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Expo Screenplay Competition:
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Expo Screenplay Competition Rules, Release
Updated 5/29/2011 (new Title Page rule 1b)

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Screenwriting Expo Screenplay Contest Rules and Regulations

Access And Industry Visibility Rule:

Providing movie and TV executives and talent representatives multiple forms of confidential access to the material you submit to this contest is one of the key prizes of this screenplay contest.  Their assurance that such submissions are confidential and free of potential liability is vital to their participation and receipt of your work, for your benefit as a writer seeking to sell your work.  

The contest provides copies or and access to winning  scripts to studio executives, producers, film and TV show packaging companies, agents, and talent managers on a confidential basis, both through an online system and via email and other means.  By entering this contest, you specifically release the contest management and its associated organizations, and all organizations given access to your screenplay or information thereon, from any and all claims of misappropriationarising from the contest providing producers, agents, and managers access to your work.  You specifically agree that the terms of the Release below apply to all such submissions and access, whether online, by email, or by other means

Additional Rules

1a) All submissions must be postmarked by deadline  The Competition reserves the right to extend the deadline.   

1b)  All submissions must contain a title page which must include the title, writer's (or writers') name(s), and the email address and physical mailing address of at least one writer; telphone number is requested but not required. This Rule 1b is effective as of 5/30/2011.  Any script submitted after that date which is lacking a title page with the title and writer names and contact information above will automatically lose 3 points off the judge's score in the 0-100 scoring system

2) By submitting, you agree to the Release Form (copied below) and to abide by all the Contest Rules. 

3) Submitted screenplays must  be the unproduced, unoptioned, and wholly original work of the writer(s). There must be no dispute about the ownership of submitted screenplays or the writers’ right to submit screenplay. Submitted teleplays will adhere to the industry “spec script” practice of being a derivative work based on a pre-existing television series, however submitted teleplays must contain original story and dialogue. For teleplays, any characters created by the writer(s) must be wholly original work. Pilots for unproduced television shows or episodes of an  unproduced series will not be accepted

4) Scripts by more than one writer are eligible, but only one prize will be given and it will be the writers’ responsibility to distribute the prize. If writers of a script are unable to agree on the distribution of a prize, their script will be disqualified.

5) All writers of submitted scripts must be at least 18 years of age.

6) Writers of submitted scripts must not have earned more than $25,000 (in cash or other consideration) for writing services for film or television in the three years before April 24, 2011. Furthermore writers must not have won a fellowship or writing contest that includes a “first look” clause.

7)  Scripts must be in English, in an accepted electronic format or printed single- or double-sided on 3-hole white paper with the pages numbered and with the title (for TV specs include name of show), name of writer(s) and contact information on the title page. Online submissions must be in either Movie Magic, Final Draft, PDF or RTF format. It is preferable but not mandatory that the file has the title page as the first page of the file. Font must be 12-point Courier, Courier New or Courier Final Draft. Feature screenplays must be between 85-140 pages and in standard spec screenplay format; if paper, scripts must be fastened with 2-3 brads with (optional) blank cardstock covers. Short screenplays must be 20 pages or less, fastened with 2-3 brads or 1 staple. Teleplays for hour-long series must be between 50-70 pages. Teleplays for half-hour shows must be between 25 and 55 page (more than 40 only if double-spaced dialogue). 

8) Hard-copy submissions must contain eligible scripts(s), a signed, initialed and completed application, entry fee (check, money order or credit card information), and, if you want notification that we have received your materials, a self-addressed-stamped postcard. Hard-copy submissions must be mailed (USPS, UPS, etc…) via a delivery method that does not require a signature. Online submissions must contain eligible script (as a Movie Magic, PDF, RTF or Final Draft file), valid credit card information and a valid email address. Confirmation of receipt of online submissions will be only done via automated form email at the time the script is entered.

9) Employees, occasional or regular or long-term contractors, or immediate family members of principals of Creative Screenwriting, The Screenwriting Expo, and Inside Information Group, Ltd. may not submit screenplays. Writers who and scripts which have won a cash prize from any previous  Expo Screenplay Competition are ineligible.  An individual who has performed or is contemplating performing one brief, temporary contract (such as working only at the Screenwriting Expo) may, upon request, be approved to submit at the sole discretion of contest management.

10) Please read and understand these Rules and Regulations. Failure to adhere to The Contest guidelines will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.

11) Judging will be performed by trained readers and industry professionals. The finalists’ scripts will be read by industry professionals. The decisions of the Judges will be final.

12) The 2011 Screenwriting Expo Screenplay Competition may substitute alternative prizes of equal or greater value in place of previously announced prizes.

13) Entry fees are nonrefundable. Make your check payable to Creative Screenwriting.

14) Questions regarding The Screenwriting Expo Screenplay Competition should be directed to:  contests@screenwritingexpo.com

15) “Trip to Los Angeles” is defined as a continental U.S. round-trip plane ticket (maximum price: $300) to Los Angeles for one writer on a major airline, up to 3 nights accommodations for one person at an official Expo Hotel (not including any additional charges incurred there), and free entrance to the Expo as defined by the Official Prize List at http://screenwritingexpo.com/prizelist.html. No substitute for the Trip To Los Angeles terms will be accepted.  For example, the Competition will not reimburse for lodging at a non-Expo hotel unless all Expo hotel rooms are sold out.    In that case, maximum reimbursement for hotel will be no greater than the single rate at the headquarters hotel.  No cash be offered or given in lieu of travel or lodging expense.  

16) No writer will win more than one of the following categories: Action-Adventure, Thriller, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comedy, Family, Animation, New Visions Prize, Grand Prize, Runner Up in Main Category. Winners of the prizes sponsored by entities other than the Creative Screenwriting/Screenwriting Expo enterprise may be selected by the principals of each respective company and may coincide with writer(s) who have won another prize in this year's Expo Screenplay Competition.

17) All winners will be responsible for their own U.S. income tax withholding.  The contestis required by law to withhold U.S. tax from winners who do not reside in the United States.

18) Remedy For Feedback Not Received; Unread Scripts Rule

The Competition emails basic feedback to each contestant who provides a valid email address on the screenplay title page. If a contestant does not include a valid email address on the title page of the screenplay, then feedback is not sent.

The contest offers the following procedure if you do not receive the free feedback:
    A.  You may contact our customer service staff at (323) 957-1405 or by email at   customer.service@creativescreenwriting.com and request that feedback be emailed to you.
    B. The customer service staff will respond by sending your feedback by email.
    C. If, for some reason, the non-receipt of feedback is due to the script having gone unread, the Unread Scripts Rule below applies:

Unread Scripts Rule

Occasionally, in this and other screenplay contests, an entry is not judged due to a contest management or judge oversight in managing files, or an unreadable file, or other errors.  Such events are rare, and in the vast majority of screenplay contests, such events go undetected because feedback is not provided to entrants. 

Because our contest provides free, brief feedback to every entrant, it is more likely that if such an error occurs,  it will be noticed.  Therefore, contest management has created this policy and rule regarding a script which is not read by the end of the first round of judging. 

If we fail to read your script for any reason, you are entitled to the following relief and none other:
    (1) a full refund of your entry fee for that screenplay; and
    (2) a free entry into the next screenplay contest sponsored by Creative Screenwriting or the Screenwriting Expo. 

If you do not receive feedback by email, the most likely reason is that you did not provide a valid email address on the title page of the screenplay.   However, because it is possible that a script may be misplaced  and notread, the policy above applies.

Screenplay Contest Release Statement

Writers who apply to The Screenwriting Expo Screenplay Competition (The Competition) agree to the following terms.

I/We attest that I/we have read and understand and complied with the Rules and Regulations of The Competition, that I/we are the author/s and sole owner/s of all rights to the Material, or, in the case of teleplays, that the dialogue, story and newly created characters are wholly original, and that the Material was created and written without any suggestion or request from any third parties that I/we write the Material.

I/We recognize that The Competition and Inside Information Group, Ltd. have access to hundreds of ideas, stories and scripts for motion pictures and that many stories and ideas relate to one or more common underlying themes. I/we understand that The Competition and Inside Information Group, Ltd. agree not to use any portion of the Material unless 1) I/we do not control or own the Material or such features or elements, 2) the Material elements used by you and claimed by me/us to be my/our Material or embodied in the Material is in the public domain, is not new or novel or is not legally protected or protectable, or 3) any third party would be free to use the Material if it had not been submitted to it and been the subject of any agreement with it.

I/we agree that by entering this contest, I/we specifically release the contest management and its associated organizations, and all organizations given access to your screenplay or information thereon, from any and all claims of misappropriationarising from the contest providing access to your work.  I/we specifically agree that the terms of the Release paragraph immediately above apply to all such submissions and access, whether online, by email, or by other means.   

I/We agree that any dispute arising between us shall be subject to binding arbitration pursuant to the then effective Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator will be someone with at least 10 years of motion picture industry experience and shall have the authority to award all appropriate relief, including equitable or injunctive relief; provided, however, that the arbitrator is not authorized to award punitive damages. The award issued by any such arbitrator may be entered and confirmed as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction. The state with jurisdiction over any disputes relating to this Agreement is California, and the sole location for proper venue is Los Angeles, California.

Furthermore we indemnify The Competition and Inside Information Group, Ltd., its associates, judges and sponsors against all claims, losses, expenses, damages and liabilities, if I/we do not satisfy all of the The Competition’s rules and regulations.

I/We understand that the submission of the Material into The Competition does not establish any fiduciary or confidential relationship between us, nor is there one intended or created by reason of this letter and/or submission of the Material. I have retained a copy of the Material and agree that you shall not be obligated to return the Material to me, and I release you from all liability if the Material is lost, misplaced, stolen or destroyed. Furthermore, I/we understand that it is our sole responsibility to register Material with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writer’s Guild of America.

If more than one writer signs the application for The Competition, then reference to “I/We” within this release letter shall apply to each party jointly and severally.

Winner Announcements:
  • Semifinalists To Be Announced Aug. 25, 2011, evening
  • Top 20 Finalists to Be Announced:  Aug. 27, evening
  • Winners To Be Notified:  Aug. 31, evening; Announced At the Screenwriting Expo

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