this is just my opinion
, but i do think Nicholl prefers a 'type' of story. And when i say this, i in no way mean that these are not quality stories worth winning or placing.
non-specific location (ie small town vs multiple, big city)
character driven focus vs plot driven
internal struggle (journey) stronger than external (journey)
primary genres drama and comedy
here is a link to their judging criteria. https://www.oscars.org/nicholl/about
clearly, i do not have empirical knowledge. it's just what i believe after reviewing loglines.
there's no way to know what the overall submissions are, but i think anyone might reasonably assume that since it is the most prestigious amateur competition that everyone, regardless of genre, would enter.
then again, i didn't, so maybe there are others that feel as i do. don't know.
so, imo, if you write or have written a high concept, highly commercial, epic sci-fi/fantasy, or high budget plot driven script (yes, i know plot is driven by character), maybe
this is not the competition for you.
and, just because you don't win or place in the Nicholl does not mean you aren't an excellent writer or your story isn't amazing. it's still very subjective
what i think is interesting is writers submit the same script year after year. i understand if it's gone through an overhaul rewrite, maybe, but i read one person who said they sent in the same script twice and both times they were a semifinalist. i mean, if you're a semifinalist i'm pretty sure you get to keep the title forever, right? it's just a curious thing to me.
i'll bet there've been writers who placed then submitted the next year and didn't place at all, right? like, count your blessings-- i mean, it's that subjective.
or even a writer who entered one year didn't place and the next year did, right?
maybe i'd feel different if i was a semi and really wanted to get the win. but it's like, okay, you tried twice, move on and accept your place. they've already told you you were good.
maybe it's the fellowship they're after?