Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is now open for submissions for the 2010 international competition. Entrants may submit their script online via digital upload only, Printed scripts are no longer accepted. Scripts submitted online must be uploaded no later than 11:59pm PT on May 1, 2010.

The Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting program is an international competition open to screenwriters who have not earned more than $5,000 writing for film or television. Entry scripts must be the original work of a sole author or of exactly two collaborative authors. Up to five $30,000 fellowships awarded each year

In recent years, the Nicholl Fellowships program has received between $150,000 and $190,000 in entry fees. In a typical fellowship year, it distributes $150,000 to the fellows. Considering administrative and other costs, it’s clear that the program is not remotely close to being a moneymaking operation.

Key Dates:

● The application is available through late April, 2010.

● All entries are due 11:59pm PT May 1, 2010.


●Screenwriters who have not earned more than $5,000 writing fictional work for film or television.

● Entry scripts must be the original work of one writer, or the collaborative work of two writers, and must be written originally in English. Adaptations and translated scripts are not eligible.

● Each entrant is limited to three scripts in the current competition. Each entry requires a separate online application form and a separate entry fee. Under no circumstances may an entrant submit different versions or multiple copies of the same script. Doing so may result in all versions of the script being disqualified.


● Up to five $30,000 fellowships are awarded each year to promising new screenwriters. From the program’s inception in 1986 through 2009, over $2.8 million have been awarded to 121 writers.

Entry Requirements:

● Original feature film screenplay approximately 90 to 120 pages in length (there is no page limit) in PDF format only

● Fill out the online application form

● Early bird entry fee of US $30 (by 11:59pm Pacific Time April 1, 2010) or regular deadline entry fee of US $45 (by 11:59pm Pacific Time May 1, 2010)

Register and Apply:

Click Here to create an online account at any time. When the competition opens each year, you may use that account to apply online. Follow the links to the Log In page. The online system allows entrants to submit an application form electronically, pay the entry fee with a credit card and submit a PDF version of their script. It also allows entrants to confirm receipt of their entry and to update their contact information at any time during the competition.

PDF or Word versions of the application are no longer available as entrants may only enter via the online application.


The US $30 entry fee must be paid online via credit card or debit card.

The Competition:

Since 1991, over 3,500 writers have entered the Nicholl Fellowships each year. A record 6,380 entries were received in 2009. All scripts are read at least once in the competition. About half are read a second time and about one-sixth are read a third time. About five percent of entries advance to the competition quarterfinals, about two percent advance to the semifinals and about 10 reach the finals.


The first and quarterfinal rounds are judged by industry professionals who are not members of the Academy. The semifinal round is judged by Academy members drawn from across the spectrum of the motion picture industry. The finalist scripts are judged by the Nicholl Committee.


All entrants will receive notification of their status by e-mail sent no later than August 1, 2010. Quarterfinalist letters are e-mailed by August 1, 2010. Fellowship recipients are announced in October, 2010.

Writers may continue any and all modes of marketing their script without regard to their status in the competition.