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Natasha Guimond

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 12/17/18

By | Contests | No Comments

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon — Some with deadlines this week!

 


DECEMBER 21 — WESCREENPLAY FEATURE CONTEST – (free feedback with every entry) — Final Deadline — $85


DECEMBER 30 — SCREENCRAFT FAMILY CONTEST — Final Deadline — $69



DECEMBER 31
 — SCRIPT PIPELINE SCREENWRITING COMPETITION & SCRIPT PIPELINE TV WRITING CONTEST Pre-Register Deadline — $35 – $50 and $40 – $50.


DECEMBER 31 — NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL SCREENPLAY COMPETITION — Regular Deadline — $30 – $50


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Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 12/11/18

By | Contests | No Comments

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon — Some with deadlines this week!

 


DECEMBER 15 & 16 — SCREENCRAFT CINEMATIC BOOK CONTEST & SHORT STORY CONTEST — Final Deadline — $79 & $59


DECEMBER 15 — ROAD TO NEW REPUBLIC FEATURE COMPETITION — Regular Deadline — $60



DECEMBER 15
 — SCRIPT PIPELINE GREAT IDEA CONTEST Regular Deadline — $35



DECEMBER 15 — SUN VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL
 — Early Deadline — $50


DECEMBER 21 — WESCREENPLAY FEATURE CONTEST – (free feedback with every entry) — Final Deadline — $85


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Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 12/3/18

By | Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon — Some with deadlines this week!


DECEMBER 5 — BARNSTORM FEST — Last Minute Deadline — $65 – $75


DECEMBER 15 — ROAD TO NEW REPUBLIC FEATURE COMPETITION — Regular Deadline — $60


DECEMBER 15 — SCREENCRAFT CINEMATIC BOOK CONTEST — Final Deadline — $79



DECEMBER 15
 — SCRIPT PIPELINE GREAT IDEA CONTEST Regular Deadline — $35



DECEMBER 15 — SUN VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL
 — Early Deadline — $50


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Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 11/13/18

By | Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon — Some with deadlines this week!


NOVEMBER 15 — ROAD TO NEW REPUBLIC FEATURE COMPETITION — Early Deadline — $45


NOVEMBER 15 — ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL SCREENPLAY COMPETITION — Extended Deadline — $70 – $90


NOVEMBER 16 — FiLMLaB.TV — Final Deadline — $30 – $40


NOVEMBER 23 — THE FILM EMPIRE’S DIVERSITY MENTORSHIP FOR SCREENWRITERS Black Friday Deadline — $15



NOVEMBER 30 — LAUNCH PAD FEATURE COMPETITION
 — Final Deadline — $95


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 11/5/18

By | Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon — Some with deadlines this week!


NOVEMBER 7 — FRESH VOICES — Final Deadline — $60 – $70


NOVEMBER 7 — SCREENCRAFT CINEMATIC SHORT STORY CONTEST Early Deadline — $39


NOVEMBER 11 — STORYPROS INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY CONTEST — Extended Deadline — $60

 


NOVEMBER 15 — ROAD TO NEW REPUBLIC FEATURE COMPETITION — Early Deadline — $45


NOVEMBER 15 — ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL SCREENPLAY COMPETITION — Extended Deadline — $70 – $90


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Coverfly Inside Look: Vail Film Festival Screenplay Competition

By | Contests, Inside Look, Interview

The Vail Film Festival Screenplay Competition is a vehicle for aspiring screenwriters to get their script read by established film producers, managers, and agents who are actively working at the top level of the film industry. We recently had the opportunity to ask Sean Cross and Megen Musegades, Directors of the Vail Screenplay Contest, a few questions. See their answers below.

What’s the mission of the Vail Screenplay Contest?

The Vail Screenplay Competition was created by the founders of the Vail Film Festival to help give screenwriters more opportunities, and an additional path, to access the film industry. The Vail Film Festival includes Q&A’s with filmmakers and screenwriters, and one of the most common questions is “How do you get someone in the industry to read your screenplay?” We realized that although there are many screenplay contests out there, we could be another resource, another avenue, for aspiring screenwriters, given the access we have to Hollywood producers, directors, and agents.

What’s one unique piece of advice you’d give to writers who enter your contest?

Make sure that your script has your specific voice, whether it’s through your lead characters, your story, the setting, etc. If you create something original to you, it will resonate with our readers.

What’s the best thing writers can do if they place in, but don’t win the contest?

For the writers who place but don’t win, use that as a calling card to get in front of agents and producers. Contests are a great way to get noticed, but whether you win or place, you should always be hustling, networking, and sending your work out. If you have a win or you placed in a contest, that will help convince a decision maker to read your work.

When a writer wins, what can they expect from you and your contest? And what can writers do to be best prepared for capitalizing on a win?

The winning writers will receive a cash prize ($10K for the feature screenplay winner, and $1500 for the short screenplay winner). The winners will also have their script sent to top producers and agents, and receive recognition in a national press release. In order to fully capitalize on the win, you should be prepared to take meetings and have a strong pitch ready. Additionally, you should have at least one other screenplay or project that you can pitch as your screenplay might be a great writing sample but not the right fit for every producer.

Is there any special elements of the script your readers are looking for that you can share?

Our readers are looking first and foremost for compelling stories that engage the reader from the outset, and keep the reader interested throughout. Screenplays can be in any genre but the overall story must be engaging, the characters well developed, and each character’s dialogue must be believable and true to their character.

What does your reading process look like and who are your readers?

The screenplays are evaluated by several readers and rated on a 10 point scale. The ratings include overall structure, dialogue, pacing, character development, is there a consistent tone, and a compelling, engaging story. The top rated screenplays make it to the next round where the process begins again. Our readers are film industry professionals and veteran screenwriters.

Why is your contest valuable to writers?

The Vail Screenplay Contest is part of the Vail Film Festival and is a well-recognized contest, known to leading film producers, production companies, and agents. Whether you win or place, the contest will give you the opportunity to use that as a calling card when sending your script out. If you win, your screenplay will be recommended to Hollywood decision-makers.

Do you think entering contests is a good path for all aspiring writers?

Screenplay contests are a valuable path for many writers, giving them access that they otherwise wouldn’t get. In addition to contests, screenwriters should network as much as possible, attend film festivals and industry events, and send their screenplays to independent producers. There is no one path to success as a screenwriter, and the more opportunities you create for yourself the better.


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Discovered by Coverfly: Interview with Ellen Winburn

By | Interview, Success Stories

Ellen Winburn recently signed her first shopping agreement with HG5 Entertainment for her feature The Least of These through an introduction made by Coverfly. Scripts like The Least of These are hosted for free on Coverfly and not only live there for the duration of the contest in which they are entered, but as long as writers choose to make their projects public, industry professionals can discover them.

When searching for a script that met what HG5 Entertainment was looking for, the Coverfly team came across The Least of These, which had placed as a semifinalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Contest. Inspired by the true experiences of her son, The Least of These follows a teenager with cerebral palsy who dreams of having a girlfriend and forms an unlikely friendship with a troubled girl with a difficult home life.

To learn more about Ellen and see what other projects she has available, visit her Coverfly writer profile here.

1. Where are you from and how did you get into writing? 

I was born in the Nascar capital of Darlington SC and grew up listening to the races from my backyard. There were no children my age near me, so I entertained myself with stories. Once I realized I could write those stories down and that others liked them, I was hooked. I’ve performed on stage and directed. But real life and the birth of a special needs child meant all of that went on a back burner. Still, I entertained my son and husband with stories all the time. Then one day my husband gave me scriptwriting software and said: “I don’t want to hear it, I want to read it.”  

2. How did your personal experiences shape the story of The Least of Us These?

My son, Duncan, is very bright but his physical disability has kept him at a place where he sees the world, but doesn’t get to interact with it very often. This created such a unique perspective that I knew I wanted to write something that would capture his personality. I watched him learn about human trafficking, the abuses of children in foster care, suicide, and his hurt after he tried to befriend a girl who was experiencing challenges and her rejection of him. Very quickly, he went from shy and timid to stepping up and leading missions and speaking out in public venues. My reactions were typical, his were not. He saw hope and could not understand why someone wasn’t doing something about all these things. I explained that many people are trying to help and his answer:  then why isn’t it fixed yet? In the midst of all of this, The Least of These was born.  

3. What inspired you to start submitting to screenwriting contests?

My family and friends were tired of me asking them to read my stuff.  Of course, in those early stages, the writing wasn’t very good. Prior to screenwriting, I had written stories and plays, but the screen is totally different. My husband found a screenwriting contest online and paid for me to submit and get feedback.  It was not good, not at all, but I was having too much fun to stop. No more friend abuse!

4. How have you found screenwriting contests to be beneficial to you?

I like to write, and I want someone to read my work. Contests allow that. ALL feedback is useful, and I consider every change very carefully and use if it makes sense. Hearing someone else’s perspective, even if I don’t agree, helps make the story stronger. Of course, getting a good score on Coverfly and getting some little trophies under the title is just so cool.

5. How did you come across Coverfly and how has it helped you?

Actually, I was submitting The Least of These to the 2017 ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Contest and at that point, the website asked me if I wanted to join Coverfly. I’ve registered with a couple of others, and nothing came of it. But Coverfly seemed so straightforward, clear, uncluttered, I decided to do it. Coverfly quickly became my go-to first website because it is so easy and fast to use. And I must not be alone since a producer was able to find my script!

6. What is the next step for your project and your career as a writer? What are you looking forward to the most?

While I’m thrilled such a personal story of mine is now in a shopping agreement, that process can take a really long time. There are so many other stories to tell! I have a monthly budget for script submissions (must feed my family first!) and I use every penny. We’ve also adopted a boy who has a very vivid imagination and he is helping me with an urban fantasy – a genre I’ve always wanted to play in! I’m also looking for filmmakers that like doing their own thing, that have an idea for a film, but haven’t written it. My best stories are the ones that were inspired by others. I’d like to help that filmmaker bring their idea to life.  

7. Any words of wisdom or inspiration for other aspiring writers, particularly those outside of Southern California?

There was a time when the people making the movies were in Southern California, so it made sense to write there. Now some of the best film and TV is coming from other places, like Atlanta and Charlotte. Our world is becoming more global daily, and I don’t see being on the other coast as a roadblock.  

And listen, if you want to take screenwriting classes, take them.  If you want to read, watch films, do it.  All of those things are great. But the number one most important thing you must do if you want to be a better writer is WRITE. Pay attention to the world around you then sit your butt down and write. Many things can help you get better, but fingers flying over a keyboard as your mind creates a world and you make new best friends there cannot be replaced. When time is limited, and it always is, choose to write.


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Coverfly Inside Look: Scriptapalooza

By | Contests, Inside Look, Interview

Founded in 1998, the Scriptapalooza screenwriting competition has become one of the most relevant screenwriting competitions in the industry. In the last 20 years, the company has developed several departments to nurture talent and create career opportunities. They also have a TV writing competition, coverage service and a fellowship. They believe that storytellers come from all over the world and from all walks of life, because of the simple fact that everyone has a story. Scriptapalooza has maintained its goal of helping as many writers as possible each year. This includes scripts being optioned and sold, writers acquiring literary representation and mentorship.

We had the opportunity to ask Mark Andrushko, Founder and President of Scriptapalooza, a few questions. His answers are below.

What’s the mission of Scriptapalooza?

Our mission every day is to get your script into the hands of people that can either buy it, option it, or make the movie. That being said, our biggest priority is to always have the best producers reading all the screenplays, because that’s the most important thing. That’s what a screenplay competition should be doing. We have over 125 producers involved with reading all the entries that are entered.

What’s one unique piece of advice you’d give to writers who enter your contest?

Don’t rush it.  Make sure you submit the best script you can. Don’t worry, we’ll be here next year.

What’s the best thing writers can do if they place in, but don’t win the contest?

Writers should always be writing and have other material ready. Also, they should market themselves, as in contacting local papers and mentioning that they won Scriptapalooza. Just getting the word out there is important.

When a writer wins, what can they expect from you and your contest? And what can writers do to be best prepared for capitalizing on a win?

If the writer gets to be a Semifinalist or higher, they will be promoted for an entire year by Scriptaplaooza. What that means is we will pitch/call producers on their behalf about their script. No other competition in the world does that.

Are there any special elements of the script your readers are looking for that you can share?

Well, we don’t believe in readers because readers can’t do anything with your script. All the reading at Scriptapalooza is done by producers, managers and agents. We go right to the source, that being a producer, manager or agent, these are the people that can set-up a meeting, option your script, take it to the studio or outright buy it.

Why is your contest valuable to writers?

When we started in 1998, there were a few competitions that mattered and about 50 that didn’t. Now, they are still a few that matter and hundreds that don’t. I feel it’s difficult for new writers to navigate through these competitions and pick the right ones to submit to. Writers are constantly inundated with false and misleading ads, quotes and websites that give the illusion that these new competitions have connections to the industry. Well, most don’t. And after doing this for 20 years, we can say that. The value in submitting to Scriptapalooza is that you have 20 years of experience, connections and relationships that we have built in order to get you through the door.

Do you think entering contests is a good path for all aspiring writers?

Absolutely. All you have to do is visit our website and click on HEADLINES, you will see 20 years of writers getting jobs, meetings, agents, their script optioned or even sold.


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Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 10/22/18

By | Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon — Some with deadlines this week!


OCTOBER 25 — LAUNCH PAD FEATURE COMPETITION — Late Deadline — $85



OCTOBER 25
 — SCREENCRAFT ACTION & THRILLER CONTEST Final Deadline — $69


OCTOBER 25 — ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL SCREENPLAY COMPETITION — Late Deadline — $50 – $65


OCTOBER 26 — FEATURE — Regular Deadline — $65


OCTOBER 29 — CINESTORY TV/DIGITAL RETREAT — Extended Deadline — $75


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Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 10/15/18

By | Contests

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon — Some with deadlines this week!



OCTOBER 15 — DIVERSE VOICES
 — Final Deadline — $55


OCTOBER 15 — SCRIPT PIPELINE GREAT IDEA CONTEST — Early Deadline — $30


OCTOBER 25 — LAUNCH PAD FEATURE COMPETITION — Late Deadline — $85



OCTOBER 25
 — SCREENCRAFT ACTION & THRILLER CONTEST Final Deadline — $69


OCTOBER 25 — ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL SCREENPLAY COMPETITION — Late Deadline — $50 – $65


 

For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.