The Save the Cat!® 2023 Screenplay Challenge

Ryan Patch and Paul Massaro

CORROSION logline: An idealistic former Congressional staffer finds herself in too deep when she is forced to take a job lobbying for a corrupt Russian Oligarch. Described as “watching a West Wing character Breaking Bad,” with echoes of Suits, Billions, Ozark, and Narcos.

Charles Cordaro

VALIANT logline: After escaping an abusive father and arranged marriage, a young Canadian woman embarks on an international journey of self-discovery, but when the Civil War erupts, she disguises herself as a man and joins a Union regiment — only to realize the commander is her childhood love.


list of Top 5 Finalists for TV Pilots for Save the Cat! Screenplay Challenge 2023
list of Top 5 Finalists for features for Save the Cat! Screenplay Challenge 2023


the top 25 names of the 2023 Save the Cat! Screenplay Challenge for TV pilots

the top 25 names of the 2023 Save the Cat! Screenplay Challenge for feature films


Welcome to Year 5 of Blake Snyder’s SAVE THE CAT!® SCREENPLAY CHALLENGE.

All Entries Receive a Full Read by Save the Cat! Master Cat Readers.

All Writers Receive 50 Points of Analysis—at NO ADDITIONAL COST.

Feedback Is Grounded in Story Structure—Not Subjective Opinion.

Our approach is simple: a screenplay competition that provides actionable feedback grounded in the Save the Cat! Methodology—the same method used by working writers, readers, and decision makers.

Our focus is on the beats of your story with an aim to help tighten the spine of your screenplay. You make the character, dialogue, and subject matter fly and we’ll serve as your co-pilot, guiding your story’s structure through compelling character transformation from the Opening Image to the Final Image.

You have challenged yourself to start, finish, and enter a screenplay competition—let us deliver the Save the Cat! 50 points of analysis to help you achieve your story’s potential.

Now accepting screenplays for feature films and 60-minute and 30-minute TV pilots.

Awards & Prizes

Grand Prize Winners
• 3-day trip to LA ($600)
• 3-night hotel stay ($1200)
• Live table read to bring your work to life
• Meeting with judges
• 12-month subscription to host your work on The Black List on us
• Save the Cat! 5.0 Software – 12 Month Subscription

Top 5 Finalists
• Meeting with one of the judges
• Save the Cat! 5.0 Software – 12 Month Subscription

Your Submissions
• We want screenplays that are entertaining and have a strong and unique voice that grabs the audience—after all, if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the screen!
• See all details on the Film Freeway site (link below)

Dates & Deadlines
November 27, 2022 – Earlybird Deadline
January 31, 2023 – Regular Deadline
February 26, 2023 – Late Deadline
March 26, 2023 – Extended Deadline
September 29, 2023 – Notification Date

Testimonial from the 2022 Challenge TV Pilot Winners

Check out Testimonials from previous finalists and winners!


Sheila Hanahan Taylor founded Practical Pictures in 2004 with Craig Perry. Past projects include Universal’s American Pie franchise, New Line Cinema’s Final Destination franchise, Warner Bros’ Cats & Dogs franchise, Universal’s Breaking In, Village Roadshow’s Oddball, Sony Pictures’ Little Black Book and The Big Hit, and Helkon Media’s RepliKate. Worldwide, they have grossed over $2 billion. Upcoming projects include a sixth installment in the Final Destination franchise, vampire thriller Nightfall, and the high-tech thriller Entry Level.


berman photovanillaJULIET BERMAN
As Head of Development at Treehouse Pictures, Juliet Berman oversees the development and packaging of the Treehouse Pictures’ slate. Her credits at Treehouse include Producer of Set It Up, Executive Producer on Sand Castle (both for Netflix), and Co-producer on Mediterranea.


Zachary Levine is a Creative Executive at Gilbert Films, a Los Angeles-based production and finance company known for La La Land, The Kids Are All Right, and Garden State. He oversees the development slate, tracks and ideates projects for financing and development, and scouts talent.


The author of Save the Cat! Writes For TV: The Last Book on Creating Binge-Worthy Content You’ll Ever Need is a working and accomplished screenwriter. Jamie Nash has written and sold almost every type of story under the sun, including horror films like ExistsV/H/S/2The Night WatchmenAltered, and Lovely Molly, and family films like Santa Hunters and Tiny Christmas. He teaches screenwriting at MICA and Johns Hopkins and co-hosts the podcast Writers/Blockbusters.


Bobby Hoppey is VP (Production and Development) at Complementary Colors. A seasoned story analyst and independent producer, Bobby was a founding member and ran development for Valparaiso Pictures, where his projects included Straight Up and the upcoming Pig with Nicolas Cage. Prior to Valparaiso, Bobby spent 5 years at Echo Lake Entertainment, where he managed projects across the film and television divisions.


Diana Mendez wrote her first episode of television as a writers’ assistant on Rizzoli & Isles. She continued to hone her crime writing chops on Fox’s Rosewood, Charter’s L.A.’s Finest, and most recently as a co-producer on ABC’s The Rookie. Diana is an alum of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s (NHMC) TV Writers Program and the Fox Writers Intensive.


Chris Bythewood, a film and television writer based in LA, worked as an executive at Fox Network Group and co-created the Fox Writers Initiative (FWI). He also ran TV development at Confluential Films, where he developed with the team the HBO documentary 40 Years a Prisoner, and was in the writer’s room for The Chicago Code and Shots Fired series.


As head of production for American High—a studio with recent releases including Big Time Adolescence, The Binge, The Ultimate Playlist of Noise, and Plan B—Will Phelps oversees all development, packaging, and production.


Marc Manus is a former award-winning photojournalist who attended USC film school before entering the field of artist representation. Marc has held positions at various management companies including, most recently, Zero Gravity (Netflix’s Ozark). Now at World Builder Entertainment, Marc continues to guide a select roster of filmmakers from around the globe who have film and television projects at the major studios, TV networks, and streamers.



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