There are a lot of screenplay contests out there. Why enter one? If you wrote a solid screenplay, submitting to as many contests as your budget permits makes sense. Winning, placing in the top three, even garnering an honorable mention comes with rewards.
What’s the value of a screenwriting contest? A contest puts your studio or indie film career in motion. You’re doing something capable of delivering actual results. And you can do so from anywhere in the world.
Screenwriting contests do more than provide bragging rights for crafting a readable 120-minute spec. Contests give you:
Someone liked your screenplay. That’s why it placed high on the list of submissions. Readers only like good screenplays. No one gives out participation trophies in screenwriting. A screenplay must possess some merit to gain acclaim in a contest. Writers capable of putting together a good script stand out.
The sad truth about most screenplays is they aren’t very good. That is true for both Hollywood and indie film projects. Pros don’t always welcome screenplay submissions from amateurs because their material ends up lacking. Accolades on a screenplay contest establish skill, merit, and credibility.
Doors Might Open
Calling agents, production offices, and managers to inquire about submitting a spec script certainly is encouraged. Don’t expect the warmest reception though. Besides legal reasons, these companies receive tons of screenplays from other pros on a daily basis.
Quite a few industry professionals will read screenplays that earned excellent marks in a screenplay contest. Entering contests to potentially gain Hollywood and indie film industry access is reason enough to submit.
If you aren’t receiving any positive mentions from your submissions, maybe it is time to invest in a screenwriting course or request the services of an analyst. Sometimes, screenplays just need a little work in order to receive positive reviews.
Don’t feel bad when your screenplays don’t do well in a contest. Use the feedback to improve in the future. Use the improvements to increase your chances of success.
And success is what you’re after when writing the screenplay.
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