2013 New York Screenplay Contest Announces Winners

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Stephen Guest’s “The Other Side Of Normal” wins the contest’s top honor, the Grand Jury Prize.

The New York Screenplay Contest, New York’s top screenwriting competition, is pleased to announce the winners and official finalists of the 2013 New York Screenplay Contest. A complete list of the 2013 winners and official finalists can be viewed on the contest’s website, http://www.newyorkscreenplaycontest.com.

The New York Screenplay Contest awards and recognizes only the most finely written screenplays from entrants around the world with distinction in four exclusive award tiers. The judges selected one Grand Prize Winner from each official competition category along with the overall Grand Jury Prize Winner, "The Other Side of Normal" written by Stephen Guest, selected as the very best project from among all the competition categories, the contest's highest and most distinguished honor.

2nd and 3rd place awards were also presented in each of the main competition categories, the Empire Award and the Park Avenue Award, respectively. In addition, up to 10 Official Finalists were selected in each of the main competition categories at the discretion of the judges.

This year’s highlights include the Grand Jury Prize Winner, “The Other Side of Normal” written by Stephen Guest, an ambitious Manhattan lawyer is torn between her career and putting her down syndrome baby up for adoption; Biographical/Historical Grand Prize Winner “Under Pressure” written by Eric Carlson, a true story about one of the greatest escape stories in Naval history, battles flooding, toxic gas, failing power, and diminishing oxygen to save his crew from almost certain death after his submarine sinks beneath 180 feet of water in 1920; and Comedy Grand Prize Winner “Sight Unseen” written by Zack Marotta. In a “Sight Unseen” Arnold, is a washed-up former tech prodigy, who wakes up with the worst hangover of his life and finds he's made a drunken mistake - but not a one-night stand or a regrettable tattoo.

“The amazingly high quality of work we had the pleasure of reviewing made the decision making process tremendously difficult,” said Oscar Gemayel, Executive Director of the New York Screenplay Contest. “I thank our judges for their thoughtful work and congratulate the winners. This year’s contestants represent the breadth of our programming and our commitment to supporting unique storytelling from around the world.”

2013 Winners

Action / Adventure Competition:

Grand Prize Winner - “Running Out of Oxygen” written by Elesha Ochiis

A career thief diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer cooks up a deal in prison and secures a trip to a Manhattan hospital where he plans to retrieve hidden loot nearby from a previous heist.

Empire Award Winner - “How to Kill a Witch” written by Martin Bartlett

A pre-teen suspects that her dad is under the spell of a witch who must be destroyed with the help of her reluctant friends.

Park Avenue Award Winner – “American Milita” written by Ross Raffin

In a future America occupied by a newly formed foreign superpower, a fatherless teen fights to protect his family, first by joining the insurgency, and then by allying with the very invaders he so despises.

Biographical / Historical Competition:
Grand Prize Winner – “Under Pressure " written by Eric Carlson

Charles Cooke, in one of the greatest escape stories in Naval history, battles flooding, toxic gas, failing power, and diminishing oxygen to save his crew from almost certain death after his submarine sinks beneath 180 feet of water in 1920.

Empire Award Winner - " Empress of India " written by Mark P. Monack

Only one woman ever ruled a Sultanate in her own name. Raziya Berdan battled her princely brothers, accomplished generals, and the prejudices of her age to become Empress of India. But her ascent to the throne is only a portion of this remarkable true story of war, intrigue, and romance.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " Sudestern " written by Francisco Paparella

Sudestern tells their story of living in desolate lands and working as ranchers. Mainly, it centers around Cassidy and his struggle against the strong desire for his friend's wife while at the same time trying to run away from a violent past.

Comedy Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - “Sight Unseen " written by Zack Marotta

Arnold, is a washed-up former tech prodigy, who wakes up with the worst hangover of his life and finds he's made a drunken mistake - but not a one-night stand or a regrettable tattoo.

Empire Award Winner - " Kuirky" written by Tori Piskin

What if you go to a high school where a learning disability is common as a teenager's first pubic hair? Welcome to Zelda's high school: Chapwick, known as the Harvard school for learning disabilities.

Park Avenue Award Winner - "Bouncing" written by Peter Fitzgerald

A lazy quitter turns hero as he saves a bunch of loser Bouncers and their two-bit bar from security guard Armageddon.

Drama Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - " Long Way from Texas " written by Tim Fitzharris

In a poor Philippine mountain village, teenage musicians rebel against their abusive stepfather, crucifying him in a jackfruit tree. In a homemade sidecar they flee for their lives on a wild cross-country journey—scamming, stealing and fighting a champion battle cock to earn the funds necessary to reunite with their father from Texas and and launch their musical careers.

Empire Award Winner - "Hard Promises" written by Lauren Hirsch Williams

Based on the true-life story of Allan Haber, Hard Promises is about the only felon ever to become a capital crimes defense attorney.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " Falfurrias " written by Edward Tyndall

Falfurrias is the story of Araceli, an orphan of the Mexican drug war, who embarks on a pilgrimage of undocumented entry into the United States from Mexico to reunite with her dying sister. After teaming up with small-time criminal Ringo to cross the Rio Grande, Araceli must choose between violence and compassion to survive in the borderlands of Texas.

Family Film Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - " How to Become a Pearl " written by Lyvia A. Martinez

Now that you're growing up, you will find out who you truly are.' When Pearl starts the 7th grade and receives those words of wisdom, she panics, thinking they mean she hasn't been anybody all along. So she decides she has to find out who she is and what she's meant to do. And she will do it in one semester. She drags her friends and family into an adventure of exploration into identity, misconceptions and, ultimately, what it means to be yourself.

Empire Award Winner - " The Barking Spider " written by Robert Gately and Lois Gately

Joe’s wife dies and, feeling responsible for not fulfilling her dream of going to Paris, he tumbles into depression. All he thinks about now is dumping her ashes in the Seine River, but his dwindling spirit peaks, and his sedentary life is about to disappear forever, when his 39 year-old addicted and pregnant daughter appears on his doorstep.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " The Floating Princess " written by Deanna Dewey

When her younger sister is kidnapped by an evil witch's gryphon, Princess Emlyn decides she must leave the castle and go on a quest to save her sister and prove her capabilities. There's just one problem: Emlyn is the cursed floating princess, which means she can't even stand on solid ground.

Horror / Sci-Fi Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - "Cutterjunk" written by Julian Hoxter

Cutterjunk is a science fiction story about Coopy Meakes, a young woman trying to escape from the bottom rung of the galaxy's economic ladder.

Empire Award Winner - "Absolute Zero" written by Scott Caswell

The Earth has reached its carrying capacity. Anyone born without the permission of the Federal Government is deemed an “illegal citizen” and must be disposed of. A virus, meant to wipe out the illegal population, spreads beyond the underground slums and threatens to kill everyone. Natalie, an illegal from the underworld, fights to survive the extermination squads and ultimately, the extinction of the human race.

Park Avenue Award Winner - "Santa Muerte" written by Ben Soper & Tyler Soper

A Border Patrol agent struggles to unify and lead illegal immigrants, drug smugglers, a radical anti-government militiaman, and a sociopathic Coyote when a zombie outbreak traps them in a remote border town's Port of Entry.

Thriller Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - "Branded" written by Jeff Beauvoir

When a role-play sex fantasy goes wrong, a plastic surgeon becomes the target of a bizarre face-altering revenge plot in this offbeat thriller about sex and identity.

Empire Award Winner - "King of All This" written by Pat Herford

Failing to find justice after his son is bullied, a struggling school janitor goes after the mysterious teenage perpetrator in a darkening vendetta that pushes moral boundaries to their breaking point.

Park Avenue Award Winner - "Drone America" written by Dianna Zimmerman and Brad Jost

In the near future, drones dominate the skies. An ex-military pilot takes a cushy job at the mammoth drone corporation, but when bodies start to pile up, he must uncover who's behind it - the ruthless CEO or the drones themselves.

Short Screenplay Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - "Roux" written by Connor Einarsen

A mysterious spirit visits, for the last time, three people touched by death in different ways.

Empire Award Winner – “Disabled Parking" written by Alon Bar

When a young man decides to teach a rude person about parking in an incorrect spot, he discovers his own mistake and races against time to fix it before he's caught.

Park Avenue Award Winner - "Trunk" written by Mario Di Pesa

A bank robbery gone wrong has dire consequences after the robbers hijack a car from a group of teens.

Stage Play Competition:
Grand Prize Winner – “Bookmark" written by Stephen Henel

A fantasy writer with Alzheimer's is forced to work with a ghostwriter to finish his last novel.

Empire Award Winner - "Polar Bear" written by Alexander Norton

A piece of ice from the Arctic floats slowly onto the stage. At the center of the ice block a white Polar Bear, which like a modern Christopher Columbus, tells his own story and the history of modern human who guide the planet earth to the total destruction.

Park Avenue Award Winner - "Going Solo" written by Robert Gately and Drew Keil

Debbie, an agoraphobic, works in a Brooklyn realty office in the converted living room of her home with her two middle-aged, love-starved friends. The sudden arrival of Debbie’s estranged daughter announcing her solo performance at Carnegie Hall, and the surprise announcement of the birth of her grandson, become Debbie’s motivation to end her 30-year self-exile.

Treatment Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - "Lost Cause Treatment" written by David J. Schroeder

In 1958, the US loses a thermal nuclear bomb in the Savannah River. It's missing, but reappears on a Venezuelan cargo ship headed for the Gulf Coast.

Empire Award Winner - " Special Order 937 " written by Steven Snell

Concept for a TV series sequel to the film 'Aliens'.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " The Janus Project " written by Mark Casadei

The girl next door is like any other seventeen-year-old, with one exception: she has a dual personality. She is part of a classified government program designed to create the perfect “sleeper agent” operative. She can be as sweet as a little girl or deadly like a trained assassin. Once she discovers her secret, she becomes obsessed on finding out who made her this way, even if it means giving up everything, including her life.

Television Concept Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - " Special Order 937 " written by Steven Snell

Concept for a TV series sequel to the film 'Aliens'.

Empire Award Winner - " Workout Pete" written by Frank Hammond

Workout Pete tells the story about a young man's desire and journey to become a performer even though his peers may not find him a desirable choice.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " Analog" written by Carl Huebner

11 years after digital media has been banned because of overpowering subliminal messages, a young resistance member battles a doomsday cult and a controlling government agency to protect these dangerous artifacts, and learn the truth about his own subliminal imperative.

Television Pilot – Drama Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - " All or Nothing" written by Trevor Harris

A professional bookie in Chicago must keep his business operational while the cops and criminals want to shut it down; all while supporting his family and his son who is a Division One college quarterback.

Empire Award Winner - " Suspected Killers" written by Tor Cumberbatch

Several individuals are being accused, tried, and convicted of murders they did not commit. Is it a coincidence? No, it's a pattern. Agent Brandon Stone, F.B.I., is on the case. Meanwhile, the suspected killers struggle to avoid capture.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " Cigar Game" written by Cayman Grant

When Ray, an NBA referee with a near-perfect life and family, gets caught up in a terrible gambling scheme with the wrong guys, he’s forced to work for one of the largest crime families in NYC- getting them sports inside information in order to keep his family safe and his job with the NBA secure.

Television Pilot – Sitcom Competition:
Grand Prize Winner - " Halfway Gourmet" written by Joseph Wilson

Halfway Gourmet is a comedy series about a wannabe celebrity chef doing everything in his limited power to become the next the Gordon Ramsay, but is ruining his restaurant and reputation in the process.

Empire Award Winner - " The Randoms" written by Christina Raia

A 37 year old, single woman, with an intrusive extended family, decides to become housemother to foreign exchange students and soon realizes that it is a lot more than what she thought she signed up for.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " Prophet Motive" written by Matt Black

An infamous rapper struggles to stay on top of the game amidst some surreal circumstances.

Television Spec Script Competition:
Grand Prize Winner – “The Big Bang Theory - The Lando Calrissian Analogy” written by Alex Beattie

Sheldon feels Leonard has betrayed him, and likens this to when Lando Calrissian handed over Han Solo to Darth Vader.

Empire Award Winner - " The Big Bang Theory - The Procrastination Expiration” written by David Minaskanian

The gang tries to lift Sheldon's spirits after he suffers a devastating loss.

Park Avenue Award Winner - " 30 Rock - Fifty Shades of Tray" written by Britt Sanborn

Jack throws Liz a curve ball and orders her to write an episode of Law and Order while other writers are on strike. Meanwhile, Jenna hires a surrogate womb and Tracy is on the verge of EGOT-ing.

2013 Official Finalists

Action / Adventure

  • Afghanestern written by Andrew Sherwood
  • Hellbender written by Dan Sullivan
  • The Revolt of the Whales written by Michael Rhodes
  • Memorial Day Reset written by Avraham Azrieli
  • Silence written by John Edward Flynt
  • Lost Cause written by David Schroeder
  • Strong Enough written by Brian Weakland
  • Bottom Time written by Paul Murdock
  • Screwed Up written by Joseph Khaleghian
  • Due To Inclement Weather written by Joshua Nidzgorski

Biographical / Historical

  • Goodbye Komarom written by Sheldon Schiffer
  • Grace written by Jeffrey A. Russel and Lynda Lemberg
  • Ragtime Warrior written by James B. Saunders
  • The Black Cat written by Joseph Castel
  • Aurora written by Amber Karlins
  • Radical: In The Time Of I.F. Stone written by Jon Huffman
  • The Maurice Bavaud Affair written by Elisabeth Loesch
  • Forged written by Linda Ujifusa
  • The Hard Place written by Colleen Becker
  • The Ed Dennehy Story written by Robert Gately    


  • A Class Reunion written by James Kelley
  • Machina written by Tom Radovich
  • Skin written by Alberto Diamante
  • Prophets written by Chad Huggins
  • Where The Men Are written by Wendy Wilkins
  • Irish Grudge written by Leslie Flannery
  • Not the Youngbloods written by Thomas Kuhlman
  • The Caterer written by Dale Brandenburg
  • Shopping Bags written by Roy Adams
  • Ramshackle Jones and the Eighteen Wheels of Justice written by Jeffrey Kessler


  • Clap written by Bryce Richardson
  • A Memory Circled in Red written by James Byrne
  • Terrestrials written by Teresa Sutherland
  • Barrio Boy written by Dennis Shinners
  • Rachel Within Richard written by Linda Algazi
  • Harmony written by Brad Riddell
  • Neighbors written by Conor Kellicutt
  • Iqbal's Shoes written by Rahim Moledina
  • Heart of a Lyon written by Ian de Vries
  • Rebirth written by T.L. Lewis

Family Film

  • In Progress written by Emily Cunningham
  • Our Rainbow written by Joshua Nawan Ding
  • The Magic Kingdom written by Michael McQuade
  • Finding Distance written by Jodi levitan
  • The Big Hero written by Tom McIntire
  • Spirit of the Everglades written by Michael Bavota
  • Jack written by Lisa Beuk
  • The Soccer Momster written by Jeffrey Rubin
  • Vince: a small tale for a big world written by Alejandro Morales
  • Grace written by Jeffrey Allen Russel    

Horror / Sci-Fi

  • Blood Boils in Texas written by Adam Tinius
  • The Love Hunters written by Ivan Bukta
  • Shark Tooth Snake Fang written by Ben Shupe
  • The Hunger written by Bryan Ott
  • Genesis Prime written by Joe Crouch
  • Silent Place in the Woods written by Marcin Dachowski
  • Hell's Belles written by Chuck Foster
  • The Devil's Grasp written by Pat Schrader
  • Before the Storm written by Robby Pitts
  • The Unexpected written by Nicola Ralph    


  • Outcasts written by Alex Saveliev
  • Landlady written by Ray-Alan Cameron
  • Small Town Crime written by Michelle Lang    
  • Strike a Match written by Ross Raffin
  • D. T. written by Ken Comer
  • AngelHeads written by Evan McNary
  • In the Wrong Hands written by Dianna Zimmerman a
  • Limbo written by Sonita Singh and Lisa N. Edwards
  • The Observance written by Amy Dyal Bailey
  • Damascus written by Evan McNar

Short Screenplay

  • A Mother's Love Script written by Camille Mitchell
  • Disintegration written by Bruce Thomas
  • Small Signs written by John Moon
  • Treece written by Haley Stoessl
  • Sorry written by Kevin Tan
  • The Third Wish written by Pierre Langenegger
  • Celestus written by Carl Huebner
  • Liat written by Khaled Soltan
  • Oaxacan Love written by Jonathan Turner
  • Yo-Yo written by Sean Ebert

Stage Play

  • MichelAngelo and Tommaso written by James Rosenfield
  • Immortalizing Raymond: or How to Live Forever written by James Rosenfield
  • The Waldorf = Astoria written by Tony Muscio
  • Faint Hearts written by Stephen Henel
  • Murdertown written by Sean Welch
  • The Impossible Adventures of Supernova Jones written by Aaron Senser
  • Freud's Last Patient written by Brian Weakland


  • The Link TV Series written by Sandra Stoodley
  • The Kid From Big Apple written by Jess Teong
  • The Human Age written by Konstantinos Tsokalis
  • Operation Rehab written by Mark Casadei
  • Protectors of the species written by Stevan Serban
  • Unstitched written by Rob Hovey

Television Pilot - Drama

  • Cruel and Unusual Punishment written by Timothy Johnson
  • By the Time You Read This written by Laura Deeley
  • Drive Me written by Sharon Williams
  • A Tangled Web written by Dominic Biello
  • The Institution written by Nathan Arentoft
  • The Bright written by Anthony Jaswinski
  • Iscariot written by Travis Opgenorth
  • Charlie written by Lacey Morris
  • Friends of Dorothy written by Giorgis Despotakis
  • Catalyst written by Mark Casadei

Television Pilot - Sitcom

  • 2B written by Adi Blotman
  • The Art of Being Emily written by Marc Paykuss
  • Housemates written by Bridgette Poulton
  • Ondine written by Steven Snell
  • Tweakers! written by Alex Kipp
  • Uniformed Grace - Pilot written by David Minaskanian
  • Culture Shock written by William Wright
  • Mack to the Future written by Julia Prescott
  • 8 Sharp written by Karen Connolly
  • Sophomoric written by Marcus Shorter

Television Spec Script

  • White Collar: Rolling Through the Motions written by Amy Champlin
  • Modern Family Girls Weekend written by Megan Tucei
  • Boundaries written by Julia Watkin
  • Blind Date written by Cary Tusan
  • The Sins Of The Fathers written by Deirdre Brennan
  • Gossip Girl: What Dreams May Come Undone written by Nathan Elias
  • Red Dwarf - Rapture written by Robert Schanzenbach
  • Wild Mind 1 written by Fujio Torikai
  • The Big Bang Theory - The Alpha Copulation written by Nathan Arentoft
  • The Office - Death of a Salesman written by Nathan Arentoft
  • The Rite of Spring written by Charles Vermilyea
  • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Spec Script written by Dave Migicovsky
  • Breaking Bad: Redemption written by Andreas Tihanyi

Media Contact: Oscar Gemayel - [email protected]

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