Welcome to the competition that has led to twelve published books and projects set up with Showtime, Laura Dern, Ridley Scott and more.
RAISED BY WOLVES | THE MARTIAN | GLADIATOR
“Writers are an integral part of my team and without them I would not be able to do my job, so to be able to work with Launch Pad and provide a new and innovative way for them to get their work out in the world is truly exciting.”
Manager & Producer, Energy Entertainment
“The numbers speak for themselves. Beyond the massive amount of writers who have landed reps from Launch Pad, no other has led to more sales and bidding wars in existence. And beyond that, the success isn’t just here, but these scripts have landed on every major end of year list. This place starts careers!”
With nearly a decade of experience in promoting up-and-coming writers and exciting projects, Launch Pad has firmly established itself as the premier hub for Hollywood to discover fresh voices, new ideas, and talented writers. We advocate for all of our Top 100 finalists, working with each of them to develop compelling bios and loglines, and sharing their work with targeted industry professionals. Advance your writing career and enter your project today!
Whether you have a ten page short story or a 1,000 page fantasy epic, we want to read it! For books, there’s no need to have a completed manuscript. As long as you have sample pages accompanied by a thorough synopsis, you are welcome to enter! Our readers and judges will review up to 50 pages of every submission, as well as a synopsis for book submissions.
Our prestigious industry juries include managers, agents, producers and executives across top companies in film, television and publishing. We also secure exclusive partnerships with management and production companies, as well as mentorship opportunities to offer guaranteed advancement for winning writers who are ready to make that leap from aspiring to working writer. No competition will do more to help all of their finalists take the next steps in their careers, and no competition has had as much success in helping writers break into the industry as Launch Pad. Our track record speaks for itself.
Enter now to join this tradition of Launch Pad success.
New Leaf Literary & Media | Literary Assistant
Dani Segelbaum began her publishing career as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins Publishers, focusing primarily on highly designed non-fiction titles. New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. is a full service management and representation firm. New Leaf has had over thirty-seven books hit the New York Times bestseller list and eight films produced, including THE DUFF, the DIVERGENT series, AMERICAN HONEY and LOVE, SIMON.
42 Management and Productions | Agent
Emily MacDonald joined the Books department of 42 Management and Productions in 2019, working with Eugenie Furniss across her clients. She is also building her own list, looking to spotlight regional voices both at home in the UK and internationally. Before joining the publishing industry, she spent 7 years working at Markham, Froggatt & Irwin in the talent department.
Sugar23 | Media Rights Manager
Katrina Escudero is a Media Rights Manager at Sugar23. She currently oversees a roster of accomplished literary clients such as Amina Akhtar, Caitlin Doughty, Darby Kane, PJ Vernon, Pablo Cartaya, Marjan Kamali, Meg Medina, Yamile Mendez, Lauren Oliver and Alexandra Petri. Escudero was previously an agent in the Media Rights department at United Talent Agency for five years and prior to that worked at ICM in the Media Rights and Motion Picture department. Most recently, Escudero inked a deal with Netflix to develop Tanya Smith’s upcoming memoir The Ghost in the Machine with Issa Rae and David Heyman producing. Other projects she has set up include Light As A Feather, Panic (now streaming on Amazon), Daring To Live and Mercy House.
CAA | Book Agent
Mollie Glick worked in the editorial department at the Crown imprint of Random House, before becoming an agent in 2003. Glick joined CAA in 2016, following eight years at Foundry Literary + Media. Glick represents many top authors and thought leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden; Senator Kamala Harris; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller; National Book Award-nominee Ali Benjamin; NYT bestselling authors Mark Manson, Carol Rifka Brunt, Jonathan Evison, Sarah McCoy and Nic Stone.
Grandview | Junior Manager
Natalie Burkardt is a member of the Literary department at Management and Production company Grandview. Grandview/Automatik is a full-service entertainment management company that represents actors, writers, and filmmakers in addition to developing and producing projects across all mediums.
Paradigm | Agent
Phoebe Schmidt works in the Media Rights and Intellectual Property department at Paradigm Talent Agency in Los Angeles, where she represents artists across a wide array of mediums including literature, illustration, journalism, and podcasting. Paradigm’s prominent literary clients include James Ivory (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY), Amy Heckerling (CLUELESS), and Stephen King.
The Lotts Agency | Agent
Sam Morgan is a literary agent with the Lotts Agency. Originally from North Carolina, he now resides in Brooklyn. He currently primarily represents adult fantasy and science fiction but is expanding into thrillers, young adult fantasy, and up-market commercial fiction. He is proud to represent Jenn Lyons, Jay Posey, Megan E. O’Keefe, Daniel Polansky, Alexander C. Kane, G.S. Denning, Claire McKenna, Robert Brockway, and many more.
WME | Motion Picture Executive
Sara Laffer works as a Motion Picture Executive at William Morris Endeavor Talent Agency in Los Angeles, where she identifies IP for TV and film clients across an array of mediums including long form journalism, short stories, podcasts, and books.
Ladderbird Literary Agency | Agent
Stefanie Molina is an agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency representing fiction for all ages with a focus on genre fiction starring people of color. Prior to agenting, she spent her career advocating for marginalized folks in publishing as a technical editor at a national laboratory, senior editor at the literary journal F(r)iction, and book coach and editor for women of color. She is one-half Mexican, one-quarter Japanese, and one-quarter Irish and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, both from the University of California at Davis. Aside from reading, she enjoys hiking, swimming, baking strange new things, and playing the piano. Her favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park. You can find her on Twitter @fiction_tech.
Traction | Partner
Zak Kristofek is a partner and producer at Traction. The company's upcoming projects include Mo McRae’s directorial debut A LOT OF NOTHING, with David Oyelowo attached as an executive producer and This Is Us's Justin Hartley attached to star. Traction and Kristofek are also producing the upcoming Tom Chilcoat dramatic thriller BIG NICKEL starring Luke Bracey and Brittany Snow.
Our readers will consider up to 50 double-spaced pages (25 single-spaced). Double-spaced entries are preferred but not required.
If you have a completed manuscript or story that exceeds 50 pages, feel free to submit the entire project. For submissions longer than 50 pages, the first 50 pages will be read, but the submitted sample pages DO NOT need to be from the beginning of the book. Entrants are welcome to submit sample pages from any part of the book.
For book projects (or short stories that exceed the 50 page limit), a synopsis of the full project is required and should be submitted as a separate document at check-out.
One grand prize will be awarded each to a book and short story submission. Prior to the winners announcement, books and short stories will be considered in the same pool for advancement.
We are committed to helping writers take meaningful steps in their career, and there is nothing more important in developing your craft than thorough, in-depth notes from a trusted source. We are proud to offer our Feedback Notes program, providing 1-2 pages of in-depth notes on your competition entry, with insight into the story, characters, writing and commercial potential showcased in the first 50 pages and synopsis of your project.Enter with Feedback
Accepting short stories, novels and manuscripts.
(Best Book & Best Short Story)
Juliet McDaniel’s first novel MR. & MRS. AMERICAN PIE was the Top Comedy in the Launch Pad Manuscript Competition. The book is currently in development as a TV series with Platform One Media and Laura Dern’s Jaywalker Pictures.
Scott Thomas’s Launch Pad Manuscript Top 10 novel KILL CREEK was selected by the American Library Association’s reader committee as the top horror book of 2017 and was set up as series at Showtime with Scott Derrickson attached.
Gannon Kenney’s manuscript THE MAGUS WORLD was named the Overall Winner of the Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, and was set up with Michael De Luca productions.
Requires Add On in Checkout
Gravity Squared Entertainment is a Los Angeles based Management and Production Company with the ability to carry Film & Television projects from concept to completion. Gravity Squared currently manages writers, producers and directors for film & television, while also controlling media rights for well over 150 published books – many of those being Pulitzer Prize winners and New York Times Best Sellers.
They are currently partnered on projects with Will Ferrell (ANCHORMAN, ELF), Adam McKay (THE BIG SHORT, VICE), Marc Platt (LA LA LAND, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN), Brian Oliver (1917, ROCKETMAN), Lorenzo di Bonaventura (TRANSFORMERS, SHOOTER), Jimmy Miller (ELF, TALLADEGA NIGHTS), Alfre Woodard (CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE LION KING), Sam Raimi (SPIDER-MAN, THE GRUDGE) and many more great industry talents.
Requires Add On in Checkout
The best way to learn is by working with experienced writers who have already navigated that path to success. That is exactly what the Launch Pad exclusive mentorship opportunity is set up to do.
Britta Lundin is a TV writer and author who has written for shows such as the CW's RIVERDALE and HBO'S BETTY, and is the author of the young adult novels LIKE OTHER GIRLS (out August 2021) and SHIP IT.
Scott Thomas is the Stoker-nominated author of KILL CREEK, which reached the Top 10 of the 2016 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition and was selected by the American Library Association’s reader committee as the top horror book of 2017. The book went on to be set up as a series at Showtime with Platform One Media and Scott Derrickson attached. His second novel, VIOLET, was named by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2019. Thomas is currently serving as showrunner for SyFy's upcoming series DAY OF THE DEAD.
Tommy Wallach is the author of the Anchor & Sophia trilogy, Thanks for the Trouble, and the New York Times bestselling We All Looked Up, which has been translated into over a dozen languages. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Tin House, Wired, and other magazines, and he is a MacDowell Fellow. He recently sold a spec, DELILAH, to Sony's Screen Gems alongside writing partner Harrison Query.
The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: (i) The originality and commerciality of the premise; (ii) The skill and artistry of the writing in serving that premise and crafting an engaging piece of work; (iii) The effectiveness of the plot and structure in the first fifty pages in serving that premise and engaging the reader; (iv) In the case of a longer submission, the ability of the provided synopsis to articulate a compelling and sustainable path forward for the story; (v) The originality, believability and emotional investment in the characters and their impact on the overarching story and themes; (vi) Where, applicable, the use of dialogue to advance the character, story and entertainment value of the project.
Initial reads will be completed by professional industry readers, assessing the first fifty pages of each submission. After this point, our internal team of readers will read all promising submissions to allow for extensive internal discussions over the relative merits and weaknesses of each project. Through internal conferences, we narrow down a list of 100 finalists. At this point, writers may be asked to submit supplemental information (a brief bio, a more thorough synopsis of their work) to assist in the decision making process.
Further rounds of internal reading and discussion, as well as consultations with our signing and option partners, narrow the finalists down to 10, at which point our panel of industry judges read each project and provide feedback which determines our winners.
Any entrant may be deemed ineligible at the sole discretion of Launch Pad. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.