One of my favorite pastimes senior year of High School was applying to colleges.
I’m not even kidding a little bit, as weird as it sounds.
Filling out applications combined two of my favorite things: talking about myself and office supplies. Way back in 200-, when I was attempting to further my education, applications hadn’t been fully converted to the internet. Cracking open the plastic and paper wrapping surrounding my brand new G-2 Gel pens to meticulously pen my information into tiny little boxes was pure gratification. I seemed to have a knack for finding colleges and universities that had NO application fee (very rare) and I filled those out with reckless abandon, never intending to actually attend any of those particular institutions. I knew I needed to go to a state school (much more affordable), but that didn’t stop me from seeing where else in the world I could’ve possibly attended school.
SO YOU WOULD THINK that filling out applications for script writing competitions and network writing fellowships would be right up my alley.
For some strange reason, almost all of the competitions and all of the fellowships have entry periods and deadlines that overlap, and in some cases almost entirely coincide–to the date, with one another.
“Oh, that’s actually convenient,” one might think to oneself, “you can just submit the same thing over and over to each competition.
Each and every one of them has different criteria–most require a “spec” script which is a script you write using characters and stories from a show that’s currently on TV. HOWEVER, some require a 30 minute comedy spec, some require a 1 hour drama spec, some allow you to spec shows that are available only through streaming (Hulu, Netflix, etc), some require that the show you’re spec-ing be in at least it’s 2nd season, some allow you to spec an animated show, etc etc.
Some competitions require you submit a pilot–which is a show completely originated by you. Some require the pilot to be in the exact same genre as the spec script you are submitting (which does nothing to show your range as a writer).
For the feature length competitions/programs, some allow adaptations, some only original work, some have a minimum page count, all have a maximum page count (yet, they’re not all the same) and all of them cost money!
Most require some sort of bio, some require a resume (even if nothing on it says that you’ve been paid to be a part of the entertainment industry) some want an “artistic statement”, some want photos of you drinking a glass of water upside down while ASL signing the National anthem*.
*No, they actually don’t want that last part, but sometimes it seems like they stop the requirements just short of that!
To Date: I’ve submitted to 2 network fellowships, 2 feature length competitions, and I’ve still got more to go. So until the end of May, I’ll be trucking along, submission after submission until my fingers fall off and hit the floor. Pray for me.
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