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

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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

Jun 24, 2022
Regular
Jul 29, 2022
Late
Aug 31, 2022
Final

Announcements

Oct 21, 2022
Top 100
Nov 4, 2022
Top 50
Nov 18, 2022
Top 10
Dec 16, 2022
Winner
Dec 16, 2022
Mentorship Selection
Sep 23, 2022
Second Rounder

Launching Careers

With nearly a decade of experience in promoting up-and-coming writers and exciting projects, the Launch Pad Competitions deliver on what our name suggests. We launch 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

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.

John Buderwitz

Amblin Partners | Director of Development

John Buderwitz is Director of Development at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Pictures, the studio behind such recent hits as WEST SIDE STORY, READY PLAYER ONE, BRIDGE OF SPIES and the JURASSIC WORLD series, in addition to television projects like ROSWELL NEW MEXICO (CW), HALO (Paramount+) and RESIDENT ALIEN (SyFy).

Kim Yau

Echo Lake Entertainment | Manager

Kim Yau began her career in Hollywood in 2011 working at the Cheng Caplan Company. In 2015, she transitioned to Paradigm Talent Agency as a Media Rights Agent, handling the sale of film/TV rights for intellectual property including books, comics, graphic novels, articles, podcasts, blogs, and life rights. Kim continues to specialize in intellectual property at Echo Lake and is particularly passionate about supporting and advocating for diverse voices and creators.

Paula Munier

Talcott Notch Literary Agency | Agent

Paula Munier is a literary agent and the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. She joined Talcott Notch Literary Services in 2012 as Senior Agent and Content Strategist and is looking for good crime fiction, women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, high-concept YA and SF/Fantasy fiction, as well as nonfiction.

Ryan Wilson

Anonymous Content | Manager, Media Rights

Ryan Wilson is a manager at Anonymous Content, specializing in Media Rights. Anonymous Content is a prolific management and production company behind such high-profile films as Best Picture winner SPOTLIGHT, as well as recent projects like SWAN SONG, OUTLAW KING and BOY ERASED. On the television side, they have produced series such as DICKINSON (Apple TV+), MR. ROBOT (FX) and HOMECOMING (Amazon).

Sarah Gerton

Curtis Brown Ltd. | Agent

Sarah Gerton is an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd., building a list of fiction and narrative nonfiction for middle grade and young adult readers. While fantasy is her first love, she’s eager to read YA and MG fiction of all genres, gravitating toward character-driven stories with unforgettable settings. She graduated from Wesleyan University and the Columbia Publishing Course.

Sophie Kaplan

3000 Pictures | Director of Development

Sophie Kaplan is Director of Development at 3000 Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures behind upcoming film adaptations of bestselling novels like Kazuo Ishiguro’s KLARA AND THE SUN, Delia Owens’ WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, and Kristin Hannah’s THE NIGHTINGALE starring Elle and Dakota Fanning. Sophie was previously VP of Development at StoryBy Entertainment.

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.

Amanda Jain

Bookends Literary | Agent

Amanda began her career in publishing at W. W. Norton, where she spent seven years before pursuing a masters degree in history of the decorative arts. She rejoined publishing shortly thereafter at Inklings Literary Agency. Amanda currently reps adult romance, mystery, upmarket fiction, and science fiction & fantasy, with a special emphasis on historical fiction in all genres.

Isabella Mastrodicasa

Never Settle Media | Founder, Manager

Isabella is an LA-based manager and producer. She started her career at Verve Talent & Literary Agency in the Motion Picture department and worked at The Kennedy Marshall Company. After a few years working in management at Heroes and Villains Entertainment and launching their digital department, she founded Never Settle Media in 2022 with the purpose of nurturing digital content creators and international filmmakers in the entertainment industry.

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…

  • Invited to an exclusive, Launch Pad virtual event where you’ll interact with industry professionals like top agents, manager, executives.

Top 10

Everything the Top 50 receive, plus…

  • Showcased individually with a specifically 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

Writers will be Mentored

  • A Minimum of 3 writers (1 per mentor) will be selected by our mentors to enter our Launch Pad Prose Mentorship Program.
  • To qualify for this prize, entrants must have selected the “Mentorship Program” add-on when submitting their project.
  • 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 Option Prize

  • A Minimum of 1 project will be selected from our option partner to receive an option offer for their Launch Pad project.
  • To qualify for this prize, entrants must have selected the “Guaranteed Option” add-on when submitting their project.
  • This prize, as with all add-on prizes is not decided upon by placement in the competition. 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 Option

With producer Shirley Davis

Shirley Davis is a seasoned film and television production executive, producer, and educator. Shirley is currently a Vice President, Production at Disney Branded Television, which supplies content for the Disney Channel and Disney+. Shirley continues to develop features, series and docuseries with her producing partner under their shingle, Rose Colored Pictures.

She has consulted at Imagine Entertainment, where she was a Co-Producer on Wu-Tang Clan, Season 1 and at Netflix, in Original Films. Previously, Shirley was the EVP and Head of Physical Production at Alcon Entertainment, where she was a production executive on projects such as BLADE RUNNER: 2049, PRISONERS and DOLPHIN TALE 1 and 2.

Shirley is a member of the PGA, the DGA, a former board member of Outfest, and was an Adjunct Professor at the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC Film School and UCLA Film School’s Master Program.

Requires Add On in Checkout

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, Platform One Media 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.

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.

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.⁠ The series which received a 10-episode order will star Kristen Wiig.

Katy Regnery

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Katy Regnery has a heart for smart romance featuring strong women and decent men. Almost exclusively self-published, Katy claims authorship of 50 titles, including three RITA® finalists: The Vixen and the Vet, Unloved: a love story, and Catching Irish. Currently translated into French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Turkish, Katy has sold over 2 million books worldwide.

Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is a USA Today bestselling author and biographer who writes historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. Her six books have won more than 40 awards, including four Book of the Year designations. Nicole was named Missouri’s Top Independent Author by Library Journal and Biblioboard as the winner of the Missouri Indie Author Project in 2018 and has been awarded the North Street Book Prize and the Sarton Women’s Book Award. One of her novels, Madame Presidentess, was previously optioned for film.

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.
  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.

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