Script New

Studio21 2024 script competition bids to find newform drama that can be released scene-by-scene


Studio21 International has opened its 2024 Script Competition with a mission to find a global scripted series that can be released scene-by-scene on digital and then stitched together to create a traditional longform drama for television.


The Studio21 Scene-By-Scene Script Competition is designed to uncover compelling contemporary stories that can reach a 21st century audience across platforms, with a shortform episodic release across digital platforms, followed by a longform window on traditional television.

photo of David JenkinsonStudio 21’s David Jenkinson said: “The script competition always attracts the most progressive new writers. But this year we are challenging the creative community to think differently, writing each scene as a standalone shortform piece, that when stitched together make a longform scripted episode. In many ways this is not different to the structure of a traditional script, but it means that each shortform piece may be slightly different in character.”

The Studio21 Scene-By-Scene Script Competition aims to find new projects from fresh writers that reinvent the scripted genre, with a view to bringing in new coproduction partners from digital platforms and brands, alongside traditional coproducers and broadcast partners.

Photo of Hayley McKenzieAdded Studio21 partner Hayley McKenzie: “In terms of the structure of the pilot episode story, we’re looking for scripts in which every scene turns in some way, has something change within it and makes you want to watch the next one. I’m excited to see how the wonderfully creative screenwriting community respond to this challenge and surprise us.”

We remain open to pilot scripts in any fiction genre, but priority will be given to projects that demonstrate the following:

  • Explore progressive themes.
  • Engage with the audience in new and innovative ways.
  • Deliver scenes that each feel like a distinct shortform episode.
  • Create hooks that make us want to watch the next scene-episode.
  • Have a driving narrative across the pilot script that creates a satisfying longform episode.
  • Can be produced on a reasonable budget.

Entries should be presented as a single script of 30-60 pages, with each scene clearly identified and have a run time of between 1-3 minutes.

Added Jenkinson: “We firmly believe that a new form of storytelling will emerge over the coming years, marrying the best of the past with new elements that help stories reach an audience that is consuming content in a new way. Writers shouldn’t be frightened of this new approach. We are looking for projects that tell the most compelling stories in fresh ways. The best script will once again win the competition, but it will represent how it can be distributed in shortform scene-by-scene pieces on the way to the full episode being consumed as one longform show.”

The competition connects emerging writers with the global content business, offering the winner a £10,000 prize to option or acquire the script and the unique opportunity to connect with the global drama business through C21Media’s Content London in December. 

The winning project will be developed by Studio21, supported by an advisory board made up of the most creative showrunners and television executives in the business.

Previous winners now have their shows in development with leading producers, and the raft of new writers and projects taken under the Studio21 wing is commanding the attention of coproducers and commissioners worldwide.

From the pool of submissions, made between 8 July 2024 and 18 September 2024, a shortlist of 21 scripts will be selected and from these six finalists will be chosen to present their script to the global drama business at Content London 2024.

Shortlisted entries will be announced on 11 October 2024 and the six finalists will be announced on 1 November 2024.

The Studio21 Scene-By-Scene Script Competition is produced in association with C21Media, Content London and Script Angel.

Each finalist will also receive a free consultancy session from Script Angel.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get your script in front of the world’s drama community! 


For more information, including submission requirements & guidelines, eligibility criteria, FAQs, and FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS CLICK HERE.

If you are experiencing any issues with your submissions please email [email protected]

Script competition finalists are connected with the global content business and winners have their show developed in partnership with some of the world’s leading drama executives, producers and showrunners.


“To say I’ve had an epic, exciting journey since my script, Parasomnia, won the Studio21 script competition in 2018 is something of an understatement! The Studio 21 team spent a lot of time helping me to hone my ideas and the script itself, to the point where it attracted serious attention. Parasomnia is now in development with one of the UK’s most respected production companies and a top US industry executive. The Studio21 team has been brilliant throughout. I can’t thank them enough.
Jan Smith, Creator, Parasomnia

“Since optioning Bakersfield Studio21’s input has been fantastic, connecting the project with a top US agent and bringing A-list showrunners in alongside me to further develop the show. Their energy, enthusiasm, contacts and commitment has been instrumental in getting Bakersfield noticed in the very competitive US market.”
Alister McDermott, creator, Bakersfield

“My work with Studio 21 has been instrumental in my career as a television screenwriter. The opportunity to develop my television series with them has helped my voice be heard in the industry and opened many doors for me. I’ve had a fantastic experience with the team, and I am always appreciative of their support, feedback, and advice. Their way of working with a writer is highly personalised and I really value the relationship I have with them. I trust in the team to help me through the development process and work with me to improve and hone my script, while helping me preserve the spirit of my story. I have a lot to thank Studio 21 for. I would encourage anyone to pursue an opportunity to work with them.”
Zia Holloway, creator, Wayward

“C21 are exceptionally good at giving visibility to emerging writers and amplifying new voices. Winning the competition was a shock and has changed the course of my career. I am immensely grateful to David and Hayley at Studio21 for the development opportunities I have since been afforded. I can’t recommend this competition enough for any writer keen to take the next steps into the industry.”
Grace Link, Creator, Crack of Dawn

“Making the final of the script competition is a hugely significant opportunity. Not only the potential subsequent relationships formed, but also the unique chance to pitch at Content London – an intimidating prospect which turned out to be immensely confidence-boosting. On top of that, seeing and hearing about so many sides of the industry over the course of the conference and talking to delegates was fascinating and eye-opening. We received full support and encouragement throughout the whole process – something that has continued to be the case now that my project is in development with Studio21. I can’t recommend entering enough!”
Alice Burden, Creator, On Solstice Hill

“Studio21 truly understands the journey of a project; from the early genesis of the idea within the writer’s brain, to the complex and often challenging approach of taking that idea out into the market. At each stage, and with each decision, they remain loyal protectors of the original vision of their writers, whilst at the same time their feedback and development notes are testing, considered, and intelligent. I have found working with Studio21 on my project a real pleasure, both personally and professionally. I consider myself part of the team, and that kind of connection and trust is hard to find, and even harder not to celebrate. If you come across an opportunity to work with them, fight for it!”
Samuel Jefferson, Creator, Renegade

“The Studio21 drama series script competition is hands-down the best available in the UK for aspiring TV writers. There a few things that make it unique: 1. The competition doesn’t work in a vacuum – forming an integral part of Content London. C21 gives real exposure to all the finalists by way of the live pitch and press/event coverage. 2. The winner receives an option and development deal worth £10,000 to shepherd the project towards production. 3. The Studio21 team helps all the finalists through valuable script notes and feedback. 4. Finalists also have access to the Content London event and the ability to set up meetings with senior executives.”
Jon Smith, Finalist 2019/2020

“The Studio21 Script Competition is unlike any American script competitions we’ve entered. All finalists were invited to Content London to pitch their work and take part in the industry showcases and keynotes. This gave us a highly respected platform to discuss our projects and careers with real decision makers in the UK industry. Even if you don’t win the first prize option and development deal, every finalist takes home a vastly expanded network of face-to-face contacts – and this can be a real game-changer for emerging writers to break in to a highly competitive industry.”
Ian Masters, Finalist, 2019/2020

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