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.