The Other Worlds Austin SciFi Screenwriting Contest, sponsored by The Script Butcher and Save the Cat!®

Submissions For 2019 Are Now Open!!

Just as the expedition crests the hill, a wild, unblemished wilderness stretches before them. The endless landscape overgrown and mysterious, full of nothing, full of anything, full of possibility.   Their very presence destroying something that was, yet creating something new. The wilderness and the expedition forever changed. As you are confronted by the expanse of the open page, how will you change it, and how will it change you?

Other Worlds is dedicated to fostering and promoting creativity in Science Fiction in all its forms during every stage of development, and we are proud to announce our 5th annual screenwriting contest is now currently open and accepting submissions!  The contest will run concurrently with the film program, and will include a space for shorts and teleplays, in addition to the feature length category.

For our 5th year of the contest we are proud to have returning sponsor The Script Butcher!

 Jimmy George has been writing and producing films for over a decade. Along with optioning several screenplays, Jimmy has lent his name as co-writer/co-producer to six award winning feature-length films, garnering rave reviews, and boasting international distribution.  


He has a talent for engineering fun and innovative productions on shoe-string budgets with few of the modern technological marvels used in major Hollywood blockbusters. Each of his films have been praised for circumventing their meager budgets, standing out through memorable storytelling.

Jimmy co-wrote and co-produced the 2013 film WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL which was awarded “Best Screenplay” at the 2013 Killer Film Fest, alongside national press from The New York Times, VICE, MTV, Birth.Movies.Death, Fandango, and Red Letter Media.  In addition to writing and producing, Jimmy has a passion for helping creators succeed.  As the Script Butcher, he empowers writers with the necessary tools to sharpen their scripts into dynamic stories that slice through the competition.

Winners in each of our categories will receive a consultation with The Script Butcher to help them hone and refine their scripts.  

We would also like to welcome back our sponsor Save the Cat!® 

Save the Cat!® began as an industry renown screenwriting book by Blake Snyder published in 2005, and has since grown into a diverse digital and print screenwriting resource.  In his 20-year career as a screenwriter and producer, Blake Snyder sold dozens of scripts, including co-writing Blank Check, which became a hit for Disney, and Nuclear Family for Steven Spielberg — both million-dollar sales. His book, Save the Cat!®: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need became an instant sensation in screenwriting, and was quickly followed by standing room only workshops.  The book, now in its 24th printing, and its very specific, assessable structural beat sheet, has become the “secret weapon” of many development executives, managers, and producers for its precise, easy, and honest appraisal of what it takes to write and develop stories that resonate. Although he passed away suddenly in 2009, he lives on in his films and his books and in the countless writers he mentored or who have achieved success by embracing Blake’s ‘Insider’s Guide’ to screenwriting.

Check out more about Blake's principles and examples of great films broken down into the Save the Cat!® beat sheet on

Each of the category finalists will receive a free book from Save the Cat!® and a copy of Save the Cat!® Story Structure Software 3.0: Structure your screenplay the Save the Cat!® Way.  In addition to the great prizes from The Script Butcher and Save the Cat!®, category winners receive $250 in cash, with the Grand Prize Winner selected from the three winners receiving an additional $250 cash.

In addition, every entrant will receive an online discount code for the latest Save the Cat!® books, including the newly published book analyzing independent films.

(Looking to submit a film?  Click here.)


We are looking for original submissions that are character and story driven with a decidedly science fiction angle.  The Other Worlds Austin SciFi Screenwriting Contest is all about possibility, story and character We are looking for the most original, interesting and exciting stories with the most compelling and unique characters.  Whether you’ve got a sentient mold that is slowly animating a neglected loaf of bread, with the intention of conquering the world outside the fridge, a scientist that has spent a lifetime creating civilization simulations in an attempt to figure out the Great Filter, or a teenage girl who finds a portal in her locker that takes her , we want you to send them our way!

While we do expect scripts to exhibit an understanding of what is possible in the industry, we aren’t interested in whether or not a script can stick within a certain budget, and our winners aren’t selected by small production companies in hopes optioning something financially feasible.  Our prizes are meant to keep creative and talented people working to generate fantastic stories within the genre.  We also understand that some scripts are written as an exercise or just purely for fun, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of winning.  All script submissions will be read by industry professionals, including screenwriters, producers, filmmakers and programmers, and each will receive unfiltered, constructive written feedback.  We believe that every writer that has taken the time to create and submit their work have it taken seriously, and receive assurance that it was read by a professional.  


  • Shorts: 40 pages or less, must be original material.

  • Features: 70 pages or more, must be original material.

  • Television

    • Pilots: may be sitcom or one-hour, network or cable (anything longer than one-hour should be submitted as a feature, i.e. a made-for-tv movie), must be fully original, no spinoffs.  Sitcoms tend to be 22-40 pages depending on formatting, one-hours 45-70 pages.

    • Specs: should be for an existing show, on air in the US (BBC America or Showcase shows on Syfy are fine) either currently or in the last year.

    • Retro-Specs: may be for a long-cancelled series (Lost In Space), a spin-off (CSI: Mars), or a television series based on an established property (The Dragonriders of Pern) and should be 22-75 pages in length.  Recently cancelled series (last ten years) are highly discouraged although not prohibited.

Deadlines and Fees

  • Prior to March 31st, Features/TV/Shorts $40/$35/$30

  • April 1st to June 15th, Features/TV/Shorts$50/$45/$35

  • June 16th to August 1st, Features/TV/Shorts $70/$65/$45

Other Worlds Austin does not offer waivers under any circumstances.  Our fees simply pay for the awards and the costs of running the contest (not even).  We understand the financial hardship of being a screenwriter and costs of submitting to competitions and have kept our fees low in order to allow the most number of entries possible. We hope you can find it in your budget to submit your screenplay. 


  • $250 awarded to Category winners in all three categories (Features, Teleplays, and Shorts) PLUS an additional $250 for the Grand Prize Winner selected from all three.

  • Grand Prize Winner in each category will receive a free full script consultation from the Script Butcher, including feedback, notes and suggested edits

  • Free copy of a Save the Cat!® book of the Winners' choosing for all Category Winners.  

  • Free copy of Save the Cat!® Story Structure Software 3.0: Structure your screenplay the Save the Cat!® Way for all Category Winners.  

  • Winning Scripts will be announced the week after the Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival, December 6-9, 2018 with the Audience Awards and the Cthulhies in a national press release.  Finalists will be announced in November.

  • All entries will receive feedback on their scripts at the conclusion of the Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival, December 6-9 2018, if desired.  All feedback will be distributed by March of the following year at the latest.

  • NOTE: there must be at least 50 entries in a category to be awarded a prize. Categories w/ less than 50 entries may be combined w/ other categories when awarding prizes. However, a winning script will still be selected in each category (no matter the total entries).

Questions?  Check out our Screenplay FAQ, or email Programmer and Screenwriting Director Eric Harrelson (

Submit NOW Exclusively on

(Click ENTER A SCRIPT above or follow the link below) 

Psst...we've also partnered with InkTip on spreading the word on our Screenwriting Contest!

InkTip: Where producers go for scripts and writers. 

Film and screenplay winners will receive an InkTip Script Listing so they can promote themselves and their scripts to InkTip’s entire network of producers, managers, and agents. Screenplay winners will also have their logline featured in InkTip Magazine . InkTip Magazine is sent to over 15,000 producers and representatives. 

Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, 20th Century Fox, and many more. 

Producers have made more than 315 films from scripts and writers found through InkTip.