Worth Mentioning In Your Query?

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  • Worth Mentioning In Your Query?

    Guys:

    I managed to make it as far as the top 20 in Screen Craft's Action/Thriller contest.

    I'd like an opinion if this is worth mentioning in my queries. Does it really make a difference if I don't include it?

    I'm confident in my work but I don't know if "being in the top 20" constitutes as something to be impressed about on the part of the prod co, manage or agent.

    Any thoughts?

    Rich
    sigpicWriting is re-writing

  • #2
    Re: Worth Mentioning In Your Query?

    First, congrats on the placement. But in IMHO, mentioning this one in a query is not worth it.

    Unless it's one of the major contests such as Nichol or Page where each has about five to six thousand entries, being a semi-finalist in those is a huge accomplishment. Your script is better than essentially, five thousand others ones.

    But in a smaller contest, not a big deal.

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    • #3
      Re: Worth Mentioning In Your Query?

      What have you got to lose? I sincerely doubt they'll be more likely to ignore your query if you mention it, as opposed to not mentioning any contest placements at all. At worst, they'll see no value in it and then it will be the same as saying nothing.

      Regarding the contest itself, my impression from past queries is that a lot of producers have little idea what contests are out there and which are the more highly regarded ones (except for maybe they know about Nicholl). A high placement (certainly a win, but maybe even a top 10) can definitely catch their eye even if it's a somewhat obscure contest.

      I'm not sure a top 20 in a not-very-well-known contest can be of much help, however. One thing I do when I'm querying with a script that doesn't yet have a high placement, is that I mention awards that I have gotten for other scripts. I mean, make it about you instead of the script. "My screenplays have won many awards, including first place at so-and-so contest, etc." That often gets people responding and requesting the script. This assumes you have some other credits to brag about. If not, I would still go with the top 20 placement and hope for the best. Good luck!

      My website:www.marjorykaptanoglu.com

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      • #4
        Re: Worth Mentioning In Your Query?

        Originally posted by pickerman123 View Post
        I'd like an opinion if this is worth mentioning in my queries. Does it really make a difference if I don't include it?

        I'm confident in my work but I don't know if "being in the top 20" constitutes as something to be impressed about on the part of the prod co, manage or agent.
        Not for me. In fact, unless it's a major comp, name dropping a contest is a weak move IMO.
        Kinda like being voted 17th Most Eligible Bachelor in Swampville, Tennessee (pop: 890).
        Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 02-27-2014, 10:05 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Worth Mentioning In Your Query?

          If the top 20 means that you are a finalist, then absolutely yes I would include that in a query. I never understood the notion that you wouldn't include smaller contests in query letters (ESPECIALLY A FINALIST!). Of course, if you have larger contests wins or placings, those should trump the smaller contests, but if you don't have those, then why would you just leave it blank? These companies receive thousands of query letters a week, many of them from poor and inexperienced writers, they look for any reason to dismiss a query and move onto the next one. Being a finalist in ANY contest proves that you are, at the very least, a halfway competent writer and your script won't be turned in written in Crayola.

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          • #6
            Re: Worth Mentioning In Your Query?

            I agree with Margie/Martin. Have nothing to lose if you mention it with brevity. Certainly won't be dispositive in getting a read by any stretch, but I figure sure can't hurt.

            And, congrats!
            " Don't really like writing. But I do like having written." Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad.

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