.
* Character stage directions and general stage directions occur within acts or scenes. They stand alone in the manuscript with parentheses and are single-spaced.

Guidelines for pagination:

* Numbering begins with the first page of dialogue.
* Numbers are always in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
* Each act is numbered consecutively through the end of an act: I-1 I-2 I-3
* The numbering for Act II begins again from scratch: II-1 II-2 II-3
* Plays structured in short formal scenes without Act designations are numbered consecutively with numerals only. If Act designations are also used—most playwrights do it this way—then follow the numbering system for plays in Acts.
* Preliminary pages, if numbered at all, are done with lower case Roman numerals.

Manuscript Category Summary:


This very abbreviated story is often difficult to write, and even harder to write well, but the markets for micro fiction are becoming increasingly popular in recent times. Publishers love them, as they take up almost no room and don't cost them their budgets. Pay rates are often low, but for so few words, the rate per word averages quite high.

Flash Fiction

This is the type of short-short story you would expect to find in a glossy magazine, often used to fill one page of quick romance (or quick humor, in men's mags) Very popular, quick and easy to write, and easier to sell!

Short Story

The 'regular' short story, usually found in periodicals or anthology collections. Most 'genre' zines will feature works at this length


Often a novellette-length work is difficult to sell to a publisher. It is considered too long for most publishers to insert comfortably into a magazine, yet too short for a novel. Generally, authors will piece together three or four novellette-length works into a compilation novel.


Although most print publishers will balk at printing a novel this short, this is almost perfect for the electronic publishing market length. The online audience doesn't always have the time or the patience to sit through a 100,000 word novel. Alternatively, this is an acceptable length for a short work of non-fiction.


Most print publishers prefer a minimum word count of around 70,000 words for a first novel, and some even hesitate for any work shorter than 80,000. Yet any piece of fiction climbing over the 110,000 word mark also tends to give editors some pause. They need to be sure they can produce a product that won't over-extend their budget, but still be enticing enough to readers to be saleable. Imagine paying good money for a book less than a quarter-inch thick?

Epics and Sequels

If your story extends too far over the 110,000 mark, perhaps consider where you could either condense the story to only include relevant details, or lengthen it to span out into a sequel, or perhaps even a trilogy. (Unless, of course, you're Stephen King - then it doesn't matter what length your manuscript is - a publisher is a little more lenient with an established author who has a well-established readership)

Manuscript Page Counts:

In most cases, industry standard preferred length is 250 words per page... so a 400 page novel would be at about 100,000 words. If you want to see what size book is selling in your genre, take a look on the shelves. If the average length is 300 pages, you're looking at a 75,000 word manuscript (approximately)

One reason it's harder for a new author to sell a 140,000 word manuscript is the size of the book. A 500+ page book is going to take up the space of almost two, 300 page books on the shelves. It's also going to cost more for the publishers to produce, so unless the author is well known, the book stores aren't going to stock that many copies of the 'door-stopper' novel as compared to the thinner novel.

Remember, these word- and page-counts are only estimated guides. Use your own common sense. Most novels are generally considered on the strength of the story itself, not on how many words you have squeezed into each chapter.

ABSOLUTELY NO INTERNATIONAL CHECKS, WIRE TRANSFERS, OR MONEY GRAMS WILL BE ACCEPTED. For all entries submitted outside the United States, we will only accept payment for submission fees in the form of INTERNATIONAL POSTAL MONEY ORDERS

Please mail all entries to:

Writers Block International Writing Competition
P.O. Box 346
Erie, Pa. 16512

Competition Awards:

Prizes for the winning script will include cash award of $1,000.00.

The winning script will be forwarded to agents and industry professionals for consideration.

All entries must be postmarked no later than the appropriate entry deadline they were submitted under. Additional entry fee will be required if not postmarked by the appropriate deadline. Entries received with uncompleted information will not be considered.

Download entry form >>

More information here.
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