Writer Beware

Courtesy of Louis, here's an article that confirms many of my fears of writing contests. There are legit ones, but still -- I haven't heard of anyone who has gotten work or representation because of a contest win.

I'll keep applying to certain fellowships and whatnot, but I ruled out writing contests a while back. I think it's best to remember that these contests are a business, or a revenue source at the least. So unless Timothy Hutton is actually connected to the contest and assuring you that it's funded by an alternate revenue stream, then...writer beware.

ps. The list of all the big profile writers that lent their names to this Fade In contest is also pretty disturbing. I'm going to be more hesitant about contest name-dropping.


Trevor Finn said...

Yeah, I applied to three contests last year and then came on the same realization. Alex Epstein put it best when he said that the only competition you should care about is the one every producer and agent holds every day. And in that case the prize is much, much better.

On a completely different note, what widget do you use for your progress bar? I can't seem to find one for my blog.

adam _______________________ said...

I just found this one online. It's nothing fancy. It's more Google, and less know-how. I tried to past it my comment, but Blogger freakout out, wouln't accept the HTML in the comment, which makes sense.

Drop me an email and I'll email the HTML to you if you want.

adam _______________________ said...

Whoa, I won't even bother counting the typos in that comment. I need sleep.

Vanilla Chunk said...

Haven't read the article. The Nicholl Fellowship is a trustworthy contest, no one can dispute that. People get repped from that all the time; I got meetings just for making the second round. It's the Academy and they take their heritage very seriously. I can't enter anymore. They set a maximum amount you can earn from writing and I'm just over the line. Ah, well...

Coverage Ink's 'Writers On The Storm' (dumb name!) is also one I trust, and the entrance fee includes a short analysis of what worked and what didn't. Coverage Ink gives coverage that is very honest and fairly priced.
On the otehr hand...
I took Honorable Mention in both the Final Draft and the Creative Screenwriting contests a few years ago. Final Draft never even called me- I was googling myself and it popped up. Same with CS, only it took longer.

Look at contests as a deadline to help move you along on a script.
I think the best, BEST contest around is the Creative Screenwriting Open, and not just because I've done well in the past. You get instant feedback and you don't waste six months on a draft.