Screenwriting Competitions 2015 (February)

I had two chances to place in the top 10% of the BlueCat screenwriting competition, one for a feature and one for a short. Sadly, neither placed, but I am swallowing the bitter pill of rejection and moving on. Plenty more opportunities ahead!

I’ve listed all the competitions I know about below, sorted by date, with their associated costs, which should help you plan your deadlines. And if you prefer an Excel sheet, I have that too.

Name & URL Date Cost
Rocliffe TV 28/02/15 £21
Nicholl Early 02/03/15 $40
LIFF Feature Film Late 06/03/15 £55
LIFF Short Film Late 06/03/15 £45
Scriptalooza Regular 10/03/15 $55
Page Late 16/03/15 $59
Euroscript 31/03/15 £35
ScreenCraft Shorts Final 06/04/15 $29
Nicholl Normal 10/04/15 $55
Screencraft Comedy Final 11/04/15 $49
Page Final 15/04/15 $69
Screencraft Horror Early 15/04/15 $29
Scriptalooza Late 15/04/15 $60
Scriptalooza TV 15/04/15 $45
AFF Feature Film Normal 20/04/15 $40
AFF Short Film Normal 20/04/15 $30
AFF TV Normal 20/04/15 $30
TrackingB TV 26/04/15 $99
Scriptalooza Final 29/04/15 $65
Nicholl Late 01/05/15 $75
AFF Feature Film Late 20/05/15 $50
AFF Short Film Normal 20/05/15 $40
AFF TV Normal 20/05/15 $40
Shore Early 31/05/15 £25
Screencraft Horror Final 01/06/15 $49
Screncraft Pilot Early 15/07/15 $39
Shore Normal 31/07/15 £30
Screencraft Action Early 15/08/15 $39
Screncraft Pilot Normal 01/09/15 $45
Screncraft Pilot Final 15/09/15 $65
Screencraft Action Final 15/10/15 $49
Shore Late 31/10/15 £35
Screencraft Fellowship Early 01/11/15 $39
Screencraft Family Early 18/11/15 $29
Screencraft Fellowship Normal 01/12/15 $49
Screencraft Fellowship Final 15/12/15 $69
Screencraft Family Final 30/12/15 $49

Mobile Apps for Writers

These days many writers rely on their mobile devices, their phones and tablets, rather than (or in addition to) more analogue stationary. Anything to get ideas down on the move with a minimum of effort and inconvenience. So I’ve gathered a list of mobile apps that I find useful to this end. I’ll apologise for the slight iOS bias in these, it’s not that I think one platform is necessarily superior to any other, but it just happens to be the one that works for me. Some these aren’t free, and there are cheaper alternatives for most, but again they’re the ones that work for me.

Dropbox

(Cost £0. Available for IOS/Android/Windows Phone/Windows/Mac)

Dropbox is really just your basic minimum, it’s a syncing, backup and file storage solution. Install it on your computer(s) and it’ll keep the folder synchronised across everything and make the files available to your on all your mobile devices. You can also share people links to files or entire folders, rather than sending documents backwards and forwards. Importantly, some apps listed below also allow direct access to Dropbox, meaning you’re not linked into any device specific ecosystems for file access and sharing. While the basic Dropbox package is free for 2Gb of storage, you can get 1Tb of storage for £7.99 per month.

Drafts

(Cost £7.99. Available for iOS only)

Drafts is sadly iOS only. All Drafts does is give you a blank page to create text notes, and that really is all. It gets you in fast, files your snippets away, and then gives you the opportunity to transfer the notes to social networks, Dropbox, Evernote or a variety of other destinations by a powerful series of tools. Drafts also support Markdown, for those people who use that. Use it when you need minimal friction between your device and the words battering away at your brain.

Evernote

(Cost £0. Available for IOS/Android/Windows Phone/Windows/Mac)

Evernote is a great way of organising all those little snippets you acquire over time, the little notes and photos and ideas and documents. All can be tagged and sorted and organised, making it easy to find those ideas again when you’re looking for a specific note or some inspiration. I use it by using the web clipper to clip web pages I find as I browse, sending notes from Drafts and using IFTTT to sync favourited tweets and photos.

Microsoft Word

(Cost £0. Available for IOS/Android/Windows)

As opposed to Drafts, Microsoft Word is a fully fledged word processor, and the mobile implementation, especially for tablets, is pretty good. It can even open documents from Dropbox and save them back there. Much as some would like to leave the hegemony of MS word, people are still going to use it and so we need to be able to open and edit the documents.

iAnnotate

(Cost £7.99. Available for IOS/Android)

There is a lot of competition amongst mobile PDF annotation apps, but my vote goes to iAnnotate. It does the job well, and is incredibly useful when someone inevitably send you a PDF of their work to review. It too can open from Dropbox.

Fade In Mobile

(Cost £3.99. Available for IOS/Android)

I’m a big fan of Fade In screenwriting software, and the mobile implementation is pretty good as well. And, it too can open from and sync with Dropbox.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Thesaurus

(Cost £2.99. Available for IOS/Android/Windows)

The M-W dictionary and thesaurus app is excellent. There are cheaper versions out there, and even British English specialised dictionaries, but I find that M-W blows them away, and also differentiates between British and American usages.

Do you have any others you can’t live without? Any replacements for any of the above, or comments on the ones I’ve chosen? Let me know!

Screenwriting Back To Basics

Last year, Scott Myers of Go Into The Story posted up a series of articles that were useful but I felt didn’t get as much traction as I thought they deserved. So, for your reading pleasure, I present to you Scott’s complete Screenwriting Back To Basics series.

Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 1: Writing Scenes

Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 2: Protagonist Metamorphosis Arc

Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 3: Plot = Structure

Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 4: Character = Function

Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 5: Reader Identification

 

Screencraft Competition Dates 2015

To allow you to plan your submissions to Screencraft’s various screenwriting contests, here are all their dates for 2015:

SHORTS SCREENPLAY CONTEST
JANUARY 19 – APRIL 6

COMEDY SCREENPLAY CONTEST
JANUARY 28 – APRIL 11

HORROR SCREENPLAY CONTEST
MARCH 17 – JULY 1

PILOT LAUNCH TV SCRIPT CONTEST
JUNE 1 – AUGUST 31

ACTION & THRILLER SCREENPLAY CONTEST
JULY 15 – OCTOBER 15

SCREENWRITING FELLOWSHIP
OCTOBER 1 – DECEMBER 10

FAMILY SCREENPLAY CONTEST
NOVEMBER 4 – DECEMBER 30

Coen Brothers Scripts

Poster No Country For Old MenAll screenwriters are always advised to read as many screenplays as possible; who better to learn from than those who have gone before us? And who could deny the impact the Coen Brothers have had on filmmaking?

So, it is kind of the brothers to make their screenplays available on their website.

Therein you’ll find the scripts for: A Serious Man, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, Blood Simple, Burn After Reading, Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy, Intolerable Cruelty, Ladykillers, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Millers Crossing, No Country For Old Men, O Brother Where Art Thou and True Romance.