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.
Coverfly: What’s the mission of Scriptapalooza?
Mark Andrushko: 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.
CF: What’s one unique piece of advice you’d give to writers who enter your contest?
MA: Don’t rush it. Make sure you submit the best script you can. Don’t worry, we’ll be here next year.
CF: What’s the best thing writers can do if they place in, but don’t win the contest?
MA: 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.
CF: 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?
MA: 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.
CF: Are there any special elements of the script your readers are looking for that you can share?
MA: 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.
CF: Why is your contest valuable to writers?
MA: 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.
CF: Do you think entering contests is a good path for all aspiring writers?
MA: 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.