The basic fact about the television business is that in order to get into it you, the writer, must have at least 3 great spec episodes written for existing shows. These episodes are your calling card. They demonstrate that you have what it takes to write "on assignment." In other words, they show that your writing can meet the demands of a show's individual (we would never say "peculiar") style.
The Spec Scriptacular gives you a chance to show your stuff in 3 categories: Sitcoms, Action/Dramas, and Screenplay/MOW/Specials. Prizes are for each category plus an overall Grand Prize.
Notification: Within two months of deadline.
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Jennifer Carlevatti Aderhold's Oasis for the Soul has been named the Grand Prize Winner of the 18 Spec Scriptacular TV Writing Competition.
The results of the 14th Spec Scriptacular TV writing competition have been announced.
TVWriter.com has announced the finalists of the 14th Spec Scriptacular TV writing competition.
TVWriter.com has announced the semifinalists of 14th Spec Scriptacular TV writing competition.
TVWriter.com has announced the winners of the 13th SPEC SCRIPTACULAR TV Writing Comptition.
An interview with screenwriter Mark Birkelien regarding the Spec Scriptacular Writing Competition.Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?
A: It’s a spec script for Malcolm in the Middle entitled, CHRISTMAS LITTER BOX. Hal and the boys set up a Christmas garden and Grandma’s visiting cat proceeds to use it as a litter box. Malcolm and Dewey take whatever actions necessary to cure him. It’s based on a short story I wrote many years ago. And the short story is based on a true story. My younger brother and I had to “train” a cat in much the same way.Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?
A: The Spec Scriptacular contest has a very reputable name attached to it - Larry Brody - and that's the main reason I chose it. Funny thing is I almost didn't enter the contest. The entry deadline was right before Christmas and I felt guilty about throwing away forty bucks on a writing contest I had absolutely no chance of winning. I could have been using that money as Christmas money. At the last minute I decided, "What the hell?" and sent it in anyway. And like I told my young daughter, "We can always get a Christmas tree NEXT year, honey - and maybe even some presents, too."Q: Were you satisfied with the adminstration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?
A: Everything about the contest was great and all prizes were awarded as advertised. So I am now the proud owner of two copies of Final Draft, which is excellent screenwriting software. Plus, I'm listed on the tvwriter-dot-com web site as a Recommended Writer, which is very gratifying.Q: Were you given any feedback on your script? If so, did you find the feedback helpful?
A: There was an option to purchase feedback for $50, but I didn't request it. Why, you ask? Hey I felt bad enough spending $40. If I'd have spent $90 my daughter would have shoved a lump of coal in my shorts – while I was wearing them.Q: Has your success in this contest helped you market your script? Were you contacted by any agents, managers or producers?
A: I haven’t received any contact from agents, managers or producers, but I am willing to learn.Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?
A: Early last year, or maybe it was late 2003, I downloaded a free demo of Final Draft software. I used it to write the rough draft of the Malcolm script. The demo version won't allow you to save the file off to disk, so I typed the whole 25-page draft in one sitting, afraid that at any moment my computer would die and that I'd lose everything. Plus, I typed it with one hand while using my other to fend off my daughter's attempts to use the computer to chat with her friends. Try THAT one on for size.
I liked Final Draft so much that I purchased a copy about a month later. I rewrote the Malcolm script from the demo copy that I printed; saved it to disk and there it sat until I found out about Larry Brody’s contest. I did a load of rewrites and sent it in at the last minute. The Malcolm script is the first script I ever wrote. Spec Scriptacular is the first contest I ever entered.
And no, I'm not a spokesperson for Final Draft (but once again, I'm willing to learn).
A: No, I don’t live in Los Angeles, but for a time back in the mid-to-late 70s I lived just north of there in Eddie’s Airplane Patch in the Mojave Desert. I don’t have any plans to move, but I might stop out for a visit one of these days. To Eddie’s, not L.A.Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?
A: I have no illusions of breaking into "The Biz." I'm at an age where most people are either getting out of the business or are being tossed out. Can you say, “Superannuated”? I liken trying to break into TV or movie writing at my age to taking up the game of golf with the intention of making the PGA tour - it just ain't gonna happen. But if you like to play golf, then you should play golf. If you like to write, then write. If you like to train cats, then read my script.