Posted by: steveonfilm | April 23, 2012

Tis The Season

A spring ramps up, so does my inbox with “invitations” to enter screenplay contests. I’ve entered some in the past and did okay in a few of the minor ones that unfortunately no longer exist. [Note: I don’t really consider the Cyberspace Open a true screenwriting contest. It’s more of a fun screenwriting competition, with a small cash prize.]

If you can place in one of the bigger contests, it can open some doors. It happened to one of my best friends when he won Final Draft’s Big Break 5+ years ago. But this seems to be true of only a few of the bigger and more prominent contests.

Most of the contests out there are middle of the road machines that offer some prize money, maybe some coverage, but not much else if you win. Even when you “win,” you still might not get anything out of it. Just ask regular reader Dan about his experiences.

It doesn’t look like screenplay contests are going away anytime soon, and in this age of the internet they’ll likely increase in number. If you’ve got the money to enter, I don’t see a problem with doing so. But, if you’re short on cash, I’d keep the dough in your pocket. But that’s just my opinion.

The always interesting Go Into The Story blog tackles this very subject today. Scott view contests much the same way I do. The bigger ones have helped some people get started with their careers. But for most, it’s fifty bucks down the drain. He says:

“If you have the time and money, why not? It may serve as motivation to finish your script, enable you to get some feedback, and who knows… you may win.”

I know I used entering my first contest as a personal goal. I placed decently and it encouraged me to not give up on my writing. I haven’t really considered entering anything since. But again, that’s not because I look down on contests or anything. It’s just that for me I achieved my goal and that was enough. Plus, I don’t want to drop 50 bucks again on what is somewhat of a crapshoot.

Reading the rest of Scott’s post on the subject is worth it, especially if you’re considering entering some of your writing into a contests this year. There’s also some good stuff in the comments section.

Keep writing,
-Steve

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Responses

  1. I entered Austin, Nicholl and Page. And only because I was flush with tax refund coin :). But that’s it for this calendar year. Got plenty of writing to keep me busy, so I can pretty much just forget about these.

    • Well then, I know who I’m rooting for!


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