As a young screenwriter, you’re excited to submit your new script to upcoming screenwriting competitions but don’t get carried away with that enthusiasm. These competitions are important tools you can use to your advantage. Today, the film industry benefits greatly from screenplay competitions because they keep a lookout on new rising talents. For the industry insider, screenwriting contests are basically auditions where they can look through scripts, evaluate good submissions, and pick the ones they find most promising. That sumbission could be yours.
To avoid making any mistakes and risking your chances at these contests, here are seven things you should always remember before submitting your script.
Follow The Contest Rules In Screenwriting Competitions
This is sounds obvious but don’t underestimate the importance of reading the contest rules. Skimming through the requirements can disqualify you because you missed one of the eligibility criteria. Read all the terms and conditions properly or your submission will be rejected before ever getting read. Don’t risk it. Make sure your script abides by all the regulations, including what you should include on your title page and your total page count. Don’t mess the genre either, make sure you submit your script in the correct category.
Don’t try to outsmart the screenplay competition organizers. Bending the rules is not an option. Every submission needs to meet the requirements, and yours is no exception. The rules and regulations are enforced to maintain equal and fair treatment for all competing screenwriters. Cut out those extra couple of pages and follow the contest rules like everyone else.
Don’t Delegate The Writing Process
An appealing feature of the best screenwriting contests is the extensive feedback you get on your script. It’s a great way to find out what professional script readers think of your script and what notes they have to make it better. But that’s not the point of submitting your script and you should definitely not use it as a step in your writing process. You’re the screenwriter so don’t delegate that to the script readers. They shouldn’t write the script for you. Their feedback can only improve what’s already there, but if you submit a measly first draft, hoping they will polish it for you, you’re not on the right track.
Yes, the feedback is valuable. No, don’t misuse it as a shortcut.
Final Drafts Only
This is another no-brainer, but many screenwriters miss it. Submitting your script to some of the best screenwriting contests out there is pointless if your script is not ready. How do you know when your script is ready? When it is complete, that means no first drafts. First drafts may feel finished because you spent ages writing them but the process of writing a script does not end with the words “THE END