Winning The Big Contests

Max Timm • June 2, 2015

Learn the writing strategies to get your script ready to win the big contests, and learn how to use these contest wins to advance your writing career. Screenwriter and script consultant, Mark Stasenko, will enlighten us on the ins and outs of the screenwriting contest circuit.

Mark J. Stasenko Jr. is a screenwriter and script consultant. He has recently won the Grand Prize in the Francis Ford Coppola American Zoetrope Contest, the ScreenCraft Fellowship, and the Nevada State Film Office Screenwriting Competition. 

Mark will discuss on the call the importance of contest wins and how to obtain them. We'll start by discussing how to stand out against the thousands of other scripts that enter the contests. Most of the major contests award Grand Prizes to less than the top 1% of writers, and so there are some important things to consider to make sure that your script doesn't get lost among the pile.

We will also talk about elements to consider when choosing a contest to enter. Unless money is no object or issue, you won't be able to enter every screenwriting contest available. We will talk about the various considerations at different parts of your writing career so that you better understand what the best contests are for you.

While winning a competition like the Nicholl Fellowship is pretty much a guarantee to the start of a career as a writer, there are plenty of other big contests that will still require effort on your end even after the win. With the right strategy, you can turn contest wins or even finalist placements into reads from top agents and managers. There is more than one big writer today who didn't win Nicholl, but started his or her career with a contest success.