Screenwriting : I entered my first screenwriting contest! by Annie Shaffer

Annie Shaffer

I entered my first screenwriting contest!

Will I place? Probably not. Did I just waste my money? Most likely. I am still excited!

Onwukwe Abraham Ogonna

Is absolutely the right thing to do. Congratulations!

Dan Guardino

Annie. I don't enter contest but a co-writer of mine did enter one of our screenplays and made the quarter finals in a major contest. Personally I wasn't excited but she was and she paid for it and that is what counts. The script was optioned twice so I guess it didn't suck too bad. Good luck with yours!!!!

Jonathon Douglas

It is fun and can be useful. Some contests offer free feedback and I actually have used the feedback and improved my story.

Baz Martin Gibbons

She who dares wins. :)

Bill Albert

Good for you. Do you check out Film Freeway for festivals?

Anthony Moore

The first contest I entered, I was sure that all I would get back was feedback. I placed top 25. If you put in the work, you have a chance.

Annie Shaffer

Bill Albert No!, but now I will. thanks! I used moviebytes

Coreetta S Buchan

Hey Annie. The reason alot of writers can fail is when that enthusiasm to learn and grow dies. Youur excitement is exactly what will push you to become a sucessful writer. Actionable feedback ( positive or negative ) gives you huge building blocks to get it right. You go for it. Keep it up, heck who knows six months you will have had selections and wins. Have an awesome weekend.

Richard P. Alvarez

Congrats on crossing that threshold. Win or lose, you've committed time and money to advancing your career. That's an important step.

Best of luck!

Phil Parker

Fingers crossed for you, Annie. Good luck.

Derek Reid

Good luck Annie!

Bill Albert

The biggest thing to make sure you do is read all the details on the festivals you enter. I've found a few of them that require you to be present at the festival to be eligible for an award.

Craig D Griffiths

They are great fun. Getting notes (if they are offered) is always interesting. I hope you do well.

Louis Tété

Wish you the best luck :)

Mista Martel

Good luck to you

Jim Boston

Annie, I'm excited for you...and I wish you all the VERY BEST! (And no, as far as I'm concerned, you didn't waste a single cent by entering your first screenwriting contest!)

Jill A. Hargrave

I entered a few contests last year and received my first award as a semi-finalist for 2019 Summer BAFF. It certainly gave me a boost to keep working on screenwriting.

Vasco Saraiva

Best of luck!! Hey, there is a huge chance that you will be awarded... but that's the spirit!!

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Good luck! Was it a Stage 32 contest?

David Gray

I'm there with Jill. I entered a bunch and the thrill of placing really motivates! I am not crazy! I may be good at this! You cannot get there without trying!

John Day

Best of luck -- and stay away from that imitation crab meat!

Tanya Carleton Lovrics

Good luck Annie! Good luck to all who entered a contest this season. I entered my latest dramedy feature in a bunch this spring -- we'll see how she fares. I still get excited over placements. Doors have opened for me. YES to the feedback, it's usually very helpful. And Nick A is right -- enter Stage 32 Contests! Winning one was a game changer for me. Stay safe and creative everybody.

Thanks John Day -- Now I'm craving crab cakes. ;)

Joshua Katz

ALL screenwriting contests should be treated like the lottery. Some are worthless dollar scratch-offs, and others are the Powerball, but they are all essentially a waste of money. They should be "played" without the expectation of winning anything, and you should be prepared to lose any time/money invested. If you are one of the lucky fraction of a few to benefit from one, mazeltov.

Jeffrey Milne

Good luck, post updates on your progress

Cannon Rosenau

Ha! That's the spirit! I hate contests just because they take forever to hear anything. And also the money. But hey, it's kind of a "write" of passage ;) So congrats and good luck!

Juliana Beckett

Very exciting!

Brett Hoover

That's wonderful I wish you the best of luck. Win or lose if you get feedback that is a win-win either way.

Paul Grammatico

I'm right there with you. I have submitted my scripts to screenwriting contests and, like everything, some are really good, others not so much. I feel that it is a process that you have to experience (and am still experiencing). If anything, it has gotten my skin thicker. As you get further along with your writing, you can be more selective in regards to what contests (if any) you want to submit to. I wish you much luck. So exciting!

Jill A. Hargrave

There are so many contests. Does anyone have the top ten best contests to enter?

Jason Mirch

Hey Annie Shaffer! Congratulations! This is a huge leap! And no matter what happens, you took an important step in getting your material out there so it is not a waste. Make sure to enter contests that are able to move your career forward. I have been excited by the fact that Stage 32 has launched careers with our contests. In fact, I have personally helped 3 writers get signed after winning contests. And one of those was just hired by StudioCanal to write a project.

Sophia von Wrangell- Luisa Roger - Luisa Fernanda Espindola Scarpetta

I don't know. I've lost trust in screenwriting competitions. I sent one a few years ago to ISA and the comments that came back made me realize the reader must have been very very young. She didn't understand enough to read a "visual" screenplay. She was throwing out words like "structure" out there. I was angry about the money loss and sort of offended, since my forte is structure. Thanks for the list anyway, I'll be happy to check them out.

Doug Nelson

I hear what you're saying. I've received feedback from a few young 'uns that have little knowledge of the basic language. It is discouraging indeed but I try to keep hope alive.

Dan Guardino

Sophia. I wouldn't be offended because all you received was someone's opinion and you know what they say about opinions. That is one of the reasons I never enter contests.

Annie Shaffer

For the people who say they don't enter contests I have a few questions: How do you get your work out there? How do you make money in screenwriting? I am fairly new and would like to eventually make a living on writing. I thought entering contests and winning was a stepping stone to becoming a working writer. What are the other avenues to becoming a working screenwriter?

Doug Nelson

Personal connections. Get on set as an intern, volunteer, a PA... whatever. Observe, learn, be active, be helpful and don't knock the light stands over. Folks will notice and when the time is right, pull out that brilliant script you just happen to have in your backpack. If you need to make a buck, you can always work as a staff writer on some series.

Dan Guardino

Annie. Winning or placing could be a stepping stone. However, I really didn’t think any of my screenplays were worth entering. Instead I just emailed and called producers and agents. After I got an agent, I attached a couple of well-known directors to a few of my screenplays. There is a lot of competition so you really need to do everything within reason because you never know what will pay off or when it will happen. Good luck in the contest you just entered. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Craig D Griffiths

In the early days I found that they were a great source of confidence.

How do I get my work out?

I try to be as visible as possible. I blog, Vlog, forums and post my work on Script Revolution. People get to know who I am and what I write. So if they go and get a script of mine there will not be many surprises.

Everyone’s ideas of how to be seen is different.

The only advice I have is “You have to do it”.

People post things like “I need an agent to help with my career”. You have to get the ball rolling. Think of what you can do and do that.

It is a small world, believe it or not. Even help your local community theatre group could lead to something. I worked (in the intelligence industry) who did fight coordinating for a theatre on the weekends. He worked with a guy who ended up being a development execituve at Universal, I am in Australia.

Sophia von Wrangell- Luisa Roger - Luisa Fernanda Espindola Scarpetta

Yes, Dan, you are so right. At the end the comments are only someone's opinion. When I was in Germany and was part of the Berlin Brandenburg Film Board, my job was to read screenplays that came in English, Spanish or Rumanian, and decide if to finance them or not. When not, I had to write why not. I know I spent hours writing something that people could actually use to make the screenplay better, to be able to sell them. I guess I expected something like that. Anyway, now I'm looking for a producer who knows their way internationally, because I've decided to direct my screenplay myself. Cross fingers!

Stefano Pavone

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Even if nothing happens, you can say you tried. :)

Dan Guardino

Sophia. Good luck. I don't direct but I teamed up with Judy Norton to write two screenplays. She will direct one of them and star in both and we're looking for an executive producer to come on board. I'll keep my fingers crossed for both of us.

Annie Shaffer

I applied to a few contests and today was the first notification. I am a quarter-finalist! Yay! Fingers crossed to be a semi-finalist, but honestly I'm just excited to place at all.

Jill A. Hargrave

Congratulations, Annie. It feels good to get the recognition. Good luck moving forward.

Tanya Carleton Lovrics

Congrats Annie!

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Good luck and have fun.

Diego Cantu

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

Martin Luther King, Jr....CONGRATS AND WRITE ON!

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