Friday, September 14, 2007


This year, I'm reminded of just how subjective screenwriting competitions can be.

Behold the carnage . . .

The 2007 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

Received the oft-discussed "top 10%" email (this means that my script finished among the top 508 out of this year's 5,050 entries).

While being part of the top ten percent at Nicholl is very respectable, I cannot help feeling as if I've lost a bit of ground. In 2005, an early draft of the same script finished in the top 15% and last year a rewrite finished in the top 6% (missing the quarterfinals by less than one percent).

Austin Film Festival 2007

Submitted two very different scripts this year but neither advanced.

The results here were especially disappointing, mainly because the exact same script advanced to the second round of last year's competition. It' also unfortunate because I'm scheduled to attend the festival this year and having "second rounder", "semifinalist" or "finalist" on one's badge reportedly gains the attendee instant credibility with fellow writers and other industry types.

The 9th Annual Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition
This is my first time submitting to Scriptapalooza, despite its fast-growing reputation as one of the more respected competitions. I received an email from them in August letting me know that my script advanced to the quarterfinals (top 311 out of 3519 entries) but heard nothing after that. Ultimately, I had to visit the website to see this year's results (I did not, by the way, advance to the semifinals).

The 2007 (9th Annual) Cynosure Screenwriting Awards
Originally, I approached this contest with a high degree of skepticism, but was intrigued by the contest's unique angle of limiting the field of entries to scripts featuring strong female protagonists. Against my better judgement, I elected to gamble the entry fee. My instincts were confirmed, unfortunately, when I

a. failed to receive confirmation of my entry and
b. never received a single letter, phone call or email from the contest administrators regarding the competition or status of my entry

Eventually I dropped by the website to view the semifinalists (a list in which my script was not included).

As discouraging as the above results are, the year wasn't all bad. After countless unreturned telephone calls from entertainment attorneys, producer's assistants and agents over the last three years, I did manage to get my work in front of some fairly important people. While networking at a Women in Film event, my wife passed one of my scripts on to some creative executives at a mid-sized production company and after meeting with a highly respected attorney in Beverly Hills, I managed to submit a project (via his office) to an A-list producer.