SCTC Original Sitcom Contest Submissions

Early Submission Deadline: March 1, 2017
Submission Deadline: April 1, 2017

Early Entry Fee: $55
Regular Entry Fee: $65 (after March 1)
Judges' Feedback: $60

Announcement of Finalists: May 1, 2017
Announcement of Winners: May 15, 2017

Reading: June 1, 2017 (6-8pm)



The SCTC Original Sitcom Contest only accepts online entry of original 30-minute comedy teleplays, comedy webseries and comedy animated pilots.

All submissions should consist of an original 30 minute sitcom scripts or comedy webseries or animated pilot in standard industry format for comedy teleplays, written in English, maximum of 39 pages.

Original Half-Hour Sitcom Script - up to 39 pages
Original Webseries - up to 30 pages including multiple episodes
Original Half-Hour Animated Series - up to 39 pages

Entry should consist of the sitcom, webseries or animated pilot and logline only. Do not include resumes, pitches, synopses, casting suggestions, letters, or other supporting documentation with your submission. Judges will not receive these materials.

Electronic submissions only. No printed scripts will be accepted.

Do NOT submit feature length screenplays as they will not be read or considered for this contest. You may submit a feature length comedy in the Fall.


Multiple Entries

Entrants may submit multiple entries. Each submission must include its own entry and must include a separate file and separate entry fee.



The SCTC Original Sitcom Contest is open to any individual who is a U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older at the date of entry and has pre-existing access to the Internet. Not open to employees or independent contractors of SCTC or their immediate families. Not open to any writers or teams of writers who have earned more than $25,000 or the foreign equivalent (jointly or individually) for work as a screenwriter.

Sitcoms, webseries or animated pilots under option at time of submission are not eligible.

Adaptations are not eligible unless the source material was written by the writer of the entry in question. Scripts are not eligible if the source material has been sold, produced, or is currently under option to any third party.

Original Comedy pilots, webseries or animated pilots only. No features.

Grand Prize Winner is not eligible to re-enter the winning script in future SCTC Contests. They are, however, eligible to enter different scripts for consideration.



Scripts co-written by up to four people may be entered in the contest. Only one entry fee is required for such entries. All writers’ names should be listed on the online entry. The primary contact should be listed first, and the submission should include only the primary contact address, telephone, and email address. All co-writers must authorize submission of the entry, but only the primary contact will be eligible to win any prize.


Revisions, Refunds, and Resubmissions

In order to run a fair contest for all entrants, revisions or missing pages will not be accepted under any circumstances once an entry has been received.

Once an entry has been submitted and payment has been processed, no refunds will be issued.

If the script is rewritten during the entry submission period, the writer(s) may resubmit a script as a new entry for consideration in the contest. A resubmitted script is treated as a new entry and requires an entry fee.

SCTC is not responsible for lost or late entries, or for any technical errors, including but not limited to errors caused by tampering, unauthorized access, hardware or software malfunctions, viruses, or web traffic.


Ownership and Industry Release

SCTC Original Sitcom Contest entrants retain all rights to their teleplays. Entrants are encouraged to take steps to register the copyright of their script or register them with the WGA in order to protect their intellectual property, but registration is not required in order to enter this contest. By entering, you agree to license your rights in the entry to SCTC for the limited purpose of staging a reading.

By entering the SCTC Original Sitcom Contest, you represent and affirm that your entry is an original creative work, that you (and your co-writers, if applicable) own all rights in your entry, and does not infringe, misappropriate or violate the copyright, trademark, right of privacy, right of publicity, or other intellectual rights of any third party. By entering, you represent and warrant that your entry conforms to all guidelines set forth here.

Your entry cannot contain copyrighted materials owned by others without permission, or any personal identification, such as the names, license plate numbers, e-mail addresses or street addresses of real people.

By entering SCTC Original Sitcom Contest, you acknowledge and agree that contest Judges receive numerous submissions of ideas, stories and scripts, and that your entry, and the ideas and stories embodied in it, may be similar or identical to other material already received and/or developed by one or more of the Judges.

You agree that you are not entitled to any compensation or credit for use by contest Judges of any such other material.


General Provisions

By agreeing to these Rules and Conditions you agree that you have read the rules of the contest and that you have the authorization to submit this teleplay to the SCTC Original Sitcom Contest. You further agree that your teleplay is owned by you (and any co-writer(s)).

VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

You shall indemnify and hold harmless the Second City Training Center, Second City, its employees, contractors, agents and SCTC Judges from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any third party claim involving your entry.

By entering, you release SCTC, the Harold Ramis Film School, and all judges from any and all liability, claims or actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, damages or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with the contest or receipt, ownership or use of the prize.

Except where prohibited, you agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, this contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the state of Illinois. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of SCTC in connection with this contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the state of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law rules.



SCTC will award the following prizes:

The Grand Prize:

  • Teleplay will be read by professional actors at Judy's Beat Lounge at The Second City Chicago in front of a live audience on Thursday, June 1 at 6pm.
  • Meeting with Karen Horne, NBC Entertainment and Univeral Television Studios (In person or Skype)
  • Meeting with Todd Milliner, Hazy Mills Productions (Skype or Phone)
  • Meeting with Thruline Entertainment Management and Production Company, Los Angeles (Skype or Phone)
  • Meeting with MomentumTV, Los Angeles (Skype or Phone)
  • Meeting with Laura Hilker, Creekside 10 Entertainment, Chicago and Los Angeles (Skype or Phone)
  • Final Draft Software – the industry’s leading scriptwriting software! (a $169 value)
  • An InkTip prize package which includes one (1) InkTip script listing and one (1) InkTip magazine listing
  • Additional prizes may be added.

Two Runner-up Prize Packages:

  • Scripts will be sent to all participating management and production companies.
  • A class at the Second City Training Center in the TV, Film & Digital Program – either online or in-person (a $300 value, non-transferable)
  • Final Draft Software – the industry’s leading scriptwriting software! (a $169 value)
  • An InkTip prize package which includes one (1) InkTip script listing and one (1) InkTip magazine listing
  • Second City Gear (approximate value $50)


SCTC reserves the right to substitute prize (or prize component) for an item of equal or greater value at its sole discretion.  Taxes are the sole responsibility of winner, and winners may be required to fill out tax forms as a condition of receiving their prizes. If a prize notification email is undeliverable or winner does not respond within 48 hours, Sponsor may disqualify that entry and select an alternate winner.



Eligible entries will be judged by a panel of at least 5 Harold Ramis Film School teachers, SCTC writing instructors, Production Company professionals, working directors, producers and screenwriters who truly have a passion for TV and filmmaking. Scripts will be based on the following criteria: originality, formatting, structure, humor, character development, pacing, style and tone, commercial appeal. Each criterion will be scored on a scale of 1-10, which will include increments of .25, .50 and .75, and each script will receive both an average score and an overall score.


Final Round

The ten top scoring scripts will go on to the final round. Three judges will evaluate each of the top ten scripts and the scores will be averaged to determine the Grand Prize Winner and the two Runners Up.


Judging Criteria

Originality - Is there something out there just like it? Or is this an original concept? Perhaps it’s an original take on something that’s already been done.

Formatting - Is the script formatted correctly according to industry standards?

Structure - Is there an effective use of the three-act structure (most commonly used)? Framework of the script.

Humor - Is it funny?

Character Development - Do the characters each have a distinct voice?

Pacing - The timing of the action, unfolding of plot elements and character development.

Style/Tone - Overall quality of the writing.

Commercial Appeal - Does it have audience and commercial appeal for the script’s particular niche?


In the event of a tie, the entry with the highest originality score will be the winner.



Feedback consists of up to 1.5 pages of feedback. Because we are The Second City Training Center/Harold Ramis Film School, feedback will be constructive and educational in nature. Our judges are educators and professionals in the business and strive to give you valuable and practical feedback. For feedback requests, please allow up to two months after the reading of the winning script.



This contest is sponsored and administered by the Second City Training Center (“SCTC”).


Winner’s List

For name of Winner(s), send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to SCTC, ATTN: August Screenplay Contest, 1616 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60614 no later than June 30, 2017.