Major screenwriting competitions have thousands of entrants. How do you stand out? It always comes down to the script, but readers have different opinions. Script reading is only objective to a point. The most you can do to control the outcome is to put your best foot forward: follow directions, choose good contests, and submit a tremendous screenplay. Here’s how to conquer competition season and stand out:

Confidence in Your Material

How do you make sure your script is the best it can be?

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Screenwriting competition season is an exciting time. You’ve written a great script. You have the opportunity to put your work in front of professionals. Don’t risk jeopardizing your submission with mistakes that can easily be avoided. Every year, competitions filter through thousands of submissions. Be one of the entrants who shows you care. Present your best self and your best script.

5 common mistakes when submitting your script
You didn’t follow directions

The details can make or break your submission.

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With over a hundred to choose from, which screenwriting contests are right for you? Let’s break it down into three parts: the types of contests, your script, and what’s legit. When it comes down to it, you want to be smart and selective about the contests you enter. It would make no sense to apply to all of them. You want the right match.

Let’s also speculate that you and I don’t have bucketloads of money (I do have a change jar) or oodles of free time (though I sometimes lie awake until 4am under the soul-crushing weight of existence).

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Contests offer a way for screenwriters to gain exposure and access to the entertainment industry. No matter your day job, your proximity to Hollywood, or your connections, competitions hold the power to level the playing field. Your work has the chance to speak for itself as it’s evaluated against other entrants. All you have to do is get yourself and your script ready. Follow this step by step look into what you can do to prepare for screenwriting competition season.

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This week’s interview is with writer/director Don Bitters, whose background in motion graphics and VFX has fueled his career success. Don talks about his trajectory from short films into full-length features, the importance of having a strong skill to set you apart, and how content creation gets you ahead.

Let’s dive in:

How did you start out?

I started out knowing I wanted to direct from when I was young. I made my first film when I was fourteen.

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