Write of Passage Frequently Asked Questions

It's a worldwide, mentored competition with cash prizes, notoriety, and potential screen credits. Participants find it a valuable learning experience that enhances their careers. Some stories are produced for our Write of Passage Spotlight at the 168 Film Festival.

Enter Contest Here

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
3. Writers get a confirmation email
4. Assignment of Development Executive (DE) to writer
5. Verses sent at 5pm PT. ONLY THEN can writing begin
6. Writers send drafts to the DE for critique
7. DE's judge and send top entries to the finals in LA
8. Finalists are judged and announced
9. All scripts are available to license in a first look deal to 168 Spotlight Producers (produce from ANY location worldwide)
10. Write of Passage Spotlight Screenings at the 168 Film Festival

Licensing a Script

Basic Questions

Q: Will 168 randomly assign foundational scriptures 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 produced for 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.

While you are free to imagine any storyline with a wide variety of locations or a cast of thousands, your script is more likely to be reach the screen if it is easily producible by teams under constraints of 168 filmmaking, e.g. 2 or 3 main characters, common private locations such as a house or church, and easily achievable special effects.

Q: Can I write as a team?
: You can write by yourself or with a group of no more than three. If participating in the Write Of Passage Duo competition, a minimum of two team members are required.

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 .

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 winning writer gets a cash prize, VIP treatment, phone meetings with Hollywood elites. Writers may get nominations and awards, which can 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: Being a DE is excellent practice for those working towards a career in story development.  You are the point person for a new creative community invigorated by your leadership.  You learn to motivate and encourage a creative team to achieve excellence.  Your sense of story develops in amazing ways. You are introduced as part of the creative team.  You get a Development Executive credit if the movie gets made. IF YOUR WRITER WINS, You get a cash prize.

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 (all told, including credits).

Q: What do writers say about Write of Passage?    

A: "I did like that Write of Passage did not leave me hanging all alone writing a script."

"(My mentor was) extremely insightful, invaluable, honest and supportive."

"Perhaps, in my eagerness to 'step out of the boat,' I acted in haste by singing up for a challenge for which I was ill prepared.  I was a nervous novice who had just pushed every envelope, unleashed every fear and stepped so far out of the box that I was a basket case." 

"(Write of Passage) served as an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to tear down strongholds and set this captive free!  Lies were exposed, truths were beheld and Grace was given.  It was an amazing week!!"

"This has been an absolutely spectacular learning experience for me that challenged me, my creativity and my spirit to the fullest. I also really liked working with a Development Executive. Very helpful and insightful. I gained tons from that alone."


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.

Screenwriting Programs include 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 limited demo, but can only save 15 pages (fine for WP).
  • Movie Magic Screenwriter  (Mac, Win)  Limited free trial. Basic version $60.

Writers are solely responsible to produce PDF versions of their scripts in industry standard format. Some programs are more intuitive than others. 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.

- Advertisement -
168 Sponsorship Opportunities

Licensing of Write of Passage Scripts - An Easy Process

Q: Describe the 168/Write of Passage License? What is the term? 

A: It is an option to produce the film on which the script is based. 

168/Write of Passage's 1st look deal is guaranteed by the writer's contract. The 168/WP license expires after the entry deadline for all films in the 168 Film Project. After that, writers may do as they wish with their stories. 

Q: Why do you license these projects? 
We want to protect the hard work of the writers and give the story the best possible chance to succeed. We want to help you to get everything you need for the production, whether that be actors or crew. If there is no competition for the story, then you will likely get it. If there is competition, it will go to the best team.See the simple info below to know what to include in your license request.  
Write of Passage is a  "Non-Speed" category, so you may begin production as soon as you write us and get the script. Turn-in requirements are the same as for all other films. These films screen at the 168 Film Festival.

Q: How many scripts will be made into short films at the 168 Film Project?
A: Usually 2-4 are made each year, but we welcome more. There is no limit. Producers are responsible for their own budgets.

Q: Which scripts are option-able?
All scripts from every year are optionable, not just finalists.
Here are the  Finalist scripts. (Those marked with an asterisk have already been made.) We encourage you to produce any WP script, including  non-finalists (perhaps one you wrote), you may bid on the option.

Q: Can Writers or DE's option their Write of Passage script?  
A: Yes, writers are encouraged to produce. Contact us. We want to help you get the best team for your film!

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: What do you mean by "bid" on a script?
A: The "bid" process is merely writing an email and telling us that you are prepared to do a good job. We simply want to ensure that the story's success. No money is involved.

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 the producer, we will partner with you to help ensure your success!

Q: What is the bid acceptance process for Write of Passage Spotlight producers?
A: The best team applying for a particular script is selected (if minimum competency is met).  168/Write of Passage's 1st look expires after the entry deadline for all films in the 168 Film Project. After that, writers may do as they wish with their stories.

Q: How can I bid on a Write of Passage Script.
A: First, choose a script.  (Scripts with an asterisk * are not available.) Then contact us regarding the script.  You will then send a bid proposal describing your production 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, Write of Passage Films are in the Non-Speed category, so production can begin immediately after registration. The submission deadline is the same for all 168 Films. As with all other categories of this competition, Write of Passage Spotlight films must not be screened in public 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.

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" (which expires after the 168 Film Project entry deadline).  Post license, the writers are the owners and may do as they wish with their stories. But, all films produced for whatever reason must give credit to the contest as follows: "This film was based on a 168 Film Write of Passage Screenplay Competition Script."