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This page is under construction and the information contained here is NOT finalized.

Return of the

New Century Writer Awards (NCWA) 2023

Much has changed since the NCWA was first launched in 1998.


Back then, there were no social media platforms, no online manuscript submission portals, and no easy internet marketing and advertising options to let writers know we existed.

When NCWA first launched, we had the wondrous fortune of partnering with Zoetrope All-Story magazine, which had entered its second year. I wrote up a whitepaper proposal, pitched the idea for the NCWA to Zoetrope: All-Story Co-Founding Editor and Editor-In-Chief Adrienne Brodeur, and a week later we had the full support of Francis Ford Coppola, who loved the proposal and put his name behind our contest.

A major tenant of the NCWA two decades ago was to keep the entry fees as low as possible, and still cover all the advertising, printing, rent, and utilities costs — not to mention the generous award money. In-kind sponsorship from my employer, book publisher McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, made the finances work. That sponsorship ended when McGraw-Hill closed the Dushkin division in 2003, resulting in the end of the NCWA. We did not want to raise entry fees to pay for the lost support.

Sockdolager! A new day has dawned — to use an old clique — with the return of the New Century Writer Awards in 2023. For the past three or four years, film and writing industry friends have urged a restart the competition.

I'm pleased to announce our final judges for the short-form screenplays for the 2023 NCWA restart are AGBO Films and Plan B Entertainment. AGBO is owned and operated by Anthony Russo and Joseph Russo, producers of the Captain America and Avengers series. Plan B is owned by Brad Pitt and produced the Academy Award Winning motion pictures The Departed, 12 Years a Slave, and Moonlight.

Since operating a writing competition is less expensive today (with the power of the internet) verses 20-plus years ago, the entry fees will be affordable (meaning lower than everyone else's), in keeping with our original mission to be of more help to writers than help to ourselves. 

Here, now, are the links to the contest categories and the simple guidelines and details of each.

The only rules we are interested in writers following is the telling of GOOD stories. Short scripts of 25 pages maximum and we can produce through Big Donut Pictures and Escape Films and short stories we can publish in an annual anthology through Fahrenheit Books.

Welcome and good luck! And don't be'll be able to ask us questions if you are troubled or in doubt about your potential entry(ies).

- Mike Timm, Co-Director

- Jason Marchi, Co-Director


Contest Categories & Details

Short Screenplays HERE
Short stories HERE




New Century Writer Awards (NCWA) first operated between 1998 and 2004. During that time the contest awarded over $65,000 in cash prizes and helped encourage or boost the careers of nearly 200 deserving writers.


The contest was the first to recognize the early writing talents of Joe Hill, when he won the grand prize award in the blind-judged 2002 NCWA contest for short fiction and was awarded the NCWA/Ray Bradbury Short Story Scholarship. Mr. Hill received an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the Zoetrope Short Story Writers Workskop at Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize. Hill then went on to develop his craft and earn his way onto the New York Times bestsellers list and see his books turned into films.

Featured Writer

Dinner and a Movie Poster.webp

Every few months we will feature something about a writer who has entered the NCWA and placed as a semi-finalist, quarter-finalist, finalist, or Top 10 award winner.


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© 1997- 2023 by New Century Writer Awards. A division of OmicronWorld Entertainment LLC.

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