Industry Participation

CWA winning screenplays are circulated to top agencies, film studios, managers, producers, and international financers looking for their next project or writer. Additionally, CWA works with the prominent companies below; all of which get first looks at our top winners.

  • IconEntertainment
  • InfernoEntertainment
  • Kundali Entertainment
  • Bandito Brothers
  • Lionsgate/Mandate
  • Intrepid Pictures
  • Gaumont
  • Dark Hero
  • Film Engine Entertainment
  • Summit Talent & Literary Agency
  • Filmbox
  • VN Entertainment
  • GreeneStreet Films
  • Radmin Company
  • Voltage Pictures
  • Abstract Entertainment
  • Chatrone Entertainment
  • After Dark Films/Autonomous Films


Interviews with CWA’s Latest Grand Prize Winners

2020 Creative World Awards Grand Prize Winner, Interview with Ross L. Mayberry PhD, LLC for his script, SAILING OFF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

What inspired you to write the feature, SAILING OFF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD?

One day an image came to me of a pirate staring out over a Caribbean harbor, (wearing only a sword) but deeply regretting marooning a beautiful but annoying nun on an island some months before. Serious pirate regret – a rare event. Now, this is ridiculous because pirates are not supposed to regret anything, let alone throw away a perfectly ravishable nun. Then it dawned on me that this is exactly where William Goldman would start one of his wonderful, backward tales like the classic BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. So, I decided I would try to write a pirate version of BUTCH CASSIDY in Goldman mode – where everything defies the audience’s expectations.

What is your background and what initially inspired you to become a screenwriter?

I have a day job as a Clinical Psychologist (PhD) in private practice in Seattle. Before that I ran programs treating Vietnam combat veterans for about ten years, very important and meaningful work. Great guys. I have a BA in English and an MA in Cultural Symbol Systems/Comparative Religions (a covert Jungian studies program) and studied at the CG Jung Institute in Zurich but am, honestly, a lapsed Jungian at best. Maybe a Campbellian. Can you say “hero cycle?” My life is actually all about stories and that may be a result of the fact that I integrate information via images. In other words, I see images of whatever people say to me well before my mind grasps it rationally, or perhaps so that my mind can grasp it. I watch “moving pictures” all day. My inner world sometimes feels like a moving montage of images layered over what one might refer to as reality.

Is this your first script or one of a few that you have written? And how do you typically choose your subject matter?

SAILING is my fourth finished script (two for courses in the 90’s) and I wrote it just for fun. Two of the other three are semi-autobiographical. There is a Greek word -Xenythia- which describes both a type of music and a tragic circumstance that befalls many people on this planet. It translates roughly as “an unbearable longing to return to one’s home after catastrophic loss.” A very rich word or concept. My first script, FINDING ANNIE (about adolescence) and CROSSING OPEN GROUND (the struggle of Vietnam veterans finding help after the war) both addressed this subject. I’m not at all sure we choose themes; I think themes choose us.

Do you do this full time, or juggle it between other work? If other, how do you manage it all & what words of inspiration do you have for other aspiring screenwriters?

Juggle. If you can, set aside mid-day writing time (30-90 minutes) and use any10-20 minute lull to scribble on index cards. As they say, “If not now, when?” Also, if you happen to be a psychologist, hair stylist or family law attorney you can totally ignore your clients and think about your script throughout the “hour” and if you get caught just toss out an “Interesting, tell me more” kind of phrase or better yet, have an office parrot say it. Whoops, that’s in another script. Damn. Have Alexa say it, but move your script forward.

What is your creative process when writing scripts? Do you have a set writing time? Length it usually takes to complete a script? Sources of inspiration, etc.?

Ok, you asked. This answer could be a clunker. So, the human mind is polycentric – meaning we all have an internal “cast” of neural networks that perform different functions… ergo, many centers. It’s a “team of rivals” as one neuropsychiatrist put it. What does this look like on the ground? A writer, a critic, a manager and the weasel brain – to name just a few. And since they’re talking to each other anyway (to the tune of three trillion messages per second), I think we can just do it out loud and shape it from there. You might think of this as rewriting the software your parents downloaded into you without your permission, lol. Doesn’t that add a little urgency? Personally, I start by letting the “Critic” review yesterday’s writing, make ‘soft mental notes’ to go back to this or that and then the critic needs to shut the…up so our goofy genius or tragic “Writer” can take over and just write uninterrupted. The “Manager” arranges the writing schedule but otherwise doesn’t actually seem to care about the internal drama as far as I can tell – like a lot of managers. But then there’s always the “Weasel Brain” trying to get us to check email, phone etc., get a snack. It never ends. But it’s actually a network trying like mad to divert our attention to irrelevant subjects to keep the Writer from getting too close to danger…yup, vulnerability. It’s always about deepening your vulnerability.

What was the feeling like winning the Grand Prize Award at CWA & how has it impacted you so far?

Well, honestly, I thought it was a clerical error so I just waited for a correction. But I was carpet-bombed with emails from the lovely CWA folks and I was forced to believe it. They liked it for the same reason I wrote it – good clean fun (with swords.) Impact? Working with CWA’s Heather Waters and Marlene Neubauer has definitely made me a better and more thoughtful writer. The submitted first draft only took about four months to write and you could hardly find the story buried underneath all the rookie errors. I mean, riddled. Poor Heather…so patient. I think the real impact of having CWA’s blessing will come when the script gets promoted. Stay tuned.

How important are things like flexibility in rewrites as a screenwriter, networking with other industry professionals, and promoting yourself and craft? Is there a particular path and balance to it all that you personally have found works well for you?

Rewrites are inevitable and you have to know this going in. But getting good feedback is essential to going deeper into your story. So rewrites bring you closer to you. As far as networking and promotion go, I’ve already had one highly successful career and the only self-promotion I ever did there was be real, as odd as that may sound. So the promotion part I will leave to others or it won’t probably happen. Unless you are writing for rent, write what your heart insists on writing. No. Write from the heart anyway.

What are your plans from here for SAILING OFF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD? And your other projects? And where do you see your career in five years?

I haven’t got any plans for the script. I’m hoping other people will run it around LA and do whatever they do to get it considered. I would not be surprised to see my masterfully revised script sail right off the edge of the film world and disappear. As for other projects, I’m currently working on DSM-V: THE MUSICAL, a political vaudeville folly based the last four years in Washington DC and a pop psych book tentatively titled THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF SLIGHTLY DEFECTIVE PEOPLE. I’m kidding… I’m closing my practice in April and thinking seriously about going back to live in Greece. A different arc than many writers. I’m very fortunate. I’m also writing a World War One novel that moves from Paris to Thessaloniki to Constantinople to Smyrna. Boom.

Any final words of encouragement you would like to pass onto other writers who may have not gotten a lot of accolades for their work yet?

Get professional feedback! I’ve been very fortunate to have had the funds to hire John Rainey, a terrific script analyst, as well as confer with my longtime friend and playwright Elizabeth Clark-Stern. In addition, producer Deborah Moore has been extremely generous in her feedback on my previous winner, CROSSING OPEN GROUND. Beg, borrow or steak, folks, but get a pro to look deeply at your work.

And any last words for producers out there that may be looking for new material & why they may want to consider SAILING OFF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD? YES, of course. What is there not to like about a character named Shlomo the Jew who takes on the Spanish Inquisition and is savvy enough to hire pirates and succeed? C’mon. You gotta love this guy. I mean, he started a book club in 1717. I have friends that call up and before they ask about me, they ask “Hey, how’s Shlomo? He still trying to take over the script?” Oi. I got an eye on him. At the end of the day most industry professionals should know that pirates invented democracy, disability payments, retirement schemes, money laundering and some chunks of capitalism, not to mention a wide assortment of skullduggeries and great tales about things that never really happened. Great for cocktail parties. But honestly, who among us doesn’t want to be a pirate?

For more info on Ross or his projects, email us at


2019 Creative World Awards Grand Prize Winner, Taylor Hopkins Interview for his script, STAGECOACH MARY

What inspired you to write the feature, STAGECOACH MARY?

Writing a feature screenplay can be rewarding and pleasurable. But oftentimes it becomes a tiring process with tedious edits and rewrites that never end. Part of the joy turns into solving the puzzle of the story and ensuring it’s firing on all cylinders. It’s tough but satisfying work.

So before I select a concept to tackle, I want to make sure it’s worth all of that time and energy a.k.a blood, sweat and tears. In this stage of my career, the story I choose only has to answer two questions. 1. Am I passionate about it? 2. Is it commercial in any way?

I like reading scripts on the annual blacklist. I noticed a trend of biopics faring well among the competition. I determined that if I could write a biopic, its chances of appearing on the blacklist were greatly increased, therefore increasing the commercial value. I became passionate about Mary Fields a.k.a. ‘Stagecoach Mary’ because I saw a lot of parallels in both of our lives. She was a black person surrounded by people who looked nothing like her. They judged her, doubted her, challenged her, attacked her, yet she was always remained true to herself. I deeply related to the character.

What is your background and what initially inspired you to become a screenwriter?

I’ve been writing since I was really young. My mother still hordes comic-books I made when I was seven. I got older but my illustrating skills plateaued. I seriously couldn’t draw and still can’t. When I switched to writing short stories my father said, “Thank God, because you can not draw!” But soon, movies quickly overtook my interest. I watched Spielberg, Scorsese, Hitchcock, Tarantino, Coppola, Kubrick and was obsessed by their genius. I showed a little interest to my father and he bought me screenwriting books and screenplays. I started devouring them around age fourteen and have been on the journey since. The form of screenplay writing allured me because of the perspective. In novels, writers can blatantly describe character’s thoughts and emotions. In reality, people don’t have that luxury. I like the challenge screenplays offer of presenting characters and purely having their actions dictate how audiences perceive them.

Is this your first script or one of a few that you have written?  And how do you typically choose your subject matter? 

 This is the first script I’ve ever written and it won the Grand Prize Award at CWA. Next question!

Just kidding. I used to be very reticent about revealing the number of feature scripts I’ve finished. People normally assume the more you’ve written the better you are, which isn’t the case. When I was younger I churned out screenplays without truly improving my craft. My skill level stalled before I really began focusing on the minor details.

I started when I was young, but I believe the current number stands at around twenty completed features (only six of which I believe are high quality). Along with that, four one-hour dramas and around five TV specs of shows.

It’s crucial for me to be passionate about the subject matter I select. With that said, it has to be slightly commercial. I’ve definitely poured hours into projects that were too passion driven. And on the flip side, I’ve chased commercial ideas that I truly didn’t care about and wasted time. I like to think that I’ve learned the balance between them.

Do you do this full time, or juggle it between other work?  If other, how do you manage it all & what words of inspiration do you have for other aspiring screenwriters?

Writing full-time has always been my goal, but until then I have to juggle my passion with irritating side hustles. The struggle is real. There have been some devastating lows in between long gaps of acceptable highs. I manage my schedule by promising myself to always make time for writing. I’ve maintained that philosophy for so long that I’ll feel guilty if too much time passes where pages haven’t been written. Nearly every day has slots of time to squeeze in writing time. As far as words of inspiration – just keep writing, improving and meeting new people. It’s gotta happen eventually.

What is your creative process when writing scripts?  Do you have a set writing time?  Length it usually takes to complete a script? Sources of inspiration, etc.?

My process has changed slowly but surely over the years, but the core of it remains the same. I select a topic I want to write about and then immediately discover the irony of the idea. Every great script (and most stories, period) comes with a heavy dose of irony. In ‘Stagecoach Mary’ the irony comes from the fact that in an all-white, racist and sexist town, the most well-respected badass happens to be a black woman. From there, the theme comes into play. Theme plays into every aspect of the scenes and characters. I want the story to stage an argument and utilize the characters to pose different sides of the debate. Then I outline the script scene by scene. I’ve discovered that the more detailed and time spent on the outline, the less rewrites will have to be done afterward.

My scattered schedule won’t allow for a set writing time. Until it does, I have to fit in time when I can find it. I like to write 2-3 screenplays a year. Jack London said something along the lines of, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a bat.” I feel blessed when I get a surge of inspiration but mostly I’m chasing it. I’ve found that exploring other genres of art, besides movies and screenplays, can lead to inspiration. Graphic novels, performance art, interesting ads, photography and architectural designs, to name a few, have all inspired me. I’ve learned that if I get caught up only studying scripts than things may grow stale.

What was the feeling like winning the Grand Prize Award at CWA & how has it impacted you so far?

Winning a competition rewards you a feeling of great validation. You hope you improve after dumping hours upon hours of time into a craft. CWA awarding me Grand Prize Award definitely makes me feel I’ve upgraded my screenwriting skills. CWA was one of the first competitions to ever place me as a quarterfinalist around six years ago or so. The competition has always had a special place in my heart since then, so it feels even more special that I was able to walk away with the Grand Prize this year. The prize package offered definitely topped my expectations. Also, the prize money didn’t hurt!

How important are things like flexibility in rewrites as a screenwriter, networking with other industry professionals, and promoting yourself and craft?  Is there a particular path and balance to it all that you personally have found works well for you?

Screenwriters in general, but newbie writers in particular, have to be flexible during the rewrite stage. You don’t want your vision destroyed, but you also don’t want to be so obstinate no one can work with you. Films are a collaborative endeavor. Knowing when to stick to your guns and genuinely compromise shows an admirable trait in the movie-making process.

When I first touched down in Los Angeles, I assumed that eventually my writing would get in the hands of movers and shakers, they’d recognize my talent and throw me offers and job opportunities. I realized very quickly things don’t transpire as such. Talent isn’t everything. Your scripts have to get into the hands of someone who matters. No one ever “breaks in” by themselves. Somewhere along the line, a person with clout vouches for you and your writing. They gift you the sledgehammer strong enough to break through the door on your own. Many writers are introverted and spend a lot of time by themselves writing. If you want to expose your work you’ll have to hit the town and try meeting new people. Industry events, classes, making short films, attending festivals are all ways to meet other professionals. If you’re passionate about the craft, I feel that you’ll naturally attract other industry professionals just as passionate. With that said, I’m still working on efficiently networking myself. I make a point not to miss out when I discover uniquely cool industry events, whether it be a panel, talk-back, or screening.

What are your plans from here for STAGECOACH MARY? And your other projects?  And where do you see your career in five years?

Obviously seeing ‘Stagecoach Mary’ written by Taylor Anthony Hopkins appearing on the big screen would be phenomenal. Currently, the goal remains to put together an outstanding team behind the script to guide it across the finish line. The plan is to continue to use the momentum from CWA’s Grand Prize Award and other good news to place the script in more of the right hands.

In the meantime, I feel that the screenplay serves as a great calling card for my talent and voice. I have plenty of other projects that I believe would make awesome movies. Hopefully with ‘Stagecoach Mary,’ I’ve proven that besides all of the thrillers I write, I can also seriously tackle a period piece/biopic and produce a high quality result.

In five years, the plan is to be staffed in a writer’s room and have a feature film credited as “written by” under my belt.

Any final words of encouragement you would like to pass onto other writers who may have not gotten a lot of accolades for their work yet? 

I have found it immensely useful to use screenplay coverage services to analyze your work. I would revise a screenplay until you get high marks from a trusted service. I would try again if your reader sounds inexperienced or writes remarks that are objectively useless. Many services are good about refunding or replacing your coverage if it’s clear your analysis was of poor quality. There’s no doubt you’ll place in some competitions once you get a “recommend” or a “strongly consider” from an industry reader. It comes down to how much work you’re willing to put in to succeed.

And any last words for producers out there that may be looking for new material & why they may want to consider STAGECOACH MARY?

The script showcases a protagonist rarely written in the film industry. The character of Mary Fields a.k.a. Stagecoach Mary deserves to be on the big screen. Her dynamic personality was groundbreaking for the era and still remains relevant. ‘Stagecoach Mary’ presents a timely story about a female minority taking a stand against societal pressures. The narrative brings hope and speaks to the untold histories that inform our current reality. I genuinely believe the film has the potential to be a groundbreaking work that centers a marginalized perspective and brings her to the forefront in a refreshingly real, exciting and culturally relevant way.

The script will attract two things for certain: An exciting star who can’t resist how amazing of an opportunity it would be to embody such a dynamic real-life legend and a huge diversity of moviegoers wanting to experience her story. 

For more info on Taylor or his projects, email us at