Someone on Twitter asked me about Screenwriting contests so I thought I would make a blog about what I wrote on answered with. In case you’re curious, I am a Gold Member of FilmFreeway, a platform of film and writing contests. I find it really useful. You don’t have to be a Gold member in order to use it either but if you enter enough competitions regularly then it may be beneficial to do so. There, you create a Profile for yourself, including a file for each of your scripts/projects. Not only can Film industries view your scripts this way, they can also learn about you as a writer as well as view any photos and awards you’ve won.
For instance, people can see that Summons has placed Finalist four times and Semi Finalist once and for which competitions. Which comes in handy when you enter major competitions or fellowships, like what I’m doing now.
I normally don’t enter contests without reviews or new ones unless they have reputable judges on their website (which is on the contest’s page via FilmFreeway). There are, of course, other contests that aren’t on FilmFreeway, and you can do a simple Google search for those. There’s also other platforms like Stage 32, Coverfly and Withoutabox.
For those not on FilmFreeway, I do a little research for reviews. You can find whether or not it’s a good one to enter pretty quickly. People will tell you if it’s a scam after your money, or if they really are looking to find and promote new writers and material. The contests that come with notes are nice, if you are looking for editing advice too. 😊 They may look expensive but I’ve found that editing notes alone are expensive, but if you’re getting a contest entry with the notes, even better. Finish Line Script Competition is a really great one. They give you 6 pages of notes in a 7 day turn around time and you have the opportunity to revise and re-enter your revised draft back into the competition AND they give you another opportunity to get ANOTHER set of notes before the final deadline. Their notes are really great. I’ve used them twice for two of my scripts already.
As a last note, if you’re using a new script, I recommend only entering one contest, especially with notes offered, to start. See how it goes and then, if you place at all, you can try for more. Promote them as much as you can, yourself and the festival/competition you’re entering, during the whole process. The idea is to network, and that includes the judges and industry/sponsors behind the event.
Hope this helps and good luck!