How to Win a Screenplay Contest

Gordy Hoffman, founder of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, recently shared his thoughts on how to win that contest, and his words can be applied to virtually any screenwriting competition.

The regular deadline for BlueCat is a few days away, and this is one of the few contests I recommend entering, mainly because their feedback is quick and spot-on. Even if your script isn’t contest ready, BlueCat is a cheap way to get excellent coverage.

Here’s what Hoffman has to say:

If you think you’ve gone over it a hundred times, and you’re ready to submit, here’s a list of a few things to consider:

Grocery List

Go through all your description and get rid of all the style and texture and loveliness that calls attention to your wonderful incredible abilities as a Writer. We don’t care what kind of writer you are. All I remember from the scripts that won is what the story was and how much they made me laugh or cry. You know what a grocery list looks like? Make everything simple, straightforward and clean. Grocery list your description. Clarity is the most overlooked element of screenwriting.  

Benjamin Franklin

What if someone gave you a hundred dollar bill for every word you removed from your screenplay? I think some of you might be able to buy a house. Go through your screenplay and remove enough words to buy a nice car or boat. You cut words from your script and your chances with BlueCat improve, it’s that simple.

Read Your Writing

When’s the last time you read your script? I know you’ve been looking at it and looking at it, but when’s the last time you read it all the way through? Just read it and reestablish your intimacy with what you wrote. Don’t be a stranger, check everything out again, and watch how all the light bulbs go off again over what it can be. It’s a new day. If you’re going to spend money on a screenplay contest, actually read your screenplay, without stopping to play with it.

Read the rest at BlueCat.

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