As a screenwriter, you should be entering screenwriting contests to further your career. The reason for that is not necessarily to try and win a cash prize. It is to make significant contacts that can lead you to your ultimate goal of selling your scripts.

There are contests that you should enter and many more that you should avoid. There are now hundreds of screenwriting contests that are out there. Many have become moneymaking propositions for the people who are running them rather than opportunities for new writers to launch their careers.

I would not recommend that you enter any contest just because of the allure of possibly winning a cash prize. Money should not be the motivating factor for your submissions. Contests that offer a cash prize, software, or a screenplay analysis as the top prize should be passed over.

The contests that you want to submit to are those that offer referrals and contacts to industry professionals such as producers, agents, or managers. At this stage in your writing development, meeting and working with industry decision makers trumps any other outcome.

The best website for screenwriting contests is Contests are broken down by various categories such as Most Significant, Upcoming, Festival Contests, TV Contests, Production Company/Agency Contests, etc. I would visit their site and determine which type of contest is best for you to enter. Make sure that you read the eligibility requirements carefully and that you follow their submission guidelines and filing dates to the letter.

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Read Steve on Screenwriting by Steve Kaire the first Thursday of the month on Write On! Online. Kaire is a screenwriter/pitchman who’s sold eight projects to the major studios on spec without representation. For more from Steve Kaire, check out his CD: “High Concept-How to Create, Pitch & Sell to Hollywood” and website: High Concept Screenwriting.



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