Things that go bump in the night!

THE HAUNTED RECTORY. ‘Ghosts!’ Kate said. ‘I ask you – people believing things like that in this day and age. And then we moved in and I heard them too.’ The crunch of carriage wheels on the gravel drive when there was no carriage or any kind of vehicle to be seen. Doors closing softly when no doors had been left open. Footsteps crossing the landing and going downstairs, crossing the hall, then the front door opening softly and closing swiftly.... ‘We got used to it. We had to, you see. It wasn’t as if we could sell the house and buy another.’ (From ‘The Haunting of Shawley Rectory’ by Ruth Rendell. Photo Montage by L.J. May)


On these pages you will find competitions and other opportunities for authors, performance writers for stage and screen, illustrators and filmmakers. See entries below the quick list for more detailed information.  

In this section we list competitions open to writers of prose and poetry. Detailed information is listed below. Entries are in date order and those with deadlines looming are highlighted in red. 

  • The US Competition BLUE DRAFT SCREENWRITING CONTEST invites you to create a Short Film lasting 15 minutes with an open theme, and a Digital Short Series of 8 to 10 episodes each with a length of 8 to 10 minutes. Closing dates are Regular: 30/09/2019, Late: 30/11/2019.


Who: Blue Draft Screenwriting Contest.


Entries close: Regular: 30/09/2019, Late: 30/11/2019.

Contact: For guidelines and the submission procedure visit the website at Notification date is 15 January 2020, and the event date from 1 May to 1 June 2020.

Entry fees: 1. Short film – REGULAR: $USD 40 (Gold Members: $USD 32), LATE: $USD 50 (Gold Members: $USD 40).

Entry fees: 2. Digital Short Series – REGULAR: $USD 40 (Gold Members: $USD 32), LATE: $USD 50 (Gold Members: $USD 40). 

What’s happening: The Rules. The BLUE DRAFT SCREENWRITING CONTEST is open to screenwriters aged 18 and over as at 1 January 2020. This is an annual event dedicated to discovering new screenwriting talent from around the world and providing them with the opportunity to see their projects come to fruition.

Writers from all countries and nationalities are welcome to submit, and writers with a diverse background are strongly encouraged to apply. All scripts must be in English. Selected short films and short digital series scripts will be developed to completion by a team of professional filmmakers and pitched for distribution to major players in the industry. Every script submitted will get a one-page written feedback. 

  1. Create a Short Film lasting 15 minutes with an open theme.
  2. Create Digital Short Series of 8 to 10 episodes each with a length of 8 to 10 minutes.

The Prize: One Short Film and one Short Digital Series will be awarded a production deal with Blue Draft, who will partner with the writers to fully produce their film and series, and work alongside prospective distributors to find the best way to connect the finished projects with an audience.






THE MOONLIT ROAD. ‘There is another dream, another vision of the night. I stand among the shadows in a moonlit road. I am aware of another presence, but whose I cannot rightly determine. In the shadow of a great dwelling I catch the gleam of white garments, then the figure of a woman confronts me in the road – my murdered wife! There is death in the face; there are marks upon the throat. The eyes are fixed on mine with an infinite gravity which is not reproach, nor hate, nor menace, nor anything less terrible than recognition. Before this awful apparition I retreat in terror – a terror that is upon me as I write.’ (From ‘The Moonlit Road’ by Ambrose Bierce – born 1842, mysteriously disappeared in Mexico c. 1913. Photo by L.J. May S/S)