In an effort to expand its original video content, including movies and TV series, Amazon announced this morning the launch of a free, cloud-based screenwriting software program called Amazon Storywriter. In addition, the company says it’s expanding to include drama submissions, and will no longer take a free option on scripts submitted to the Amazon Studios website, allowing WGA members to upload directly to the site.
Previously, Amazon accepted script submissions for feature films, primetime comedy series for adults, and series for children aged 2 to 14, but this is the first time that Amazon will now consider drama series submissions as well.
Amazon Studios launched in 2010 to serve as a way to crowdsource the process of finding new scripts for films and series. It offers a way for writers to upload their content online and make their projects public in order to gain feedback from the larger community. However, its launch and a related “script contest” were immediately fraught with confusion and controversy as a number of writers warned of Amazon’s then-free 18-month option on scripts from the moment they were uploaded, as well as other issues with copyright and authorship.
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