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Welcome to the 2017 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition. Following our inaugural manuscript competition in 2016, which saw 10 books land publishing deals, and more than a dozen picked up by film and television outlets, this year we’re continuing to expand the competition, by once again introducing exclusive first look partners with guarantees to be signed, mentored, optioned and published. Joining us this year will be three-time Oscar nominee Michael De Luca of Michael De Luca Productions (The Social Network, Moneyball, Captain Phillips) who has committed to acquiring at least one entry this year, manager / producer Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment and agent Adrian Garcia (both of whom have committed to sign at least one client from the competition this year, mentors Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Patrick Sheane Duncan (Courage Under Fire) & Zach Hines (Nine), who have each committed to mentor at least one writer from the competition, and finally out publishing partner Inkshares (The Punch Escrow, A God in the Shed), who have committed to publish a minimum of three books from this years competition.
Though this is only our second manuscript competition, we’re now entering our fourth year of writing competitions overall, and above you can see some of the numbers we’ve achieved since this journey began. Considering all of the numbers above best any other writing competition on the market, we’re very proud of the successes we’ve been able to be a part of, and the careers we’ve helped launch over the years. But it’s looking beyond the numbers to see where we do our best work. What truly sets us apart is our ability to work with and utilize our extensive pool of partners, mentors, and judges to not only introduce your competition entry to the world, but to introduce you, the writer, and your goals to the influencers and decision-makers that can start your career. Whether it be representation, publishing, a film or television deal, or a combination of all of these, we go well beyond a simple list of names on a website, to make sure every single one of our finalists is introduced to both the entertainment and publishing worlds.
So, what do you need to enter? Well for starters, you don’t need to have a 500-page manuscript ready to go. In fact, you don’t need to have ever written a book before. With the entertainment and publishing worlds more aggressively moving to acquire book partials over the past years, we’re instead inviting you to submit up to 50 pages of your best prose (including a minimum of a one-page synopsis). Show us your best work, hook us with your best cliffhanger, and give us an idea of where your story will go following those opening pages. You can of course submit 50 pages of a book you’ve already completed, but there is no requirement to have done so prior to entering. So, if you simply have an idea, have always wanted to write a book, or simply need a deadline to get your work done by, give us a shot, and see what we can do for you.
Did you know that 42 of the 81 Best Picture Nominees over the past decade have been based on books? Or, that in that exact same span of time, more than 50% of the highest grossing films have also originated from books? There’s no wonder that since 2007 Hollywood has acquired more books for film and television adaptations than any other origin type? To give you an idea of just how in demand manuscripts and books have become in Hollywood, here’s a very small sampling of those making the jump from page to screen in 2017, as well as a rundown on some of the most recent book sales in Hollywood.
Hollywood’s demand for tomorrow’s hot manuscript is at an all time high. With studios and networks actively setting up film and television projects based on both published and unpublished manuscripts, proves why this competition is the perfect platform for author’s to gain the exposure they need from the people who matter. Here are a few examples from just this year of high profile book acquisitions.
This year we’re teaming up with Oscar-nominated producer Michael De Luca to discover at least one new project for him to pick up for development. As a former writer, producer, executive studio head, and three-time Best Picture nominee (all for book to screen adaptations), De Luca is not only one of our most exciting partners to date, but also one of those most experienced in exactly what we’re aiming to accomplish in this competition. From discovery to development, production to screen and critical acclaim to box office smash, De Luca is not only one of the most strategically brilliant producers in Hollywood, but he is also one of the most well respected identifiers the entertainment industry has ever seen. Having served as President of Production for multiple studios, overseen dozens of Oscar-winning films, and having steered some of the most profitable and critically successful films of the past decade, De Luca is not only one of the most liked people in Hollywood today, but one of the most successful overall.
Click here to learn more about Michael De Luca
After a wildly successful first year as our exclusive publishing partner in 2016 (which saw 8 books land publishing deals) Inkshares returns with a commitment to once again publish a minimum of 3 books from this years competition. With 75 books in bookstores worldwide since their launch just a few years ago and more than 85 new titles on the way, Inkshares has hit immediate success in not only becoming one of the fastest-growing publishers on the market, but in becoming one of the most coveted hubs for Hollywood to discover new talent. With several major book to screen sales coming from the publisher in just the past year, including breakout hits from newcomers J.F. Dubeau, Tal M. Klein, Mike Mongo and Filip Syta, as well as established screen vets such as Gary Whitta (Star Wars: Rogue One) and Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland’s Opus) turning to them to bring their prose to life, Inkshares has become the most innovative and exciting new companies to watch in the publishing world, and one we’re thrilled to partner with once again.
Click here to learn more about Inkshares
Also returning as an exclusive partner in this years competition is manager/producer Brooklyn Weaver and his Energy Entertainment, who will partner with lit agent Adrian Garcia as part of a commitment to each individually select a minimum of one writer from the competition to represent. Weaver and Garcia have each been involved with the Launch Pad Competition since the very beginning, having signed, sold and launched careers of writers who began here. Whether it be in books, film, or television, both reps have an exceptional track record in creating and expanding opportunities for their writers. With writers across all platforms, some of their clients work includes Deadpool, Extant, Bates Motel, A God in the Shed, I Am Legend, Independence Day, Terminator, Run All Night and Timeless amongst many others. With both having signed and launched the careers of multiple Launch Pad writers in the past, we’re beyond excited to partner with them this year.
Once again, we’re thrilled to announce the Launch Pad Mentorship Program. Making continual strides to continue to expand the educational platforms, and industry introductions new writers will face as their writing careers continue to blossom, we’ve invited three new mentors to join the latest mentorship program. From page to screen, best-sellers to Broadway, classics to cult favorites, newcomers to seasoned veterans, this year we’ve invited three writers we’re not only incredibly fond of, but who have conquered most all platforms as writers in demand. Whether it be seeing your debut novel become a smash hit on bookshelves, screens, and Broadway like Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish, or being the man behind one of the most beloved films of a generation like Patrick Sheane Duncan’s Mr. Holland’s Opus, or being the young new breakout sensation who went from his own HBO series to first time novelist like Zach Hines, there is little this group of mentors has not accomplished, or could offer insight on. So, whether its advice, tips, notes, looking for someone to bounce ideas off of, or looking for a confidant to ask all of those questions every new writer is afraid to ask, we’re confident our mentors will be able to help you, your project, and your career take shape as you prepare to navigate a newly minted writing career.
Continuing with the same educational ideas behind the origination of the mentorship program, and continually looking to identify new ways to give our writers even more of a leg up when entering the Launch Pad Competition, we’re thrilled to announce the return of our Feedback Notes Program. Rather than receiving a few vague disconnected sentences or paragraphs from other coverage services or competitions out there, we’ve struck a deal with our professional readers (reading for places such as 20th Century Fox, Sony, Paramount, Universal, UTA & more) to provide 1-2 pages of in-depth notes on your competition entry. With an emphasis on initial thoughts, opinions and analysis, get an inside look at what is usually a behind the curtain process, and get our readers' perspectives on the story, characters, marketability, and ideas for where the story could go. Was it a page-turner? Did we want to see more of a character? Was the dialogue believable? Get the actionable notes and insight you deserve.
Last year’s inaugural competition saw a total of seven projects selected to receive publishing. The three Launch Pad Grand Prize Winners will be among those published in addition to four more manuscripts selected by Inkshares. This year we hope to see even more authors have their work published and land on physical and digital book shelves around the globe.
Here is your easy guide to submission eligibility. If your specific case is not covered here, please contact us.
|My Manuscript Is...||Can I submit?|
|An unpublished work, that is my original story and characters, and I own all the rights to it.||YES|
|A self-published work, that is my original story and characters, and I own all the rights to it.||YES|
|A self-published or regular published work, that is my original story and characters, and I own the film and television rights to it, but not the publishing rights.||YES, but must opt-out of Inkshares Prize|
|A published, self-published or unpublished work that is my original story and characters, but someone else owns or has optioned the film and television rights.||NO|
|A published, self-published or unpublished work that I wrote and is based off of existing stories, characters, or literary figures that are public domain.||YES|
|A published, self-published or unpublished work that I wrote and is based off of existing stories, characters, or literary figures that are not public domain.||NO|
|A work that I didn’t write.||NO|
|A work that has already received a Top 25 placement in Launch Pad competition or received a “TB Recommend” from coverage.||NO|
|Grand Prize||Top 10||Top 25||Top 50||Top 75|
|Free 1-Year Membership To The Tracking Board.|
|You will receive an exclusive alumni profile on The Launch Pad website that highlights your project as well as your bio and upcoming works.|
|You will be introduced to the town via our Launch Pad Alumni Booklet and Launch Pad announcement newsletters to more than 5,000 industry professionals, featuring agents, managers, executives and producers.|
|Through the Tracking Board, Launchpad, and Inkshares websites, your project details will be distributed to agents, managers, executives, and producers who are looking for new clients, new projects, or writers to hire for their work.|
|You will be invited to join our community of Launch Pad Alumni, where you can network with a group of smart and passionate people who started in the same shoes you’re about to step into.|
|Your project will be featured in our annual Spec Book, Hit List, Young & Hungry List.|
|Free Entry Into A Future Launch Pad Competition of your choosing.|
|Your work will be read, reviewed, and voted on by each of our 25 esteemed judges.|
|Free Launch Pad Studio Coverage.|
|You will be featured in an exclusive interview, which will be hosted on The Tracking Board, and shared with the town as part of our Launch Pad Alum awareness campaigns.|
|Your project will be announced via a press release and the Tracking Board, Launch Pad, and Inkshares newsletters of more than 50,000 readers and professionals.|
|You and your project will individually be introduced to agents, managers, producers, and executives.|
|You will be flown to Los Angeles for an exclusive industry event, featuring dozens of our judges, agents, managers, executives, producers, mentors, and fellow writers.|
|Your project will be published in print and digital by Inkshares.|
At least 1 project will be selected from all entries that select the Guaranteed Option add on. You are not required to be a finalist to win this prize.
For decades Michael De Luca has been one of Hollywood’s elite producers. Having previously served as President of Production for both New Line Cinema and DreamWorks, his eye for great storytelling is unrivaled. A master at identifying books ripe for adaptation, all 3 of his Best Picture Oscar nominations (The Social Network, Captain Phillips, Money Ball) have been based on literary works. Michael De Luca Productions will option at least one project from this year’s competition of those who select this add-on.
At least 1 project will be selected from each company from all entries that select the Guaranteed Signing add on. You are not required to be a finalist to win this prize.
When it comes to discovering new voices and emerging writers, both Paradigm Talent Agency and Energy Entertainment have a proven track record in taking projects from the page to film and television screens. Collectively their clients include Stephen King, Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers, and Deadpool creator Rob Liefield, to name just a few. Each company will sign at least one author to represent from those who select this add-on.
In addition to the grand prize winners, up to 3 additional projects will be selected to be published from Inkshares from the entire entry pool.
Everyone that enters the competition is eligible for the Inkshares publishing prize. There is no need for an add-on to take advantage of this opportunity. The Top 25 semi-finalists’ work will be uploaded on the Inkshares site, then our judging panel and Inkshares readers will select a minimum of 3 manuscripts to be published and released as part of our Launch Pad/Inkshares collection digitally and physically in bookstores worldwide. While not necessary to have the most pre-orders to win, if you do meet the Inkshares pre-order threshold, you could still be published even beyond the competition. Inkshares is commited to publish the three projects with the highest number of unique reader pre-orders.
At least 3 projects will be selected by our mentors from all entries that select the Mentorship add on. You are not required to be a finalist to win this prize.
Enter for a chance to land one of our 3 exclusive Mentorships for the 2017 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition. Learn the ins and outs of both the publishing world, as well as the world of film and television, from established veterans at the top of their game. This year’s mentors include Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Zach Hines (Nine), and Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland’s Opus, Courage Under Fire).
Hyde Park Entertainment
Paradigm Talent Agency
Scott Free Productions
Made Up Stories
New Leaf Literary
Good Fear Film + Management
Lee Stobby Entertainment
Echo Lake Entertainment
De Luca Productions
Rivers Edge Films
3 Arts Entertainment