America’s greatest storyteller of the 19th Century languished in obscurity until he entered his short, “Manuscript in a Bottle,” in a Baltimore writing contest in 1833. Edgar Allan Poe’s winning story caught the eye of a publishing insider in Richmond and propelled Poe into literary stardom.
History can repeat itself.
In collaboration with our Poe literary expert judges, Poe Films established The Poe Contest in 2016 to honor Edgar Allan Poe’s talents and to inspire the next generation of writers. The Poe Contest seeks to discover and promote contemporary screenwriters who bring fresh voices and creative storytelling as Poe brought to his generation.
While Poe’s antebellum voice and non-economy of prose unlikely translate to the screenplay form, today’s writers can channel his passion for intrigue, mystery, suspense, and the inevitable twist and reveal. Whether your genre is drama, comedy, thriller, sci-fi, action, or horror, you’re invited to submit to Poe, contests that reward fresh voices and creative storytelling.
Poe Films sponsors two screenplay contests each year — the autumn suspense contest and our spring “Burning Love” contest. We recognize that Edgar Allan Poe wrote not only macabre thrillers but penned some of the most passionate romantic tales and poems. The autumn contest opens now with winners announced on March 15 (the Ides of March).
Here’s the coolest feature of The Poe Contest: We also hold a ONE-DAY HALLOWEEN CONTEST. All scripts entered on the day of Halloween (October 31) during your prevailing time zone will be judged within a week, and the winner receives a quick $100 cash prize. Also, pay attention you guys, all of our Halloween scripts automatically advance to our quarterfinal round! You’ll be fast-tracked to success!
Feature length screenplays (80 to 120 pages) and short screenplays (up to 40 pages) of any genre are accepted. Separate awards will be given for features and shorts. In the shorts division, final awards will be determined by our panel of distinguished Poe scholars.
You may submit through Film Freeway or Withoutabox here.
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