Being a screenwriter (or trying to become one) is often filled with frustrations. From that line of dialogue that just doesn’t seem to want to come to outright rejection of that script you worked so hard on, yet we keep at it, because this is what we’ve chosen to do with our lives, and we’ve chosen it because we love it. Then there are the things that make all the pains worthwhile, from selling a script, getting a job in a writer’s room, or even winning or placing in a contest. And the latter is what finally happened to me recently1 In December, I made the Semi Finals in the Page Turner Screenplays Feature and TV Pilot contest, which after several contest entries where I didn’t even make the Quarter Finals felt real good. But even better — much better — was yet to come. In mid-February, I was pleased to discover that I’d made the Quarter Finals in Stage 32’s own 6th Annual TV Writer’s Contest. I was mildly surprised but very pleased. Then two weeks later, the 125 or so Quarter Finalists had been whittled down to 58 Semi-Finalists, and much to my surprise, I’d made the cut again! Did I dare hope I’d make one of the 10 coveted spots in the Finals now? Another two weeks came and went, and another Friday rolled around. The e-mail was in my inbox. With trepidation I opened it; I’d been having a bad week, and didn’t need more disappointment added to it. Imagine my surprise, joy, and relief at seeing the pilot script for my TV show concept, Bayou Noir, had actually made it!For the first time in my nascent career, a major victory! Even if I did not win the Grand Prize, I knew that even this would give me and my work valuable exposure. Then the final two weeks went by. I opened the e-mail. I didn’t win. Was I disappointed? Not in the least! I knew I was up against some very high quality writing and writers, so that a panel of industry professionals actually thought my script and show idea were good enough to place in the top 10 of a prestigious contest that started out with several hundred entries itself meant a great deal to me, since it told me that I must be on the right track. So what’s next? Try and find an interested producer for it, of course. But to do that, I need to have a great pitch, and that’s what I’m working on now (and I thought writing the pilot was tough!). So many thanks to Stage 32 for running a great contest — one that I hope will give my career (and my show idea) a leg up!