At the International Screenwriters Festival in Cheltenham, Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson today announced the call for entries for the new Screenwriter Development Competition from regional screen agency South West Screen.

‘I think the competition is a fantastic opportunity and I’m very much looking forward to reading the shortlisted entries and to working with the eventual winner,’ Nicholson said at the festival, which runs through tomorrow. ‘It’s so important that new talent is nurtured: screenwriters and their ideas are the lifeblood of our industry. For this reason, I’m delighted to be involved in the scheme and in the Screenwriters’ Festival - which gives a much needed forum for screenwriters the world over.’

Writers from the region will compete for a $6,000 (£3,000) prize to develop a feature screenplay and mentoring from Nicholson himself, who wrote films including Gladiator, Nell, Shadowlands, and forthcoming Toronto International Film Festival selection The Golden Age.

The deadline for entries is August 15 and details are available on