Disappointed, yet still driven & determined

One step at a time

The results are in for my western’s involvement with the major screenwriting contests for this year:

PAGE – nope. Didn’t get notes.

Austin – nope. Notes expected later in the year. (They got over 9100 entries for shorts and features this year. That’s A LOT.)

Nicholl – top 15%, which isn’t bad. Two sets of notes; the first reader really liked it, whereas the second’s comments make me highly suspicious about their qualifications.

On a positive note, the script placed in the top 100 of the ISA’s Emerging Screenwriters contest, which is nice. Fingers crossed it advances to the finals.

But back to the big three. It’s a little frustrating that things didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean the script’s bad. A lot of my readers, many of whom have done well in these contests, all had very positive things to say about it and thought it was a solid and entertaining piece of work.

Two things to keep in mind about these contests:

It’s all subjective.

Sometimes you just get a shitty reader.

These also happen to be things we have no control over. Yes, it’s disappointing to get that email that includes the phrase “Unfortunately…”, but just because you didn’t do well this year doesn’t mean you won’t do better next year. This is the mantra I’m going with for now.

I’m also taking a little time off from the western to focus on the comedy and at least one or two other scripts. It helps.

Something else for you to ponder: contests aren’t the only way in. More and more I’m hearing/reading from writers who do well in contests, but nothing comes of it. They might get a read, but that’s it. You gotta keep trying from every approach you can think of.

That’s my plan.

Will I enter the contests next year? Possibly. But they’re not a priority.

Making inroads into a getting a career going is.

7 thoughts on “Disappointed, yet still driven & determined

  1. Paul; It is a disappointment, but I must commend you on your web site. First Class! And your upbeat outlook in light of the contests. I know how hard you work at all you do. Be strong and of good cheer.


  2. Paul,
    I’m gonna cheat here & echo Wayne’s comments because mine would be similar. I stopped doing contests last year (made semi-finals in one). I’m a senior citizen. I don’t want an internship thru Nicholl or writing assignments. I want to sell my scripts and, as long as the check clears, they can rewrite my stuff as a musical starring Adam Sandler. I will stay with InkTip (a lot of looks but no sale yet), continue to pitch thru Stage 32 if the request feels right and I am going to join IMDB-PRO & chase after people who look like they might have an interest in my family friendly scripts ( I have been collecting names for each of my scripts).

    I just finished an article (Time Magazine) about new releases & I’m sure everyone in Hollywood wants the next “The Girl on the train” because it was a bestselling book or some remake & we know how well the new “Ben Hur” did (bombed big time). I see my market as cable TV & the streaming services since they seem open to a mix of material. Take a deep breath, bake something & start fresh next week.

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