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Columbia College Chicago
General Guidelines
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General Guidelines


The contest is open to current students and graduated alumni of the Department of Cinema Art + Science of Columbia College Chicago. Current students must have declared Cinema Art + Science as their major.

Full- and Part-time faculty and employees are ineligible to submit unless:

  • They are an undergraduate student majoring in Cinema Art + Science who has been hired part-time by the college as a TA while working on their degree or
  • They are a graduate student majoring in Cinema Art + Science who is teaching part-time while completing their degree.

No changes, rewrites or drafts of any kind will be accepted after submission.

No applicant may have earned money or other consideration as a screenwriter for theatrical films or television. Additionally, no applicant may have received compensation for the sale of, or sale of an option to any original story, treatment, screenplay, or teleplay for more than $1,000.

No script already optioned (or produced) (regardless of cost) is eligible.

The Department of Cinema Art + Science of Columbia College Chicago will not hold any proprietary rights over the completed screenplay. The Department will not act as agent for either the screenplay or the author.

Submissions must be the original work of the applicant and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other fictional or non-fictional material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced, unless the applicant provides acceptable legal proof of permission from the original author. (The application needs to include a proof of authorship statement with a signature required and must state whether or not the material is original or an adaptation.)

If the entry is adapted from the applicant's own original work, this must be noted on the title page.

All screenplays must be registered with the WGA and/or be copyrighted. For information on registering with the Writer's Guild go to www.wga.org. To find out about copyrighting material, go to www.copyright.gov. Use the link “How to register a Work”. Use a Form PA for motion picture elements

Collaborative work is only acceptable if all applicants are either current students or graduated alumni of Cinema Art + Science.

The judging process is 3-tiered. All scripts are read and evaluated by screenwriting professionals and faculty from a number of institutions.

Contestants may not lobby or discuss their submissions with any member of the faculty or staff of Cinema Art + Science.

Contestants may not contact Competition Judges.

Contestants may not at any point reveal the name of the submitted script or its author to Columbia College Chicago Department of Cinema Art + Science faculty or staff or competition judges.

Any violation of the above guidelines will cause the screenwriter(s) to forfeit her / his / their participation in the contest.

Columbia College Chicago complies with all local, state and federal laws and regulations concerning civil rights. Columbia College Chicago does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, or sexual orientation in its programs or activities.