Rules and Overview

Dear Authors,

Welcome to the Spring 2017 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition on Inkshares. This competition has one goal: to bubble up new author voices whose prose and stories will capture our collective consciousness and make an impact on the publishing and entertainment worlds alike.

With more than 200 writers signed, 70 projects set up and a judging panel that has been behind some of the largest and most commercially and critically successful film and television projects in the past decade, we’re thrilled to team up with the Launch Pad Competition once again for their 2017 manuscript competition.

Joining us this year will also be Oscar-nominated producer Michael De Luca (Social Network, Captain Phillips, Fifty Shades of Grey), who has committed to option a minimum of one winner from the competition, as well as manager/producer Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment, who represents clients such as Rob Liefeld (Deadpool), Mike Mongo (Astronauts Instruction Manual) and Mickey Fisher (Extant) amongst others. The competition will also have film/television/book agency Paradigm onboard with a commitment to sign one writer from the competition, as well as an elite panel of mentors including Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland’s Opus) and Zach Hines (Nine).

Partnering with the Launch Pad in 2016 for their inaugural manuscript competition, we saw Launch Pad exclusive partner Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner, Alien) pick up two books from the competition to put into development, writer/producer Anthony Cipriano (Bates Motel) pick up a project, and we at Inkshares green-lit eight books for publication, with the first to hit bookshelves this fall.

And the best part? You don’t need a completed manuscript to enter, just 50 pages of your work (including a minimum one-page synopsis), and you’re in.

For those of you looking to break into the publishing world and to get Hollywood paying attention right out of the gate, this is the first stop to truly launch your career.

The deadline to enter is July 14th, 2017.

So once more into the breach, dear friends. Back in the saddle. Pull up the anchors, because away we go.

- The Inkshares Team

Dual Registration

To enter the competition, you can start by registering here, or jump over the Launch Pad site to find out more about the competition and enter.

Registering on Inkshares is optional at this point in time, however to be eligible to take part in the competition you must register, upload your work, and pay your entry fees on the Launch Pad site below:

Upon completing your entry at The Launch Pad, you will be given a link to come back here to Inkshares to upload your work. Without completing your entry on The Launch Pad site, your work will not be in contention for the competition. All authors must start on an even footing, meaning that all projects must have an order count of zero when the pre-order period starts. All details on how to sign up, as well as any additional features, including entry to the Guaranteed Option with Michael De Luca, Guaranteed Signings with Energy Entertainment and Paradigm, the Mentorship Program, or to select Feedback Notes, are all found on The Launch Pad site.

All competition entry fees go to The Launch Pad Competition, and are used to pay the professional readers and administrative costs of the competition (see next section on Judges' Initial Selections).

Judges' Initial Selections

As with the prior Launch Pad Competition, but unlike other contests on Inkshares, this is a filtered contest. This means that manuscripts will be vetted by a committee of professional readers and judges (primarily composed of executives in Hollywood) prior to entry. Yes, just like on The Voice.

Accordingly, not all people who “enter” the competition will be allowed to participate in the competition—though they may of course seek to publish on Inkshares outside of the contest.

Following the first wave of finalist announcements from the Launch Pad Competition, those who are advancing will be featured prominently on Inkshares within the contest area.


Books will be selected for publishing in two ways. First, as with all Inkshares contests, the top three titles on the basis of unique pre-orders will be selected for publishing. Second, the top three selections (Grand Prize winners) selected by the Launch Pad judging panel and exclusive partners will also receive publishing.

In addition, and as in the previous contest, Inkshares may choose to publish additional manuscripts for publication as part of the Launch Pad Collection. Further, authors may of course seek to publish on Inkshares outside of the competition. In addition, and as in the previous contest, Inkshares may greenlight other manuscripts for publication at its discretion.

Once the Top 75, as decided by the judges, are announced, those authors' work will be viewable by the Inkshares community, where they can begin to support each project. The pre-order period begins August 28th, 2017.


What is Inkshares?

Inkshares is a three-year old reader-curated publishing company. Since its inception, Inkshares has garnered starred reviews both for established names (including Star Wars: Rogue One scribe Gary Whitta) as well as unknown debut authors. Inkshares books are stacked on the front tables of Barnes & Noble and top Amazon lists. They’ve been licensed for audiobook and translation along six-figure advances, and are in production for TV and film at major studios with Oscar-winning producers.

What is the Launch Pad?

Now entering its third year, Launch Pad competitions have led to more than 216 writers signing with representation, 68 projects set up, 35 writers staffed on television shows, 4 bidding wars, and more than 111 appearances by writers on annual best-of lists (The Black List, The Hit List, The Young & Hungry List, The Blood List). Every major agency has signed at least one Launch Pad writer, and companies such as Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, ABC, CBS, Appian Way, Vertigo, Wonderland Sound & Vision, Blumhouse, Chernin Entertainment, Imperative, Scott Free, Anonymous Content, amongst others have picked up Launch Pad projects.

What is Michael De Luca Productions?

Michael De Luca is one of the most successful producers in the entertainment industry. With multiple Oscar, BAFTA and PGA nominations, his expertise as a former studio head, President of Production and Executive have allowed him to not only become one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers, but also one of the most well liked. Beyond the three Best Picture Oscar nominations (The Social Network, Moneyball, Captain Phillips), he’s also overseen film and television projects that have received more than 40 nominations in just the past decade, and he has steered his projects to more than 2 billion dollars in domestic box office alone.

What is Energy Entertainment?

Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy Entertainment is a management and production company that represents top talents such as Brad Ingelsby (Run All Night), Mark Mallouk (Black Mass), Mickey Fisher (Extant), Zoe Green (Sleepy Hollow), and Rob Liefeld (Deadpool). Brooklyn is a key strategic partner of Inkshares, with whom he is producing both Mike Mongo’s The Astronaut Instruction Manual (at Legendary Entertainment) and J-F. Dubeau’s A God in the Shed (at Skydance Entertainment).

Who are the judges?

As with past contests, the judges comprise executives from top agencies, management companies, production companies, and studios.

You can view a complete list of all 25 judges at and select the “Judges” tab.

When can I actively start campaigning on Inkshares?

The first round of finalists will be announced on August 28th 2017. At this time, those selected will be allowed to begin campaigning.