Getting Ready For Submissions

I’m at the point where I’ve got some projects done. I feel like they are ready for submissions. A couple, I’ve submitted before and rewrote after getting the “nope” and I’m confident that they’re ready to go out again but I’m a bit nervous. I’ve been trying to get in fellowships as well as win some competitions. Fellowships, I feel will get me a better chance to find representation or future deals. Competitions just help with the overall “appeal” to me as a writer.

How do you know when your script is ready enough to send out? 

Well, I usually ask a lot of my friends and family to look over the scripts. Some that are well verse in the whole screenplay and movie structure. I always ask them: does it make sense, am I missing anything, and what works/ doesn’t work? I get a few suggestions on what can be worked on. I make some corrections and then I look at the overall script again. It’s like a never-ending cycle. I think I’ve asked a couple of my friends to read the same script like four or five times, only tweaking little parts here and there. I hope they don’t hate me too much for that.

After I rewrite, edit, rewrite again, I read over the script and make a decision. Yes, it’s ready.

What do you want out of submitting?

I want the reader of the script to think, “Wow, I’ve never read something like this before.” I understand that statement is hard to come by. Even when you think your idea is the most original idea you’ve ever thought of, someone else has written something similar. I came across that particular moment when I wrote for a short film competition that had a theme we had to use and several people had the same concept. It’s funny, how while writing you feel like this idea is all yours, but in reality, we all get them from somewhere.

I want to be able to put my scripts into people’s hands that I can’t reach. Most competitions and fellowships ask industry professionals to judge their competition. If I can write a script that memorable enough and strong enough for them to request a meeting, it would jumpstart my career as a writer. I try to find places that offer free feedback. Even if I receive just four sentences, I take those four sentences and find a way to fine-tune my script and make it better for the next one.

I wish feedback was free with competitions. When I submitted my first feature script to Fresh Voices, they had one free feedback that came with my submission. This feedback was so detailed, so informative, that I was able to take it and with the help of another peer, I was able to really get into my script and tweak it. They allowed second submissions for the final round and I got Honorable Mention. I don’t think I would have even made it that far, had I not received that feedback. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. I’m then left with weighing the pros and cons of spending more money on a specific competition for feedback, or submit to others and give me more opportunities to win something.

How do you choose where to submit?

Not having a lot of funds to be able to submit to every fellowship program or competition also limits my choices. I tend to choose programs/competitions that have some sort of prize money and industry networking services. I would love to get a fellowship so I can meet other writers and build my networks that way. It’s really hard to get into, but I notice that a lot of the people who are chosen are a few years older than I am, so I’m not too concerned. I still have a few more years to prepare and perfect my writing.

I don’t give up on something I really want.

And I really want to be a professional/produced writer.

Shout out to my writing women team: Monze, Corinne, and Catie for putting up with me constantly sending out new drafts of the same scripts. ♥

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