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Screenwriting Contests: Are They Worth It?

August 24, 2015

There are so many screenwriting contest out there, which ones do you submit to? Are they even worth it? Who is seeing your work? What kind of credentials do they have? Can they help me move forward and get my script seen by the right people? These are all valid questions. The short answer is, “yes, they are worth something.” Most of them average about $45 a pop and you get your work seen by people in the industry. If you win, especially in the case of fellowships, you get excellent exposure and help from professionals in the business.

So which ones do you submit to? Any that sound appealing. And you can always get professional feedback, some for free, but most ask for an extra fee. Usually that fee is about half of what they typically charge. Well worth the price in my opinion. The best for recognition and exposure are ones like the Nicoll Fellowship or the Warner Brothers Workshop. Both will get you access to producers who will help take your script to the next level and more likely get it sold.

I know what you’re going to ask, “Are any of the bad?” You can learn from any contest, especially those that provide snippets of the winning screenplays. If you can get feedback, it’s worth the price of admission. If you’re a TV writer like me The People’s Pilot offers free feedback when you enter and the feedback they provide, I found to be extremely helpful. Some of the bigger, more well known contests that charge an extra fee for feedback often times will delegate that duty to an intern. I try to find one’s the list specific producers or writers that will be giving feedback.

I know, I know. You’re gonna ask, “Where can I find this list of these wonderful and helpful screenwriting competitions? And how often do they have them?” I’m glad you asked. There just happens to be a website that publishes ALL of the contests fit to enter… and even some that aren’t. They give a brief synopsis of what the contest is about and even provide a link to that particular website, if it has one. This magical website is called: moviebytes.com. You can even sort the list depending on what type of contest you’re looking to enter. So go forth! Enter! Get feedback! Win! Until next week, happy writing!

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4 Comments
  1. Splendid advice, thank you for sharing. I will certainly consider entering some of these contests next spring. As you point out, if feedback is on the table from the industry brass, what’s not to like? I have seen agents asking as much as $500 per hour to coach writers(!) so the entrance fees are hardly daunting. Obviously, people should only submit thoroughly-polished manuscripts, not early drafts.

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    • Exactly, Ken! Don’t forget, I offer affordably priced script consultations. I can help you polish your script before you submit.

      Like

  2. Very informative read! I bookmarked the links for future reference. Thanks, Tony, for your expertise. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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