My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

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  • My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

    As my end-of-the-year project, I updated my website and added this list of almost 50 of what I think are the best competitive screenwriting opportunities.

    https://lauridonahue.com/resources/a...-and-contests/

    Let me know what you think! Any I should add or delete?
    "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

    Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

  • #2
    Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

    Thanks for this!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

      This actually helped remind me that Imagine Impact is coming up soon. Thanks for that!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

        I'm surprised that PAGE didn't make the list.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

          Originally posted by Nostalgialover View Post
          I'm surprised that PAGE didn't make the list.
          Page is one of several that I'm on the fence about including.

          They're a legit contest, like hundreds of others, but how much do they really help people?

          I won Silver in action-adventure a few years ago. The check cleared, but I didn't get a single read request, let alone anything more. If my experience is typical, then that's not the kind of contest I consider worthwhile.

          I think pretty much all fellowships and labs are worthwhile, because at least you meet people and get help with your work.

          But Austin's the only pure contest that I'm including at the moment, because I think all of its finalists get some serious attention.

          I'd be interested to hear what others think.
          "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

          Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

            interesting list. thanks for sharing, Lauri.
            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

              Originally posted by LauriD View Post
              Page is one of several that I'm on the fence about including.

              They're a legit contest, like hundreds of others, but how much do they really help people?

              I won Silver in action-adventure a few years ago. The check cleared, but I didn't get a single read request, let alone anything more. If my experience is typical, then that's not the kind of contest I consider worthwhile.

              You wrote a wonderful screenplay, Lauri, and I'm very surprised and sorry to hear that you didn't get any read requests off your PAGE win! That's pretty unusual -- though it does sometimes happen. Post-contest contacts and read requests are based on whether or not one of the Judges who read your script feels your project would be right for their prodco/agency/management firm, and whether or not your logline appeals to the producers and reps to whom we send our winners lists. So, although it's uncommon, there are sometimes situations where a winning script just doesn't generate interest based on the logline.

              However, as far as how many writers PAGE has helped, you have only to look at all the Success Stories posted on our website, Facebook page and Twitter to see the many dozens of writers have been signed by agents and managers, landed paid writing assignments and TV gigs, and had their scripts optioned and produced as a direct result of their PAGE win. The list is enormous.

              But of course that doesn't happen for everyone, and I'm very sorry that it didn't happen for you!

              Best regards,
              Jen

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                It very well could be that my own experience was atypical. That's why I'm asking for input on the list.

                As I said, I'm on the fence about adding additional contests like Page. Clearly, some (including Page) have helped people.

                But I'm having a hard time deciding where to draw the line on the hundreds of contests out there, many of which also say they've helped launch careers.

                On Scriptnotes, John August and Craig Mazin have suggested that only the Nicholl and Austin are worthwhile among contests (not counting labs, etc.).

                I don't want to include ALL contests, but I may want to add SOME more contests.

                For example, Coverfly has its own calendar that's longer than mine:

                https://i2drx21yqgq2odk6e1pvzq2c-wpe...s-and-Labs.pdf

                They have their own criteria for inclusion:

                https://www.coverfly.com/coverfly-pa...test-criteria/

                What do others think? Where would YOU draw the line?
                Last edited by LauriD; 01-06-2019, 12:56 AM.
                "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

                Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                  Originally posted by PAGE Awards View Post
                  You wrote a wonderful screenplay, Lauri, and I'm very surprised and sorry to hear that you didn't get any read requests off your PAGE win! That's pretty unusual -- though it does sometimes happen.
                  BTW, in addition to winning Silver with one script, I also made the finals (top 10) with another. Again, no read requests.

                  In comparison, each of the times I've made the quarterfinals or semis of the Nicholl, I've gotten read requests.

                  Again, I'm not saying that Page isn't legit and that it hasn't helped some people. I certainly got more money out of it than I put into it. But for me, personally, it didn't advance the ball.

                  I'd like to hear from others here who advanced in or won Page (or other contests not on my list).
                  "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

                  Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                    Originally posted by LauriD View Post
                    Where would YOU draw the line?
                    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/71c91b42-4440-4d05-8bf2-cfb256d5873d
                    "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                      As for contests, it seems to me that winning or placing in any contest is its own reward, a bullet on the old curriculum vitae, or “a feather in one’s cap,” as the saying goes.

                      There seems to me to be no guarantees of any interest from representatives of any stripe from a win in any contest. The screenplays that win or place may be good enough, good, or even great, but perhaps there may be hidden clues in correspondence with the writers — written, virtual, or face-to-face — that bespeaks inflexible contention or a lack of chemistry between the representatives and the writers.

                      Furthermore, despite the winning entries’ ability to remain afloat and on top of the turgid, turbulent river of screenplays flowing under the bridge where contest judges randomly scoop them up with a fish net as a prize-winning catch, no one may be interested in the subject matter of the screenplays, so much so that they would be unwilling to represent the scripts or the writers.

                      Are the winners of contests the best screenplays that were entered? Probably not, something that’s been proven time and again with non-winning contest entries being picked up and produced as award-winning films. As ever, it’s a matter of subjective opinion as to what’s good and what isn’t good, just as it’s a matter of opinion among the agents, managers, and producers as to what they will and won’t, what they do and don’t, wish to represent. None of them are going to guarantee that they’ll represent whoever wins or places in a contest, so there you are.

                      Here are some articles of interest on this subject:

                      Reader Question: Why are so few script contest winners made into movies? — In this case, the fellow posing the question — not the author of the article — is not that great of a writer or else he wouldn’t place a question mark at the end of statements as he does twice in his complete query (see article). That in itself is a clue as to the level of the writer and the quality of his or her writing, and that is something often overlooked by contests in favor of story, but something that I believe would (and probably does) make a big difference to those choosing writers at the professional level.

                      Confessions of a Screenwriting Contest Judge: The Difference Between Semifinalists & Winners (by the way, this one is written by a Page Contest judge)

                      If I had a Nicholl — an article written nine years ago about the Nicholl contest and some of its statistics, but interesting and informative nonetheless.
                      Last edited by TigerFang; 01-07-2019, 08:08 PM.
                      "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                        Originally posted by TigerFang View Post
                        Here are some articles of interest on this subject:

                        Reader Question: Why are so few script contest winners made into movies? - In this case, the fellow posing the question - not the author of the article - is not that great of a writer or else he wouldn't place a question mark at the end of statements as he does twice in his complete query (see article). That in itself is a clue as to the level of the writer and the quality of his or her writing, and that is something often overlooked by contests in favor of story, but something that I believe would (and probably does) make a big difference to those choosing writers at the professional level.

                        Confessions of a Screenwriting Contest Judge: The Difference Between Semifinalists & Winners (by the way, this one is written by a Page Contest judge)

                        If I had a Nicholl - an article written nine years ago about the Nicholl contest and some of its statistics, but interesting and informative nonetheless.
                        Good resources -- thanks! I may add some more links like these to the intro to the list.
                        "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

                        Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                          My take away from reading this is that the only contests worth entering are Nicholl and Austin. Am I incorrect in thinking this?

                          Also what a shame the submission period is around the same time for both. Just finished my script, and I need to wait another 8 months just to submit ...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                            Originally posted by Merrick View Post
                            My take away from reading this is that the only contests worth entering are Nicholl and Austin. Am I incorrect in thinking this?

                            Also what a shame the submission period is around the same time for both. Just finished my script, and I need to wait another 8 months just to submit ...
                            hey Merrick, take a look at these, it lists the biggest contests +5000 entrants and smaller ones that receive less than 5,000 entrants. you can do a bit of research.

                            you could hashtag any of them on twitter to check out the feedback. there are other places on the internet that can provide info, too. the two most prestigious are the Nicholl and Austin, imo.

                            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My list of the "best" screenwriting fellowships, labs, contests, etc.

                              Hey Lisa, was I missing a link there?

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