There are hundreds of contests that are vying for your hard earned dollars. Marvin Acuna from BOSI lists seven tips to help you assess which ones will add value to your screenwriting aspirations:
- Since your primary objective should always be EXPOSURE, ensure that you have a clear understanding and accurate grasp of when and how the winners list is publicized. Ideally, the list is published in a reputable industry publication.
- Be certain that you are not paying simply to post your logline as an entrant. Only the winners list should be publicized, not all entrants.
- Ensure that the sponsors of the competition are legitimate entities. If no information is easily available about the sponsors, be cautious of submitting entry fees.
- Don’t bother with any competition that does not guarantee that a winner will be chosen and an official winners list published and publicized.
- Review guidelines to determine how work will be selected and, specifically, by whom. Keep in mind that your chances of winning may be reduced significantly if judges are allowed to vote for those writers they may know socially.
- Use the internet to review the list of previous winners. Do your own version of “where are they now?”. This may provide tremendous insights into the scope and reach of the competition.
- If a cash reward is offered, assess the ratio of the entry fee to the value of the top prize.
Winning screenplay competitions is a very positive boost to the ego, but in the end that takes second position to the primary purpose: the EXPOSURE you deserve for winning. If done right, the competition is judging you on your talent from a level playing field.