What is the First Annual Upper Midwest Sitcom Writing Competition?
The First Annual Upper Midwest Sitcom Writing Competition is an annual competition, accepting original, written, television pilots from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota. The top three finalists will receive cash prizes totaling $1,000.00 as well as a DVD of their script at a full table read. A top development executive at 20th Century Fox Productions and a VP of Development for 821 Productions will read the winner’s script.
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What you get out of this competition.￼
The First Annual Upper Midwest Sitcom Writing Competition is your opportunity to get your original script read by professional producers, writers, directors and agents that are presently working in the entertainment industry. You can also get an analysis of your script by industry professionals and a four-hour, live workshop on writing a sitcom. Finalists will have a “table read” of their scripts read by professional actors and video recorded.
The read-through or table read in television is when an organized reading around a table of the script by the actors with speaking parts is conducted. In addition to the cast members with speaking parts the principal financiers, studio executives, producers, and heads of departments, writers and directors usually attend the read-through. It is extremely rare for anyone not involved in the production to be permitted to attend. It is usually the first time everyone involved in the production will have gathered.
Who can enter?
The competition is open to any person who lives or attends school in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota or South Dakota. Only original sitcom concept scripts will be accepted, No scripts based upon current or past TV shows will be accepted.
Multiple submissions will be accepted but must be submitted individually. Scripts written by partners or teams are also allowed but all credited writers names must appear on the registration form with one designated “lead” writer for contact purposes.
How do I enter the competition?
Reserve your spot by purchasing the package that determines your participation level in the competition. After you register you will receive an Entry Package that will include your full “Script Registration Form”, the full rules of the competition, copies of sitcom scripts from “Modern Family” and “30 Rock” ,as structural examples. and any pertinent information for the package you purchase. The Official Rules Page
What are the levels?
Entry Package – $59.00: Includes submission of one script and entry into the competition. Upon entry you will receive notice of your acceptance in the competition, copies of sample sitcoms as examples and instructions on how to submit your script.
Review Package – $129.00: Includes everything in Entry Package plus a written critique of your script by our panel of preliminary judges. The Review Package also includes one free re-submission of your critiqued script entered back into the competition for re-judging.
Workshop Packages – $249.00 • Educational Discount Price $219.00 (with current ID) Includes everything in the Review Package plus a four-hour, live, Sitcom Writing Workshop presented by some of the competition judges. Topics will include character development, arcs, making your script funnier, what scripts are selling, how to get an agent and a Q&A with the moderators. Workshop will be held September 13, 2013 at a location in the Twin Cities. Workshop Page
Then what do I do?
Next, you write your script, copyright it, or register it with the WGA • Writers Guild of America and send a copy to the competition headquarters before 12:00 PM CST on October 15, 2013. Your script will be judged on originality, humor, characters, writing ability and story development.
The number of scripts accepted is limited to 100. The Sitcom Writing Workshop is limited to 50 and reservations for the workshop must be received by September 7, 2013. Script reservation begins April 15, 2013. All scripts must be submitted by October 15, 2013. Finalists will be named on November 1, 2013. The table reading will be scheduled for dates in November of 2013 with concern to the availability and travel needs of the finalists.