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3 Reasons Why Writers Shouldn’t Enter Screenplay Contests


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October 27, 2010 1 comment
screenplay contests

Now, we’re not saying all screenwriters should avoid screenplay contests. We’re saying only some should enter them, because far too many aspiring writers are wasting their money.

Below you’ll find the three reasons why you shouldn’t enter a screenwriting competition unless…

Reason 1: Your Script Simply Isn’t Good Enough To Do Well In A Hollywood Screenplay Contest (Yet)

Probably 80% of screenplays entered into script writing contests aren’t yet up to standard. That’s an awful lot of writers wasting an awful lot of money. For this reason we recommend only sending your script in to a competition once it’s received at least a CONSIDER from a reputable script consultancy.

Don’t just take your friend’s advice that your script’s “great” and think that’ll do. (Unless maybe they’re industry professionals).

Spend the money to get a professional script doctor or script consultancy to review it. And only when it’s received a CONSIDER or (preferably RECOMMEND) should you consider sending it in to a Hollywood screenplay contest. Or anywhere for that matter.

Take the time — even if it means spending a few bucks more in order to sneak it in the late entry category — to make sure your script’s as good as it can possibly be.

Reason 2: You Can’t Afford To Enter 3+ Screenwriting Contests

Cost is probably the major drawback to entering screenplay contests. It can get pretty pricey sending your script(s) to half a dozen or more competitions at $50+ a throw.

The problem is, many writers ignore cost thinking this is their one chance “at the big time” and end up living off toast for a month.

However, if you’ve got a great script, and you’ve got the cash, there is absolutely nothing wrong with entering as many screenwriting competitions as you can. It can only increase your chances of success. Just don’t blindly throw your money after some dream if you haven’t had some serious praise of the script in the first place.

Reason 3: You Haven’t Done Any Research On All The Screenplay Contests Out There

It’s important to remember that you need to figure out which screenplay contests are actually worthy of spending your hard-earned cash on.

Many screenwriting contests are simply not worth your time, and so in order to narrow down the search we’ve come up with the twelve best screenwriting contests worth entering and you can check their deadlines in our Contest Calendar for Screenwriters.

screenplay contests

Also, genre plays a big factor in determining which screenplays place highly and which ones don’t. So you need to do a bit of research first to see which ones are the best fit for your script.

Take the Nicholls for example. Great competition, great prizes and prospects for the winners and runners-up, but it’s overwhelmingly biased towards Drama and more serious minded content. If you’ve written a Farrelly Brothers-style Comedy, chances are, no matter how good the script, it’s unlikely to place highly at the Nicholls.

If you do have a great spec Comedy, then your first port of call should be screenplay competitions that have had a certain amount of Comedy screenplay winners. Find out how often your screenplay’s genre has actually done well in that particular screenwriting competition and you’ll be putting yourself at a greater advantage and saving a lot of time and money.

1 Comment
  1. Thomas says:

    Nice post, thanks Script Reader Pro.

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