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Get ready to channel the darkest and weirdest parts of your imagination….

The Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge asks registered participants to complete a short horror script of 7 pages (or less) within a 48-hour period.

Writers must incorporate three unique “prompts” (an object, a character and a line of dialogue) into their short script. They must submit their work before the deadline to be in the running for awards.

All registered participants who submit a script by the deadline will receive at least one page of notes from the Jury as to the merits of their work and/or how it could be improved.

THE RULES

    • The Challenge opens for registrations on 14 February 2016.
    • Registrations close at 12 noon (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) on 4 March 2016 (extended).
    • Entry is $20 (AUD) and open to anyone in the world (as long as able to make payment via PayPal).
    • International entrants must compete in the same timeframe as Australian entrants – from 8 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on 4 March 2016 until 8 pm on 6 March 2016 (48 hours total).
    • Registered participants must write a short horror script of up to 7 pages in duration (ie. roughly up to 7 minutes of screen time). There is no minimum length.
    • Registered participants will receive an email on 4 March assigning them three unique and randomly selected prompts. These must ALL be incorporated in the script in some way.
    • The prompts will consist of: an object (eg. a knitting needle, a bottle of poison); a brief character description (eg. a ballet dancer, a homeless person, a supermodel); a simple phrase that must be used in dialogue (eg. “I don’t like it”, “We’re all alone now” etc)
    • It’s up to the individual writer whether the three prompt elements shape their story in significant ways, but a responsive approach is likely to lead to more exciting and unexpected results. Have fun and try something new! Free your mind from thoughts of low budget suitability or marketability, as these are not addressed by the judging criteria.
    • You will receive the prompt email with the quote at 8 pm on 4 March 2016 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), at which point you may start writing.
    • You must submit by 8 pm on 6 March 2016 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) by emailing your script to info@strangerwthmyface.com with Tas Gothic Short Script Challenge entry – [TITLE OF YOUR SCRIPT] in the subject line.
    • Scripts must be submitted via email in PDF format by 8 pm on 6 March 2016 to be in competition.
    • The definition of “horror” used by the Challenge is extremely broad, and a story that is in any sense dark, disturbing or scary will be considered to comply with this definition. Genre hybrids such as horror comedy, sci-fi horror, art house / horror or experimental are acceptable.
    • The name of the Challenge reflects its origins from within in a Tasmanian-based film festival but there is no obligation to engage with the literary traditions of “Tasmanian Gothic” in your script or to use a Tasmanian setting or reference Tasmania in any way – unless you wish to be in the running for the Tasmaniana Prize. The other awards will not use this element as a judging criterion. (Writers who have never visited Tasmania and don’t know anything about it are warned that they are unlikely to win the Tasmaniana Prize unless their concept is extremely clever!)
    • Scripts will be judged on the originality of the premise and/or the story’s resonance (either in the sense of contemporary society or in terms of engagement with genre traditions).
    • Screenwriting craft and general writing quality will be considered as secondary criteria.
    • Multiple entries are not permitted.
    • Scripts must be provided as a PDF file and in standard screenplay format.
    • Script cover pages should display the screenplay’s title only. NO NAME or other identifying information should be included on the cover page or elsewhere in the document.
    • The scripts will be blind-judged (ie. de-identified and without information as to gender, experience level or location).
    • Each script will be read by at least two of the Jury Members.
    • At least a page of script notes will be provided to all registered participants who submit a script within the designated timeframe.
    • Each registered participant will be given the option to have a listing on the Challenge website that displays their name, short bio, links to social media or their own website and a PDF of their 2016 Challenge script if desired (as well as past entries, if applicable) and/or another writing sample (any length) that they would like to feature.
    • The first stage of the judging process will reveal the top 20 % of scripts. This will be announced via the Stranger With My Face website, social media and mailing list.
    • Registered participants’ listings on the Challenge website will reflect if they have won a Prize and/or were judged in the top 20 %.
    • The second stage of the judging process will determine the prize winners. The winner of Best Australian Script and Best International Script will receive a reading of their screenplay at Stranger With My Face International Film Festival in Hobart in April 2016.
    • All registered participant will be invited to join a Facebook group where they can interact and network with other participants.
    • The festival will invite genre producers and directors to view the listings of 2016 participants and read their scripts (if the screenwriter has opted to upload it there).
    • Registered participants must accept that the Jury’s decisions are final and no discussion will be entered into.
    • The organisers of the Tasmanian Gothic Script Challenge 2016 retain no copyright or ownership of any material written for this Challenge and will not show it to third parties, other than the jury, without obtaining permission. The organisers of the Challenge will not upload entries to the Challenge website unless express permission is obtained from the relevant writers (after 6 March 2016).

The top prizes in 2016 are:

    • Best Australian Script
    • Best International Script

These two writers will receive a trophy and their script will be be given a live reading at Stranger With My Face International Film Festival in Hobart in April by a cast of professional actors, in front of an audience of industry professionals and the general public.

The winning Australian writer will receive an AWG MEMBERSHIP (or renewal of their existing membership for a year), with thanks to the Australian Writers Guild.

The following runner-up prizes will also be awarded:

    • Tasmaniana Award – for a script that engages with Tasmania as a location
    • Miss Havisham Award – for a script that engages with gender issues
    • Rebel Award – for a script that subverts conventions or challenges the status quo
    • The Trifecta Award – for a script that cleverly incorporates the three prompts

Other awards may also be given, at the Jury’s discretion.

First, pay your registration fee by clicking on the button below (link will open in a new window) and submitting a Paypal payment of AUD $20.00:

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THEN return to this window to complete the registration form. Registrations will be deemed uncomplete and invalid unless payment has also been received. You will receive an email notification within 12 hours of submitting the form and payment to confirm your registration.

Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge Registration

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Consistent with its aim of helping screenwriters to raise their profile and/or meet with new potential collaborators, registered participants in the Tasmanian Gothic Script Challenge 2016 are offered the opportunity to have a full page listing on the Stranger With My Face website.

This listing will include their name, a short bio, a headshot (optional), and writing samples (optional), and information about their script for this year's Challenge (eg. if it is placed in the top 20 %, a quote from the judges, information of any awards).

Screenwriters may opt to have their script uploaded to this page in PDF form and/or a writing sample of their choice. Past scripts written for the Script Challenge may also be uploaded.

This listing will be maintained at least until the 2017 Tasmanian Gothic Script Challenge.

The following information is requested for the purposes of your screenwriter listing.

After registration you'll also be asked to supply a headshot and up to 2 screenwriting samples (optional but recommended). Samples may be scripts written for the Challenge in previous years or a screenplay of any length that represents your strengths as a writer.


When you submit this form you will receive an automated email confirming receipt. If you don’t receive an you should try again, taking note of any required fields.

Feel free to email the organisers if you have any queries.