best comedy screenplay competition

Find the Funny honored its Comedy Screenplay Contest winners at a Gala event in Hollywood attended by movie actors and celebrity writers from film and television. The winners of the 2004 Find the Funny Comedy Screenplay Contest are:

First Place

"Big Turkey"

by Bruce Griffiths & Simon Dodd

Second Place

"Bachelor of the Year"

by Ruth Campbell

Third Place


by Joe Wilson

In addition to the Awards Ceremony, the evening was an important networking opportunity for young writers. Guests included agents and managers like Salvy Maleki from O Entertainment and Caren Bohrman of The Bohrman Agency who represents George Melrod, writer of Finalist The Christopher Walken Society.

Rosa Graham, co-founder of Find the Funny was happy to see the new crop of writers trying their hand at networking in such a focused room. I go to a lot of networking events, not really geared towards helping a writer make a career," she said. Tonight, the whole focus was showing off the writers. Thats rare even by Hollywood networking standards."

Her Find the Funny partner Bill Graham spent much of the evening introducing writers to as many agents and managers as possible. We expected to be marketing the winners of the contest. But the production companies want to see the winners, the finalists, and quarter finalists," said Bill. Theyre seeing Find the Funny as a depository for comedy scripts so were not just helping writers get into the business, were helping the industry find the talent theyre looking for."

Napoleon Dynamites executive producer Jory Weitz was in attendance, but it was Shondrella Avery who lit up the room as she arrived to accept the Best Comedy Screenplay of the Year Award for Jared and Jerusha Hess, writers of Napoleon Dynamite. Shondrella is the unforgettable scene-stealer, LaFonduh.

Long distance traveler Simon Dodd (1st Place Winner) came from Australia, representing Big Turkey, his winning script written with partner Bruce Griffiths. Simon, a four-time Awgie (Australian Writers Guild) and 3-time Penguin (Australian TV) award-winning writer, had the most thrilling story of the evening, as an ICM agent tracked him down to his hotel at 11:30 that night for an impromptu meeting.

Josh Shultz, one-half of the writing team behind Finalist Hot Pink flew in from Osaka, Japan and met earlier that morning with a literary agent.

Glendale, California resident and second place winner Ruth Campbell who is also a Disney Fellow, 3-time Nicholl Fellowship Finalist, and Scriptapalooza runner-up, happily celebrated with friends the win for her romantic comedy Bachelor of the Year.

Third place winner Joe Wilson, surprised Find the Funny by announcing that he entered their Comedy Screenplay Contest only after having them investigated. That dry humor was also present in his fantasy comedy about spontaneous combustion aptly titled, Spontaneous.

Also present were veteran writers Burt Prelutsky of M.A.S.H. and Newhart; Marc Cushman of Diagnosis Murder and Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction; Melody Fox of TVs Skin, Stuart Little and Rugrats; and Everybody Loves Raymond Emmy-award-winning writer Ellen Sandler.

Scribe and lecturer Karl Iglesias, author of 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: Insider Secrets from Hollywoods Top Writers, was on hand to share tips, as was Brad Schreiber, author of What Are You Laughing at? How to Write Funny Screenplays, Stories & More.

Other screenwriters in attendance were Scott Kline, writer of the comic horror Westford Academy Vs. Dr. Apocalypso, from Brooklyn, New York, Funky Chicken scribe Steve Stauning from Liberty Township, Ohio, Laurel DiGangi, author of Finalist Im With Cupid, from Valencia, California and Runner-Up Thomas Johnson, writer of The Platinum Shark, from Memphis, Tennessee.

Hosted by comedian Paul Gilmartin, host of TBS's Dinner and a Movie, the event was not without its own brand of fun. Entertainment was provided by Amish Television, San Diegos premier comedy troupe, and by Sebastian Mego, a brilliant 15-year-old singer and dancer. Also on hand were long-time Stevie Wonder producer Rob Arbittier and choreographer Kennis Marquis, both of whom are working with Sebastian.

Closing the show was audience favorite Rawson Marshall Thurber, the young writer-director of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story who received the Breakthrough Award for Comedy Screenwriting, co-sponsored by Master Storytellers.

For more information on the event, Finalist log lines and contact information for the Finalist Screenwriters, please visit

About Find the Funny

Find the Funny Screenplay Contest is the first competition dedicated to comedy screenwriting. The contest is designed to discover, reward and promote new comic screenwriting talent. Comedy screenplays are not lost in a pile of dramas, thrillers, sci-fis and bio-pics but given the attention they deserve. Coordinated by award-winning screenwriters, Find the Funny Screenwriting Contest is a much-needed showcase for writers of one of the most profitable genre in Hollywood. For more information go to or call 818.395.5098.

Author Information

Julia Rivera