Screenwriting contests - are they worth it? (1 Viewer)

hi, everyone! just adding some more detail to a post i made last night in the AFI screenwriting thread.

as far as screenwriting contests go, only the big ones matter for exposure. the only reason you’d want to enter a smaller contest is if: you want the prize money, or there’s some sort of signing deal (that is legitimate) for the winner. but being certain these smaller contests aren’t scams is sometimes difficult.

for big contests, the top ones (in order of importance) are: nicholl, austin, the page.
all of the others like screencraft, final draft big break, scriptapalooza, and even sundance lab all seem to be pretty equal as far as exposure for the winning or top writers. anything that isn’t those top three is still definitely respected by execs, agents, etc! but these people particularly look for writers who are winning those top three contests. :)

smaller contests that aren’t scams can be great for getting some feedback (if it’s offered) or just seeing how your work does. if you don’t place in a local screenwriting contest or you receive nevative feedback, then you’ll know you have some rewriting to do before entering a bigger contest.

as far as identifying contest scams, some simple research on google or the contest website itself will be able to tell you what it’s all about, for the most part. if a screenwriting contest has only been around for a year and there’s no information on who’s judging or even who’s behind the company running the contest... DO NOT SUBMIT. also, anything that seems too good to be true probably is. if a contest guarantees a writer will be signed or their script will be bought, it MUST state who or what company is going to be doing that. and do research on that person/company as well. what films have they worked on? what was their role? etc.

for example, the company i work at right now, Roadmap Writers, recently had a great contest called “Road to New Republic,” where the top prize was a guaranteed $10,000 option for the winner by New Republic Pictures. legitimate contest that offered a great prize, but this was a smaller contest that was in its’ first run. so really just making sure you can get information on who’s behind the contest is the best way to tell if you should submit or not.

screenwriting contests aside, i did mention some other ways to break in such as fellowships (writers on the verge, wb writers workshop...) and simply just knowing people. going to film school is only one of the ways you can meet other filmmakers. but i didn’t mention there are some excellent screenwriting education websites that put writers’ work directly in front of execs, agents, and managers who are looking for great writers. companies like Roadmap Writers do exactly this, and we’ve had over 70 of our writers signed! we offer everything from pitch preparation to proofreading your final draft :) you can check out our website for more information: roadmapwriters.com

don’t mean for this to sound totally like an ad! lol. i just love this company and have seen our writers go on to do great things. the ceo, joey, and everyone else i work with has honestly helped me, and countless other writers, so much with screenwriting, pitching, and knowing how a writer fits into the industry in general. i recommend all aspiring writers check it out.

if anyone has questions, feel free to ask! i’m always open to helping out fellow screenwriters.

and, of course, if you guys have any information on screenwriting contests, post it here!
 
Last edited:

BuddernScotch

Well-Known Member
Fantastic, informative post! Roadmap Writers sounds really, really interesting. To have smaller yet legitimate companies create contests and opportunities like this is exciting, speaking as someone who will soon use these resources to try and break into the scene.

Thank you!
 
so glad you found this helpful, @BuddernScotch! i hope you sign up for the roadmap mailing list, because we occasionally have free webinars where we discuss different aspects of the industry and some tips on how to break in. the last one we did, we read the opening pages of a few scripts and gave live feedback that covered things execs look for in a script such as: voice, pacing, length, format, etc. :)
 

BuddernScotch

Well-Known Member
so glad you found this helpful, @BuddernScotch! i hope you sign up for the roadmap mailing list, because we occasionally have free webinars where we discuss different aspects of the industry and some tips on how to break in. the last one we did, we read the opening pages of a few scripts and gave live feedback that covered things execs look for in a script such as: voice, pacing, length, format, etc. :)
Just confirmed my subscription!
 
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