Going into the New Year with a resolution seems great until the following December when you watch your dreams die during the final countdown, embracing failure like an old friend and crying into a vodka martini. Let’s do it differently this year! Infuse 2017 with strategy and intention. Your goals deserve the best you can give them. Start by reflecting on what you’ve done, what you can do, and then take action!

Treat Yourself Like a Business

As writers,

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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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Use index cards to outline your story. Screenwriting is visual. Putting note cards onto a cork board lets you look at your story like a puzzle. You can see the full picture. Computer programs, white boards, and Post-it notes make it easier than ever to customize this method. Let’s dive into the what, how, and why of outlining your screenplay with note cards.

Why index cards?

First write out a full outline in a document. 

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Screenwriting takes the ability to balance a lot of elements simultaneously. While you’re writing, you network, you learn about the industry, and you live your human life, which enables you to provide food, clothing, and shelter to yourself and any dependents. The writing and living by themselves are hard enough, so I understand the cringing feeling people get when they hear networking. That’s why we’re going to talk about how to make networking worth it for screenwriters.

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