Daryl Duke Prize Rules

Rules for the 2020 Daryl Duke Prize are as follows: 

The Daryl Duke Foundation announces the Daryl Duke Prize, to honour the memory of the late Daryl Duke, a distinguished Canadian film and television creator.

The Prize is in the total amount of $25,000, to be awarded in two stages, as stipulated in the Rules, for excellence in a screenplay for an unproduced long-form dramatic film telling a fictional story. The Prize is intended to allow the winner time and support with which to complete a new draft of the intended work, a copy of which is to be submitted subsequently to the jury.


  1. The Prize is open to any Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada who meets the criteria set forth in these rules except members of the Board of Directors of the Daryl Duke Foundation, retained consultants or business associates, the Daryl Duke Prize jury, as well as members of their immediate families.
  2. Screenplays shall be submitted in English and shall not exceed 100 pages in Professional Screenplay Format (12-point Courier type) converted into PDF.
  3. The screenplay must be submitted using the upload button in the Daryl Duke Foundation online submission form. Photographs, etc. may be submitted in addition to the screenplay but, if submitted, must be in one or more separate files that shall not exceed 2 MB in the aggregate, and contain no identifying information. The maximum size of an entry shall not exceed 10 MB.
  4. Entries will be judged on character development, narrative complexity, formal ingenuity and dramatic potential, as well as strength of creative expression.
  5. For the purposes of the Daryl Duke Prize, ‘screenplay’ means the written form of a film in standard screenplay format.
  6. To be eligible, entries must be received before 5:00 pm, Eastern Time on September 30, 2019. Entries will be acknowledged following receipt.
  7. The Daryl Duke Foundation will not enter into correspondence with entrants, other than to acknowledge receipt of an entry at the time of submission or to request additional documentation.
  8. An entry may be written by one or more persons. In the case of entries written by more than one person, the identity of each of the contributors shall be fully disclosed in the entry, and one of these persons shall be designated as the lead contact person for that entry. In addition, the entry must provide confirmation that the contributors have entered into a written agreement satisfactory to the jury.  A copy of the agreement must be provided to the jury upon request.
  9. A person may submit or contribute to only one entry.
  10. All ideas in an entry shall be the original expression of the entrant(s), except for attributed quotations, and the entry shall not have been produced, or be under development or in production in any audio-visual format, except in the case of an original adaptation of a previously-produced creative work. With the exception of works and translations of works that are entirely in the public domain, an entry that is an adaptation of an original or adapted work by another author or creator must be accompanied by written documentation or other evidence showing that all necessary legal rights for the entrant(s) to adapt the previous work have been obtained. Additional information may be required and must be provided to the jury upon request.
  11. An entry can be based on a fictionalized version of actual events.
  12. No person who has been a registered student in a secondary or post-secondary credit program in any discipline, including film studies, at any time since January 1, 2019 is eligible to enter or contribute to an entry.
  13. The Prize has been established to support new and ‘up-and-coming’ writers. No person who has more than two produced feature film credits, or more than four hours of TV drama production credits, is eligible to enter or contribute to an entry.
  14. Each entry shall be accompanied by the entrant’s or, in the case of an entry by multiple persons, the lead contact person’s full name and contact information valid in the four months following the submission deadline, including postal address, email address and telephone number.
  15. Each entry shall include a biographical sketch not exceeding 50 words for the entrant, or in the case of entries written by multiple persons, for each contributor.  Each entry shall also include a statement of confirmation that the entry complies with the Rules of the Daryl Duke Prize, specifically including rules regarding eligibility on the part of each of the contributors in an entry by multiple persons, in the manner set forth in the online submission form.
  16. Entries shall contain no information identifying the entrant(s) within the body of the screenplay.  Eligible entries will be judged on an anonymous basis.
  17. The Daryl Duke Foundation will award a prize of $25,000 for the winning entry. The intent of the Prize is to allow the writer time and support with which to complete a new draft of the intended work, a copy of which will be submitted subsequently to the jury. The Prize will therefore be awarded in two stages: $15,000 upon selection of the winning entry; and the balance intended to cover the cost of satisfactory completion of a workshop (subject to approval by the jury) which may include a story editor, actors and persons with screen-writing expertise, leading to an improved screenplay. The latter stage will be subject to a deadline established by the jury. If an entry by multiple persons is selected as the winner, the Prize funds will be paid to the lead contact person designated at the time of entry.
  18. The Daryl Duke Foundation may, at its discretion, publish elements of the winning screenplay, as well as the biographical sketch(es) of the winning entrant(s), including electronically over the internet at a time of its choosing after the Prize winner has been announced. The winner(s) will be required to grant a licence or assignment to this effect.
  19. An entry must be under the creative control of the entrant and not have won an award previously.
  20. An entrant is free to enter into discussions with producers or broadcasters concerning the screenplay at any time following submission. An entrant is also permitted to sign an option agreement not exceeding $500 without withdrawing from the Daryl Duke Prize competition. However, if an entrant signs a development contract with a producer or broadcaster at any time between submission and the announcement of the winner of the Daryl Duke Prize, the entry must be immediately withdrawn from the competition.
  21. For the purposes of the Daryl Duke Prize, ‘Canadian’ shall be considered to be a Canadian citizen as defined by the Citizenship Act, or a permanent resident of Canada, as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In the case of entries by more than one person, each of the contributors must be a Canadian or permanent resident of Canada.
  22. The jury is free to award no prize at its discretion and the decisions of the jury are final.