Write of Passage Frequently Asked Questions

It's a worldwide, mentored, $1,000 First Prize Competition. Some stories are produced for our WP Spotlight at the 168 Film Festival.

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How the contest works

Begun in 2009, the Write of Passage Screenwriting Competition is a one-week, mentored competition, which instructs writers as they compete. Industry pros (called Development Executives or DE's) critique writers and judge the 1st round of competition. The goal is to develop redemptive, inspirational stories that honor God. All submissions are 12-pages and are written in 168 hours, based on the theme and a foundational scripture.

Q: What are the steps in the contest? Give me an overview.
1. Potential DE's apply for the Development Executive position.
2. Writers pay fee (168 member discount) & enter contact info on our Website.
3. You will get a confirmation.
4. Assignment of Development Executive (DE).
5. Your verse is sent at 5pm Pacific Time. ONLY THEN can you begin writing.
6. You will send drafts to the DE for critique per your agreed schedule.
7. The DE judges and sends entries to the finals in L.A.
8. Finalists are judged and announced.
9. All scripts are available to license in a 1st look deal to 168 Spotlight Producers.
10. Write of Passage Spotlight Screenings at the 168 Film Festival. Awards: WOP Award and Audience Favorite

Licensing a Script

Screenwriting Software

Writers are responsible for delivering a script in an industry-standard (one minute per page) format. A number of free and low cost resources are available for screenwriters getting started.

  • SlimplyScripts.com has a good description of the Industry Standard format.
  • Here is a Microsoft Word template (for Office 2010 or newer) based on SimplyScripts' specifications. Instructions on using Styles to format a script are included.

Screenwriting Programs include many more features for film production and collaboration along with automated script formatting. A short list of those that are available for free or at nominal cost include:

  • Adobe Story (a browser-based app for Mac, Win or tablets), Online version free with Adobe ID. "Plus" version is included with paid Creative Cloud subscription.
  • Celtex (Mac, Win, Linux) free basic version with signup.
  • Final Draft (Mac or Win) has a free demo that works forever, but can only save 15 pages and everything is watermarked.
  • Movie Magic Screenwriter  (Mac, Win)  Limited free trial. Basic version $60.

All of these are merely suggestions. Writers are solely responsible to produce PDF versions of their scripts in industry standard format. Some programs are more intuitive than others. Expect a learning curve. PLEASE experiment and determine which method best fits your workflow before writing week starts.

I68 is NOT RESPONSIBLE for the performance of any of the above options. Writer is solely responsible for delivering a correctly formatted script on time. Mention of these commercial titles in no way implies endorsement of any company or product by 168.

Basic Questions

Q: Will 168 randomly assign foundational scriptures as it is for 168 Film Project Signature Entries or does the writer choose the verse?
A: 168 supplies the verse based on the same theme that will be used for the next 168 Film Project. Thus these screenplays fit with the theme and can be shot and screen at the 168 Film Festival.

Q: What kind of stories is the contest looking for?
A: Redemptive stories are ideal, even if it's just a hint of redemption. If you choose to write a tragedy, then make sure there are real consequences for actions. Winking at or poking fun at hell, taboos and bad behavior is not a good idea for this contest.

Q: Can I write as a team?
: You can write by yourself or with a group of no more than three.

Q: How do I interface with my Development Executive/Mentor (DE) if I live in another region?
A: Your DE may be thousands of miles away and thus, he/she will use email. If possible, teams will meet face-to-face and/or talk by phone. If you live a long distance from each other, you can also use programs like Skype which are free.

Q: How many screenplays may I enter?
A: As many as you like, but you must pay one entry fee per script.

Q: What's in it for writers?
A: The winner gets a $1,000 cash prize, VIP treatment, phone meetings with Hollywood elites and awards. Writers get nominations and awards, which help in marketing your talent. If produced, you will get a writing credit and input on rewrites for the film. 

Q: What's in it for DEs?
A: This is excellent practice for a future career in story development. DE names go in the program book. You are the point person for a new creative community invigorated by your leadership. DE’s develop their sense of story and learn how to motivate and encourage a creative team to achieve excellence. IF YOUR WRITER WINS: You are introduced as part of the creative team to Hollywood VIP’s. You get an Executive Producer credit if your movie gets made. Finally, you get a free ticket to the 168 Film Festival.

Q: Do Write of Passage Spotlight Films compete with "168" Signature Speed Film entries?
A: No, they compete only with each other so it’s fair.

Q: Can writers just submit scripts to the 168 Office?
A: No, you must work through your DE.

Q: What if I don't like the DE who is assigned to me?
A: Writers will not be reassigned unless there is an extreme situation. It is important to learn to be flexible and be able to work with all sorts of people.

Q: Do I have to make all the changes my DE suggests?
A: No, they are just there to help and suggest. You are in control of your script, but remember DE’s judge the first round. You will learn that sometimes a client or executive will ask for changes that are detrimental. Choose your battles wisely.

Q: How important is it to integrate the verse into the script? 
A: This is called SCRIPTURAL INTEGRATION (SI) and it is Very important.  In fact it's so important that if you don’t do this, you will not be a finalist.

Q: What is SCRIPTURAL INTEGRATION (SI) and how will it be judged?
A: No scripts will advance without good S.I.  This is how skillfully, artistically, and ingeniously the producer uses the verse as a foundation to the story. It is not simply jamming the verse into the story or reading it at some point. This will be judged thusly: take the verse on face value, asking yourself “Are all of the verse’s story points addressed?” Writes will get extra credit for representation of the verse’s context in the story.  DE’s will watch for subtleties and symbolism (i.e. one character represents Jesus or Israel, etc.) especially if they can’t see the SI at first. The best films will communicate the spirit and the letter of the verse in a wondrous way.

Q: Can I submit a script I've already written?
A: No, this is a speed screenwriting competition. Everyone writes with the same restrictions.

Q: Why should I grant a license to students? Won't they just make an amateur film and make me look bad?
A: At 168 we want students to succeed. Since the biggest problem is STORY, this license starts them off with a great foundation, so they can concentrate on learning filmmaking. That's where you come in. Writers grant a non-exclusive license of your script to students for use in producing a film. You will receive credit on the film (if desired). Students shall consult with writers and will change the name of the short film to an acceptable title if the writer so desires. The film shall be credited as “A Write of Passage Student Film.”

Q: After the winner is announced, can writers continue revising their scripts and enter the film in the 168 Film Festival?    A: Yes, that is perfectly fine, but the finished script should not exceed 12 pages because the finished film cannot be longer than 11 minutes.


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Licensing of Write of Passage Scripts for the 168 Film Project Competiton and Festival

Write of Passage Spotlight Films are a special category of films for the 168 Film Festival. The category is unlimited, so teams may begin production as soon as the bid on their chosen script is accepted by 168 management. Turn-in requirements are the same as for all other films.

Q: How many scripts will be made into short films at the 168 Film Project?
A: Usually 2-4 are made each year. Producers are responsible for their own budgets.

Q: Which scripts are option-able?
All scripts from every year are option-able, not just finalists. 
Here are the  Finalist scripts. (Those marked with an asterisk have already been produced are not optionable.)

Q: Can Writers or DE's option their Write of Passage script?  
A: Yes, but the first look consideration goes to producers in the 168 film Project's W.O.P. Spotlight Program.

Q: Who qualifies as a Write of Passage Spotlight Producer?
A: Anyone who 1. Submits a bid for a script (as described below), 2. is Accepted, 3. Pays the Contest Fee and 4. Signs the Contract.

Q: Who gets accepted?
A: The Best Team that wants a particular script is selected (if minimum competency is met). Our goal is to give these films the very best chance to be great. If you are accepted as a producer, we will partner with you to help ensure your success!

Q: What is the acceptance process for Write of Passage Spotlight producers?
A: The 168 management team evaluates applications for script licensing. The best team applying for a particular script is selected (if minimum competency is met).  Our goal is to give these films the very best chance to be great. If you are accepted as a producer, we will partner with you to help ensure your success!

Q: How can I option a Write of Passage Script.
A: First, choose a script.  (Scripts with an asterisk * are not available.) Then contact us regarding your intentions.  You will be asked to send a bid proposal describing your Production-Marketing-Promotion Team profile:

  • Personnel and experience level
  • Resumes
  • Any star attachments
  • Source of funding or plan
  • Project budget
  • Secured locations & gear
  • Factors that make you the best team for this film, such as why you want to make the story and how the DE or Writer is involved

Q: Is there a specific schedule for production like the 168 Signature Films?
A: No. The Write of Passage Spotlight Films will be unlimited (like our documentary contest) in regard to shooting schedule. Production can begin immediately. But, they must make the deadline for all 168 Submissions. As with all other categories of this competition, Write of Passage Spotlight films must not be screened publically prior to the festival. See Contest Rules.

Q: When will the Write of Passage Spotlight Films Screen?
A: At the Write of Passage Spotlight Screenings at the 168 Film Festival. These films will be programmed by 168 Management for excellent visibility.

Q: Are there awards?
A: Yes, the Write of Passage Spotlight Film Award, and the Audience Favorite Award. Spotlight films are NOT ELIGIBLE for the Best Film award.

Q: Can I produce a Write of Passage screenplay independently of 168? 
A: Yes, but 168 producers get the "first look."  Screenplays older than one year are fair game for production, but they must give credit to the WOP contest: "This film was based on a 168 Film Write of Passage Screenplay Competition Script." Independent producers will negotiate directly with the writers for rights to the script.