questionmarkWhy can’t I find any screenwriting contests that accept scripts that are adapted from another source — in my case a book that I’ve got the option rights to?

Do you know of any? It seems everyone I see only accepts ‘original’ material.

— Matisse

Two reasons:

  1. Apples to Apples. With an adapted screenplay, it’s not altogether obvious what awesomeness came from the screenwriter, and what came from the underlying material.

  2. Legal Awkwardness. Let’s say a screenwriting competition gives first place to an adaptation of the third book of the Twilight series. Do you think Stephanie Meyer (or her business people) would be delighted?

One exception to all of this: television. Writing spec episodes of current television series is an accepted industry practice, and several competitions feature this, including Austin.