Skip to main content

Welcome to the competition that has led to twelve published books and projects set up with Showtime, Laura Dern, Ridley Scott and more.

Enter Now

Choose Your Entry

Industry Trusted

Ridley Scott

Director & Producer, 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.”

Emily MacDonald

Agent, 42 Management & Production

“I’ve so enjoyed taking part in the Launch Pad Competition jury over the last two years. The caliber of talent and wealth of imagination on display is inspiring, and the competition provides the authors with a platform to showcase their incredible work. I look forward to charting each of the nominees’ trajectories!”

Shannon Kelley

Signed with manager and agent

“Launch Pad has been great for me. Through the manuscript competition I was able to sign with a manager, and then through him I signed with literary agent Alexander Field of The Bindery Agency. I have found Launch Pad to be the most professional contest I have ever entered, and would highly recommend them.

Key Dates

Deadline

Feb 20, 2023
Early
Mar 20, 2023
Regular
Apr 20, 2023
Late
May 20, 2023
Final

Announcements

Aug 11, 2023
Top 100
Sep 1, 2023
Top 50
Sep 22, 2023
Top 10
Oct 6, 2023
Winner
Jul 7, 2023
Second Rounder

Launching Careers

The Launch Pad Prose Competition has led to twelve books published, projects set up at AppleTV, Showtime, and with producers and companies that include Scott Free Productions, Michael De Luca productions, Platform One Media, and Laura Dern’s Jaywalker Pictures.

Manuscript not completed, no problem. Whether you have a ten page short story or a 1,000 page fantasy epic, we want to read it! There’s no need to have a finished 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.

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. Our prestigious industry juries include managers, agents, producers and executives across top companies in film, television and publishing. Our track record speaks for itself.

Enter now to join this tradition of Launch Pad success.

Meet the Jury

Amanda Marshall

Independent | Producer

Amanda Marshall is producer who develops and produces independent films with up-and-coming filmmakers. Notable recent credits include Mike Birbiglia’s DON’T THINK TWICE; A24’s SWISS ARMY MAN, starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, for which she was nominated for a Spirit Award for Best First Feature; UNTITLED AMAZING JONATHAN DOCUMENTARY which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Hulu. She also executive produced Marielle Heller’s Spirit Award-winning THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL. Most recently she produced the Film Independent lab project THE TIME CASPULE and GOD’S COUNTRY, starring Thandiwe Newton, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, where Marshall was the recipient of the Amazon/Sundance Institute Producers Award. She is currently in post on the independent television show UNCONVENTIONAL created by Kit Williamson, as well as an Executive Producer on the documentary SPLIT BY THE ROOT which premiered at SXSW. Marshall was previously President of production at Cold Iron Pictures and has been a mentor for the Sundance Institute and Film Independent. She is a member of the PGA and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and an At-Large member on the Executive Committee for the Producers Union.

Audrey Knox

Cartel | Literary Manager

Audrey Knox is a literary manager at Cartel, with clients in film and television, among whom are writers staffed on SINGLE DRUNK FEMALE, GINNY & GEORGIA, and P-VALLEY; who have written episodes of CREEPSHOW, THE GOLDBERGS, and BATWOMAN; and are writing for G-Unit, Netflix, Nickelodeon, and Apple TV+. She is Associate Producer of the Tubi feature film CRUSHED, written by her client Heidi Lux. Her client Alanna Francis' feature ALICE, DARLING recently premiered at TIFF to rave reviews. Audrey worked her way up from Receptionist in 2016 to Manager in 2018. She has experience in both scripted and unscripted television, on set, in production, and in writers’ rooms and a BFA in Screenwriting from Chapman University.

Claire Jennings

Fourth Wall Management | Manager

Claire Jennings is a manager and development executive focused on nurturing new voices in comedy. Fourth Wall Management is an entertainment management company that represents actors, writers, directors, and filmmakers across all media. Fourth Wall Management was founded in 2016 by former UTA agent Jon Huddle.

Emily Hardy

Fineman Entertainment | VP of Creative Affairs

Emily Hardy is VP of Creative Affairs at Fineman Entertainment under EP Ross Fineman, supporting all development and production. Current TV series include BIG SKY (ABC), THE LINCOLN LAWYER (Netflix) and AVALON (ABC) coming soon from David E. Kelley. Emily got her start as an actor and producer before transitioning to development -- she's worn so many hats in Hollywood, she's become a Swiss army knife for storytelling.

Emily MacDonald

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.

Georgie Mullock

Maven Screen Media | Development Assistant

Georgie is based in London as development assistant supporting Celine Rattray at Maven Screen Media. She loves reading and watching fantasy/ other worldly dramas with darker tones and complex characters. Comedy is also a great love of hers and she is always on the hunt for fresh and hilarious voices.

Harrison Allen

Intrinsic Value Films | Head of Development

Harrison Allen oversees both film and television content for Intrinsic Value Films. Intrinsic Value has produced nearly 40 films, garnering ten selections at the Sundance Film Festival, a Sundance Special Grand Jury prize, two Sloan Sundance awards, six Gotham award nominations, and six Independent Spirit award nominations. Allen served as the lead producer on two debut feature films: Verde (2020), a Dominican arthouse drama directed by Alfonso Morgan-Terrero, premiered at the Pan African Film Festival and was an official selection at the Festival des Trois Continents. The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021), an elevated horror film directed by Edoardo Vitaletti starring Stefanie Scott, Isabelle Fuhrman, Judith Roberts, and Rory Culkin premiered at the Fantasia Festival after being acquired by Shudder for an early 2022 release.

Joanna MacKenzie

Nelson Literary Agency | Agent

Joanna MacKenzie is an agent with Nelson Literary Agency where she represents authors writing for both the adult and children’s markets across all areas of fiction. She is drawn to vivid, engaging writing and is particularly interested in high concept thrillers (with a soft spot for speculative and anything that challenges tropes) , voicey mysteries, dark academia, stories that straddle genres, and women’s fiction where the personal intersects with the world at large - if any of these are set in the Midwest, all the better. Across the board, she’s looking for works that highlight under-represented voices. Her authors are New York Times bestsellers, Edgar and Anthony Award nominees, and critically acclaimed storytellers.

Melissa Azizi

Sparkwood Films | Producer

For a decade, Melissa Azizi worked closely with Gail Mutrux to help produce NEWS OF THE WORLD (starring Tom Hanks), the Academy-Award winning THE DANISH GIRL, the Golden-Globe winning SHOW ME A HERO (for HBO) and iBOY (UK’s first Netflix Original). She has a knack for finding great IP, having sourced the Mick Herron SLOW HORSES crime book-series for the company which currently airs on Apple TV+ and stars Gary Oldman, as well as sourced LIFE IN A FISHBOWL by Len Vlahos for Amazon. Melissa is a Sundance Producers Lab finalist and in 2019, Melissa co-founded Australia’s first screenwriting fellowship, IN DREAMS – designed to connect two unrepresented Australian screenwriters with Hollywood industry. Before this, Melissa produced short films in Australia that have screened in over 100 film festivals worldwide.

Michael Carr

Veritas Literary Agency | Agent

Michael Carr is a literary agent with a background in editing and writing, working from a home base in San Francisco. He represents writers in a variety of genres, with a special emphasis on historical fiction, women’s fiction, mystery and suspense, and science fiction and fantasy. Michael works carefully with clients to produce the cleanest, most professional manuscripts and enjoys teaching at workshops and conferences to help develop emerging writers. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian, and before joining Veritas had professions as diverse as programming simulators for nuclear submarines and owning an inn in Vermont.

Ruhamah Weil

Maven Screen Media | Development Assistant

Ruhamah Weil develops film and TV at the production company, Maven Screen Media. She loves meticulously plotted stories that center complex female characters. She is a graduate of Middlebury College where she studied political science and film. Prior to joining Maven she gained experience in the publishing world, working with literary scouting companies, interning at a literary magazine, and researching under narrative journalists. Ruhamah spent her childhood in Switzerland.

Steven Adams

Alta Global Media | Manager/Producer

Award winning Manager/Producer Steven Adams is a Founding Partner at Alta Global Media where he represents international media companies and talent. Adams is a producer on the Netflix Original adaptation of Roger Guenveur Smith’s solo performance piece RODNEY KING and the Peabody Award winning A HUEY P NEWTON STORY for Starz, both directed by Academy Award winner Spike Lee. Adams recently collaborated on the marketing of 2 seasons Spike Lee’s hit series Netflix SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, and the Academy Award winning BLACKKKLANSMAN.

Steven Salpeter

Assemble Media | President of Literary/IP Development

Steven Salpeter is the President of Literary/IP Development at Assemble Media. As a production and IP creation company, Assemble Media is currently in development on projects with studios and producing partners including MGM, Netflix, Universal, Sony, Bad Robot, John Davis, Berlanti, Lionsgate TV, HBO, Escape Artists, and Apatow Productions, among others.

Tessa Shaffer

Corvisiero Literary Agency | Literary Manager

Tessa Shaffer is a Literary Manager for screenwriters at Corvisiero Literary Agency and she also represents a small, select, number of authors in genres from Middle Grade to Non-fiction. She's on the lookout for writers who excel at both novels and scripts, and has a passion for book-to-screen adaptations.

Tyler Vendetti

iTV Studios America | Manager, Development

Tyler is a Manager of Development at ITV Studios America, ITV Studios’ LA-based independent scripted television operation. Previously, she served as a WPA on a number of productions including SWAMP THING for DC Universe and DEAD TO ME for Netflix. She holds a B.A. in English and Film & New Media from Wheaton College (Massachusetts) and is an alum of the NBCUniversal Page Program.

Submission Guidelines

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.

The Benefits of Feedback

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.

Prizes for Results

2 Grand Prize Winners | (Best Book & Best Short Story)

Everything the Top 10 receive, plus…

Top 10

Everything the Top 50 receive, plus…

  • Showcased individually to a curated list of agents, managers, executives, and producers to fit your unique writing brand and overall career goals.
  • Your work will be read, reviewed and voted on by each of our esteemed Judges.
  • One free entry to any future Launch Pad Competition of your choosing.

Top 50

Everything the Top 100 receive, plus…

  • One year free membership to the Tracking Board.

Top 100

  • Your project and writer profile will be shared and marketed to our extensive industry network.

Let’s Talk Guarantees

Mentorship Prize | 3 Winners

  • A Minimum of one writer will be selected by each of our industry mentors to enter our Launch Pad Prose Mentorship Program.
  • To qualify for this prize, entrants must have selected the “Mentorship Program” add-on or make it to the Top 10 of the competition to be considered for this prize opportunity.
  • Regardless of whether the project entered makes any finalist round, your project will still be in contention for this prize until the competition ends.

Guaranteed Signing Prize | 2 Winners

  • A minimum of 1 writer will be selected for representation by each of our exclusive singing partners, manager and producer Lee Stobby of Lee Stobby Entertainment and Grace Ledding of Agile Entertainment.
  • To qualify for this prize, entrants must have selected the “Guaranteed Signing” add-on or make it to the Top 10 of the competition to be considered for this prize opportunity.
  • Regardless of whether the project entered makes any finalist round, your project will still be in contention for this prize until the competition ends.

Guaranteed Development Prize | 1 Winner

  • A minimum of 1 project will be selected by our Development Prize partner. Randy Dannenberg of Meyers Media Group will select one project from the competition to develop with the writer(s).
  • To qualify for this prize, entrants must have selected the “Guaranteed Development” add-on or make it to the Top 10 of the competition to be considered for this prize opportunity.
  • Regardless of whether the project entered makes any finalist round, your project will still be in contention for this prize until the competition ends.

Successes from a few Top 100’s

Scott Thomas

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.

Juliet McDaniel

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 for Apple TV and Laura Dern’s Jaywalker Pictures.⁠

Joe Cooke

Joe Cooke's Launch Pad Prose Competition Top 50 novel caught the attention of manager John Beach of Gravity Squared Entertainment who signed him for representation.

Allison Mick

Launch Pad Prose Competition Top 100 Finalist Allison Mick signed with a literary manager through the competition.

Guaranteed Signing Prize

This year, we are thrilled to have 2 Guaranteed Signing Partners!

Lee Stobby Entertainment was founded by producer and literary manager Lee Stobby, who has over 10 years of management and producing experience. The company’s clients include Shay Hatten (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3, JOHN WICK 4, ARMY OF THE DEAD, ARMY OF THIEVES), Kate Trefry (made the Black List in 2013 (PURE O) and 2016 (REVOLVER) who has an overall deal at Netflix and currently writes on STRANGER THINGS), and Isaac Adamson (#1 Black List script BUBBLES). Stobby’s producing credits include SISTER AIMEE, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival; WILDLING starring Bel Powley, Liv Tyler and Brad Dourif and premiered at SXSW; as well as development set up with Matt Reeves’ 6th and Idaho, Universal, and Netflix.

Grace Ledding is a literary manager and producer at Agile Entertainment. She got her start as an agent trainee at the William Morris Agency and then became a Creative Executive at foreign sales-based, film finance company, InterMedia, where she worked on BREACH, HUNTING PARTY, and Oliver Stone’s ALEXANDER among others. She then became Vice President at Paramount Pictures-based production company, Cerenzie-Peters, before launching her own management and production company ten years ago. Grace is currently an Executive Producer on Netflix’ animated series, HELLO NINJA!, which just launched Season 4, and developing a premium limited series at 20th Television with Bold Films, BARBIE & RUTH, based on Robin Gerber’s biography of Mattel founder, Ruth Handler.

Requires Add-On or Top 10 placement

Guaranteed Development Prize

 

As the Executive Vice President of Production & Acquisitions for Meyers Media Group, Randy Dannenberg has worked on projects such as 4 MINUTE MILE, starring Richard Jenkins and Kim Basinger. He previously worked at Media 8 Entertainment for over 8 years as VP of Production and Acquisitions. During his time there he worked on production projects MONSTER (Charlize Theron’s Academy-Award winning performance), UPSIDE OF ANGER (Kevin Costner and Joan Allen), RUNNING SCARED (Paul Walker) and MAN ABOUT TOWN (Ben Affleck). Prior to Media 8 Randy worked for Handprint Entertainment’s film division developing projects for the company and their clients who included Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams and Julia Stiles.

Requires Add-On or Top 10 placement

Launch Pad Mentorship Program

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.

Sarah Alderson

As well as screenwriting for both TV and film, Sarah Alderson is the author of over twenty novels in the YA and psychological thriller genres and has been published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Harper Collins and Pan Macmillan. Her books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and been translated into a dozen languages. Sarah now lives in California and works predominantly as a screenwriter and producer in TV and film, while continuing to publish one to two books a year. She is currently a writer / producer on the CBS show S.W.A.T. and has several original projects in development. Her feature adaptation of The Weekend Away will soon air on Netflix.

Todd Samovitz

Todd Samovitz pivoted from professional cartooning to the practice of law to becoming an accomplished writer in film, television and comics as well as the author or ghost author of 25 books. Todd’s first produced credit was the Lionsgate feature WONDERLAND. His work in television includes writing multiple pilots and MOW’s for ABC, BET, Lifetime, SyFy and USA. Todd’s latest book, TIL THE LAST, co-authored with Laotian war hero and POW survivor Captain Sounthone Ratanakone, is being shopped for movie or television adaptation. His latest feature, JOE BABY, based on the novel by Drew Fine, is coming soon and stars Dichen Lachman, Willa Fitzgerald, Harvey Keitel and Ron Perlman

Don Handfield

Don is currently writing an original half-hour pilot for Paramount + and Westbrook (COBRA KAI, BEL AIR) and was the co-creator and Executive Producer of History Channel's drama series Knightfall and producer of critically-acclaimed films The Founder starring Michael Keaton, and Kill The Messenger starring two-time Academy-Award nominated actor Jeremy Renner. He recently adapted his graphic novel UNIKORN for Armory Films (Mudbound, Peanut Butter Falcon) with Debbie Berman (editor of Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Homecoming) attached to direct Stampede Ventures financing.

Handfield's comic series The Rift was optioned by Steven Spielberg and produced as the season finale for the Apple + reboot of Amazing Stories. Handfield also co-wrote the teleplay. Handfield wrote and directed the Saturn-Award-winning film Touchback starring Kurt Russell and Christine Lahti. Handfield also wrote the novel, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

Selection Criteria

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 any add-on prize 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.

Rules

  1. All entries MUST BE submitted in English as a PDF document with standard margin sizing.
  2. Initial reading will be limited to the fifty (twenty five if single spaced) page sample of each submission and a synopsis of up to 1,000 words.
  3. Full book manuscript submissions are not required, but are welcomed and may be considered in later rounds.
  4. Submissions with multiple writers are allowed. However, all entry fees must be paid under one account and all prizes will be shared among writing partners.
  5. All submissions must be the sole property of the writer(s). Any submissions of existing literary figures and or stories not in the public domain, as well as any intellectual property that the writer does not own, will be disqualified.
  6. All entries will be read blind, with no identifying information shared with readers. The writer name(s) and any other contact information should only appear on the title page and nowhere else in the submission.
  7. Work with a prior option is allowed, but at the time of submission and for the duration of the contest, the work must remain exclusively the writer’s property.
  8. Work that has been previously published is eligible so long as the writer retains further publication and adaptation rights.
  9. The only projects not allowed to be entered are those which have already sold, have previously earned our “LP Recommends” honors, or received a top 50 placement in a previous Launch Pad competition.
  10. Launch Pad uses Coverfly to manage our submissions and reads. Updated drafts accepted through the Coverfly website only.
  11. Launch Pad and all judges/readers will utilize whatever criteria they deem appropriate in deciding a winner.
  12. All submissions will remain the property of the writer(s) throughout the contest (at no point will anyone from the judging panel or Launch Pad ever attach themselves to your work without your consent).
  13. Entrants may be contacted as a result of the contest by Launch Pad, the judging panel or other industry professionals in regards to representation, production, sale and/or option of the entered work.
  14. Entrants are under no obligation to sell their work or otherwise attach themselves to representation in any form – this includes the guaranteed option and guaranteed signing add-ons.
  15. General prose entries will not receive feedback, however, you can opt to upgrade and receive feedback on your submission. Reminder: feedback will only be provided on the first 50 pages and synopsis of your project.
  16. The contest is open to entrants 18 or older. It is an international contest and open to entrants worldwide.
  17. Launch Pad reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to change or modify these terms at any time without notice.
  18. By entering this competition, you agree to receive periodic emails from Launch Pad and The Tracking Board. You may unsubscribe to these at any time.
  19. All entrants understand and agree to allow Launch Pad to post details on their project (title, writer name(s), logline, genre and competition details) as well as the writer (biography, picture) to their site, or sister site, to help promote the entrants’ work.
  20. By entering the competition, entrants are acknowledging their eligibility for the competition. The vast majority of entrants enter in good faith, and validating everyone at the entry stage would be inefficient and take away from efforts reading and finding the best projects. Therefore, we check eligibility at the Top 100 Finalist stage, which allows us to confirm eligibility prior to winner selection. If an issue comes to our attention earlier, we will address eligibility issues in earlier rounds on a case-by-case basis.
  21. All purchases and submissions are final. No refunds will be issued.
  22. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
  23. Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to Launch Pad and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of an entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  24. You agree to release and hold harmless Launch Pad, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, prize contributors, judges, readers, sponsors and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the competition, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s entry, participation in the competition and/or acceptance or use or misuse of prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless Launch Pad and its sponsors, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the competition and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize.

Choose your Entry

Be considered for Guaranteed Mentorship, Signing, and Publishing prizes

Upgrade with Add-ons in checkout