Thursday, March 06, 2008

And For My Next Trick...

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about where this year is going. I know, I know; we’re only two months and a few days into the year. But it will go quickly.

For the first time since its inception, the League has banded together as a group on the screenplay competition front. In the past, Onyx and DOA have attempted—with a moderate degree os success, by the way—the competition circuit. However, I’m both pleased and proud to say that virtually all of us have taken a shot at it this go around.

Much due to Onyx’s insistence, those of us who had not yet given it a shot took a chance this past week. Over half of us who are currently working on scripts submitted to the Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition by the regular March 5th deadline, opting to forego the bonus month to submit (for slightly more money) by April 15th. Beyond that, though, four or five out of the six of us (with number six not currently working in screenplays) are or are going to submit to the PAGE International Screenplay Competition.

Why two contests? Why now? Well, for one, two competitions gives us a better chance of placing. Beyond that, we followed Onyx’s logic. Scriptapalooza, a well known and respectable competition offers prizes to a handful of finalists. It is a big deal to place in that. PAGE, on the other hand, while also well known and great to place in, divvies up its contest into genres. As a group, we submitted to at least four different categories. If we each manage to place in the genre we’re competing in, we will emerge as quite the remarkable group. It’s basic logic, but it works. And as for the now: we’re ready, we have the drafts that are good to go, and the competitions are right for us. I was originally weary of entering two that run as simultaneously as these do, but that has since passed.

It’s great to finally have done this, to have taken the leap and tried my hand at competitions. On the other hand, I won’t hear from these regarding even the first round of eliminations until August. With PAGE, the finalists aren’t announced until October 1st. That’s a long ways away. I indicated at the start of the year that I had resolved to do everything I could in 2008 to get my work out there and seen by people who can get something done with it. Waiting to see what if anything happens between August and October seems to contradict that. Yes, it’s great to have submitted, but I have almost five whole months between now and August first, and I need to fill that time productively. What that means, I’m not entirely sure. Yes, more writing, obviously. But soon, I feel, I will need to work on query letters and other approaches. I can’t wait for results in the second half of 2008 before I get myself in gear. That would be a lot of wasted time.

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