by Pamela PerryGoulardt
Breaking into the business side of screenwriting can be challenging. However, entering Screenwriting Contests is an option for advancement and credibility. Here’s why:
- Screenwriting Contests help you to Focus. They are a highly charged energy 24/7 business force streaming information. Contests are a way to locate and connect with the people that sync with your energy and are interested in your story.
- Screenwriting Contests are opportunities for honest feedback. Feedback provides a perspective on how a reader is reacting to your story. It’s a window into how your writing is perceived. Feedback is for finding what is and isn’t working so you can rewrite improvements. They will always tell you what is working and what needs improvement. I have never received critical feedback that didn’t offer a suggestion that would elevate my story.
- Screenwriting Contests are Global. One of my first ‘Wins’ was a short story I entered into a contest in Rome. It was about a single woman who comes home to find an Alien in her apartment on New Year’s Eve. They said I captured the loneliness people often feel. Somebody finally got what I was striving to achieve! After that, I felt encouraged to enter contests from Spain, India, Paris, Hong Kong, Vancouver, London, Moscow, even Bali. Fifty percent of my website views are from the Global Market!
- Screenwriting Contests are motivational. They’re a ticking clock with a Final Deadline! If you’re working on a Thriller and you see a contest just for Thrillers with a final deadline in two weeks, you will mark it on your calendar and finish that story!
- Screenwriting Contests help you define your voice and develop your brand. I had the chance to interview Angelo Pizzo (RUDY) for an article I was doing. Angelo writes Sports Movies. If a college is famous for a sport and has a ‘true story’ they want to produce, they contact him directly. But how do you choose your brand if you don’t know what genre is the best career platform for your talent? Write what inspires you, enter the story in a contest. You will begin to see a pattern emerge of what stories resonate with people, what gets positive feedback, and what wins laurels!
- Screenwriting Contests are socially active and support each other. The best way for a contest to advertise is through you! You become a conduit of energy that sparks imaginations and encourages others. If you announce you have entered or placed in a contest and post it on social media other writers and filmmakers will ‘like’ your post and share it. Your name gets out there. Doors begin to open. You connect with actors, producers, musicians, location scouts, cinematographers. You build your tribe!
- Screenwriting Contests are often part of Movie Festivals. Independent Film thrives in the Festival Circuit. They are usually part of a community that looks forward to attending the yearly event. They are social, as well as business events, traditionally hosted by Movie Stars. If your screenplay Wins or Places, people will talk about it. The Judges might select your script for a Table Read. Festival runners have contacted me about my story and invited me to participate in their festival. Sometimes they provide a passcode to bypass the entry fee! Your story gains traction in production circles. You begin to move off the bench and onto the playing field!
- Screenwriting Contests offer prizes. Contests can open doors for valuable benefits and sometimes offer prizes beyond the prestige and the Laurel, such as: promoting your logline to producers and filmmakers in their monthly mailer, website, and social media platforms. In addition, your script may be selected for a Podcast of a Table Read or chosen for a ‘Proof of Concept’ trailer.
- Screenwriting Contests can open doors. Filmmakers and Producers often sponsor Screenwriting Contests seeking specific ‘expanded’ Genres, meaning they may want an Action/Adventure that has ‘Underwater’ action, or perhaps they are only interested in LGBTQ stories. If social media announces you have such a story, they will contact you with a substantial discount coupon to enter their competition. As a result, your expenses begin to go down. In addition, you connect with the people you need to move forward into production.
- Screenwriting Contests build confidence! Confidence is key! Once you start getting positive feedback, confidence soars, the magic awakens! You write with authority without holding back, and your characters become truly unique, sharing your voice with the world.
Pamela PerryGoulardt is a produced screenwriter and head writer for FlyingCloudStudios.com
Calamity Jane: Queen of Spades
Logline: After Frontierswoman and Sharpshooter Martha Jane Cannary loses both parents on the trail west, she becomes a scout in the US Army, finds a new reputation as the legendary outlaw Calamity Jane, and falls in love with Wild Bill Hickock.