Screenwriting Contests – updated April 2014

once upon a timeWriters’ Couch (Cascade Pictures) – Deadline: ongoing – Screenplay 80-140pp. UK residents and unrepresented writers only.

Coming Up 2014 (Channel4 & Touchpaper Television) – Deadline: 3 April 2014.

Slamdance Writing Competition -  Deadline: 8 April 2014 (early) / 10 June 2014 (regular) / 22 July 2014 (late) / 29 July 2014 (WAB extended) - TV pilots up to 80pp, feature screenplays 90-150pp.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting:  Deadline: 10 April 2014 (regular) / 1 May 2014 (late). Screenplays 90-120pp.

Nick Darke Award - Deadline: 14 April 2014. Submit 750 word pitch for film, radio or stage play idea plus 20pp writing sample.

Scriptapalooza -  Deadline: 14 April 2014 (late) / 21 April 2014 (extended) – Screenplays 80-140pp.

The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards - Deadline: 15 April 2014 (last minute) – Short scripts up to 40pp, feature screenplays 80-120pp, TV drama pilots 50-70pp, TV comedy pilots 25-45pp.

Screamcraft Horror Script Contest - Deadline: 15 April 2014 (early) / 1 June 2014 (final) – Feature screenplays up to 140pp in Horror genre.

Big Bear Screenwriting Competition - Deadline:  20 April (WAB extended) -Screenplays 90-130pp.

Screenwriting Goldmine Competition  - Deadline: 24 April 2014 (late) / 8 May 2014 (extended) – Film & TV scripts 45-120pp.

Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab - Deadline: 28 April 2014. Open to screenwriters, producers & directors. Feature films only. Lab takes place June 2014.

Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition - Deadline: 30 April 2014- Feature scripts 90-120pp, teleplays (original pilot or spec of existing show) 45-70pp, sitcom scripts 22-40pp.

Moondance Film Festival Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 30 April 2014 (regular) / 31 May 2014 (late) / 31 June 2014 (extended). Feature screenplays, tv script 30′, tv script 60′.

Big Break Screenwriting Contest- Deadline: 30 April 2014 (early) / 15 July 2014 (regular) / 31 July 2014 (final).  Teleplays 25-70pp / Screenplays 80-120pp.

Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 30 April 2014 (extended). Turn given logline into killer feature script.

Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: 1 May 2014.  Feature length screenplays.

Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest - Deadline: 1 May 2014. Any length script, pilot of original or spec of existing show.

Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab - Deadline: 1 May 2014. Feature length screenplays. U.S residents only. Submissions open 15 March 2014.

BBC Writersroom Script Calls - Deadline: 12th May (opens 28 April 2014). Comedy (radio/tv/film). LATER SCRIPT CALLS: June 2014 - Children’s tv (comedy & drama). September/October 2014 – Stage and radio drama.

Screencraft Comedy Script Contest - Deadline: 15 May 2014 (regular) / 1 August 2014 (final)- Feature screenplays up to 140pp & short scripts up to 20pp.

Warner Brothers Writers’ Workshop – Deadline: 31 May 2014. Opens 1 May 2014. Spec script of selected existing shows. Must be available to attend workshops in Los Angeles.

Shore Scripts Feature Screenplay Competition - Deadline: 31 May 2014 (early) / 31 July 2014 (regular) / 31 August 2014 (late) - Feature screenplays 80-120pp, short screenplays 3-20pp.

Rawi Screenwriters Lab (the Royal Film Commission, Jordan) – Deadline: 15 June 2014. Arab screenwriters only.

New York Screenplay Contest: Deadline: 20 June 2014 (late) / 20 August 2014 (extended). Accepting feature scripts (over 70pp), short film scripts (under 70pp), tv scripts, sitcom scripts, stage plays, television concepts.

Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award - Deadline: 1 July 2014 - Submit 30-60 minute television drama script. Applicants must be under 30 and non-US residents.

Screenplay Festival - Deadline: 1 July 2014 (early) / 1 September 2014 (final). Feature length screenplays and teleplays over 60pp (no max).

John Brabourne Awards - Deadline: 31 July 2014. Financial support to up and coming talent who may have suffered set-backs. UK residents only.

London Screenwriters’ Festival & Script Angel Screenwriting Contest -   Deadline: 21 August 2014. Film & tv, all genres. Win six months of script editing & mentoring with Script Angel’s Hayley McKenzie.

One In Ten Screenplay Contest - Deadline: 1 September 2014. Screenplays 90-125pp. Must feature at least one primary character who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum – Deadline: 4 September 2014 (early) / 25 September 2014 (final). Film screenplays.

Torino Film Lab - various European script development initiatives throughout the year.

To look out for at a later date:

American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September -  Screenplays 82-145pp. (opens for entries 1 June 2014)

Just Effing Entertain Me Screenwriting Competition - Deadline: usually June - Screenplays 90-120pp.

Underwire Film Festival Short Script Competition - Deadline: usually August. Short film scripts only. Female screenwriters only. Entrants must be British or residing in the UK.

Script Hot House from Write2Screen – Deadline: usually August. UK residents only. Successful applicants receive script development programme.

The Writers Place Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September - Feature length scripts up to 130pp, teleplays/short script up to 45pp.

Berlinale Talent Campus (Script Station) – Deadline: usually September

Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship - Deadline: usually September. Feature length screenplays 85pp-125pp. Genres accepted: comedy, romantic-comedy, action, adventure, thriller.  Semi-finalists will be required to submit a second original, feature-length script.

Moondance International Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually October. Scripts addressing complex social issues.

Tracking B Feature Script Contest - Deadline:  usually October

Channel Four Screenwriting Course - Deadline: usually October. Accepting screenplays (film or tv), stage plays and radio plays. Only applicants who do not have a broadcast credit as a television or film writer may apply. Open to residents of UK and Ireland. Applicants must be available to attend the course in London on specified dates.

Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually November.

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition  – Deadline: usually November. Features and shorts.

Blue Cat Screenplay Competition - Deadline:  usually November. Accepting shorts and feature length scripts. Good luck!

Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship - Deadline: usually January.  Accepting feature scripts, one-hour tv pilots and half-hour tv pilots.

Red Planet Prize - Deadline: usually January. UK entrants only.

Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters’ Lab - Deadline: usually January. Feature length screenplays only.

L.A Comedy Shorts Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually January. Categories for short film script, feature film script and tv sitcom pilot script.

Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: usually January.  Screenplays 80-120pp, short script under 40pp, half-hour tv comedy script 22-35pp, one-hour tv drama 45-65pp.

CAPE New Writing Fellowship - Deadline: usually January. Sponsored by NBC Universal and Warner Bros. For Asian American and Pacific Islander writing talent. Original tv spec and feature film screenplays accepted.

Nickelodeon TV Writing Program - Deadline: usually February. Spec scripts for one of their listed shows.

Cinestory Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: usually March. Screenplay 85-130pages.

BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum - Deadline: usually March. TV Drama Scripts.

London Independent Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually March - short & feature length scripts.

Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship - Deadline: usually March. Applicants must be able to prove US employment eligibility.

European Independent Film Festival Script Competition - Deadline: usually March. Short scripts 5-50pp & feature length scripts 80-130pp. Looking for scripts NOT aimed at mainstream Hollywood film markets.

Sitcom Mission - Deadline: usually March. Submit 15 minute sitcom script for tv, radio or stage.  Aimed at UK residents.

Guiding Lights Mentoring Scheme -

Film Bazaar India Screenwriters Lab - Deadline: usually March. Applicants must be Indian passport holders.

The Script Angel Journey So Far…

kindnessIt’s been a little while since I announced that Script Angel was expanding. After years as a solo business I took the step of inviting the brilliant Xandria Horton to join me. So I thought it was time to share with you how I got here and what might be next for Script Angel.

How Script Angel came about. Being really honest with you, the sole reason I established Script Angel in 2009 was to enable me to carry on script editing (as I had been for nearly ten years by then) without having to work away from home. It really was that simple. I love script editing; I love working with writers, helping them make their script the very best it can be. I also love variety; I love working on a thriller one day, a crime series the next and a comedy the day after that. As a result I would take jobs because they interested me and that often meant living away from my family Monday-Friday which isn’t much fun however much you love your job.

What’s the Script Angel ethos? I knew what I wanted Script Angel to deliver for me and, importantly, I also had a very strong sense of the kind of script editor I was by then. I can be tough when I have to be but I don’t get a kick out of making others feel crap. When I give script notes I do it with honesty and a desire to ask the questions that will inspire my writer to find for themselves the most interesting solutions to the problems in the script. Script Angel’s nurturing ethos is a reflection of my values and how I work.

An overnight success? The reality was that even with nearly ten years of professional script editing credits to my name it took a while before there was enough work coming in that Script Angel was a full-time job. Even then my rates were so low compared to the hours I would spend on the notes that I was earning well below minimum wage. But I stuck with it and kept plugging away.  It took more than three years before the demand reached a point where my rates could reflect my experience.

With success comes new questions. Last year was a huge turning point for me and for Script Angel. I was consistently booked up three months in advance but I’d hit a brick wall. I couldn’t help any more writers because there was no more of me to go around. I was turning down extraordinary full-time script editing offers on some amazing shows because of the detrimental affect it would have on Script Angel. So I was kind of making a choice, without realising it, that Script Angel was no longer just a way to script edit while my children were little, it wasn’t a way to put my career on hold, it WAS my career.

What was the solution? I knew the demand was sufficient that I could put my rates up further but that would make me unaffordable to many aspiring writers and I don’t want my help to be available only to the wealthiest. Running the Script Angel-LSF Screenwriting Competition is another way I overcome this issue. The alternative was to expand. It sounds so simple and a no-brainer but in truth it was something I had mulled over without taking the leap for nearly a year.

What was stopping me expanding? My biggest fear was of turning into the type of script editing service I dislike – big, impersonal, corporate. It might suit some people but I knew it wasn’t the kind of script editing business I wanted to be part of, let alone create! So how could I keep the nurturing reputation Script Angel had if it was no longer just me providing script notes?

Finding the right people. I realised that I needed to find someone who naturally worked with writers the way I did. If I could find the right person maybe expanding Script Angel would mean being able to do more of what I was already known for?

Why Xandria Horton? I’d first met Xandria when she was Development Assistant at Eleventh Hour Films (Foyle’s War) and I was looking for a production company to take a client’s project to. We chatted about screenwriting, about writers and it was immediately apparent that she was really bright, knew her stuff and knew how to work with writers. I asked Xandria to send me sample script reports (with confidential information redacted, of course!) and I was really impressed. She was as articulate in the notes as she had been in person. Xandria’s notes are insightful and her style of delivering those notes is, like mine, designed to ensure that writers feel positive about moving forward with their project.

Making Script Angel more affordable. The other reason for bringing Xandria on-board was that I wanted to make Script Angel available again to those writers who had used me in the early days when my rates were low but who I’d lost as I’d become busier and more expensive.

So how’s it working out? Well, the great news is that Xandria’s Script Analysis Reports have been really well received. You can read testimonials of her work here. I also read Xandria’s notes before sending them out and we talk about anything that might need clarifying.  I feel very lucky to have a talented young Script Editor working for me at the early stage of her career.

What have I learnt? You can expand without losing your core values. It’s not easy; it’s taking as much effort to grow Xandria’s workload as it took to grow Script Angel in its early days. But I am thrilled to be able to offer Xandria’s script analysis talents to the Script Angel writers.

What next? My aim is to get Xandria as busy and in-demand as I am. I want to keep growing Script Angel but without ever losing the very personal relationship we have with our writers, and finding Xandria has proved to me that it’s not only possible but hugely exciting and rewarding.

5 Things I Learnt About Movies from The Oscars 2014

12 years a slaveHere’s what I learnt from the Academy Awards 2014.

1) You CAN have a black lead character – 12 Years A Slave

2) You CAN have a female lead character – Gravity

3) You CAN have lead characters who are gay – Dallas Buyers Club

4) You CAN have lead characters who are over 60 – Nebraska, Philomena

5) Hollywood DOES reward originality – Her

And those movies aren’t just winning awards, they are all commercially successful. Hollywood, let’s not forget, does not reward movies that are a commercial disaster.

So the next time you get told that your spec script isn’t commercially viable because your lead character is a woman, or black, or over 60, or gay just remind them to look up the winners at the Academy Awards 2014.

Screenwriting Contests – updated March 2014

hands at laptopWriters’ Couch (Cascade Pictures) – Deadline: ongoing – Screenplay 80-140pp. UK residents and unrepresented writers only.

European Independent Film Festival Script Competition - Deadline: 14 March 2014- Short scripts 5-50pp & feature length scripts 80-130pp. Looking for scripts NOT aimed at mainstream Hollywood film markets.

The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards - Deadline: 15 March 2014 (late) / 15 April 2014 (last minute) – Short scripts up to 40pp, feature screenplays 80-120pp, TV drama pilots 50-70pp, TV comedy pilots 25-45pp.

New York Screenplay Contest: Deadline:  20 March 2014 (regular) / 20 June 2014 (late) / 20 August 2014 (extended). Accepting feature scripts (over 70pp), short film scripts (under 70pp), tv scripts, sitcom scripts, stage plays, television concepts.

Screenwriting Goldmine Competition  - Deadline: 27 March 2014 (regular) / 24 April 2014 (late) / 8 May 2014 (extended) – Film & TV scripts 45-120pp.

Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 31 March 2014 (regular) / 30 April 2014 (extended). Turn given logline into killer feature script.

BBC Writersroom Script Calls - Deadline: 31 March 2014 (opens 17 March 2014) – Drama (tv & film) ONLY. Later calls for other forms & genres will be: April/May 2014 – Comedy (radio/tv/film). June 2014 – Children’s tv (comedy & drama). September/October 2014 – Stage and radio drama.

Sitcom Mission - Deadline: 31 March 2014 – Submit 15 minute sitcom script for tv, radio or stage.  Aimed at UK residents.

Euroscript Screenwriting Competition - Deadline: 31 March 2014. Feature film treatment and writing sample.

Guiding Lights Mentoring Scheme - Deadline: 31 March 2014.

Big Bear Screenwriting Competition - Deadline:  1 April 2014 (late) / 20 April (WAB extended) -Screenplays 90-130pp.

Coming Up 2014 (Channel4 & Touchpaper Television) – Deadline: 3 April 2014.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting:  Deadline: 10 April 2014 (regular) / 1 May 2014 (late). Screenplays 90-120pp.

Nick Darke Award - Deadline: 14 April 2014. Submit 750 word pitch for film, radio or stage play idea plus 20pp writing sample.

Scriptapalooza -  Deadline: 14 April 2014 (late) / 21 April 2014 (extended) – Screenplays 80-140pp.

Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition - Deadline: 30 April 2014- Feature scripts 90-120pp, teleplays (original pilot or spec of existing show) 45-70pp, sitcom scripts 22-40pp.

Moondance Film Festival Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 30 April 2014 (regular) / 31 May 2014 (late) / 31 June 2014 (extended). Feature screenplays, tv script 30′, tv script 60′.

Big Break Screenwriting Contest- Deadline: 30 April 2014 (early) / 15 July 2014 (regular) / 31 July 2014 (final).  Teleplays 25-70pp / Screenplays 80-120pp.

Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: 1 May 2014.  Feature length screenplays.

Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest - Deadline: 1 May 2014. Any length script, pilot of original or spec of existing show.

Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab - Deadline: 1 May 2014. Feature length screenplays. U.S residents only. Submissions open 15 March 2014.

Warner Brothers Writers’ Workshop – Deadline: 31 May 2014. Opens 1 May 2014. Spec script of selected existing shows. Must be available to attend workshops in Los Angeles.

London Screenwriters’ Festival & Script Angel Screenwriting Contest -   Deadline: 21 August 2014. Film & tv, all genres. Win six months of script editing & mentoring with Script Angel’s Hayley McKenzie.

BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum – Deadline: 4 September 2014 (early) / 25 September 2014 (final). Film screenplays.

Torino Film Lab - various European script development initiatives throughout the year.

To look out for at a later date:

Beijing International Screenwriting Competition - Deadline: usually April – Submit proposal for feature film, which must prominently feature Beijing as location. Open to anyone living in US.

Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab - Deadline: usually April. Open to screenwriters, producers & directors. Feature films only. Lab takes place June 2014.

Film Bazaar India Screenwriters Lab - Deadline: usually March. Applicants must be Indian passport holders.

Save Our Scripts - Deadline: usually May - Pitch for project to be developed plus sample of previous work (feature script or two short film scripts).

Screamcraft Horror Script Contest - Deadline: usually June – Feature screenplays up to 140pp in Horror genre.

Fox-NYTVF Comedy Script Contest - Deadline: usually June (submissions usually accepted from 1 May). TV scripts 25-35pp. US residents only.

The Quest Initiative - Deadline: usually June. Submit logline only.

NYC Midnight Screenwriting Challenge - Deadline: usually June – Short screenplays based on assigned criteria.

Shoreline Scripts Feature Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually June - Feature screenplays 80-120pp, short screenplays 3-20pp.

Just Effing Entertain Me Screenwriting Competition - Deadline: usually June - Screenplays 90-120pp.

Rawi Screenwriters Lab (the Royal Film Commission, Jordan) – Deadline: usually June. Arab screenwriters only.

Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award - Deadline: usually July – Submit 30-60 minute television drama script. Applicants must be under 30 and non-US residents.

Slamdance Writing Competition -  Deadline: usually July – TV pilots up to 80pp, feature screenplays 90-150pp.

New Hampshire Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually July

John Brabourne Awards - Deadline: usually July. Financial support to up and coming talent who may have suffered set-backs. UK residents only.

Underwire Film Festival Short Script Competition - Deadline: usually August. Short film scripts only. Female screenwriters only. Entrants must be British or residing in the UK.

Script Hot House from Write2Screen – Deadline: usually August. UK residents only. Successful applicants receive script development programme.

One In Ten Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September. Screenplays 90-125pp. Must feature at least one primary character who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Screenplay Festival - Deadline: usually September. Feature length screenplays and teleplays over 60pp (no max).

American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September -  Screenplays 82-145pp.

The Writers Place Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September - Feature length scripts up to 130pp, teleplays/short script up to 45pp.

Berlinale Talent Campus (Script Station) – Deadline: usually September

Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship - Deadline: usually September. Feature length screenplays 85pp-125pp. Genres accepted: comedy, romantic-comedy, action, adventure, thriller.  Semi-finalists will be required to submit a second original, feature-length script.

Screencraft Comedy Script Contest - Deadline: usually October – Feature screenplays up to 140pp.

Moondance International Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually October. Scripts addressing complex social issues.

Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually October. Feature script (80-130pp) & tv pilots/web series (30-70pp).

Tracking B Feature Script Contest - Deadline:  usually October

Channel Four Screenwriting Course - Deadline: usually October. Accepting screenplays (film or tv), stage plays and radio plays. Only applicants who do not have a broadcast credit as a television or film writer may apply. Open to residents of UK and Ireland. Applicants must be available to attend the course in London on 25&26 January 2014 and 14&15 June 2014.

Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually November.

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition  – Deadline: usually November. Features and shorts.

Blue Cat Screenplay Competition - Deadline:  usually November. Accepting shorts and feature length scripts. Good luck!

Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship - Deadline: usually January.  Accepting feature scripts, one-hour tv pilots and half-hour tv pilots.

Red Planet Prize - Deadline: usually January. UK entrants only.

Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters’ Lab - Deadline: usually January. Feature length screenplays only.

L.A Comedy Shorts Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually January. Categories for short film script, feature film script and tv sitcom pilot script.

Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: usually January.  Screenplays 80-120pp, short script under 40pp, half-hour tv comedy script 22-35pp, one-hour tv drama 45-65pp.

CAPE New Writing Fellowship - Deadline: usually January. Sponsored by NBC Universal and Warner Bros. For Asian American and Pacific Islander writing talent. Original tv spec and feature film screenplays accepted.

Nickelodeon TV Writing Program - Deadline: usually February. Spec scripts for one of their listed shows.

Cinestory Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: usually March. Screenplay 85-130pages.

BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum - Deadline: usually March. TV Drama Scripts.

London Independent Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually March - short & feature length scripts.

Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship - Deadline: usually March. Applicants must be able to prove US employment eligibility.

9 Tips On Creating A Following Online For Your Project

Lizzies_Story_Kindle_JPEGGuest Post By Lucy V aka @Bang2write

The savvy writer knows it’s not **just** about the project, but its following online that helps drive interest, thus sales. Publishers, producers, networks and film companies now talk of “transmedia distribution strategies” or “multi platform writing”. This creates ways of ensuring the story can go “beyond” its source material, especially online via social media, which has essentially become the modern “word of mouth”, drawing in projects’ potential target audiences.

It was with this in mind I created the transmedia series, LIZZIE’S DIARY, going live on Twitter and Facebook on March 1st 2014, to support my novel, THE DECISION: LIZZIE’S STORY , also published in March.

Already, my transmedia efforts have a following of about a thousand people, so how can you create similar, WITHOUT having to resort to buying them?

1) Start Early.

I cannot stress this enough. Most authors and filmmakers create a project, then launch it into cyberspace to the sound of **crickets**. You need to create a sense of anticipation BEFORE a project comes out and yes, this can include before it’s published or produced! Why not? It might even make your novel or screenplay more attractive in the marketplace. More on how to do this, next.

2) Go Multi Platform.

If you have minimal or zero platform online, know this: you need to be EVERYWHERE you possible can. You should have a website, Twitter and Facebook as an absolute minimum – and make sure you and your project are easy to find.

If you have an existing platform, like I do with B2W, feed your new project INTO that one: I chose Twitter and Ask.Fm, plus Facebook as The Decision Book Series and Pinterest as The Decision: YOUR Story.

Link up all your various social media profiles, so if you update Ask.Fm, Pinterest, or whatever it will also update on Facebook and Twitter automatically. Don’t worry about this being “too much”. It isn’t (and anyone who says it is will unfollow you anyway, don’t sweat it).

3) Find allies.

A no-brainer. This may include friends of yours (both real life and online), or it may include organisations that campaign on the issue you write about. I have teamed up with teen pregnancy/pro choice allies like @prymface @TracyEngelb and @NatashaVianna on Twitter, but also Paul Irwin’s amazing YA “Try Life” web series on Facebook. Blog-wise, amongst others, I’ve asked Hayley to host this guest post for me. Thanks Hayley!

4) Net any audience you can …

Another no-brainer. The average Facebook user apparently has 200 friends, so invite all of them to your page for starters. Link your Facebook page and Twitter account. Share interesting content from anywhere (ie. links) that form part of your project’s remit. In my case, I predominantly started off sharing articles about teenagers and social issues.

5) … NOW Identify your target audience.

After launching my social media profiles for my project, I took a look at the page’s “insights”: this is on the admin bar at the top of your page and tells you who your audience actually are. Unsurprisingly, at first the majority was not teenagers, but my age group … But THE DECISION: Lizzie’s Story is a YA book, so where to find young people? Answer: research. I discovered the majority are on Twitter, using hashtags like #teens #teenagers and #teenageproblems or on Ask.Fm. I read everything they were posting for ideas. Quite an education!

6) NOW start tailoring your approach.

So, I discovered the following about teens … On social media they are generally surprisingly conservative and/or switched on (no youth-based stereotypes, thank you), talking about the following with frequency:

  1. Music
  2. School
  3. Friends
  4. Parents
  5. Celebrities (especially Jennifer Lawrence & Harry Styles)
  6. Exams
  7. Bullying
  8. Depression and/or self harm
  9. Race
  10. Gender

I started to up the frequency of the links I shared on these subjects, but after seeing a number of retweets and shares for photographs with quotes on, I started to do those, too – and discovered my “online reach” went up by about 300%!! In other words, knowing your target audience pays dividends.

7) Give followers an opportunity to engage – and engage with them.

Ask questions, or for people’s thoughts on various subjects and situations. Use hashtags to open the door further and bring people to your project. Don’t ignore your @s and comments; even if it’s just to say “thanks”, DO IT. If someone is angry or disagrees, don’t accuse them of being a troll or block them; talk to them, but know where to draw the line.

8) Do whatever it takes …

Did you know that most RTs contain links? Or that if you write the words “please retweet”, you’re more likely to get one? Or that the majority of Facebook shares are infographics, photos and cartoons? Or that Pinterest has people pinning every imaginable niche interest going? Or that adults like the questions on Quora, but teens prefer Ask.Fm? Or that there’s a hashtag on Twitter called #TeamFollowBack, the etiquette being that if you follow a person with that #, they HAVE to follow you back? Or that some people will “hate read” your content, just so they can complain/counter everything you post (who cares, it’s a follow)! It’s all about research, again! Don’t skimp.

9) … But don’t ever SPAM.

Cross posting is fine and even desirable in various groups, as long as you follow the rules (if applicable … Though do know sometimes admins will be jobsworths because they can). Don’t ever copy and paste @s on Twitter: people will BLOCK you. It’s also counterproductive to post to people’s individual Facebook walls on a regular basis without an agreement in place first. Also, try not to post the same pictures or text over and over again if you can; try and mix it up. MORE: 6 Ways Not To Annoy The Crap Out Of People Online.

But most of all, be INTERESTING. And people will follow your project!

———————————————————————————-

BIO: Lucy V Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via Bang2write. She’s one of the organisers of London Screenwriters’ Festival and associate producer of the Brit Thrillers DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2014), both starring Danny Dyer. To keep up with LIZZIE’S DIARY, “Like” the Facebook page.

An English Writer In Los Angeles!

scriptangel:

A terrific blog post from Debbie Moon (creator of CBBC hit ‘Wolfblood’) on being a Brit writer on their first trip to Los Angeles.

Originally posted on Never Get Off The Bus:

Well, my trip is over, and it’s time to share the results of my experiences! What’s it really like to be a British writer on your first trip to LA? Here are a few thoughts…

LA is probably an easier town to live in than to visit. What I mean by that is: if you live here, then unless you suddenly produce the hottest spec in town, you’re probably only taking a couple of meetings a week. But if you’re visiting, you’re trying to pack in as many as possible, and that’s going to give you an inaccurate view of how hard it is to get around and how stressful the general atmosphere of the city is.

So bear in mind that what you’re experiencing isn’t necessarily how things are for everyone else. Don’t try to pack in too much unnecessary stuff like sightseeing – enjoy your trip, sure…

View original 518 more words

Screenwriting Contests – updated February 2014

write and write moreWriters’ Couch (Cascade Pictures) – Deadline: ongoing – Screenplay 80-140pp. UK residents and unrepresented writers only.

Northern Film & Media Project Surgeries - Deadlines: 5 February 2014 / 5 March 2014. Developing screenwriters & filmmakers in NorthEast England.

BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum - Deadline: 10 February 2014 (early) / 8 March 2014 (final).  TV Drama Scripts.

Cinestory Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: 15 February 2014 (late) / 5 March 2014 (extended) - Screenplay 85-130pages.

The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards - Deadline: 15 February 2014 (regular) / 15 March 2014 (late) / 15 April 2014 (last minute) – Short scripts up to 40pp, feature screenplays 80-120pp, TV drama pilots 50-70pp, TV comedy pilots 25-45pp.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting:  Deadline: 28 February 2014 (early) / 10 April 2014 (regular) / 1 May 2014 (late). Screenplays 90-120pp.

Nickelodeon TV Writing Program - Deadline: 28 February 2014. Spec scripts for one of their listed shows.

Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 28 February 2014 (early) / 31 March 2014 (regular) / 30 April 2014 (extended). Turn given logline into killer feature script.

London Independent Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: 1 March 2014 – short & feature length scripts.

Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: 1 March 2014 (early) / 1 May 2014 (regular). Feature length screenplays.

Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest - Deadline: 1 March 2014 (early) / 1 May 2014 (regular). Any length script, pilot of original or spec of existing show.

Big Bear Screenwriting Competition - Deadline:  2 March 2014 (regular) / 1 April 2014 (late) / 20 April (WAB extended) -Screenplays 90-130pp.

Scriptapalooza -  Deadline: 3 March 2014 (regular) / 14 April 2014 (late) / 21 April 2014 (extended) – Screenplays 80-140pp.

European Independent Film Festival Script Competition - Deadline: 14 March 2014- Short scripts 5-50pp & feature length scripts 80-130pp. Looking for scripts NOT aimed at mainstream Hollywood film markets.

New York Screenplay Contest: Deadline:  20 March 2014 (regular) / 20 June 2014 (late) / 20 August 2014 (extended). Accepting feature scripts (over 70pp), short film scripts (under 70pp), tv scripts, sitcom scripts, stage plays, television concepts.

Screenwriting Goldmine Competition  - Deadline: 27 March 2014 (regular) / 24 April 2014 (late) / 8 May 2014 (extended) – Film & TV scripts 45-120pp.

BBC Writersroom Script Calls - Deadline: 31 March 2014 (opens 17 March 2014) – Drama (tv & film) ONLY. Later calls for other forms & genres will be: April/May 2014 – Comedy (radio/tv/film). June 2014 – Children’s tv (comedy & drama). September/October 2014 – Stage and radio drama.

Sitcom Mission - Deadline: 31 March 2014 – Submit 15 minute sitcom script for tv, radio or stage.  Aimed at UK residents.

Euroscript Screenwriting Competition - Deadline: 31 March 2014. Feature film treatment and writing sample.

Nick Darke Award - Deadline: 14 April 2014. Submit 750 word pitch for film, radio or stage play idea plus 20pp writing sample.

Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition - Deadline: 30 April 2014- Feature scripts 90-120pp, teleplays (original pilot or spec of existing show) 45-70pp, sitcom scripts 22-40pp.

Moondance Film Festival Screenwriting Contest – Deadline: 30 April 2014 (regular) / 31 May 2014 (late) / 31 June 2014 (extended). Feature screenplays, tv script 30′, tv script 60′.

Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab - Deadline: 1 May 2014. Feature length screenplays. U.S residents only. Submissions open 15 March 2014.

BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum – Deadline: 4 September 2014 (early) / 25 September 2014 (final). Film screenplays.

Torino Film Lab - various European script development initiatives throughout the year.

To look out for at a later date:

The Sitcom Trials: So You Think You Write Funny? - Deadline: usually March- Submit 10 minute sitcom script for tv, radio or stage. Aimed at UK residents.

Comedy Central/NYTVF Pilot Competition - Deadline: usually March - Sketch/narrative/single camera sitcom and animated comedy. USA residents only. Pilot script plus 4-11′ pilot presentation DVD.

NBC/NYTVF Drama Challenge - Deadline: usually March. Looking for original tv drama series. Submit series overview, pilot script & produced pilot scene.

Beijing International Screenwriting Competition - Deadline: usually April – Submit proposal for feature film, which must prominently feature Beijing as location. Open to anyone living in US.

Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab - Deadline: usually April. Open to screenwriters, producers & directors. Feature films only. Lab takes place June 2014.

The Launch Pad Competition (Tracking Board) - Deadline: usually opens November

Guiding Lights Mentoring Scheme

Coming Up 2014 (Channel4 & Touchpaper Television)

Film Bazaar India Screenwriters Lab - Deadline: usually March. Applicants must be Indian passport holders.

Save Our Scripts - Deadline: usually May - Pitch for project to be developed plus sample of previous work (feature script or two short film scripts).

Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship - Deadline: usually May. Applicants must be able to prove US employment eligibility.

Screamcraft Horror Script Contest - Deadline: usually June – Feature screenplays up to 140pp in Horror genre.

Warner Bros’ Writers’ Workshop - Deadline: usually June (submissions usually accepted from 1 May). Submit writing sample for one of their listed current shows. Successful applicants must be able to attend regular workshops in LA.

Fox-NYTVF Comedy Script Contest - Deadline: usually June (submissions usually accepted from 1 May). TV scripts 25-35pp. US residents only.

The Quest Initiative - Deadline: usually June. Submit logline only.

NYC Midnight Screenwriting Challenge - Deadline: usually June – Short screenplays based on assigned criteria.

Shoreline Scripts Feature Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually June - Feature screenplays 80-120pp, short screenplays 3-20pp.

Just Effing Entertain Me Screenwriting Competition - Deadline: usually June - Screenplays 90-120pp.

Rawi Screenwriters Lab (the Royal Film Commission, Jordan) – Deadline: usually June. Arab screenwriters only.

Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award - Deadline: usually July – Submit 30-60 minute television drama script. Applicants must be under 30 and non-US residents.

Slamdance Writing Competition -  Deadline: usually July – TV pilots up to 80pp, feature screenplays 90-150pp.

New Hampshire Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually July

Big Break Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: usually July. Teleplays 25-70pp / Screenplays 80-120pp.

John Brabourne Awards - Deadline: usually July. Financial support to up and coming talent who may have suffered set-backs. UK residents only.

Underwire Film Festival Short Script Competition - Deadline: usually August. Short film scripts only. Female screenwriters only. Entrants must be British or residing in the UK.

Script Hot House from Write2Screen – Deadline: usually August. UK residents only. Successful applicants receive script development programme.

One In Ten Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September. Screenplays 90-125pp. Must feature at least one primary character who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Screenplay Festival - Deadline: usually September. Feature length screenplays and teleplays over 60pp (no max).

American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September -  Screenplays 82-145pp.

The Writers Place Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually September - Feature length scripts up to 130pp, teleplays/short script up to 45pp.

Berlinale Talent Campus (Script Station) – Deadline: usually September

Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship - Deadline: usually September. Feature length screenplays 85pp-125pp. Genres accepted: comedy, romantic-comedy, action, adventure, thriller.  Semi-finalists will be required to submit a second original, feature-length script.

Screencraft Comedy Script Contest - Deadline: usually October – Feature screenplays up to 140pp.

Moondance International Film Festival Screenplay Contest - Deadline: usually October. Scripts addressing complex social issues.

Emerging Screenwriters Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually October. Feature script (80-130pp) & tv pilots/web series (30-70pp).

Tracking B Feature Script Contest - Deadline:  usually October

Channel Four Screenwriting Course - Deadline: usually October. Accepting screenplays (film or tv), stage plays and radio plays. Only applicants who do not have a broadcast credit as a television or film writer may apply. Open to residents of UK and Ireland. Applicants must be available to attend the course in London on 25&26 January 2014 and 14&15 June 2014.

Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually November.

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition  – Deadline: usually November. Features and shorts.

Blue Cat Screenplay Competition - Deadline:  usually November. Accepting shorts and feature length scripts. Good luck!

Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship - Deadline: usually January.  Accepting feature scripts, one-hour tv pilots and half-hour tv pilots.

Red Planet Prize - Deadline: usually January. UK entrants only.

Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters’ Lab - Deadline: usually January. Feature length screenplays only.

L.A Comedy Shorts Screenplay Competition - Deadline: usually January. Categories for short film script, feature film script and tv sitcom pilot script.

Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Contest - Deadline: usually January.  Screenplays 80-120pp, short script under 40pp, half-hour tv comedy script 22-35pp, one-hour tv drama 45-65pp.

CAPE New Writing Fellowship - Deadline: usually January. Sponsored by NBC Universal and Warner Bros. For Asian American and Pacific Islander writing talent. Original tv spec and feature film screenplays accepted.