ATX Television Festival’s seventh annual Pitch Competition has issued a call for submissions, and has a new wrinkle – sponsored transportation and accommodations for its Top 10 finalists.

The event, being held June 6-9 in Austin, Texas, provides an opportunity for undiscovered writers to showcase their talent, along with providing access to TV’s top decision-makers. ATX’s focus is the celebration of the television medium – looking back at its history, where it is now, and where it is headed. Attendees can interact with actors, writers, directors, creators, showrunners, music supervisors, casting directors and studio executives involved in all stages of bringing their favorite shows to the small screen.  

This year, Southwest Airlines will provide the competition’s Top 10 finalists with round-trip air travel and hotel accommodations, making it possible for them to pitch their series concept live at the festival to a panel of industry showrunners and executives. Finalists will also receive script-writing software from Final Draft and access to additional opportunities with The Black List and Sundance Episodic Labs.

“Southwest Airlines has been a huge part of ATX’s community and success since the inaugural festival eight years ago, and we’re excited to expand our partnership by having them join The Pitch Competition this year,” said Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson, ATX Television Festival co-founders and executive directors. “By providing flights and hotel to the top 10 finalists to travel to Austin, a seemingly simple act, opens up the competition in an unprecedented way to allow a wider group of entrants, specifically those who previously may not have been able to afford the trip to the festival. This opportunity is at the core of our mission to provide access and opportunity in an industry that can be nearly impossible to penetrate. This collaboration with Southwest, as part of their On the Rise series, is a game changer and the perfect way to share in our united goal of helping people realize their dreams.” 

Southwest is committed to supporting rising stars, according to Brandy King, director of external communications and overseer of the airline’s brand partnerships and entertainment public relations initiative. “We are excited to continue our partnership with ATX Television Festival and to offer the finalists travel support in order to help them rise to new heights in their career,” she said.

Southwest will sponsor the networking events hosted by ATX for the finalists and panel of industry showrunners and executives at ATX Season 8 to further build these relationships and celebrate the creativity of the Pitch Competition.

The writer of the winning pitch will work with one of the judges to hone his/her pitch, and receive an official pitch meeting with an ATX studio/network partner, as well as a $500 Southwest gift card to further their creative inspiration.

Long-standing past partners of The Pitch Competition have included HBO, FX Networks, Annapurna TV, Amblin TV, FOX, Sony TV Studios, Paramount TV, Kilter Films, Okay Goodnight, Carlton Cuse Productions, Hulu, Hazy Mills Productions, and Bad Robot, among others. Studio/network partners and judges for this year’s competition will be announced in the coming months.

For full details on how and where to submit, visit atxfestival.com/pitch