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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions (often with a humorous eye) about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

DcH, I get so nervous when I have to make contest deadlines, fretting about the formatting being just so.  Do you have any soothing words?

Jacob M. from Scotland

This week's Answer: 

"Con" is in "Contest"

I do, Jacob.  Listen to some soothing bagpipes.  If that soothes you.  Or uplifts you.  Or, if you happen to not especially prefer that kind of music (I'm sure not all Scots like it), then read on, McDuff!  (Or is it, "Mac Duff"?  I love that song, "McDuff The Knife.")

Jacob, and all those who are reading this missive (I don't know why they don't allow gender equality and, once in a while, call it a "mister-ive."  But that's another subject for another time -- even though I'm sure you're thinking, "Please no!"), there is absolutely no reason to be nervous about submitting screenplays to contests.  They usually extend them, anyways!  Have you noticed?  Those Contest People want to give every screenwriter every chance to... get his or her money in.  I'm not saying that the contests (at least some of them) cannot be beneficial to the upcoming screenwriter.  Who doesn't want free software of the latest way to have some screenwriting "expert" limit the way you write screenplays?  And to meet with people who might be able to do something to get your screenplay made... well, that's just super.

But I wouldn't get too nervous about it all.  There will be another screenplay contest, you can mark my formatted words on that.  You know the ol' saying:

Screenplay contests are like buses:  there's always one every ten minutes.

Or something like that.

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