We actively push the Semifinalists, Finalists, Runners-Up and Winners for a full year with the intention of creating opportunities for the writers. We are a hands on competition because we feel it is important to continue supporting the top scripts beyond the cash and prizes.
We are proud to present the competition with Write Brothers, a company that not only provides the necessary tools for writing but is an advocate and true supporter of emerging writers.
Also, we are supported by the Writers Guild of America west and the Writers Guild of Canada.
Notification: August 15
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Why are there so many competitions out there, and are they worth
There are "so many competitions" for screenwriters out there for a myriad of reasons and each of those reasons affects whether they are worth entering. First, there are the top level screenwriting competitions that truly facilitate the screenwriters career with their prestige, prizes and respect garnered from winning. Second, there are those competitions that are a tool for a production company to find new material to produce. Third, there are those competitions that see the large number of screenwriters out there and say, hey, we can make some money off of these people. The latter, you obviously want to avoid. The scams tend to be fairly obvious with higher entry fees, less reputable people involved, or they are making huge promises that they can't keep.
What should someone look for when selecting a competition?
One of the most important things to look for in a competition is if it fits the goals you are out to achieve with your material. What do you want to get from the competition? Do you want to win a big cash prize? Do you want your material read by the people behind the competition? Do you want to be considered by the particular production company associated with the competition? Does the competition offer anything to the runners-up? Does a competition offer "everything under the sun" with a high price tag to match? Do you agree with the philosophy of the competition? Does the competition continue to work for the winners once the winners are announced? Or do they announce winners, give the winning scripts to their production companies (if they have any) and not do anything else after that? Most important thing, when selecting a competition to enter, is to do your homework. Don't be afraid to check out every aspect of the competition, from confirming its validity to seeing where the past winners have gone. Also, keep in mind with the internet growing at the pace is does, many competitions will state things and list companies that are supposedly associated with their competition. They know that there is no "competition scam police" and that nobody will be the wiser. These competitions prey on the novice writer.
What advice do you have for an aspiring screenwriter who wants to enter a competition?
First and foremost, make sure your script is ready. We say this over and over again, a "first draft", which is usually a first words on paper draft and not really a true first draft, should not be submitted. Finishing a screenplay is a great accomplishment and very exciting. The first thing a writer usually wants to do is send their masterpiece out. If possible, get feedback from peers, teachers and associates on your script first. Get notes and start looking for repeat issues, i.e., lost me in Act II, or Joe just doesn't seem sympathetic enough, etc. You won't necessarily take what everyone has to say and make those changes, but you will start seeing patterns. And then, you rewrite your script. And after you have rewritten some more, this will finally be your first draft. Then, and only then, I would suggest you submitting it to a screenwriting competition. Bottom line, the competition is fierce and you must put your best work out there.
What is Scriptapalooza? What makes Scriptapalooza different from other competitions?
Scriptapalooza is a unique entity among writing competitions. Started in 1998, it has proven to be one of the best new entries on the competition scene. Scriptapalooza's main objective is and always will be to reach the untapped well of genuine screenwriting talent that hasn't been able to get their "foot in the door." Whether it is due to lack of contacts or not being related to the "right people," and help them move to the next level: Being paid to be a writer! Talent is the seed to success, but it is only the beginning. The barriers around the industry are fierce and breaking them, unfortunately, takes more than talent. This is where Scriptapalooza is different from other competitions. Scriptapalooza doesn't just stop with some cash and a pat on the back. Scriptapalooza takes its latest crop of outstanding writers, totaling 13 a year, and treats them like beauty queens for their reign as Scriptapalooza's winners for the entire year. Their work is read by some of the top industry professionals in the biz, both production companies and literary representatives, as well as, they are hooked up with potential readings, talent, etc. The most valuable and often unattainable goal for the undiscovered writer is getting their script into the hands of someone who can actual do something with it.
Can you describe the exposure your past winners have received?
The first set of 13 winners were initially exposed to our 18 core group of production companies and literary representatives. From there, some of the writers had meetings and phone calls. In the first few months, we began receiving request after request from top production companies and studios to read the winners. The 1999 First Place Winner, Sean McElhiney, Soul to Keep, is currently working on a rewrite of the script for UTA, United Talent Agency, a powerhouse agency. The 1999 Second Place Winner, Andrea Bailey, Fal ling Over Venus, has been signed by Berg-Saccani Management and is currently meeting with Mary Stuart Masterson to direct. Andrea's script was chosen by Drama Garage for an "industry only" reading of her script. The evening resulted in a packed house. She is also currently working with Marc Platt Productions (American Pie, Josie and the Pussycats). Runner Up Schwinn Varsity by Richard Eschenroeder and Andrew G. Smith have been signed by Bender-Spink Management and is currently having meetings with potential directors and has garnered interest from Dreamworks to possibly option the script. These of course, are only the highlights. Anyone can check out the progress of all the winners and runners-up by visiting our website at www.scriptapalooza.com and checking out the "recent headlines". There we list which script was requested and where it was sent. The 2000 winners will be announced August 15 and they will be going out to 28 production companies/literary representatives as well as receiving cash awards, software and prizes.
How did you guys get started doing this?
The genesis for Scriptapalooza was fairly simple. Two of the partners are writers, Genevieve Cibor and Kelli Bennett, and several years ago, we became disheartened with the state of screenwriting competitions available. I was a producer at the time and realized how thirsty my production company/literary contacts were for great writers and material. Together, we decided to change the way competitions were ran and Scriptapalooza was born.
When does your next competition start?
The next competition will open again in September and will close April 15, 2001. Winners will be announced August 15, 2001.
An interview with Mark Andrushko regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Teddy Adams regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Mike B Jones regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Brien Kelly regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Heather Regnier regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Matt Billingsly regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Paul Chepikian regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Brian Price regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Patrick Andrew O'Connor regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Sean McElhiney regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.