Screenwriting : Contests by Robert Kelly McAllister

Robert Kelly McAllister

Contests

What contests do you think are worth the entry fee, besides Stage 32 feature contest, which I have already entered? Nicholl? Script Pipeline? Big Break? Others?

Cherie Grant

No idea. I haven't won in any of them yet. ;)

Stacy Gentile

Nicholl -- April 10th -- $55 Scriptapalooza -- April 15th -- $60 Austin Film Festival -- April 20th -- $40 Script Pipeline -- May 1 -- $55 Final Draft Big Break -- June 30th -- $40

Danny Manus

there are only about 12-13 contests anyone really cares about. Nicholl, PAGE, Austin, final draft big break, Sundance, slamdance, script pipeline, scriptapalooza, screencraft, tracking board, trackingB, and maybe Bluecat or Fresh Voices or Cinestory.

Cherie Grant

What about the Writer's store longline contests?

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I love these lists. They always remind me that I need to stop fucking playing and get my scripts in contests.

Kerry Douglas Dye

JP, you're missing an "and" in that last sentence.

Becca-Chris M
Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

LMAO! I reread my sentence so many times and couldn't find where I was missing it! Clever Kerry...

Virginia Brucker

I did well as a "newbie" with Final Draft, Beverly Hills, and Vancouver International Women in Film. Perhaps save the most prestigious ones such as the Page or Nicholls until you've developed your skills. When entering any contest, be sure that your project is the best it can be. It's tempting when you've finished it to send it out, but wiser to allow time for skilled reader friends to give feedback. With any writing project, I like to put it away for at least two weeks so I can look at it more objectively.

Danny Manus

its not hard to win a contest. all you have to do is have a better script than 7,000 other writers. And if you don't think you do, then youre wasting your money entering anyway.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

But If you place, it looks good on your queries so I say enter them.

Danny Manus

if you're a finalist in those or semi finalist in a few, then yes. otherwise, it doesn't mean much.

David E. Gates

I always wonder what you're actually paying for in these competitions - sounds like someone is making a lot of money from them. 7,000 people at $50 a pop. I compare it to the agencies that offer you work for a "registration" fee but with no guarantees of anything. Maybe I'm being a bit cynical but if your script is good enough then it'll get picked up if you circulate it properly and at no cost to you.

David E. Gates

Given the limited number of "prizes", I think you're better off paying an agent to tout your script in the right places and with the right people. You could enter the best script into a lot of these competitions and never win which could end up costing you a small fortune. The best hand in poker doesn't always win. :-) Industrial Scripts would give guidance on and, if they thought it had mileage, tout your script for you with relevant executives, at a greatly reduced cost compared to half-a-dozen of the competitions. Each to their own though - I know which battle I'd rather pick. :-)

Cherie Grant

David do you expect readers and people who run the sites and admin etc to work for free? And where do you think they get the prize money from? Pulled from their arses?

Kerry Douglas Dye

Paying an agent? I assume you mean paying an "agent", the same way you'd use a generic word like "proxy". Real agents work for commissions, not upfront fees. Lets not confuse the newbies into thinking differently.

Edward Higgins

If you get a reader outside the genre your in, then it's big trouble.

David M Hyde

I have found any contest placing to be a boost for the resume when marketing my scripts, even the one's no one has heard of. For the new writer I would highly recommend the contests that give feedback as part of your fee. More bang for your buck that way. Creative World Awards does this. I think Scriptapalooza does as well.

Edward Higgins

This whole business is twisted, looks like a real money maker without any hope for rewards. Even if you have a good script, it's luck if you get it to the right person and the financial rewards. I'm thinking of doing it a different way. Make them pay to see your script.

Edward Higgins

Yeah Lisa , the glass is always half full lol

Edward Higgins

Cherries that's where they should get it from.

Edward Higgins

My pitch.. This is a great story and I'm looking a million for it. First with the money gets it. Well what you think?

Edward Higgins

No really I do need a million.

Edward Higgins

Right which of you guys do Comedy or rather Dramedy and would like an opinion, besides I of course.

Robert Kelly McAllister

If my day job was adapting 80's toys into scripts, I would be cool with that. It would help pay the bills while I work on getting my scripts produced.

Edward Higgins

Danny your quotes are precious.

Edward Higgins

Oh they're removing my quotes. I knew I was doing something wrong.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Edward, why are you talking to yourself on a public thread?

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

RKM: Though both extremely competitive, I recommend Page Awards and Austin Film Festival. Also smaller contests like Richmond Film Festival are very decent.

Jane Hatch

What contest is more likely to be turned off or on by lead female? It's a waste of time if you write a Thelma and Louise and send it to a Harrison Ford kind of contest.

Kerry Douglas Dye

I can't imagine any reputable contest that cares about the gender of the lead. Actually, I can't think of a disreputable contest that would care either.

Monique Mata

Comments like David E Gates are misinformed and incorrect and ignorant about how Hollywood works, and therefore dangerous for newbies. "Pay an agent"???? Good luck with that strategy.

Doug Nelson

Over the years, I’ve entered many screenwriting contests – I’ve won a few, been a finalist in some and a no-show in many. Some winning scripts in the more prestigious contests became no-shows in some of the little back-water festivals. My conclusion is that there is no rhyme or reason. Winning is good for your ego but having a winning script paned by some little dinkwater festival can be deflating – I enter only a few festivals now.

Bob McCarty

Regarding contests, I sent the following question to the folks at InkTip.com regarding the Big Break Contest: "Being new to screenwriting and contests such as the Big Break Contest, the skeptic in me wonders what protection I have for my screenplay script when I'm required to submit it -- without my name, contact information and copyright info -- to people I do not know who are running the contest. Might you be able to alleviate any of my concerns?" I haven't received a reply yet, but would appreciate any feedback here.

Kerry Douglas Dye

InkTip doesn't run the Big Break contest. Final Draft does. Anyway, not sure what answer you'll get, but it sounds like you shouldn't submit to any contests. They all pretty much operate the same way (i.e., you'll send them your script).

Bill Costantini

Bob, Contests take the contact info off of the script during judging to preserve the purity of the contest, which ensures that none of the judges know the identities of any of the screenwriters during the judging process. You can be sure, though, that during the registration process of the scripts, the correct identities correlate to each script. Imagine what a terrible "oh no!" moment that could be if someone said "I didn't do it - I thought YOU did it!" :)

Bob McCarty

Bill -- I found it odd that the Big Break contest rules require you to remove the title page and any mention of your name and contact information from the script file you upload. Kerry - I submitted my question to the folks at InkTip in much the same manner as I submitted it here (i.e., I was looking for an answer from someone who's been at this game longer than I have). In addition, I didn't have a point of contact at First Draft.

Kerry Douglas Dye

It's not odd. It's pretty common. It's for judge impartiality.

Bob McCarty

Like I said, Kerry, I am "new to screenwriting and contests." I'm also concerned about safeguarding my intellectual property.

Pierre Langenegger

Bob, you've got the same conversation going in two threads. You register your script with the copyright office and that is your protection. You don't need to ensure that everyone who reads your script in a comp, sees your name or your registration. If you're worried about that then don't enter comps.

Dave McCrea

Danny Manus: "its not hard to win a contest. all you have to do is have a better script than 7,000 other writers". uh you're taking the piss, right? i would say having a better script than 7,000 other writers is about four times harder than getting into Harvard law school. Certainly harder than producing/directing/DPing/acting, just about anything else.... writing is the single hardest thing in moviemaking. point blank PERIOD! that is all....

Beth Fox Heisinger

Bob, if your work is copyrighted then don't worry. Really. Contests often require submitted work to be copyrighted or registered -- both are industry standard practice and usually expected. Forgive me, but being overly concerned (perhaps paranoid) only reflects poorly on you (from a professional standpoint). So, just protect your work and enter only reputable contests -- many have already been mentioned within this thread. :)

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