SCREENPLAY COMPETITIONS...

If you've read the Questions & Answers section of my other screenwriting blog, you'll know that I'm not exactly a huge fan of the myriad screenplay competitions. It seems contestants always pin so much hope on something that, ultimately, delivers very little return, if any. Sure, I do feel some of the better-established competitions definitely have their place, but still...

I've always been a bit hesitant to go further into my opinion of script competitions simply because I've never actually entered one. So, with that in mind, I interviewed ten screenwriters who have entered competitions, getting their points-of-view, both positive and negative, on what they thought of it all. These screenwriters are: Bob Saenz, Cindy Keller, Jacob Keller, Joseph Calabrese, Larissa Olick, Lonnie Turner, Matthew Stoker, Rob Bentley, Robert Newcomer, and Stephanie Dube. So, if you're thinking about entering your new hot script into a competition—and even if you're not—I think you'll find what these folks have to say both interesting and illuminating. OK, here we go...


Q: Which screenwriting contest(s) did you enter?

BOB: BlueCat and Cinequest.

CINDY: I've entered quite a few over the past four years. They are: Write Movies, 20/20, Scriptapalooza, A Feeding Frenzy, Gimme Credit, American Gem, PAGE International, and Hellfire's Short Horror Screenplay Contest.

JACOB: A short list includes: Fade-In Magazine Screenplay and Fiction Competition, Fade In Awards, Script Magazine’s Open Door Contest, 9th Annual ASA International Screenplay Competition, Slamdance Screenplay Competition, Slamdance Horror Competition, 13th Annual Writer’s Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition, and the Waterfront Screenplay Competition.

JOSEPH: Nicholl, Austin, Slamdance, Cinequest, PAGE International, Filmmakers International, Script PIMP...

LARISSA: Along with my writing partner, I’ve entered The International Shriekfest Film Festival, The Waterfront Film Festival, The Screenwriting Expo, Cinequest Screenwriting Competition, Acclaim TV & Film Competition, Austin’s Heart of Film Competition, Kairos, and of course, the Nicholl.

LONNIE: The 2005 Shriekfest Film Festival screenplay competition. The concept of the fest is to promote and/or discover up-and-coming talent in the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres.

MATTHEW: BlueCat and the Nicholl.

ROB: Myself and my co-writer have entered Creative Screenwriting AAA Contest, Scriptapalooza (both TV and feature film), Project Greenlight 3, Nicholl, and Disney.

ROBERT: BlueCat

STEPHANIE: TV Writer.com’s Spec Scriptacular and the People’s Pilot competition. Also the Disney Fellowship and the Final Draft contest, among others.

Q: How many screenplays had you written prior to entering your first competition?

BOB: I had four completed when I entered BlueCat. Eight or nine when I entered Cinequest.

CINDY: One. And looking back on it now, it was a real stinker. The funny thing is that it advanced further than the first round of judging. So I don't think they actually read it. Another funny thing about that contest [which is purposely remaining anonymous] is that I had ordered a screenwriting booklet from them, and never received it. What I did get from them was a copy of someone else's script. They never answered my e-mails about it either, so I haven't sent them any more of my scripts.

JACOB: I would say three or four. But I don’t often count those because the source material wasn’t my own and I never really took it too seriously. At that time, I was in this strange limbo between hobby and career. When I finally decided to get serious about two years ago, I treat that as the official start of my screenwriting career and in that case my screenplay was really, really good.

JOSEPH: One.

LARISSA: None. My partner and I entered our very first script—a sci-fi thriller— in the Acclaim TV Competition, and we ended up being semi-finalists. This is what really encouraged us to continue writing. It was a weight off my shoulders to know that our writing was at least “okay”—not great, but it wasn’t a complete waste of paper either. Acclaim gave us detailed notes about the script—what worked and what didn’t—and we used those notes when we did the rewrites. After our experience with Acclaim we decided to go ahead and try writing a feature script. With what we learned from Acclaim’s notes and a scriptwriting book we won, we wrote a horror script that eventually placed as a finalist in The International Shriekfest Film Festival.

LONNIE: I had stopped and started on at least a couple dozen, but had completed only one. The script I entered was only the second I'd ever completed. Screenwriting was more a hobby for me than anything, at the time.

MATTHEW: I had written a few practice scripts, none of them were very good.

ROB: None. We self-published our own comic book before trying our hand at screenwriting.

ROBERT: I entered the first feature-length that I had ever completed. But it was a third draft, and amended based upon feedback from readers at SimplyScripts.

STEPHANIE: Quite a few. I was a scriptwriter for a weekly children’s program at a megachurch, which was led by a man who used to write for a popular TV sitcom. Everything we wrote was in professional format, so I was quite familiar with the style before entering any competitions.

Q: If you sent one of your first script attempts to a competition, is this something you regret?

BOB: If I hadn't learned early on that I shouldn't send my first one in, I probably would have wasted my money and done that. Luckily, I had some very good advice from competent people very early in my career.

JACOB: The very first contest I entered with my very first screenplay was in 2001, with source material that was not my own. I was 18 years old and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Ignorance is bliss, but knowing stuff is a lot more fun. Compared to now, what I didn’t know then is staggering. And, of course, as a result, I failed miserably. I was crushed, to be sure, but I don’t regret doing it. I needed that failure to reaffirm what I didn’t know so I could fix it. I spent the next few years collecting all the information I could on all the ins and outs of writing for and entering a contest. I poured myself into my first original project and got a “do-over” in spring 2006. This is what I consider my first real contest of something I wrote from scratch all in my head. My “second” first-time was much more successful.

JOSEPH: Not really. My first script written specifically as a spec for sale (prior I wrote for my own productions) just happened to win third at Slamdance. It was a great career boost, not to mention an ego boost. I realize though it was a happy fluke and very rarely does a first-time writer win anything.

LARISSA: No way! It was a great learning experience. Even if we ended up not even reaching the semi-finalist stage, we still would’ve received feedback (it was guaranteed for all entries). That feedback was an opportunity to see what people (besides our friends) thought of our writing.

LONNIE: Definitely. I did well in the competition—I was told that though only the first and second place winners were named and awarded, my script was right in there up to the very end—but as I read back over that script now, it's easy to see why it didn't win. I still get compliments and read requests for the script and though it has its strengths, it also has some major weaknesses.

MATTHEW: It was probably my fourth or fifth, but no, I don’t regret it. I didn’t expect to win at that point. I mostly entered on a lark.

ROB: No regrets due to the feedback we received from PGL 3.

ROBERT: Not at all. But then, it was a decent script, too. A novice effort, to be sure, but polished and competent. I had taken the time to research the craft, which is an important step that many first-timers undervalue.


Q: If "yes" to above, do you feel it would have been best if you had more completed screenplays under your belt before entering?

BOB: See above answer.

CINDY: Of course.

JACOB: No. I know as a writer now, that if I had not taken the wrong path, I wouldn’t know what the right path looked like. Personally, I think that anyone in any business that either tries to avoid failing or ridicules those that do fail doesn’t really understand what real success is.

JOSEPH: Yes.

LONNIE: Yes. I honestly don't see how the script did as well as it did; I look at it now and am almost embarrassed at how amateurish it is. It may have been my story, but I wasn't a good enough writer at the time to do it any real justice. I think if I'd had more experience with the actual craft—building a story up, drawing a reader in, "showing" and not "telling"—the script may have done better.


Q: Did you receive any type of feedback on the script(s) you entered?

BOB: Yes, from BlueCat. It was interesting. I wasn't one of the finalists, yet the "review" of my script said it was very, very good and suggested only a few very small changes that didn't effect the overall script at all. My thought was, "If it was that good, why didn't it make it to the finals?" I let it go, but never entered again. Cinequest politely told me I didn't win anything and thanked me for entering. I optioned that same script to a large L.A. production company about a week later.

CINDY: Yes, from three of them, but the only useful feedback I received was from Gimme Credit and A Feeding Frenzy. Gimme Credit sent me my scores as well as a few paragraphs of helpful notes stating what they thought worked and what didn't. A Feeding Frenzy went way above and beyond (sending ten pages of notes). Both sets of notes helped me with the rewrites, and the scripts are much better now.

JACOB: No, and that is my number one complaint. I know there are businesses that offer those services for a fee but they are often very expensive. I just wish there was someplace to go online where you could post your screenplay or specific scenes and ask for feedback from people that are in the same boat as you, kind of like leaving comments for a video on YouTube or Break. But I also understand that it’s a double-edged sword too. There is a part of me that wants to know what people and professionals think. However, there is also a part of me that quite frankly is embarrassed by what I write, the subject matter I write about, and the way I write. It’s all very complicated in my mind.

JOSEPH: I did on Slamdance and ScriptPIMP. It’s really helpful to see what others think, especially those with some insight into the biz.

LARISSA: Acclaim and Kairos both gave written feedback. With Shriekfest and Waterfront we received feedback directly from the competition directors when we attended the festivals. Carrie Cook and Dina Chapman, the directors of Waterfront, were very happy to discuss our screenplay. They pointed out the weaknesses and strengths of the script, and provided comments that we took into consideration later when we did another polish on the script. I know some people didn’t like the feedback they received from Acclaim, but I thought ours was right on the money—professional, specific, detailed. With Kairos, though, I was disappointed with the quality of the feedback, especially since it sounded like the script wasn’t read past page one. This came across as a crummy deal to me, since it had a hefty entry fee. Recently, though, my opinion has changed about Kairos. I posted my experience on MovieBytes, and was surprised when Michael Trent, the competition director for Kairos, contacted me via e-mail. He read my comment, went back and looked at the feedback and sincerely expressed his distress at my negative experience. He informed me that the panelists who wrote the feedback were no longer with the competition, and assured me that he truly cared about writers having a positive experience with Kairos. And to prove this point he invited me to enter a script of my choice in this year’s competition sans entry fee. I thought this was a nice gesture.

LONNIE: Not really, no. I was kept informed during the judging process of where my script stood, but I never received any kind of coverage or analysis. Denise Gossett, who founded Shriekfest, told me in subsequent e-mails that the script stuck with her and she's referred me to a few prodcos and/or filmmakers. But the real feedback came subsequently, as I posted the script on various screenwriting message boards. Which I should have done before submitting it, because at the time I did so, I'd yet to take any time away from the script to be able to look at it objectively. People who've read it since, mostly compliment me on my style of writing and the strength of the general story, but the weaknesses are apparent to just about everyone who reads it.

MATTHEW: With the BlueCat competition I did receive a written feedback for my script. It was clear the reader had actually read the entire script from the feedback. They wrote both about the good and the bad aspects of the script. It wasn’t the most in-depth analysis I’ve received, but I did realize a few issues with my script that I hadn’t before.

ROB: Project Greenlight 3 was probably the only contest that we received enough feedback to fix problems in the script.

ROBERT: Yes, and I was satisfied with it. I was convinced that the reviewer had read the script, and they picked up on many of the things I was trying to accomplish. BlueCat may have a tendency to be a little too nice, beginning every review (that I have seen) with praise that may or may not be warranted. But there are worse sins, I suppose. And the second half of the review does offer suggestions for improvement that are generally sound.

STEPHANIE: Only on the Spec Scriptacular and the People’s Pilot. Larry Brody, who runs TVWriter.com, sent me feedback on both my entries. One of them was ranked as a semifinalist and was only .25 points away from third place! His feedback was incredibly helpful, pointing out areas that needed improvement and affirming areas that were strong.

Q: Did the competition try to hit you up for any pay services, such as script consulting, proofing, representation, etc.?

BOB: No, they didn't. If they had, I would have had some fun with them before blowing them off.

CINDY: No.

JACOB: Slamdance offers those kinds of services but never tried to pressure me to get them or tack them on when I entered the contest online.

JOSEPH: No. Stay away from those. Do research before sending the check. Some services such as feedback for an extra fee is worthwhile if the competition is a noteworthy and legitimate one.

LARISSA: No.

LONNIE: Not at all. I was at least aware enough of scam contests to check up on the comp. I can't vouch for any other script comps because I've only entered the one, but Shriekfest is on the up and up. I was never asked to pay for anything other than the entry fee, and there were no hidden clauses or tricks or confusing fine print. The comp is what it presents itself to be: a chance for aspiring writers and filmmakers to have their stuff seen.

MATTHEW: Nope, both competitions were completely professional and seemed legit.

ROB: I would hazard a guess that maybe one or two maybe have offered coverage through a third party when the e-mail arrived to announce the winners had been chosen.

ROBERT: I still get e-mail from BlueCat pretty regularly, but the feeling you get is more that they are trying to foster a relationship with the participants as opposed extract more money—although there are certainly opportunities to spend more, should you desire to do so.

STEPHANIE: For the TVWriter contests, you could pay a small extra fee for the feedback, but it was certainly worth it. The other contests involved no additional fees aside from entering.

Q: If “yes” to any of the above, did you take advantage of any of these services? Or do you feel like you were the one being taken advantage of?
JACOB: I have, once, through Slamdance. I never felt I was being taken advantage of. Perhaps, it was because of my naiveté. However, I probably won’t do it again simply because of the cost. At the time it really wasn’t beneficial to me because they were unable to answer the questions I had. It was too impersonal. But it’s certainly not their fault, it’s just the nature of the game. It’s kind of like high school. When I went to high school the classes were packed—30+ students—and the teacher would do the best job he or she could, giving notes on essays and such, but it was never anything personalized or one-on-one. It wasn’t until I went to a private college with 8 to 15 students per class did I get the kind of attention that I think every student deserves. But I don’t blame my high school teacher, it was just the nature of the game. With all the people that enter these contests, it’s just impossible to offer real, constructive, personalized notes for each and every person, especially when you don’t know them.

ROB: I never took advantage.

ROBERT: No, I have not. But I do not mind the messages, either. Occasionally they contain items of vague interest.

Q: If you won, or even placed high in the competition, did it have any positive effect on your budding career?

CINDY: Sure, I'm getting more reads, and isn't that what it's all about? Getting your script into the right hands. The problem is that there are a lot of wrong hands, too; so I've learned to be patient and how to deal with rejection. I'll keep on writing, sending out e-mails, and entering contests in hopes of finding the right hands.

JACOB: The highest I have ever placed was a semifinalist, beating out 1,700 other writers, but so far nothing has resulted from this placement. But that is the number one reason I enter, to get recognition. I think I am like most writers who enter contests, in that it’s not so much for the prize money (which is still nice) but the plethora of industry contacts that will follow.

JOSEPH: With Slamdance, yes, but only because I went to the festival and networked. If you win a script comp and don't toot your horn, no one will notice.

LARISSA: When my writing partner and I attended Shriekfest, Denise Gosset (the founder and director of the festival) made sure that we met everyone during the networking parties and pointed out all the publicity opportunities available. Along with some of the filmmakers, we did an interview with Tomorrow Pictures Television, and then an on-line interview with Dark Romance (http://www.darkromance.com/). I met a lot of great people at Shriekfest and Denise made sure to e-mail us referrals from filmmakers interested in scripts similar to ours. So, Shriekfest was definitely a positive experience for us. With The Waterfront Film Festival, we were very excited with our finalist placement. This was a big moment for us because the competition wasn’t just opened to new writers, but to professional writers as well. Our script actually placed above a couple of professional writers, including a WGA screenwriter. I have to admit, it felt pretty cool. We really got to see how our work stacked up next to professional screenwriters, and since the prize was a possible production deal, whether or not our script had a commercial concept. From The Waterfront Festival, we made a lot of contacts, both at the parties and just walking around the venues. Another writer we met, whose script also did well in the competition, was kind enough to give us a referral to an agent friend of his. This was another big moment for us because it was our first agent referral. Placing in Shriekfest and Waterfront certainly didn’t hurt us any. Only time, though, will tell if any of these placements will benefit our “budding career.”

LONNIE: Yes. I didn't win, but the festival promoter (Denise Gossett) has subsequently contacted me several times referring me to prodcos and filmmakers she thinks may be interested in my script. And being able to mention having been a finalist in a comp in the "experience" portion of query letters garnered me several reads for other scripts. I even made my first script sale last year after a small prodco read the script and asked if I had anything else. I did, and they bought the next script I showed them. I didn't get rich—it was my first sale and I was (and still consider myself to be) an amateur writer, but it wouldn't have happened if they hadn't read the script I'd entered into the comp and asked for more based on that script's strengths.

ROB: The script we entered into Project Greenlight 3 made it into the quarterfinals of AAA and Scriptapalooza, but it didn’t advance further. The only positive effect it had on us was to continue to keep writing.

ROBERT: I did not win, and have no idea where I fell within the spectrum of entrants.

STEPHANIE: I am taking the feedback I received and am using it to improve my script, so I can enter it in future contests.

Q: Whether or not you won, what are some of the positive aspects of the competition you entered?

BOB: I took a chance. I was willing to put my original writing into the hands of contest judges to see if they liked them. That's a positive thing. To have enough faith in your work to put it out there.

CINDY: A chance at getting produced, representation, feedback, and money.

JACOB: Positive? I guess the only really positive outcome thus far is that I have refined my contest skills. I know the routine, what’s expected, the fees, dates, and basically all the little fine details that show I am no longer an amateur. I also know what the judges like and don’t like.

JOSEPH: The ones I placed on—even semi-finals—do give you something to add to a query, the ones you get feedback from give you insight to make your work better.

LARISSA: Well, since we placed in film festival competitions, we received tickets to the festivals as part of our prizes. This was a great opportunity to meet emerging filmmakers, new actors, and other aspiring writers. I’ve never done well in Nicholl, but it was still a necessary experience in my opinion. I think every writer should enter Nicholl at least once, and just see what happens.

LONNIE: Placing as a finalist in my first-ever script comp, using only my second-ever completed script, was a huge confidence booster. Though my day job and family life have prevented me from really pursuing a screenwriting career, that competition, plus the subsequent selling of my third-ever completed script, has led me to think maybe I can make a career out of this. And man, if I can get away from my day job long enough, I'd love to give it a go.

MATTHEW: The feedback from the BlueCat was helpful. Other than that, I can’t say it was really positive. It didn’t really change anything at all.

ROB: Positive aspects were getting some solid feedback on the script and seeing our names under the quarterfinalists.

ROBERT: I found the contest to be well run, and they delivered the results when they said they would.

STEPHANIE: Deadlines from competitions push me to complete my scripts much faster than I would on my own. By entering these contests, I have developed a list of spec scripts that highlight my talents. In addition, I received feedback that is valuable to improving my writing. These contests were definitely not a waste!

Q: What do you feel are some negative aspects, if any, of entering a competition?

BOB: The rejection might slow up a writer that wasn't as self-assured. BlueCat at least gave a little feedback. I've seen other feedback from them on other scripts by friends who entered, and it was like they hadn't read the same script.

CINDY: Not all contests are equal. Anyone who wants to enter a contest should check them out beforehand at MovieBytes.com. Check to see what other writers have to say about them, and make sure they are a reputable competition.

JACOB: Any negative aspects that I am forced to complain about is the intangible that often plagues any creative-based industry. What makes a good script? What makes a winner? Often those scripts that are picked to win are for reasons that often escape the judges. On the same token, scripts are chosen to either be bought or produced, not because they are the best written, or the most brilliant, but a million other reasons that beginning writers have no control over. Unfortunately, there is only so much talent, hard work, and studying one can bring to any contest. The other parts we have no control over and it is often just pure luck based on the reader’s tastes, how your style comes across, and how well the image you are trying to create is communicated.

JOSEPH: The time it takes to hear any news on it. There are a lot of no-name and, dare I say, scam contests. Be picky and do research on the comps you choose and choose the ones which have a track record of having scripts in your genre that have won. Don't submit a horror script to Nicholl—it just won’t get any tracking there.

LARISSA: High entry fees annoy me. One of the things I like about The Disney Fellowship is that there is no application fee. Also, I don’t think competitions can really determine if a person is a strong writer. Advancement depends heavily on the opinion of readers—or sometimes just one reader. A person with a solid script might not make it past the first round, while a person with a mediocre script makes it farther. So, contest placement isn’t really accurate in gauging whether or not a person is a good writer, and the same goes for not placing in a contest. Look at Euripides—there were a number of dramatic contests he did not place in, but today he is considered one of the greatest Greek tragedians.

LONNIE: Couldn't tell you. I try to see everything as a learning experience. Losing showed me where my weaknesses as a writer were, while placing as a high finalist showed me that regardless, I'm a better writer than I thought I was. Losing isn't a negative thing; it's an educational experience.

MATTHEW: I just think you need to choose wisely on which contests to enter. Check out the reward, and how many people win, and what the ultimate upside of winning really is. Not just financially either. You want to enter contests that a prospective buyer would find respectable. At this point there are only a few contests I would seriously consider entering.

ROB: The negative aspects for the other competitions (beyond PGL 3) are that they didn’t offer written feedback. I know that’s a lot of work for a lot of scripts. Other competitions offer coverage for an extra fee, but you would think for fees being charged you’d get some verbal do's and don’ts, even if it is a form letter with check boxes.

ROBERT: It is not so much a negative as it is a learning experience, but in the future I will choose the contests I enter more carefully. I am primarily a horror writer, and there seems to be a "drama" bias amongst many of the top-tier contests. I will probably choose a contest that is more geared towards horror scripts next time. And it may just be a sour grapes thing, but looking at the winning entries, dramas are all you ever seem to find—and I cannot imagine that there are not some worthy horror scripts out there. But then, the horror writers themselves also have to bear a fraction of the blame, I suppose. There is plenty of dreck out there in Horrorland, and I am sure just about any reader greets a new horror script with a roll of the eyes—whether they admit it or not.

STEPHANIE: Really, none. I’d caution people who have “thin skin” to prepare themselves before receiving feedback. You have to be able to accept constructive criticism and learn from it.

Q: Based on your experiences, would you recommend screenwriting competitions as a way for budding screenwriters to further their career?

BOB: No. I haven't heard of anyone's career "furthered" by one of these contests. There might be a couple of people over the years, but when I read or hear about a writer "making it," I never hear about any contests they won, but about the quality of their work. I would advise young writers to save their money and spend it on postage to send out their query letters or to spend it on quality coverage.

CINDY: To further their career? I'm not sure about that one. There are some screenwriters who get noticed and produced after entering a contest, but there's no guarantee and the numbers aren't that great. I think a finalist or winner status is helpful in getting read, and I also think that when a writer does well in a contest it sort of gives them a nudge to write some more.

JACOB: Absolutely! Until a screenwriter enters a contest, it is almost impossible to know if you’re even relatively good or have what it takes to be a writer. Unless you know someone in the business, or have read a lot of different screenplays, there is really no other way to tell where you are in the grand scheme. I have learned so much from entering and even the slight amount of feedback I have received has given me the confidence to press on with whatever I am doing and also seek representation, knowing that I am no better or worse than most screenwriters working today.

JOSEPH: Definitely, especially if they are legitimate and noteworthy ones, or if they have festivals that you can network at.

LARISSA: If you do enter competitions, I recommend competitions that are held in conjunction with film festivals. This way, if you place, then you can attend the festivals not just as a “filmgoer,” but as a finalist—or even better, a winner! Film festivals offer great networking opportunities, and the people are usually very friendly. Festivals are the kind of places you can just walk up to someone and initiate a conversation without being considered aggressive.

LONNIE: Based on the sole comp I entered, yes, I would. The entire experience for me was a pleasant one. I know I never would have gotten the subsequent read requests or even had my first sale if I hadn't put my work out there to be seen. You'll never know how good or bad you are until you let others read your stuff and comps—the honest ones—allow you to do exactly that.

MATTHEW: Tough question. You always need to be using the alternative routes as well. Just waiting for those competitions every year is going to be an incredible waste of time and ultimately, probably a disappointment. If you know your scripts are terrific and you can afford the entry fee, then yeah. Just be picky on which ones you enter.

ROB: I would recommend Nicholl and Disney Fellowship as two competitions, since they are free and offer the best exposure. Exposure is better, in my opinion in the end than prize money or fourth place with a subscription to a screenwriting magazine. I would not recommend entering every single competition willy-nilly, I’d recommend looking at the rewards and then make your best choice. If you’re a struggling screenwriter then there’s no need to waste money down the drain on a contest that offers nothing in return. In the end, it’s not the contest that gets you found, it’s the script.

ROBERT: From the standpoint of a pure novice, with no connections, it seems like the only way to get noticed. The Internet is changing that to a certain extent, and I have received e-mails regarding works I have posted on public forums. It seems to be a lot like fishing. All you can do it put yourself out there and wait for nibbles. But I will continue to enter contests now and then. Maybe even BlueCat, should I write a nice drama someday.

STEPHANIE: Absolutely! Screenwriting competitions aren’t guaranteed methods for jumpstarting a career, of course. In fact, the chances of winning are pretty slim. However, the feedback you receive from some can greatly improve your writing skills. In addition, I would encourage aspiring screenwriters to check out http://www.scriptwritersnetwork.org/ and http://www.tvwriter.com/. Both Web sites contain a wealth of information, including competitions screenwriters can enter, where they will receive valuable feedback on their scripts.

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There you have it, a revealing peek into the world of screenplay competitions. I know I learned a thing or two and I hope you did too. Big thanks to Bob, Cindy, Jacob, Joseph, Larissa, Lonnie, Matthew, Rob, Robert, and Stephanie for their participation! -- JV

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APRIL 2015 ANNOUNCEMENT: My debut novel, Luigi's Chinese Delicatessen, is now available in paperback from Amazon.com and Kindle e-book! (You're gonna love it cuz it's all about Hollywood and screenwriting!)

3 comments:

mark said...

WOW, great post Jim. Appreciate all the work you did in putting this together. Very interesting food for thought in here.

I've stayed away from them for the most part but I did have a pleasant experience with nichol this year. Didn't win shit but did get some nice feedback. I think this coming year I may do some research based on this post and enter a select few of them if the entry fees are reasonable.

Robert is correct in that it is like fishing. But the thing about fishing is you can't just drive around the ocean looking for fish. It's a big, big sea and fish can swim. You have to know where fish hang out, know what they usually like to eat and make a plan!

Best Screenplay Contests said...

Nice post. I read total post and like your post. thank you for sharing........

Danielle said...

Nice. I've been considering entering some of the free competitions simply for the feedback, this post gave me a few ideas. Thanks!