Thursday, February 11, 2010


My designer created a tall banner ad to run at Withoutabox, so I figured I would show it off here.

"Pretty cool, huh?"

Also, I wanted to tell you about the advantages of entering the Champion Screenwriting Competition ASAP, i.e., by the Early Bird Deadline, March 26.

I have heard people give the advice that it's better to enter early because readers are less tired or rushed. I think this is nonsense. Readers are professionals and they choose how much they want to read.

However, from a purely math standpoint (check out my blog about the left-brained reasons to enter contests), the $5, $10 or $15 you save has a huge impact on your budget and your expected value from a contest.  Expected value?  Jim, is this a screenwriting blog or a stats class?  Okay, read the blog link if you want more.  But, remember, if you enter 20 contests this year and only enter during the periods with the lowest entry fee, you would save between $100 and $300.

If you are using our coverage service, entering early can allow you more time (several months) to rewrite and resubmit. It's no secret that reading scripts is a subjective process. So for your $40 coverage fee, you may or may not be given the holy grail of screenwriting insight. However, you will give yourself a better understanding of how your script can advance to the quarterfinalist round. And remember, based on last year's numbers 20% of quarterfinalists make the top 20 AND each of those writers receives about $1,000 in prizes. So, the coverage service is far more valuable than the notes themselves.

Another advantage to entering early is that I get to give my readers more work (spread out over the entire run of the contest). It's a good deal for me, because I keep my best readers happy. Is it a good deal for you? Not necessarily. But it's a good deal. It's a good deal for me. For me. Did I mention me?

Back to you.

Several of the years when I ran the Expo Competition, I would find extra last-minute prizes to add: Second place in shorts, a runner-up, travel per diem for an additional writer. And last year, I opened up the Champion Lab to more than 20 writers. We took a big risk this year jacking up the Grand Prize to 10k while other contests are lowering their cash outlay. As soon as I know I am not going to end up on the streets of Hollywood Boulevard (mmm, Kung Pao Kitty) because the prizes the contest promises, I start getting generous and increasing the prize pool. For instance, if we get 1400 features, I will double the cash portion of 2nd and 3rd place and add a second Champion Lab. And I will also... oh, wait, why ruin the fun?

Anyway, I was just looking for a reason to stay in touch and show off the cool banner. I look forward to the ever-growing list of quarterfinalist titles and being curious about which one will win. I hope we get to read your script soon.  And we are working hard to make this year's contest a cool experience for many of our entrants.

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