Student Screenplay Submission Guide

Any K-12 student in an East Central Illinois school district, private school, or home school is invited to submit one or more screenplays of his or her own making. Students may also elect to write a screenplay together as a group. This page explains how to correctly format and submit your screenplay for this contest. Submissions not adhering to these guidelines may be disqualified.

Submission Guidelines

  • Screenplay should be submitted as a PDF no longer than 5 pages (excluding title page, if present)
  • All text should be 12pt Courier New font.
  • A worksheet outlining standard screenplay format is available here, as well as an example of screenplay formatting here. Precise formatting is not required, but observing it can only help your chances. At a minimum, observing the following formatting for screenplay elements will make it easy for filmmakers to read your script:
    • Scenes should start with a “slugline” with three parts (e.g. INT. STADIUM. DAY.)
      • INT/EXT indicating if the scene is inside (INT) or outside (EXT)
      • A short name for the location (e.g. “CLUBHOUSE”, “CLASSROOM”, “MEADOW)
      • DAY/NIGHT indicating roughly when a scene is set.
    • Action description (text describing what is seen and heard, excluding dialog) should be left justified.
    • Dialog may either follow standard screenplay formatting, or simply be center justified, with the name of the character speaking in CAPS on the line preceding the dialog.
  • Entry deadline: All entries must be submitted electronically before 11:59 PM on February 29, 2024.

>Submit your script here!

Rules For Submitting Your Screenplay

All entries must be original and the sole work of the author(s). Submissions that re-use characters or stories that the student has seen before will not be considered. Screenplays that are produced into films will understand the practical limitations of filmmaking. Stories should adhere to the entrant’s school’s code of conduct. Assistance for younger students from teachers and parents is expected, but the student is responsible for the ideas in the story and the way those ideas are expressed. We encourage proofreading of the stories prior to submission.


Community filmmakers will choose screenplays from all ages that they would like to produce; local designers may select other screenplays will be realized as movie poster designs. Some exceptional scripts that are not chosen to be produced as movies will win writing awards in these age categories: grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Films, posters, and writing awards will be presented at a Gala event in August along with any selected Student Films. Winners will be notified that their script is being produced, designed, or recognized one month before the Gala.