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The submissions to our Horror Award threw all sorts of terrifying ideas at us, and we were seriously impressed (not to mention scared) by what we saw – but there can only be one winner: THE DEVIL’S TIDE by John McCoy!

THE DEVIL’S TIDE has received Honorable Mentions in our last two major contests, and took the win this time thanks to a unique setting and concept, plus a thrilling story which kept us gripped from the first page to the last. As the WriteMovies Horror Award 2020 winner, John has won guaranteed pitching to industry, two sets of Development Notes, and further advice on honing his script from our screenwriting experts.

His script also made the Quarter-Finals of our Fall 2020 Screenwriting Contest; Semi-Finals will be announced next Friday, November 20th! And don’t forget – if you want to put yourself in the running for our next competition, the Winter 2021 Screenwriting Contest is now open!


Here’s a summary of THE DEVIL’S TIDE:

A tough priest from Brooklyn, Father Armand believes in science, reason, and free will over faith in God. He has spent the last ten years successfully debunking claimed miracles, possessions, and other supernatural occurrences. Holding the Vatican position of devil’s advocate, he relishes his antithetical job. Until now.

When asked by the Vatican to investigate the suicide of the abbot at Mont Saint-Michel, Father Armand finds himself at the center of an investigation into a series of gruesome murders. Haunted by dreams of the deceased abbot, who delivers stark warnings of a greater threat, he sets out to uncover the killer – who he insists is just a man.

But it’s not long before Father Armand begins to realize the murderer is not of this world. As the devil’s tide starts to rise higher and higher around Mont Saint-Michel, he must rediscover his faith in God to solve the mystery and defeat the powers of Hell…

If you’re a producer interested in this project, email talent@atalentscout.com today!


And here’s a quick bio of the writer of THE DEVIL’S TIDE, John McCoy:

Growing up in North Carolina, one of my favorite activities was going to the movies almost every Saturday afternoon. Horror, thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, whatever the genre, I loved them all.

Currently, I am a working psychologist in San Diego, CA. Before that, I had an amazing career as an operational psychologist at the CIA in Washington, DC. And yes, there are many real-life spy stories I can’t talk about. That said, having traveled to more than 45 countries, I’ve learned a great deal about people and cultures around the world. That knowledge and experience provide me with a unique perspective that only enrich the characters and stories I love to write.

With a fascination for history and psychology, I am especially drawn to writing horror and thriller screenplays that incorporate a historical twist and/or human frailty. In 2018, I graduated from the UCLA Professionals Program in Screenwriting, and I have a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.


Watch out for our Fall 2020 Screenwriting Contest semi-finals next Friday – a number of Horror Award entrants are still in the running!

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